The Wine Guy Eddie McDougall – Traditional wine country: Australia

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The juicy bits

Australia is a massive country – some wine regions in the Land Down Under are larger than entire winemaking countries elsewhere in the world. Due to its sheer size, it’s no wonder the country has become a key player in the wine world, the sixth largest by volume of production. What really puts Australia on the map though, is its commitment to innovation and quality. From its humble origins as a wine supplying penal colony, Australia has developed and established new styles and impacted wine industries across the entire planet.

Main red grapes: Shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, pinot noir
Main white grapes: Chardonnay, riesling, sauvignon blanc, sémillon

Wine regions of the country:

South Australia
Located around Adelaide, this is the country’s largest wine region and it’s home to some of Australia’s most recognisable wine styles. Barossa Valley is shiraz’s truest home in Australia – iconic producers include Penfolds and Elderton – though McLaren Vale, south of Adelaide, is also home to some of the best shiraz in Australia. Elsewhere, the Clare Valley is famous for its riesling, while along the Mount Lofty Ranges, the Adelaide Hills are renowned for sauvignon blanc. On the Limestone Coast is Coonawarra, famous for minty cabernet sauvignon.

Victoria
First in terms of the number of estates, northwest Victoria produces bulk wines in Murray Darling, while Central Victoria is home to Heathcote, famous for its rich and high alcohol shiraz. In the south, Port Philips encompasses the Yarra Valley,
a cooler region famous for its pinot noir, chardonnay and sparkling wines.

New South Wales
Hunter Valley is perhaps the most recognisable wine region of New South Wales, famous for wine tourism, its zesty and aromatic sémillon and its ripe cabernet sauvignon-based red wines.

Western Australia
The Great Southern is Australia’s largest wine region, known for its many styles, including riesling, chardonnay, shiraz, and cabernet sauvignon. Margaret River is perhaps the best-known area in Western Australia, which is famous for aromatic whites and Bordeaux-style red blends.

Tasmania
The quality of the cool-climate wines produced from the Apple Isle are some of the country’s most exciting. The ability of vintners there to make world-class riesling, chardonnay, pinot noir and sparkling wine is sending shockwaves across to the Aussie mainland.
 
Recommendations:
Deep Woods Estate, reserve cabernet sauvignon, Margaret River, Western Australia. Medium acidity levels with notes of blackcurrant, spices and cedarwood. $300. Available at The Flying Winemaker, 604-605 Yu Yuet Lai Bldg, 43-55 Wyndham St, Central, 2522 2187; flyingwinemaker.asia.

Yarra Yering chardonnay, Yarra Valley, Victoria. Notes of vanilla, smoke and hints of spices on the nose with a biscuity, doughy finish. $558. Available at Watsons Wines, various locations inc Shop 313A, 3/F, Ocean Ctr, Harbour City, 17 Canton Rd, Tsim Sha Tsui, 2522 8893; watsonswine.com.

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