ANDREW THOMAS 'BRAEMORE' SEMILLON 2011
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Australia's wine industry is a thriving part of the country's economy, contributing significantly to employment, production, export, and tourism. In fact, the industry is the fourth-largest wine exporter in the world, shipping out 760 million liters of wine to countries including France, Italy, Spain, and the UK. One of the key factors contributing to Australia's success as a "New World" wine producer is the formal export and marketing of its wines through Wine Australia.
Australia's wine regions are scattered across the south and southeast, with almost every state boasting its own vineyards. Victoria, for example, is home to an impressive 21 wine regions. Some of the most famous wine regions in Australia include Margaret River, Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Eden Valley, Clare Valley, Hunter Valley, Yarra Valley, and local regions to New South Wales such as Cowra, Southern Highlands, and Mudgee.
Australian winemakers are known for producing a diverse range of grape varieties, with Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Pinot Noir being among the most popular. They tend to focus on producing wines that are ripe, fruit-forward, and easy to drink, using modern winemaking techniques and equipment such as stainless steel tanks and temperature-controlled fermentation.
With its bold, fruit-driven flavors and reputation for quality and diversity, Australian wine has become a popular choice for wine lovers around the world. And with such a broad range of wine regions and grape varieties, there's something for every palate to enjoy.
New South Wales
New South Wales, is a wine-lover's paradise with 14 official wine regions that cater to every palate. The region boasts Australia's oldest wine-producing area, the Hunter Valley, as well as newer and exciting cool climate regions like Orange, the Southern Highlands, and Tumbarumba. With its status as the second-largest wine-producing state in Australia, New South Wales attracts wine enthusiasts from around the world. However, despite its production, the region's wine consumption far outpaces its output due to its high population.
In addition to its diverse range of wine regions, New South Wales is also known for its excellent food and wine events. The Hunter Valley, for example, is home to the famous Hunter Valley Food and Wine Festival, which attracts thousands of visitors each year. The festival features tastings, cooking demonstrations, live music, and other activities that showcase the region's local produce and wines.
Furthermore, the New South Wales wine industry is committed to sustainable practices and environmentally-friendly production. Many wineries in the state are certified organic or biodynamic, and there is a growing trend towards low-intervention winemaking. This means that the wines produced in New South Wales not only taste great but are also produced in an ethical and environmentally conscious way.
Other regions within New South Wales, such as the Canberra District, Cowra, Gundagai, Hastings River, Hilltops, Mudgee, New England, Perricoota, Riverina, and the Shoalhaven Coast, produce some of the finest Australian wines, making New South Wales a must-visit destination for wine connoisseurs.
Hunter Valley is one of Australia's most famous wine regions and is internationally recognized alongside Barossa Valley in South Australia. This region, located about two hours north of Sydney, is a popular destination for weekend getaways from the city. The climate in Hunter Valley is characterized by regular droughts or floods, which may seem less than ideal for grape cultivation due to the hot, humid summers and cool winters. However, the region has been under cultivation since the 1800s and is renowned for its production of Australian wine, especially Semillon and to a lesser extent, Shiraz.
The success of Hunter Valley's wines can be attributed to the dedication and innovation of its winemakers, including industry pioneers such as Bruce Tyrrell and Len Evans, who helped to establish the region's reputation worldwide. The region's famous Semillon grape, once known as "Hunter Valley Riesling," is never matured in oak but is instead left to age in bottles. This wine is one of the most ageworthy whites in the country, exhibiting an impressive ability to age gracefully. Aged Semillons can exhibit burnt toast and honey notes, nutty flavors, and supremely complex palates. The soft acidity of the wine is well-balanced, and the finish can be incredibly long.
In addition to its renowned Semillon, Hunter Valley is also home to several other grape varieties, including Chardonnay, Verdelho, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The region's diverse range of soil types and microclimates provide winemakers with the opportunity to experiment with different grape varieties and production techniques, resulting in a rich and complex range of wines.
Beyond its wine production, Hunter Valley is a beautiful region with many activities and attractions for visitors. From hot air balloon rides and scenic helicopter flights to wine tours and gourmet food experiences, there is something for everyone in Hunter Valley. The region's natural beauty and rich cultural heritage make it an ideal destination for wine enthusiasts and tourists alike.
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