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While Australia’s Yarra and Barossa valley still reign supreme as the top in Australian wine regions, there are plenty of other Australian wine regions across the country that are rapidly growing in prominence. Not only are these regions producing world-class wines such best Semillon. In addition, they are also helping to create the basis of the thriving wine industry – everything from wine tourism to wine festivals. Many wine lovers planning a visit to Australia have common questions. Some of them are –
- What is the best wine region in Australia?
- How many wine regions does Australia have?
- What is the biggest wine region in Australia?
- How many wineries are in Australia?
- How many wineries are there in Swan valley?
Hence, below is a brief article we compose to answer many of those questions. This article was influenced by a book written by John Beeson about the Australian wine industry. Secondly, we used some of the best Australian wine show reports. These are the Sydney Royal Wine Show and Royal Melbourne Wine Awards to rank the best wineries.
Melbourne wine region (Victoria)
In comparison to other Australian wine regions, Victoria is located in a cooler climate. Victoria wine region can be subdivided to 6 main zones and within those 6 zones, you will find sub-regions. Those 6 zones are Western, Central, Port Phillip, Gippsland, and North East. The Grampians, Pyrenees, and Henty belong to the Western zone while Bendigo, Central High country, Goulburn, and Nagambie Lakes are sectioned to Central Victoria. The most famous Yarra valley belongs to the Port Phillip zone, and other sub-regions in here are Mornington Peninsula, Geelong, and Sunbury.
Best grape varieties
Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Pinot noir are the most famous red grape variety you will be able to taste in these regions. And occasionally you will find a wine producer on Cabernet France. Riesling and Chardonnay are the predominant white grape varietals in this Australian wine region and Mornington Peninsula is famous for full-bodied buttery Chardonnays’.
Best Yarra Valley wineries
Yarra Valley wineries were impressive at the Melbourne wine show by taking home 6 gold medals, 8 silver, and 18 bronze medals in categories they have participated. Punt Road wine was the highlight by adding three trophies at the show. Yarra Yering secured the winemaker of the award by Halliday Magazine. If you love Shiraz, you should try Tokar estate 2017 and recognized with The Trevor Mast Trophy at the Melbourne wine show. Therefore, make sure, you will add these to your wine tasting tour to Yarra Valley.
Tasmania, Australian wine region
Tasmania wine region dates back to 1826 and is one of the Australian wine regions suffering an extremely colder climate. The credits of new generation wine produce should be devoted to Jean Miguet and Claudio Alcorso who have re-generated the Tasmanian wine industry after its extinct in 1850. Tasmania is a smaller wine region in comparison to giants such as South Australia. However, Tamar Valley is famous for Cabernet Sauvignon.
Best grape varieties
Riesling is the most successful white grape variety you will find in this Australian wine region. Cabernet Sauvignon prominent red grape among other red grapes and Tamar Ridge is famous for quality Cabernet Sauvignon produce among other sub-regions.
Best wineries Tamar valley
Bay of Fires is a well-known winery in Tasmania and producing the best of Pinot Noir. And the winner of James Halliday’s trophy for the best Pinot Noir at the Melbourne wine show.
South Australia wine regions
Undoubtedly you will find the best wine producers in the South Australian wine region. Some of them are Penfolds Magill and Primo Estate. Mainly this region can be subdivided to Barossa, Limestone Coast, Fleurieu, The Peninsulas, Lower Murray, and Mount Lofty Ranges. Barossa Valley, Eden Valley, and High Eden are the sub-regions in the Barossa region. Robe, Bordertown, Coonawarra, Padthaway, Wrattonbully, and Mount Benson are located in the Limestone Coast wine zone. The famous Kangaroo island belongs to the Fleurieu zone, while Clare valley belongs to Mount Lofty Ranges.
Best grape varieties
Riesling and Semillon are the most prominent grape varietals you will find in this Australian wine region and Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Grenache are the principal red grape varietals planted in this region.
Best wineries in South Australia
Jacobs Creek, one of the largest producers in the SA region, won the gold medal for its 2019 classic Riesling Rowland at the Sydney Royal wine show recently. Penna Lane wine watervale Riesling and E.B.’s The Settler from Clare Valley were honored with a gold medal at the same show for the 2018 category. The Settlers were produced by Kirrihill wines. Simon Tolley is another best South Australian winery that won the 2019 gold medal for their sauvignon blanc woodside range. Shottesbrooke, a wine producer from Adelaide Hills attracted the attention from their Single Vineyard Series. It was a highlight on the show and offered the Gold medal for best in Chardonnay 2017 category.
From all Australian wine regions, Western Australia got the advantage of the long stretch of the coastline. The excellent blend of ocean breeze and rich soil enables Westerns Australia as one of the excellent producers of red wines. The main zones in the western Australia wine region are Eastern Plains, South East Coastal Zone, South West, Central, and Greater Perth. The famous Margaret River belongs to the South zone of Western Australia. And other regions are Geographe, Great Southern, Mount Barker, Albany, Porongurup, Frankland, and Blackwood.
Best grape varieties
Chardonnay and Verdelho are the principal white grape varietals planted in the Western Australia wine region. And Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot are prominent in red categories.
Best wineries in Margaret River
During the Sydney Royal wine show in 2019, Evans and Tate from Margaret river secured a gold medal. It is for their 2015 Reserve Chardonnay in 2016 and the older category. Hence, visit this winery on your wine tour to the Margaret River region to taste the best Chardonnays. The blended white 2019 category was won by the Xanadu estate from Margaret River. Xanadu demonstrated the class of their produce by securing the Jimmy Warson Memorial trophy at the 2018 Melbourne wine show for the best young red category. Other highlighted wine producers in the show were Brash vineyard and Deep Woods who were able to secure Golds for Sauvignon Blanc and Reserve Chardonnays.
NSW wine regions
Usually, you will hear Mudgee, Orange, and Hunter Valley in relation to wine regions in New South Wales. However, the region can be divided into Big Rivers, Central Ranges, Hunter region, South Coast, Southern, Northern Rivers, Northern Slopes, and Western Plains. In these zones, you will find more than 20 sub-regions. And prominent ones are the Hunter, Mudgee, and Orange. We have discussed extensively arranging a wine tour from Sydney in our article on wineries near Sydney.
Best grape varieties
Some of the world’s best Semillon producers you will find in the Hunter Valley region and Tyrrell’s Wines stands out from others. Apart from Semillon, Chardonnay, Trebbiano, Colombard, and Muscat Gordo Blanco are the other dominant white varieties planted in this Australian wine region. Like many other Australian wine regions, Shiraz, and Cabernet Sauvignon are the principal red grapes you can taste on a wine tour to Hunter Valley.
Best Hunter Valley wineries
Bimbaden, Tulloch, Tyrrell’s, Brokenwood, and McGuigan wines were the best Semillon producers in the Sydney Royal wine show. Bimbadgen Estate 2019 Semillon, Tulloch 2019 white Semillon, Tyrrell’s 2018 Stevens Semillon, Brokenwood Hunter Valley Semillon, and McGuigan Bin 9000 Semmllion 2019 range secured gold medals in the same wine show. Hence, it is worth trying these wines on a Hunter Valley wine tour from Sydney.
Queensland and Northern Territory
An upcoming Australian wine region and winemakers in these regions trying hard to bring the best produce. South Burnett region stands out from other sub-regions and they mainly produce Chardonnay and Shiraz grapes.