What Kinds of Wines Are Produced in Australia ?

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The Australian countryside varies greatly in temperature and humidity, two important characteristics in growing grapes. This has allowed Australia to become a world leader in the global wine market because it has the ability to produce many different kinds of wine and produce them on an excellent level.

The Australian Reds

Red wines are the simplest form of wine. In fact, one expert compares a truly excellent glass of red wine to plucking a ripe, juicy grape from a vine, crushing it, and allowing it meld in his mouth with the flavors of the field around him. His point was that it is important for red wines to keep as much of their natural flavor, the flavor from their soil, as possible.

Red grapes come in many different varieties and each variety has a different amount of tannin. Reds that have a high consistency of tannins cannot be served alone and must be used as a blending wine.

Australia is famous for its Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, and Shiraz. These varieties of red wine put Australia back on the world wine map in the 1970's and 1980's after several bitter decades of recovery from a pestilence epidemic. The high quality of the Australian reds rejuvenated a dying industry.

Several new reds and blends are also finding popularity with Australian vintners. Barbera, Mourvedre, Tempranillo, and Zinfandel are chic wines served at many wine bars and boutique wineries.

Australian Whites

Australian white wines are another integral part of the country's booming wine industry. In the 1970's the country became well known for producing an excellent Chardonnay and a wonderful Riesling. For several years, Australia's whites outsold their red wines domestically. This trend has ended and red and white wines are selling at an even pace.

Australian white wines include Chen Blanc, Colombard, Gewurztraminer, Marsanne, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Verdelho, and Viognier. The Australian Chardonnay continues to be a top export and favourite within the country. It is also used as a base for many of the country's blended wines.

Australia's Fortified Wines

Australia's fortified wines are strengthened or 'fortified' by the addition of alcohol. The word fortified comes from the Latin word fortis. Fortified wines go through a similar wine making process as reds and whites but during the process alcohol is added, usually a brandy.

Australia is quite famous for its liqueur Muscat. Not just any Muscat, a liqueur Muscat is from grapes that have been left on the vine until they are almost raisins. These ripe grapes are used to produce a rich and sweet, partially fermented wine. The liqueur Muscat is from the Victoria region of Australia and is a consistent award winner in global expositions.

Australia's Sparkling Wines

Sparkling wines are produced by adding carbon dioxide to a bottle of wine. A profusion of tiny bubbles explodes when the sparkling wine is poured into a glass. Australia produces several high quality white sparking wines but the country is especially well known for its one-of-a-kind, red sparkling wine. This unique and offbeat treat is popular domestically and abroad. Australians typically pair it with a hearty holiday meal.

Australia is home to over 2000 wineries. The majority of these are small, boutique wineries. They are wonderful for tours and tastings. Guests may easily call ahead and ask for a wine tasting at many wineries that will include delightful food pairings and a guided tour of the winery and the grounds.