Australia’s 4 Most Important Wine Regions

Australia's 4 Most Important Wine Regions

Over the years Australian wine has seen it’s fair share of highs and lows.  A decade ago, Aussie wine was the talk of wine drinkers the world over, their style of bigger bolder dense red wines were right in the wheel house of the average consumer.

Over time though, consumer attitudes changed slightly and admittedly Aussie wine might have gone a bit too far in terms of that style.  These days, that style is making a come back toward customer sentiment and we’re seeing another rapid expansion of Australian exports to America and largely for the first time, Europe.

The question quickly becomes, what are these regions possibly to know about wine in Australia?

Angaston ~ Barossa Valley

Barossa Valley:

For a couple of generations now, if you wanted a world class wine you looked to Barossa Valley, which now shows close to twenty unique climates and growing regions.  In many ways, this is the real world wide home of Shiraz and has been for quite some time.  If I had to bet on a single bottle of Australian wine, I’d still choose something from Barossa Valley.

IMG_1094: McLaren Valley Vineyard

McLaren Vale:

One of the cooler climate sites in Australia, McLaren Vale has seen the wine industry largely bend back toward the type of grapes that it grows exceedingly well.  This area of South Australia is home to the best versions of Australian Chardonnay and some of the better Cabernet Sauvignon produced in the country.  If you had to pick an Australian wine region with the highest likelihood of success in Europe, this is your best bet because their style of wine more closely mirrors the French than other parts of the country.

Australia's 4 Most Important Wine Regions


Margaret River:

For a region that only produces 1% of the nation’s wine, Margaret River and it’s 60 wineries produce close to 20% of the ultra premium wine in the country.  If that sounds familiar, it’s almost the same proportions that exist in California’s historic Napa Valley. Margaret River is also interesting because it is the home (largely and symbolically) to Australia’s slow food movement, which continues to bring plenty of tourist dollars to the wineries front doors.

Clare Valley

Clare Valley:

I’m guessing if the Australian wine establishment had to start over again with vineyard locations, they’d have a larger percentage of production centered in the Clare Valley than they do now.  It’s the most Mediterranean climate in Australia and offers some of the vast farmland and vistas that so many people associate with wine regions and visiting wineries.  This is the only region in the country capable of growing Riesling and Merlot, two grapes which need the coolest climates to grow and grow well.  

I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief introduction to Australia’s wine regions.  While most consumers only think of Shiraz in terms of Australian wine, there are a varied and diverse set of growing regions and grapes being grown in the country.  Over the past few years we’ve seen a wider set of styles being crafted and consumer success for this new breed of Aussie wine seems preordained indeed.

Featured images:

Mark Aselstine is the owner of Uncorked Ventures, a wine of the month club based in California that focuses on small production wines from leading vineyards around the world.



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