G’Day Geniuses! It was on January 26th that Governor Philip brought wine cuttings from the Cape of Good Hope and began what would become a widespread and extremely successful culture of winemaking. We thought that today would be a great day to spotlight the wonderful wines being produced across the Australian continent. Home to over 60 designated wine regions, grapes are grown in every corner top the country despite the vastly different topography and soil types. The unique climate yields an incredibly diverse set of wines that are often Down Underrated! Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Semillon, Pinot Noir, Reisling, and Sauvignon Blanc are all grown, bottled, and exported across the world. In fact, 800 million liters of the 1.2 billion produced each year are exported to overseas markets.
Although the first cuttings brought in 1788 weren’t the smashing success they had hoped for, settlers persevered and were able to cultivate enough vines to make wine available for sale domestically in the early 1820s. Gregory Blaxland was the first to successfully export wine in 1822, and was also the first Australian winemaker to receive international recognition. Grape varieties were brought from France and Spain to provide more variety and the wine scene was greatly improved by the arrival of European free settlers who used their skills and know-how to establish and expand Australias wine regions. Prussian and Swiss winemakers in particular were integral to forming the Barossa Valley and Geelong wine regions. The warm Medditerran climate is ideal for grape production and soon there were wine regions of considerable size in each of Australia’s 7 states. It is now a world leader in wine with sizable quantity and notable quality wines.
You may be familiar with the larger wineries in Australia – Casella, NSW (YellowTail Wines), and Berri Estate – however of the 2000 Australian wine producers, the vast majority are small winery operations. Most wine is produced in the warmer southern region but more expensive specialty wines are generally made in the cooler northern regions as well as Tasmania more recently. Enjoy a big, bold red from the sunbaked vineyards of South Australia’s Barossa Valley – known for its jammy and chocolatey Shiraz. Indulge in a rich blackberry Cabernet with hints of green tannin from Connawarra. McLaren Vale offers silky sweet Grenache with red berry and floral aromas. If white wine is more your scene, you’ll love the crispy apple Rieslings of the Clare Valley and the creamy citrus, oak-aged Chardonnays of Margret River.
No matter your fancy, Australia has a wine that is sure to satisfy and delight you. Celebrate Australia Day with a visit to the imported wine aisle of your Bottle-O (liquor store) and explore what this incredible country has to offer. Don’t forget to pop bottles, aerate to perfection, and preserve you Australian wine with your Cork Genius Wine Accessories. Cheers Mates and bottoms up!