Australia, The Fastest Wine Growing Country

Rated #1 Consumer Reports

Australia succeeds as a world provider of fine wines because of its diversity in in its soils and climate. Australian wine has come of age. The Australian industry produces over 760 million liters a year. Australia consumes nearly 500 million liters annually. There exists currently close to 2,000 wine companies in Australia.

The wine business infuses 5.5 billion dollars into the Australian economy every year. A large share of Australian wine gets imported by South Asian countries. Australia occupies 16% of the Indian market. The wine industry occupies every state of Australia but South Australia produces the most on the continent. The top varieties of grapes in the Australian market are Shiraz, Cabernet, Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Merlot, Semillon, Pinot Noir, Riesling and Sauvignon blanc. Australia can produce so many varieties because of its many different soils and climates.

This variety of soils have given Australia no less than 60 regions of wine production. The first vine grown in Australia started around Sydney. The first Sydney wines did not take hold though due to the heat. The original wine makers then moved the first vineyards farther south of Sydney by 50 km. John Macarthur was credited with starting the first successful commercial vineyard in Australia. Wine making in Australia dates back to the origins of the country. The wine making in Australia slowly developed from back yard operations into a huge industry in the 1800s. By 1850, wine production had started in every state of the country. It started in the Hunter Valley and slowly developed in every region of Australia. World War II increased production in the country due to war shortages of beer.

Many of the Australian vineyards mimic the success of Yalumba Vineyard which has a 160 year tradition in the country. Yalumba Vineyard first established itself as a premier maker of fortified wines like ports and Sherries. In the 1980s, Yalumba changed from making fortified wines to focus on fine table wines. This focus produced the countries finest varietal and blended wines. Other wineries in Australia followed Yalumba and Australia's industry blossomed. In the 1980s Canada and New Zealand were the top users of Australian wine. Exports to the United States, has slowly increased over the decades since the 1970s.

In the 1990s wine exported to the United States hovered around 578,000 cases. In 2004 the number of cases rose to 20,000 cases. In 2000 Australia exported more than France to England for the first time ever in its history of wine making. The best and most famous wine from Australia is Penfolds Grange. Since 1955 this wine has won over 50 gold medals. At the wine Olympics in Paris the vintage 1971 took first prize for Shiraz.

Wine Spectator Magazine awarded it, Red Wine of Year in 1995. The infamous and world renowned wine critic of Bordeaux's wines, Robert parker, named Grange as the world's best and most exotic. Today, many of the world's importers of wine import a large amount of Australia's top wines.