Australian wines

by Alberto Martínez

Vinos de Australia

Australian wines characterize by their brightness, the freshness and those marked aromas characteristic of the grape. In Spain we see more and more, wines from the Antipodes. Do you want to know them?

The vine arrived to Australia in 1788 by the Cape of Good Hope, and was planted in the garden of Governor Phillip, in what now is the center of Sydney. Cultivation spread quickly moving away from the coast looking for dry climates, first to Hunter Valley, South Australia and then, to Victoria and Tasmania. In 1830 wine was produced commercially.

Still, Australian wines have been unknown in the rest of the world until 15 or 20 years ago, when advances were implanted on crops (such as drip irrigation systems) what allowed the grew of a consistent production and began to search new markets through the exportation of wine.

Since then, Australian wines are divided basically into two ranges: the young and fresh wine with great fruity potential and low cost and high-end wines with great structure and storage capacity. We often see 20 years old white wines like Riesling and Sémillon, or Cabernet Sauvignon of 30 to 40 years.

But the most characteristic grape of Australian vine, undoubtedly, is the Shiraz, our Syrah, which is very well developed here and displays an impressive amount of fruity aromas, and in some cases combined with the Cabernet Sauvignon , which grows very well here too, giving as a result impressive reserve wines and alone it offers very tasty wines. 

As in production areas, the most important are: 

  • South Australia: The most famous region is home to some of the most known and expensive wines. Here we have Barossa Valley, an appellation which has been positioned as to match the best in the world. Another well-known name is McLaren Vale.
  • Victoria: Produces a wide range of wines, with a great average quality and with a great acceptance. At Yarra Valley area, modern style wines are being made with a huge success.
  • Western Australia: the most arid region for wine is the newest development area.

Want to try wines from Australia? We suggest a few:

  • Wolf Blass Sémillon Chardonnay “Red Label” 2008: Barossa Valley, the most famous appellations, we have this blend of Semillon and Chardonnay grapes with tropical aromas and a creamy touch. To be enjoyed slowly.
  • Madfish Shiraz 2005: Also in the Barossa Valley, a wine from the star variety, Shiraz. Madfish is one of the best known Australian wineries around the world and offers wines of a very nice quality and moderate price.
  • Cullen Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot 2000: Margaret River is adesignation of Western Australia which produces very good wines from Cabernet Sauvignon, supported by its extreme dryness. This wine has a very good storage capacity and has the aromas of great wine.

Have you ever tried Australian wines? Which ones? What is your favorite?

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