Australia is home to a booming wine industry, producing over 100 different types of vitis vinifera spanning across the diverse climatic conditions of the nation. However, there are clear varieties that dominate the wine industry – here are three of them!
Shiraz is Australia’s most popular type of wine. It’s boldly fruity flavours are very popular amongst Australian wine producers and consumers. It is grown in almost every wine region of Australia, and makes up an entire quarter of Australia’s total wine production. It is also the most exported wine variety. Shiraz is one of the founding wine variants in Australia, first found in regions including the Barossa Valley and the McLaren Valley. Shiraz flavours are quite diverse, as influenced by their growing conditions. For example, regions with warmer climates, including the Barossa Valley, produce bold, fruity Shiraz, whilst cooler climate regions such as the Adelaide Hills usually produce lighter Shiraz, with pepper and spice notes.
Cabernet Sauvignon has remained a hugely popular type of grape since winemaking began in Australia. Australia is home to some of the oldest productive Cabernet vines in the world! It is often produced on it’s own, and it is also commonly blended with other varieties, for example Shiraz and Merlot, to create completely unique Australian wines. Cabernet Sauvignon is best known for its bold, intense flavours, but there is also an increasing amount of fresher, lighter cabernet sauvignons being produced across Australia. Cabernet is also so popular amongst wine producers and collectors as it has great potential to age beautifully for decades. Cabernet Sauvignon wines are most commonly produced in regions such as the Margaret River region, Coonawarra and the Yarra Valley.
Pinot Noir is a much loved favourite with restaurants and foodies as its silky, elegant character is easily paired with food. Pinot Noir is a little bit harder to grow than other popular variants and is usually found in cooler climate regions, including Tasmania, Adelaide Hills and the Mornington Peninsula. Pinot Noir is typically lighter in flavour compared to popular bold reds like Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, and is very popular amongst sparkling wine producers, with one half of all Pinot Noir grapes grown in Australia used for sparkling wines.
Other popular wine varieties in Australia include Chardonnay, Riesling and Semillon.