The world’s smallest continent and one of the world’s largest countries, Australia is a unique place in many ways. Because of its ages of isolation, it developed a completely authentic wildlife and a landscape which means that there are many things to see here that are exclusive to Australia.
However, what many people are not aware of is the fact that Australia is also called the Wine Country by many and that numerous Australian wines are among the best ones in the world. Travel around Australia and enjoy the incredible tastes and flavors of different wines in different Australian regions.
And when I say different, I mean every possible wine variety you can think of. What follows is some insight into the Australian wine regions, wine varieties inside those areas and some additional pieces of information regarding the varieties, geography and climate.
Margaret River, also known by many as the jewel of Western Australia, is a region renowned by its many wineries and its numerous incredible wine brands. Enjoy your stay in one of the most dazzlingly beautiful locations in whole of Australia while enhancing the impression with the delicious local cuisine and many, many excellent wine cellars located there. When it comes to the choice of perfect Margaret River wine, our most wholehearted recommendations go to some of the following.
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Cabernet Franc
The first Margaret River wines were planted by none other than a cardiologist- Dr. Tom Cullity. The main reason for planting his wines here was experimentation. After a disease attacked another vineyard, Margaret River was chosen as a possible substitute.
Now, if a doctor makes wine, there is no one that can convince me that it isn’t healthy. Since a happy person is a healthy one, in most cases, you will definitely start your wine tasting vacation on the right foot, by enjoying good quality wine and the majestic Australian scenery.
This renowned wine region is situated in Victoria, which with its colder climate offers perfect conditions for its numerous vineyards. This is exactly why Yarra Valley wines are of exceptional quality and of almost unparalleled taste when compared to wines anywhere in the world.
Taking a short trip there will definitely not be a choice that you will regret. As for the best wines in Yarra Valley, the most prominent spots are taken by classic Pinot Noir or the incredible Pinot Grigio.
What follows are the grape varieties that can be found in the Yarra Valley.
- Pinot Noir
- Cabernet Sauvignon
Geography And Climate
Yarra Valley is divided into two regions- the Valley Floor and the Upper Yarra. Both have distinct climates, soils and rainfall between them. This is extremely convenient for winemakers, as they instantly have much more choice. It is also good for us wine lovers, because we can have our senses pleased by various tastes.
The Valley Floor sits between 50 and 80 metres above the sea level and its smooth slopes are much warmer than the other parts of the area, which makes it a perfect go to picnic location.
To note, Australia is huge, and you can’t believe the enormity of it until you’ve seen it in person. For that reason, if you find yourself in a place such as Yarra Valley, be sure to take in all the impression that the area can leave on you, and cherish those memories for the years to come.
The Upper Yarra takes up most of the southern side of the valley and on its territory lay several towns. The area’s most famous varietals, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, are prominent here because the Upper Yarra is 400 meters higher the surrounding territory, and therefore, the cooler climate provides for the perfect conditions for these sorts of wines.
The Hunter Valley is a very famous wine region and at the same time one of the oldest winemaking regions in whole of Australia. The earliest vineyards here were planted in the early 19th century, so apart from the ideal winemaking conditions, they are also armed with an experience that stretches over two centuries.
So, you are surely in the hands of long-lasting professionals. This region’s most popular wine is fruity-flavored Cabernet Sauvignon. It is a dry wine of brilliant brick-red hues. The mulberry and leather aromes are smoothly complemented by toasty oak. If you are having this sweet red wine wine, make sure it is an accompaniment for lamb cutlets. The pleasure of tastes will have you up in heaven in no time.
- Cabernet Sauvignon
Semillon is considered to be an iconic wine of the area. While it is still young, the wine tastes like lemon and grass, but after aging 10 years, it develops into a minerally wine, rich, with a biscuity flavor. The wine’s character changes so drastically that it fools even the most professional of wine tasters. They claim it tastes like oak, but the wine can trick them due to the constant change in taste. In my opinion, this is what it makes it so special, and ultimately- fun.
Barossa Valley is located in one of the southernmost parts of Australia and is also one of the most distinguished winemaking regions in whole of the country. However the most important thing about Barossa Valley wines is their diversity, since here you can get anything from Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, to light Merlot and spicy Grenache.
This however is only the tip of an iceberg of all the wines and wine types that this region has to offer and rather than looking through any list you should book yourself a room there today.
Wine tourism in Australia is becoming increasingly popular by the day, and there shouldn’t be any problems when it comes to planning out your trip in terms of accommodation or transport. Be sure to work out any important details upfront, so that you can truly enjoy your wine tasting experience.
Grapes and Wine
Barossa Valley is most famous for its red wine, since it is the most produced in the region. However, white wine lovers should not be disappointed, for the region also produces some sorts of it as well.
Riesling, for example, was mostly spread in the Barossa valley until its production shifted eastwards. The reasons are higher altitude and cooler climate, so now, even though the Riesling label will say ‘Barossa’, it is actually produced in Eden Valley. Still, its quality is outstanding and wine lovers should definitely get a taste of it.
Another southern region, Adelaide Hills, is a perfect place for a tourist visit which for its purpose has the research of history of wine making in Australia. Visit the authentic estates and cottages that stem from some earlier and simple age; the age of early Australian culture, the age of wine.
- Sauvignon Blanc
- Pinot Noir
- Pinot Gris
Adelaide Hills is one of the largest wine regions in Australia, geographically speaking. The region is considered to be the most diverse in terms of soil, climate and topography. That is why it would be interesting to try out different varieties that stem from this area. I recommend you to buy Chardonnay at Jim’s Cellars, one of the finest tasting wines in the country.
Many wineries have cellar doors that are open for visit, but some of them don’t. However, there is a wine testing center for those wineries, where you can try their product outside the cellar doors. What is more relaxing than sipping a glass in the middle of this beautiful landscape? So, how to go about planning the trip to, say, Adelaide Hills?
The answer is- it’s a piece of cake, or a glass of wine for that matter. If you visit their website, which you can easily find by typing in ‘Adelaide Hills Wineries’, you will find an awesome little tool that can help you plan out your trip. You simply need to pick out and bookmark the cellar doors and wineries you would like to visit, and you get a printable map which will be your trusted guide once you are in the area. This shows exactly how popular is the wine industry in Australia.
To Sum Up
There are many different types of tourists, some who are only interested in having a good time and doing fun things, some are concerned about learning about Australia’s history and culture while others simply like wine.
A wine trip through this enormous and amazing country is something that has the opportunity to unite all of them and offer them an authentic experience of their lifetime. This is an opportunity that you simply cannot afford to miss.
Of course, the Australian vastness lures you into thinking that you can see it all in one trip. That’s just our minds’ optimism when it comes to fulfilling its desires. However, be sure to plan out everything to the detail.
Another suggestion I have is this: when you go to Australia, focus on one thing instead of trying to get a little out of everything. This way your memories will be much more fulfilling and will have a lot more substance. You have to visit this country many times before you really are able to say that you got to know its great culture, history, nature, cities and states.