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Travel Australia

Following the Wine Trail

Australia has a huge diversity of wine regions producing some of the best wines in the world.

Wineries stretch right across the continent, from mountainous areas through to the coast. There are even wineries thriving in the Outback. Take Chateau Hornsby near Alice Springs for example. This winery caters for large numbers of tourists who come to taste the dry reds and whites produced here.

Wines from Australia regularly win major international awards. The latest example is the Nepenthe Ithaca Chardonnay, produced by Australian Vintage.  It was judged the Best Chardonnay in the World at the 2009 Decanter World Wine Awards in London. This is the world’s biggest wine competition. The classy chardonnay beat more than 10,000 wines from more than 2,000 producers.

Australian Wine

Australia's most famous wine is Penfolds Grange. The great 1955 vintage was submitted to competitions beginning in 1962 and over the years has won more than 50 gold medals. The vintage of 1971 won first prize in Syrah/Shiraz at the Wine Olympics in Paris. The 1990 vintage was named 'Red Wine of the Year' by the Wine Spectator magazine in 1995, which later rated the 1998 vintage 99 points out of a possible 100. Wine critic Hugh Johnson has called Grange the only First Growth of the Southern Hemisphere. The influential wine critic Robert Parker, who is well known for his love of Bordeaux wines, has written that Grange "has replaced Bordeaux's Pétrus as the world's most exotic and concentrated wine".

Other red wines to garner international attention include Henschke Hill of Grace, Clarendon Hills Astralis, D'Arenberg Dead Arm, Torbreck Run Rig and other high-end Penfolds wines such as St Henri shiraz.

The information included on Australian wine labels is strictly regulated. One aspect of this is that the label must not make any false or misleading statements about the source of the grapes. Many names (called geographic indications) are protected. These are divided into "South Eastern Australia", the state names, zones (shown in the map below), regions, and subregions. The largest volume of wine is produced from grapes grown in the warm climate Murray-Darling Basin zones of Lower Murray, North Western Victoria and Big Rivers. In general, the higher-value premium wines are made from smaller and cooler-climate regions.

Australian Wine Zones - Transferred from en.wikipedia; transfered to Commons by User:Kelly using CommonsHelper, Original uploader was Froggydarb

Australian Wineries - Some Australian wineries are huge, and produce wine in large quantities, to be shipped all over the world. But there are more than 5,000 boutique wineries scattered around the nation, most of which offer cellar door tastings. Many also house cafes and restaurants serving gourmet food, often with an emphasis on local produce.  Click here to find out more...


The Australian wine industry is the fourth-largest exporter in the world, exporting over 400 million litres a year to a large international export market that includes "old world" wine-producing countries such as France, Italy and Spain. There is also a significant domestic market for Australian wines, with Australians consuming over 400 million litres of wine per year. The wine industry is a significant contributor to the Australian economy through production, employment, export and tourism.

Vine cuttings from the Cape of Good Hope were brought to the penal colony of New South Wales by Governor Phillip on the First Fleet (1788). An attempt at wine making from these first vines failed, but with perseverance, other settlers managed to successfully cultivate vines for winemaking, and Australian made wine was available for sale domestically by the 1820s.

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