Australia has worldwide fame for it’s iconic wines, but also provides a unique opportunity for even small winemakers to export their wines overseas and be successful… Team that with Aussie sunshine and terroir, and our wine drinking choices have exploded, along with sales channels and opportunities domestically and internationally. The following are some of Australia’s upcoming wines that seem to be developing Cult Status in the wine world – Wine trends and popularity that I’ve noticed…
Australian Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignons and varietals from South Australia are world famous for their quality – McLaren Vale, Barossa, Coonawarra, Padthaway, Adelaide Hills etc.. Margaret River (WA) also punching pretty well for one region. As well as upcoming NSW and VIC – Mudgee, Mornington Peninsula, Hunter Valley, Tumbarumba, Yarra Valley etc., and Tasmania which all make great white wines, Pinot Noir and red verietals, due to their cool climate style terroir. Many Aussie Iconic wines have developed world status in quality.
Upcoming, as mentioned before is Prosecco – Italian Sparkling White wine, increasing production in Aus – Easy to drink, refreshing, great flavour ranging from sweet to extra dry, great for non-wine drinkers to wine lovers. Still the most widely available ones are from overseas depending on restaurant/wine store.
Sparkling Shiraz – Fantastic fruit. An unusual sprakling wine style, however proving very popular at wine shows etc. These are relatively low in price, refreshing red wine alternative, and great for parties etc. Byrne and Smith wines do a great ‘Larra Pinta’ Red Cuvee, as well as Seppelt and others.
Rose – To be honest I’m still not sure about Rose as a wine, and there are so many nasty cheap ones out there, but they are increasing in sales, probably for people who are not into red wines as they find them too heavy and tannic. However, it could also be for Red wine drinkers who just can’t bear the transition to a true white wine despite the heat. Muscato Roses are also becoming popular as a sweet wine, but not as sweet as dessert wine, for eg. Aja (Tempus Two) lightly sparkling Muscato Rose, and Brown Brothers Muscato Rose.
Wine Blends and Grapes from overseas – Apart from main grape varietals Shiraz, Cabernet, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc etc, our increasing production in European grapes are becoming popular – we seem to be able to grow some European wines pretty well here with our rich sunshine to develop good flavour and soils. These include wines such as Grenache, Tempranillo, Pinot Gris/Grigio, Sangiovese, Barbera… These often also may be blended with Australian’ iconic grapes, for example Shiraz Grenache, Cabernet Tempranillo, Shiraz Grenache Mourvedre etc.. and in many cases adds ‘softness’ to the taste of the wine. I’ve found the Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre (GSM) wines from Barossa are absolutely fantastic, and complement gamey meats, duck, venison, lamb etc., eg. Torbreck GSM or Grant Burge ‘Holy Trinity’ GSM (both Barossa). Another favourite is Cabernet Tempranillo blend, eg. Byrne and Smith’s Thompson Estate (McLaren Vale) as previously mentioned (click here to see).
Fortified/’Sticky’ Wines – Rutherglen is an outstanding region that produces Tokay and Muscat – both sweet dessert wine, with a caramelized wine taste. Seppeltsfield is a top example and have been making it for ages. Other dessert wines such as Botrytis Semillon are also increasing in popularity – De Bortoli’s ‘Noble One’ is most world famous for it’s sweet wine. These all go fantastically with dessert and cheeses, and many wine makers make these dessert wines on the side of their main red/whites.
There are many Hidden Wine gems of Australia too. Australia, despite also being well known for beer, has increased awareness of Wine’s role in a healthy, prosperous society – and with so many styles and tastes available from Aus produced wine, I look forward to seeing if this promising bright future continues!