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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.
The wine region of Victoria has the highest number of grapevines than any other state in Australia. It is home to over 600 wineries and well-known regions such as Yarra Valley, Heathcote, and Rutherglen. Victoria is situated in the southeastern corner of Australia where due to the location, the climate has a cool maritime influence and is known for its outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, along with producing Australia’s most famed dessert Muscat and Topaque wines.
There are a number of different terroir levels throughout the wine region of Victoria which leads to the production of different ranges of wines. In the southern region of Victoria, the vines are regulated by the cool winds of the Bass Strait. Central Victoria consists of mostly flat terrain that tends to be drier and warmer than the rest of Victoria, which results in more fruit concentrated wines. It may be surprising to note that Victoria is the third most productive wine region in Australia, seeing as it does not have as many areas suitable for viticulture, which has resulted in the cellar door culture of Victoria being concentrated with smaller, but more personal boutique wineries.
The wine regions surrounding the town of Geelong are varied and diverse, from the subregions of the Surf Coast and Otways to the Bellarine Peninsula and Moorabool Valley.
Historically, Geelong was the largest grape-growing region in Victoria (in the 1800s) and in more recent times has undergone somewhat of a renaissance. In the last few decades, winemakers have been rediscovering the rich soils and a climate that is somewhere (some say halfway) between France's Bordeaux and Burgundy regions.
The region is known for boutique, family owned winegrowers producing quality hand crafted wines, more so than any bigger winery operations. Varietally speaking, Geelong is renowned for its superior Shiraz, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Whilst these 3 are the staple of most winegrowers and makers, the more adventurous have been known to grow and make Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Merlot and even some of the more left-field types like Primitivo, Gamay, Carmenere and Langrein.
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