Australia’s diverse viticultural history first began in 1788, when Captain Arthur Phillip arrived at Sydney Cove and bought along the country’s first grape vines from Brazil and the Cape of Good Hope. Since then, the Australian wine industry has grown to express the enormous diversity of the people who craft its wines and the unique regional characteristics they express.
According to the website ‘A Plus Australian Wines’ (apluswines.com), New South Wales was the site of Australia’s first vineyard and winery, established in the early 1800s. Subsequently, South Australia is home to some of the worlds’ oldest vines, dating back to the 1850s.
Today, more than 60 designated wine regions produce in excess of 100 different grape varieties. Queensland has recently experienced a winemaking renaissance, while Victoria is renowned for its diversity of climates and regions. Elsewhere, Tasmania produces some of the world’s best cool climate wines.
The top three varieties of wine crushed in Australia are Chardonnay, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. Other major grape varieties are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and Riesling. Although the country has no native grapes, some varieties have nevertheless been bred by Australian viticulturalists, for example Cienna and Tarrango.
Although Syrah was originally called Shiraz in Australia and Syrah elsewhere, its dramatic commercial success has led many Syrah producers around the world to label their wine “Shiraz”.
Approximately 130 different grape varieties are used by commercial winemakers in Australia. In recent years many winemakers have also begun exploring so called “alternative varieties” other than those listed above. Many varieties from France, Italy and Spain, for example Petit Verdot, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Sangiovese, Tempranillo and Viognier are becoming more common. Wines from many other varieties are being produced.
Australian winemakers have received worldwide acclaim and the country’s winemaking has established benchmarks for a number of varietals, such as Chardonnay and Shiraz. Australians have also innovated in canopy management and other viticultural and wine-making techniques. In fact, according to established wine critic Matt Kramer, “the most powerful influence in wine today” comes from Australia.
Jacob’s Creek states its wines are wines with true character, and the new Reserve wines express this through their true varietal character and true regional character.
The regions chosen for the brand’s Reserve wines each have the ideal climate for growing premium grapes with great varietal expression, and a strong reputation for growing that varietal based on many years of experience.
The high quality of the Reserve wines stems from the company’s careful fruit selection, as it always has with Jacob’s Creek Reserve range. Prior to harvest its winemakers visit the best vineyards and reserve the best grapes for the Reserve wines.
Jacob’s Creek also offers Shiraz from The Barossa. The Barossa is Australia’s most famous wine region, its Mediterranean climate is perfect for growing Shiraz. The region’s warm days develop regional plum and chocolate characters.
The dry conditions develop intensity of fruit and fullness of flavour and the cool nights develop complexity and fine tannins. Premium fruit was sourced from the Barossa Valley, including some high quality old vines. This wine is a full bodied Shiraz with regional characters of mulberry, chocolate and spice with excellent fruit length.
Chardonnay from the Adelaide Hills is available from Jacob’s Creek as well. The Adelaide Hills are renowned for crisp and elegant wine styles. The cooler conditions retain high natural acidity which is complemented by malolactic fermentation for added complexity. An elegant Chardonnay develops as fruit matures slowly and readily; reflecting the varied terroir of the Adelaide Hills vineyards. Premium fruit was sourced from selected Adelaide Hills vineyards, and harvested at their optimum for natural acidity and flavour balance. This Chardonnay is a fresh but refined style of Chardonnay with white peach, lemon zest and citrus flavours with a hint of toasted cashew nut.
Play by your rules
Yellow Tail, the family-owned Australian wine brand which is now a household name in Ireland, is 10 years old this year. In just a decade, the brand has experienced strong growth and over two million glasses of Yellow Tail wine are now enjoyed around the world everyday.
As one of the leading Australian wine brands in Ireland, Yellow Tail has a simple philosophy – Play by your rules! – which is focused on redefining the experience of buying, drinking and sharing wine. This philosophy encourages consumers to enjoy wine in their own individual way and not to be afraid to break the so-called ‘rules’ associated with drinking wine. So, if you want to drink red wine with chicken or fish, go right ahead. Or if you want to drink white wine with steak, feel free to do so. Play by your rules, not anyone else’s rules.
Yellow Tail recently launched a refreshing new fizzy cocktail called Yellow Tail Moscato Mule to celebrate its sponsorship of the Dublin Street Food Awards 2011. Yellow Tail Moscato Mule is made using award winning Yellow Tail Moscato wine, winner of Best Muscat at the 2011 San Francisco International wine competition.
