Top 10 Australian Wines

Markus Reed | News Mar 09, 2015

Australia is home to an amazing array of diverse climates and these are reflected in our unique and regionally distinct wine regions.

Australia has more than 2,400 wineries dotted amongst 65 wine regions around the country. Australia's wine regions produce more than 100 different grape varieties and over 30 million glasses of Australian wine are consumed worldwide every day. Australia is home to some of the oldest vines in the world, dating back to the 1850s.

To Get You Started, Here's a Quick Lesson On Some Favourite Red Wine Varieties:

Cabernet Sauvignon: Considered one of the noblest of red grapes - probably due to its pride of place in the history of old world classics - Cabernet Sauvignon is a powerfully flavoured and full-bodied wine, which flourishes in Australia.  It’s at its best in Coonawarra, Margaret River, the Yarra Valley, McLaren Vale and Mudgee. Cabernet Sauvignon is rich and well structured and it's definitely worth cellaring for several years.

Grenache: Like Shiraz, Grenache is another red grape variety that originates from the Rhône Valley in France. Grenache can make luscious cherry and raspberry-filled wine and is renowned for its sweet ripeness. 

Merlot: Merlot is not a grape variety that you’ll often see on its own in Australia. When you do, it will be full of attractive primary fruit flavours and velvety softness.  Unblended Merlot is becoming a popular wine in warmer inland regions such as Riverina, Riverland and Murray Darling, while different versions of this variety can be found in the Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, the Yarra Valley or Margaret River. 

Mourvedre: Mourvedre (or Mataro) is a rich, spicy old-vine/bush-vine wine.  The Barossa Valley has some wonderful examples of this variety, which should be treasured for their history and for their spice and liquorice concentration.  
Rose Wines: Rosé style wines are generally drunk young, while they are still fresh and vibrant.  They are best enjoyed chilled and are becoming more popular during summer.

Pinot Noir: Australia's Pinot Noir styles are all our own.  The coolest regions in Australia are seeing great success, including the Adelaide Hills, Tasmania, Mornington Peninsula, Geelong, the Yarra Valley and Great Southern. 

Shiraz/Syrah: Shiraz was one of the original varieties brought to Australia and is certainly one of the most successful. There are still many vineyards scattered throughout the country with vines that are over 100 years old. It is grown in virtually every region in Australia and produces varying styles from cooler climate, medium-bodied and spicy styles through to more full-bodied, richly flavored and textured warmer climate versions.

Sangiovese: Sangiovese, has had great success in Australia.  Sangiovese is showing potential in regions such as McLaren Vale, Barossa Valley, Adelaide Hills and across Central Victoria.

Tempranillo: Originally from Spain, Tempranillo is adapting well to Australia and is known for its sweet, plumy berry flavours. In cool regions, Tempranillo can be 'spicy', while warmer regions bring out sweeter fruity flavours.
Zinfandel: Zinfandel is a thin-skinned grape that performs best in warm, dry conditions.  Australian winemakers are using this grape to produce lighter, spicy wines. 

All these wines are available from Melbourne Wine Stores and online stores as well.