It’s no surprise in a country as large as Australia that there would be a broad spectrum of wines to choose from. From their acclaimed Chardonnay to bold Shiraz, here are the best wines and wineries in Australia.
It wouldn’t be an article about Australian wines without starting with Chardonnay. Chardonnay comprises over half of Australia’s white wine production each year. It was one of the first grape varieties brought to the country after European settlement. These hardy, disease resistant grapes flourished once they arrived. Australian Chardonnay became the first of the Australian wine varieties to gain international attention in the early 1970s.
Visitors wishing to sample one of Australia’s best Chardonnays should visit the Leeuwin Estate. The winery is in one of the world’s most beautiful and isolated wine regions, Margaret River in Western Australia. There you can indulge in fine dining at the Estate’s restaurant or browse their collection of over 100 paintings from Australia’s leading contemporary artists. When you are ready for a tasting, enjoy one of their many wine and food flights. They also offer wine and cooking classes or you can book a personal wine blending and dining experience for the ultimate in luxury.
Like Chardonnay, Shiraz was one of the first grape varieties in Australia. Australia boasts the oldest Shiraz vines in the world, dating back to 1832. It also has more Shiraz plants than any other country in the world. It’s no wonder it’s so well known for this delicious red!
If you are looking to sample Australian Shiraz, visit South Australia’s Seppeltsfield Winery. This winery was founded just 15 years after the European settlement of Australia. It is the only winery in the world that releases a 100-year-old single vintage wine each year. In addition to traditional flights, visitors can sample vintage port from their birth year straight from the barrel. Afterward, enjoy a meal in the onsite Fino Restaurant, a recent addition to the winery.
Described by Australian food critic John Lethlean as “..the best place in Australia for a long lunch..”, FINO offers four architecturally inspired dining footprints including the majestic fire-side Dining Room, an enclosed garden-view Veranda, European-style garden Terrace and a stunning Cellar space carved from original Bluestone wine tanks.
The winery also partners with many local accommodations and travel agencies to offer custom vacation packages.
When German settlers came to Australia in the 19th century they brought with them Reisling vines. Early in Australia’s winemaking history, it was the most popular white wine. It was later overtaken by Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. Despite that, Australian Rieslings are among the most popular and reasonably priced in the world. Many attribute Australian Reisling’s popularity to the grape itself. Unlike many other grapes, Reisling has an uncanny ability to reflect the character of many different terroirs. This allows it to flourish in many different ways depending on where and how it is grown.
For a unique experience trying Reisling among others, visit Josef Chromy in Tasmania. This winery and cellar door is set in an 1880s homestead among English gardens, 100 year old oak trees, and overlooking gorgeous vineyards and a lake. It’s also became known as one of Australia’s top ten wineries in recent years. The winery offers tastings, tours, and on-site fine dining. You can even learn from the winemakers how to make sparkling wines and work with them to bottle your own!
There is no end to the wines one could try when visiting Australia. The possibilities are as varied as the country is expansive. To learn more about amazing wines, you might also read how the world’s most expensive wines are made.