Australia is an Icon in the Global Wine Industry
Although Australia is considered a New World Wine Region, grape growing and wine making has been taking place for over 190 years, and export of Australian wine began in the early 1820s. Today Australia is a major player in the wine industry, coming in as the fourth largest exporter of wine in the world, delivering 750 million litres a year around the world. Within Australia, over 580 million litres of wine is consumed each year, creating a $2.8 billion domestic market. That’s a lot of grapes!
Here are 7 Iconic Australian Wineries to get to know:
Penfolds — Barossa Valley, South Australia
Founded in 1844 by English physician Christopher Rawson Penfold, Penfolds is one of the country’s oldest wineries and has played a very important role in influencing the modern Australian wine industry. Their Grange line of wines, which began in the 1960s, is one of Australia’s most distinguished wines and has been dubbed an “Australian icon”. Penfolds has a diverse and broad portfolio of wines, grown in some of Australia’s finest vineyards.
Tyrrell’s Wines — Hunter Valley, New South Wales
The Tyrrell family’s history dates back to William the Conquerer. However, their venture into wine began in 1858 when English-immigrant Edward Tyrrell purchased 320 acres of land in the Hunter Valley. The winery was built soon after in 1863 and the first vintage was produced in 1864. Today the winery is run by the fourth generation of Tyrrell’s family and is home to some of Australia’s top wines.
D’Arenberg — McLaren Vale, South Australia
One of Australia’s “first families of wine,” D’Arenberg was established in 1912 by Joseph Osborn, but did not sell wines under their own label until 1927 when the winery was built. Prior to that, they sold their grapes to other wineries in the area. In their early years of production, their focus was on fortified wines, which were exported to England until World War II. Today fourth generation winemaker Chester Osborn continues to produce award-winning McLaren Vale wines while involving the next generation, his daughters, in the process. In 2013 the winery earned their organic certification and in 2017 a new winery was built — The Cube — winning the 2018 International Best of Wine Tourism Award.
Voyager Estate — Margaret River, Western Australia
Established in 1978, Voyager Estate is an award-winning winery and vineyard in the Margaret River region, famous for its Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. The estate boasts one of Australia’s best restaurants as well as beautiful landscape and gardens that have become popular for weddings. While not possessing the long history as some of its winery peers, Voyager Estate has been recognized for their wine, tourism, and hospitality. The estate vineyards are farmed organically as part of their environmental philosophy on taking care of their little part of the world.
Kilikanoon — Clare Valley, South Australia
Winemaker and proprietor, Kevin Mitchell founded the boutique winery Kilikanoon in 1997. Hailing from a family of wine growers, Mitchell’s winery uses traditional winemaking techniques to produce award winning, hand-crafted wines. In 2013, Kilikanoon was named “Winery of the Year” by James Halliday’s Australian Wine Companion, and their Oracle Shiraz has won “Best Shiraz” twice at international wine shows.
Port Phillip Estate Winery — Mornington Peninsula, Victoria
Purchased in 2000 by Giorgio and Dianne Gjergja, Port Phillip boasts over 20 estate and single vineyard wines. The vines are grown with sustainability in mind using a biological farming system, and all fruit is hand-picked. In November 2009, the new Port Phillip Estate Winery opened its doors. The state-of-the-art centre is a work of art that contains winemaking facilities, cellar door and tasting room, restaurant with panorama views of the vineyards, as well as luxury accommodations.
De Bortoli Wines — Yarra Valley, Victoria
A third generation family-run winery, it was established by Vittorio and Giuseppina De Bortoli in 1928, after leaving Northern Italy in 1924. Today, the winery is run by their grandchildren. De Bortoli is committed to making extraordinary wines employing sustainable vineyard practices using fruit from their vineyards in Yarra Valley and King Valley.
Wine in Australia by the Numbers
Wineries in Australia = 2,401
Major Australia Wine Regions = 6
New South Wales
Wine Sub-Regions = 65
Hunter ValleyMargaret River
Grape Varieties = 100+
Wine Export Dollars = $2.71 Billion
Canada drinks $200 million worth of Australian Wine
USA drinks $423 million worth of Australian Wine
China drinks $1.06 billion worth of Australian Wine