Vines were first brought over to Sydney at the end of the 18th century and Australia hasnât stopped making wine since. Although there are vineyards in all six states, production is concentrated mainly inthe most south easterly and south westerly states: New South Wales (home to the famous Hunter Valley), Victoria, South Australia (cradle of the Barossa Valley) and, more recently, Western Australia.
Australian wines only recently broke the market but are now universally lauded for their supple and fruit driven styles. Their ability to offer excellent value for money means that over the last 20 years they have been widely exported throughout Asia, the United States and Europe.
Most Australian reds are designed to be drunk young and donât need time in the cellar although the best wines will gain complexity for five to ten years after bottling. White wines (with the exception of Hunter Valley SÃ©millon) can be cellared for two to six years after spending some time in oak.
Australian wines generally go by the name of the grape variety used. The producerâs name as well as the name of the plot (paddock) also tends to appear on the bottle.
Red wines are generally made from Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot, and Pinot Noir while Chardonnay, SÃ©millon, Riesling and Muscat are the preferred white varieties.