Vines first arrived to the world’s largest island in 1788 and today Australia has more than 420,000 acres (2009) under vine and produces more than 1.46 billion bottles of wine per year.
The principal wine regions in Australia by volume are South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria with by far the largest area of wine production being South Australia.
Shiraz holds the title of main grape of Australia with Chardonnay now the second most planted variety. Today however there are more than 100 different grape varieties planted throughout Australia including among others; Pinot Gris, Riesling, Viognier, Tempranillo and Sangiovese.
Recently, wine styles here are changing dramatically too with a move by winemakers towards expressing the rich terroir of the country, producing ‘artisan’ style wines.
In terms of climate, much of Australia is far too hot for vine cultivation so vineyards are principally located along the slightly cooler coastline to the South of the country.