Wines from Australia

Wines from Australia

Australia has been a wine producer for many years, but the wine revolution started about 30 years ago. 63 thousand hectares produce 3.23 million hectoliters, placing Australia in the eleventh position among world producers.

It was in 1788 that the first vineyards were planted here, thanks to the settlers, in Sydney. The first plantations were unsuccessful, but the settlers did not give up and looked for alternatives, above all in Hunter Valley. A few years later, in 1820, wine growing had already spread to the states of New South Wales, South and Victoria.
The entry into the 21st century brought the dilemma of screw caps to Australia. A major problem of contamination of stoppers arose, which caused the Australian industry to start testing metallic caps as an alternative to cork. Currently, 99% of the bottles sold are closed with metal lids, but many producers still use the cork stopper for export.



Australia is among the six largest countries in the world, it has 7 686 850 km². Located between the Pacific and Indian oceans, it has no land borders. The capital is Canberra and, without considering Antarctica, Australia is the most flat and arid territory in the world. It has a total population of more than 25.5 million people (2019), and almost 76% of these are of European descent.



Image: Down Under Endeavours


Australian Terroir

Much of the country's territory, especially the interior and the west, has desert features, with very little rainfall and very high temperatures. The Great Victoria Desert and the Great Sandy Desert occupy a large part of the country. The lower latitude zones in the north and northeast have a tropical climate, with the summer registering heavy rains. In the southeast, where most of the population is found, the climate is maritime temperate.
Regarding the type of soil in Australia, this is laterite. It is a highly altered soil with a high concentration of hydroxides of iron and aluminum.

Thanks to this terroir, wines from Australia can acquire numerous characteristics, from dry reds and whites to fruity and smooth wines.


Australia's Wine Regions

Australia has a total of 170,000 hectares of vineyards planted. It has six wine producing regions, each of which also has numerous sub-regions, where wines may have different characteristics from one to the other.

  • New South Wales: located to the southeast, it is one of the regions that stands out the most. Its main subregion is Hunter Valley.
  • Victoria: located in the extreme south east, it is another of the regions of great prominence. It has four sub-regions: Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula, Goulburn Valley and Rutherglen.
  • Western Australia: the finest wines in this region come from Margaret River, with notable Chardonnay and Shiraz.
  • South Australia: the main wine regions are: Barossa Valley and McLaren Valley, Clare Valley, Coonawarra and Limestone Coast and Adelaide Hills.
  • Tasmania: located further south, it has a very cold climate by Australian standards.
  • Queensland: located in the Northeast region, above New South Wales.


Types of wines from Australia

Each of the six major Australian regions has wines that are totally unique and different from the rest of the regions. For example, if you are looking for a dry white wine, wines from the Victoria region are ideal. On the other hand, if you are looking for a finer wine, the Western Australia region is the best.

  • New South Wales: with a warmer climate, it is famous for Chardonnay, Shiraz and Sémillon.
  • Victoria: in Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay stand out. In Goulburn Valley, dry whites and various styles of reds stand out. Finally, Rutherglen is known for its sweet dessert and fortified wines.
  • Western Australia: the finest wines in this region come from Margaret River, with notable Chardonnay and Shiraz.
  • South Australia: Barossa Valley and McLaren Valley are famous for their Shiraz, and Clare Valley for the Riesling. Coonawarra and Limestone Coast by Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. And Adelaide Hills for its Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio.
  • Tasmania: is a region known by the white Chardonnay and Riesling, but it has gained recognition with good Pinot Noir and sparkling wines.
  • Queensland: region with production from Shiraz and Chardonnay.



Image: Travel + Leisure


Australian Grape Varieties

Australia grows white grape varieties and reds equally. However, there are two that are the most planted in the country: a red one, Shiraz, and a white one, Chardonnay.