Wine In Australia - White Wine
By Francis Abel
Australia is now a recognised producer of some of the world’s best wines, it has won many awards for its quality produce and considering the relatively short life of the Australian wine industry this is quite some achievement.Literally hundreds of grape varieties are now being grown in various locations, and many new ones being added each year. The Australian nation has caught up with this trend and their palette’s have grown to appreciate the finer wines being produced.
Following on from our previous article about red wine in this one we focus on the whites and our attention dwells on the places and types of white wine available.
Some people say that Chardonnay is the prince of white wines as it is used in the production of Champagne in France and many sparkling wines across the world.Chardonnay is extensively grown throughout Australia’s wine regions, and depending on the terroir and ripeness of the grape, it can range from citrus and herbaceous notes to a deep tropical bouquet.
This grape has been flourishing in Australia during the last decade, especially in the Hunter Valley, the Margaret River and in some parts of Tasmania. In New Zealand of course the Marlborough region is famous for producing elegant Sauvignon Blanc wines, due to the ideal conditions.Early in its production it has aromas of green apples, later maturing into a sweeter flavour reminiscent of pears and apricots. Sauvignon Blanc is often blended with Semillon in Australia to enhance the complex nature of the wine.
The Hunter Valley Semillon is some of the best produced but the grape has also found its way to the Barossa Valley and the Margaret River. Semillon is a versatile grape that can be blended and has a wonderful deep honey and apricot flavour.
The Riesling grape has been grown in Australia since the 1800’s. Firstly it was a big success in the Barossa Valley, where German settlers first planted it in the 1950s and because it ripens in distinct stages, it can be very useful for wine making.Unripe the wine produced is tart and has a mineral nose, moving almost to rose petals when it is fully ripe.
Pinot Grigio & Pinot Gris
Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris are the same grape variety. Grigio stems from Italy and produces a crisp, and light wine. Pinot Gris originates from France and is fuller of body and better for putting down.In Australia these grape varieties have been most successful in cooler climates and places such as, Tasmania, the Mornington Peninsula, the Adelaide Hills and the Yarra Valley.
Originally from Portugal, this grape flourishes in the Margaret River and the Hunter Valley. It is often used as an alternative to Chardonnay and offers a fruity and crisp palette and is an excellent accompaniment to spicy food.In recent years Australia has expanded these six varieties with Chenin Blanc, Marsanne, White Burgundy, Boignier and Chablis..