20 FAST FACTS ABOUT AUSSIE WINE
There is so much to learn about Australian wine. While it can take years to become a true expert, here are 20 FAST Facts About Aussie Wine you can pull out to impress your wine loving friends with.
1. There are 65 wine regions in Australia, each with its own unique topography, geography, climate and soils.
2. Australia is the 5th largest wine producer and the largest in the Southern Hemisphere (although it vies with Argentina for both positions from year to year).
3. There are around 130 different grape varieties grown in Australia, and the number is increasing. Shiraz and Chardonnay are grown in every region.
4. South Australia produces most of Australia’s wine. Each year it produces around 50% of our total wine production.
5. Hunter Valley is Australia’s oldest wine region. Returning from Europe with 20,000 vine cuttings in 1832 James Busby was vital in helping establish the Hunter as a key wine region.
6. Around 75% of Australian wines are sealed under screwcap. The advantage of screwcaps is the wines can't become corked or exposed to oxygen through the seal.
7. Penfold’s 2004 Kalimna Block 42 Cabernet Sauvignon is the most expensive bottle of Australian wine ever sold. It fetched an impressive $168,000 in 2012.
8. Shiraz is Australia’s most-planted red varietal. Over 30% of plantings in Australia are dedicated to Shiraz, which also happens to be our most popular red varietal.
9. Around 600 to 800 individual grapes are squished to make each 750ml bottle of wine Aussie wine – that’s from 3 to 10 clusters of grapes, depending on the variety.
10. Just over 30 million glasses of Aussie wine are enjoyed around the world each day in over 110 international markets.
11. A standard bottle of Australian Sparkling wine contains up to three times the pressure of the average car tyre.
12. The average producing life span of a grape vine is about 25 years, but of course some vines live and produce fruit for 100 years.
13. With a mean January temperature of just 16.8 degrees, Tasmania is the coldest of Australia’s cool climate regions.
14. The Hunter Valley is generally the first Australian wine region to begin vintage each year. Traditionally vintage in the Hunter has started on Australia Day, although in recent years this has moved forward by up to two weeks.
15. Australia is considered part of the ‘new wine world’ which encapsulates the Americas, Australasia, Africa and Asia.
16. The wine cask is an Australian invention – known colloquially as a “goon bag”, “chateau cardboard” or “bag in a box”, the humble wine cask was the brainchild of Riverland winemaker Thomas Angove.
17. Coonawarra’s famed terra rossa strip is just 12 km long. This special strip of soil runs northwest through Coonawarra and is amongst the most valuable patches of earth in Australian wine.
18. Another Aussie red favourite, Cabernet Sauvignon was originally made from crossing Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. The cross dates back to 17th century France. In Australia it loves cool to moderate climates like Coonawarra and Margaret River.
19. Australia's largest wine region in area is Great Southern – it's 220km by 100km in area and produces 37% of wine grapes produced in Western Australia.
20. The world’s oldest Shiraz vines are located in Australia. While Shiraz has its origins in France, Australia has the oldest productive Shiraz vines in the world – planted in 1843 at Langmeil in the Barossa Valley.