Yellow Tail believes that great quality wine should be affordable and good fun. The labels on Yellow Tail bottles are colourful and fun, with casual and easy to understand language and the wine itself is about enjoying good taste and great times. When it comes to wine, Yellow Tail likes to make its own rules – the only thing it won’t compromise on is quality and who can argue with that?
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/ yellowtailireland
Good taste runs in the family
Available from United Wine Merchants the McGuigan Private Bin range comes from McGuigan Wines; it is the culmination of the McGuigan family’s involvement in the Australian wine industry for more than 50 years. Their commitment to best viticulture practice and winemaking expertise; linked to a dedicated team of professionals, has seen four generations of the McGuigan family making wine their life.
The primary aim of the skilled and innovative winemaking and production team is to produce a range of complimentary wine styles that deliver exceptional value for money to the customer.
To achieve this goal the winemaking team has at its disposal, fruit from premium areas of Australia; as well as access to five modern and fully equipped wineries.
The premium fruit, the modern winemaking facilities and the good understanding of customer’s needs, enables production of premium quality product at a price that represents exceptional value for the high quality wine on offer. Private Bin offers a full bodied Shiraz, which gives exactly what is expected from South Eastern Australia, a rounded Merlot, a fresh zingy Sauvignon Blanc as well as a soft ripe Chardonnay.
For more information on this range of wines contact United Wine Merchants on 048 38316555 or see the website www.unitedwines.co.uk.
Sales coming in to land
Oxford Landing Wines are family owned, sustainably produced and vegan and vegetarian friendly.
Oxford Landing is a real place, a real vineyard. A place distinguished by clear blue skies, rich red soil and an abundance of golden sunshine. Established in 1958 on the banks of the majestic Murray River in South Australia, the vineyard was named Oxford Landing after a nearby site where drovers once grazed and watered sheep on the long journey to Adelaide from northern pastoral properties. Care and attention are the hallmarks of life at Oxford Landing. Oxford Landing is the perfect environment for growing grapes with vibrant, fruity flavours.
After a year of development, 2011 saw the launch of the new package for Oxford Landing Estates. Sporting a proprietary bottle and striking silver highlights on the label, the contemporary packaging has given the quality perception of the brand a boost and has seen sales around the world climbing, with a fantastic response from consumers.
Oxford Landing was number one in the current top Australian wineries for value list on winespectator.com. Oxford Landing Wines are available exclusively through Cassidy Wines; telephone 01 466 8900 for more details.
Colourful history of independence
The Yalumba Y Series of varietal wines express the lively personality and colourful 160-plus-year history of the Hill Smith family of Yalumba, Australia’s oldest family owned winery. These are fresh and flavoursome fruit-driven wine styles of quality and consistency, highlighting the true regional character of South Australia’s most renowned viticultural areas and confirming Yalumba’s reputation as Australia’s finest independent winemaker.
Available in the following varietals; Viognier, Unwooded Chardonnay, Riesling, Merlot, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Yalumba Y Series Wines are available exclusively through Cassidy Wines; telephone 01 466 8900 for more details.
A multi-dimentional promotion
Wolf Blass, the leading Australian wine brand will be giving away over 7,000 prizes this autumn including 3D TVs. With the Rugby World Cup having kicked off in September, sports fans have been glued to their TVs and with this in mind Wolf Blass has launched a neck collar promotion offering customers the chance to win prizes instantly.
Using eye catching 3D neck tags, the promotion will run across the brand’s top two selling premium ranges, Yellow Label and Red Label.
Among the range of goodies up for grabs are 3D TVs, luxury spa days, VIP sporting tickets, exclusive sports lessons and thousands of gift cards and MP3 download vouchers.
To be in with a chance of winning one of these prizes, all consumers have to do is buy a neck tagged bottle which contains a unique code. They then enter their unique code online and see if they have won a prize. They then send in the neck collar and till receipt. The prize will be despatched if they are a winner.
Wolf Blass brand development manager Caragh Walsh says, “The 3DTV promotion is set to be one of Wolf Blass’ biggest giveaways ever. We are expecting a high sales increase on promotional bottles so would encourage retailers to take advantage and stock up.”