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What makes Australian wine truly great

Australian wine is popular all around the world. Read our guide as we explain why Australian wine is so special, and which ones to try.
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Australia is famous for many things, from the Outback to Ramsey Street and from critters to cricket. However, one prized asset is genuinely the best thing since sliced bread: Australian wine. Whether it’s Shiraz or Chardonnay, Australian wine is our coveted top drop that delivers the goods for wine lovers worldwide.

There’s a heap of facts to back up the claim. Australia exports around 693mls of wine each year and is steeped in a rich history of winemaking that dates back to 1788. Since then, the wine produced in Australian vineyards, such as our March Of Progress Shiraz, has become understandably famous for its abundance of rich flavours.

Drinkers worldwide have flocked to Aussie wine, with the UK being Australia’s largest export market in terms of volume. New markets are opening up, too, with China a rapidly growing market eager to sample Australian wine.

Whether new or old markets, Australia’s unique geography, grape variety, and historic wine regions continue to appeal to wine lovers around the globe.

So what makes an Aussie wine an absolute ripper?

Australian wine regions

The climate and topography

Australia is vast, with topography from expansive deserts to green lowlands to mountain ranges. From cities to the bush to the Outback, no region is the same – and that makes for a unique environment to create some genuinely splendid wines that will take your tastebuds for a spin.

Climate plays a role, too. From the blazing heat in the desert climes that dominate Central Australia to northern regions that offer more tropical, humid weather, with distinctive dry and wet seasons, Aussie weather is varied. Yet it’s in the southern and eastern regions of the country – which most Australians call home – that you’ll find the temperate climates responsible for our incredible wines.

South Australia crushed 52% of grapes used to make wine in 2021, while New South Wales is a close second with 29%. These warm regions offer Australian winemakers the chance to extract just the right level of flavour, sweetness and tannins needed for creating refined and quality wines.

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Australian grapes

Both red and white wine grape varieties are at home Down Under, including:

  • Shiraz (Red)
  • Cabernet Sauvignon (Red)
  • Grenache (Red)
  • Mourvèdre (Red)
  • Pinot Noir (Red)
  • Chardonnay (White)
  • Riesling (White)
  • Sauvignon Blanc (White)
  • Semillon (White)

Shiraz is one of the mainstays of the Australian wine industry.

Over 538,000 Shiraz grapes were crushed last year alone. It’s the most-grown wine in Australia, with some of the oldest Shiraz vines dating back to the mid-19th century.

Such is its popularity that renowned wine producer Peter Lehmann may have been onto something when he said, “when God invented shiraz, he did it with Australia in mind.”

Australian wine regions - Barossa Valley

Barossa Valley – the heart of Australian wine

There are over 60 Australian wine regions spread across the country, producing well over 100 different kinds of grapes. Prestigious wine regions include Clare Valley, Hunter Valley and Margaret River, but Barossa Valley is probably the most celebrated by wine lovers.

Barossa Valley is steeped in history, and there are six-generation grape growing families who still grow wine in the area. Today, Barossa Valley is home to more than 150 world-class wineries, producing some of the finest Australian wine. It’s no wonder RedHeads chose to set up its own sustainable winery in the heart of the region.

Barossa Valley may well be famous for its Shiraz, but other grapes such as Riesling and Grenache are grown here. Its geographical range and Mediterranean-like climate allow wine producers to grow their grapes in either warmer valleys or on the cooler, rolling hills.

Best Australian wines to try

The diversity of Australian wine means there’s a bottle for every occasion, whether it be a summer barbie with the rellies or a sophisticated dinner party with friends.

If you want to try an Australian red wine, then start with a premium Shiraz such as one of our much-loved RedHeads:

Each has a unique taste, and all are brimming with shout-out-loud fruity, aromatic flavours that make the Shiraz a worldwide favourite. If you’d like to date a different RedHead, our Catbird Seat Cabernet Sauvignon or our MC1R: Rouge Pinot Noir are true head turners.

Australia is big on white wine, too.

If you want a top drop that bursts with citrus delights yet is underscored with creamy notes, try our Harmonie Rox Chardonnay. Originating from South Australia, its flavours combine fruit and light spice to create a unique taste.

RedHeads – the best of Australian wines

Here at RedHeads, we’re committed to doing things differently. With sustainability at the heart of our operations in Barossa Valley, we use hands-on winemaking techniques to create small-batch wines using over 20 different grape varieties. And we’re being recognised for it, with an Environmental Excellence Award at the South Australian Wine Industry Awards 2021 and a commendation for our work on renewable energy at the 2020 Drinks Business Green Awards. In addition, our chief wine maker Alex Trescowthick been voted the new President of the the Adelaide Hills Wine Region board, continuing our work towards the shared national goal of making Australian wines the best in the world.