Get the Scoop on Australian White Wine
Australian white wine is quickly becoming very famous on the wine lists around the world, as wine making in Australia is becoming more proficient and highly awarded every year. Australia's climate varies, as it's surface is large. Because of these variations in weather, early winemakers faced a lot of difficulties. But, winemakers took advantage of the varieties in climate and soil that made them problems in the beginning, and developed a wine industry that includes the production of almost every wine type there is; from red and whites to fortified, sweet and sparkling wines. In addition, some of the oldest grapes were grown in Australia. Back in 1800, a disease destroyed most of Europe's vineyards, so the only grapes left of certain wines were the ones in Australia. Therefore, wine making tradition in Australia goes way back.
Here are the characteristics of some of the most popular Australian white wines being made:
- Verdelho - This variety originates from Portugal, and grows most successfully in the region of Margaret River in Western Australia and the area of Hunter Valley in New South Wales. It's taste graduates from the palette of the fruity, crispy notes. It's best consumed with a plate of Spanish or Asian cuisine. Blended with Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Chardonnay it results in crisp, dry, white wines.
- Semillon - The Semillon is an Australian white wine whose taste goes from grassy, herbaceous hint to the nose, to the most peachy and fig bouquet notes as it ripens. In the peak of the ripening phase, the Semillon has a deep honey, to apricot flavour.
- Riesling - The Riesling variety is considered to originate from Germany, and in Australia dates back to 1850, when some German settlers were thought to have grown it somewhere near the Barossa region. This Australian white wine is very versatile; it's taste depends a lot from the ripening phase the grape is in. In the early unripe stages, the wine has mineral, citrusy notes to rose petals and green apples. And as the ripening stage moves forward, it's taste goes from peachy and honeysuckle to tropical fruit and lemon buttery.
- Sauvignon Blanc - Sauvignon Blanc is mostly famous for being grown in the Marlborough region, Hunter Valley and Tasmania. Marlborough Region has the ideal climate conditions for growing this variety. It's taste is mainly fruity, and goes from green apple to notes of peach, apricot and melon. Compared to the Chardonnay, this Australian white wine is tart and more dry. Sometimes it's blended with the semillon, giving it the extra touch of fig.
- Pinot Grigio/Pinot Gris - It's the same wine, with different names in Italy and France. In Australia, it's common about the cooler climates of Tasmania and Yarra Valley. These are mainly full bodied wines, perfect for cellaring.
- Chardonnay - The best for last! Australian Chardonnay is the pride of Australian wine making industry. Mainly being characterized as oaky and buttery, Chardonnay around the world has been on pause for a long time. Australian Chardonnay has high acidity and fruity flavours. It's taste goes from citrus and herbaceous hints to deep tropical bouquet as it ripens. Chardonnay is also used for making sparkling wines in Australia. When blended with Pinot Noir , the result is Champagne.