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Australia has over 200 years’ worth of rich wine-making culture and history. From multi-generational families to boutique operators and world-regarded regions to hidden gems that only the locals know.
So today, we’ll begin with a brief history of this amazing country’s wonderful wine community.
In 1788, Captain Arthur Phillip brought vine cuttings to Sydney Cove. However, with high humidity and poor vine management, Sydney Cove was soon deemed unsuitable for vines.
Before too long, plantings were moved down the Parramatta River to the Hunter Valley region — where conditions were perfect for growing grapes and continues to stand as one of Australia’s favoured wine growing regions.
Since the 1850s, Australian wines have been produced locally and distributed internationally, with fortified wines that were more easily transported being the sought-after drink of the time.
It was not until the 1960s when Australians demanded higher quality wines, resulting in a shift in the continent’s wine production. Plantings in fruit-driven wines soared, such as Shiraz, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
While recognition came somewhat slowly, this growing diversity in wine production sparked the beginning of Australia’s stellar reputation in winemaking.
The continent is now home to over 2,000 wineries spanning 60 different wine regions, each with their own unique conditions and character capable of rivalling the globe’s most historic wine-makers. It is also one of the largest producers and exporters of wine in the world.
Australia is part of the “New World” of winemakers — alongside Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United States.
Amongst these New World producers, however, Australia is unique in its ability to merge traditional winemaking with innovative techniques and practices not seen anywhere else.
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