Is Shiraz from Australia? Even though Australian Shiraz is world renowned, it did not originate here – it has its origins in France’s northern Rhône Valley, where it provides the backbone of the famous Hermitage, Cornas and Côte-Rôtie wines. Shiraz arrived in Australia as part of the Busby collection in 1832.
Due to its suitability to hot, dry climates, it thrived in many Australian regions, and consequently grew in popularity. Although first planted in Sydney and the Hunter Valley, the Barossa Valley has become Shiraz’s spiritual home in Australia and this region has some of the oldest vines in the world.
Shiraz is widely perceived as Australia’s premier grape variety and although we have produced many excellent examples of wines made from other grapes, Shiraz is the one that has captured the imagination of wine lovers and experts the world over. The vast array of regions, soil types and Australian microclimates produces a broad range of expressions and styles.
Shiraz blends are also popular, including the classic Aussie red blend Shiraz Cabernet.
WHAT IS SHIRAZ?
Shiraz is one of the most well-known and loved red wines in the world. Shiraz grapes have relatively loose bunches with large thick-skinned berries, and the wine is marked by spicy, black fruit flavours and smooth tannins.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SYRAH WINE AND SHIRAZ
When it comes to Shiraz, you might have come across the term ‘Syrah’. But what is the difference between Syrah wine and Shiraz? It’s all in the name – Shiraz is often referred to as Syrah outside Australia.
WHAT REGION IN AUSTRALIA MAKES THE BEST SHIRAZ?
The Barossa and McLaren Vale regions of South Australia are the most famous for Australian Shiraz, possibly due to highly prized old vineyards producing intensely flavoured, rich and earthy red wines. The Hunter Valley has a long history with Shiraz, while Victoria combines some proven historic regions like the Grampians with newer, rising stars like Heathcote.
The Barossa Valley is Australia’s premier Shiraz region and is the home of some of the oldest Shiraz vines in the world. The Barossa is responsible for some of Australia’s finest Shiraz from both small and large producers. Barossa Shiraz typically shows plum, cherry and blackberry flavours with savoury tannins. Due to its popularity and acclaim, the Barossa Valley is a top wine tourist destination.
Hunter Shiraz is generally medium bodied, with fragrant, earthy aromas, cherry, berry characters, layers of violets and savoury, dusty plums backed by fine, soft tannins.
McLaren Vale produces full-bodied, full-flavoured Shiraz, usually with high colour, high alcohol and dark fruit flavours backed by layers of liquorice, spice and violet characters and soft tannins.
Coonawarra Shiraz is medium bodied and ripe with smoky cherries, spicy undertones and dusty dark berry aromas and flavours.
The Clare Valley produces deep and distinctive Shiraz with a tight, concentrated structure. Expect red currants, blackberries and fine tannins.
The Grampians has a long history of making sturdy, structured wines with intense, spicy palates. The Grampians has also been a great source for some of Australia’s greatest Sparkling Shiraz. Great Western has also been the source of some intensely flavoured, long-lived Shiraz.
Heathcote Shiraz is stylistically very different to elsewhere in Australia with black cherry, prune and chocolate characters. It also has high levels of alcohol, usually with high levels of oak to match the intense fruit flavours.
Canberra’s hot days and cool nights produce intensely flavoured, spicy Shiraz with high levels of natural acidity giving great flavour length. Canberra Shiraz often benefits from the co-fermentation of a small portion, around 5%, of Viognier.
Mt Barker Shiraz
Mt Barker is building a tradition of high quality, concentrated, medium-bodied Shiraz with layers of white pepper, spice and dark berried fruit.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT SHIRAZ
How long does Shiraz last once opened?
If you love sharing good wine, there’s probably little chance of a bottle lasting long enough to risk losing its drinkability. However, there may be times when you’ve got an open bottle of Shiraz and wonder how long does open wine last. When it comes to red wines, if they are sealed and stored in a cool, dark place or a fridge, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Malbec can last for around four days. As a general rule, red wines with higher tannin and acidity tend to last longer once opened.
How many calories are in a bottle of Shiraz?
Whether you’re into counting calories or not, it really is important for your health to consider what you are consuming, and that includes your favourite wines. So, with that in mind, how many calories are there in a glass of Shiraz?
Calorie content can vary depending on several factors such as alcohol content, residual sugar, and serving size. Generally, the rule is, the higher the alcohol content of a wine, the more calories you will be consuming. On average, a glass of red wine, including Shiraz, contains approximately 125 calories, therefore a bottle of Shiraz would contain approximately 625 calories. It’s important to note that these figures are approximate averages, and the actual calorie content may vary depending on the specific brand and winemaking process.
Explore our website to learn more about Shiraz and other wine varieties, including what the best wine glasses are for your favourite drop.
WHICH ARE THE BEST SHIRAZ WINE BRANDS IN AUSTRALIA?
We’re spoilt for choice when it comes to Australian Shiraz. From big, world-renowned brands to smaller boutique producers, delicious examples of the variety are being produced right across our world-class regions.
There’s a multitude of fantastic brands worth sampling, or visiting the cellar door for a tasting if you are in their respective wine region. For some of the bigger brands, get started with brands like Tyrrell’s, Brokenwood, Hardys, Château Tanunda or Howard Park. On the smaller, boutique side of things there’s Andrew Thomas, Mount Pleasant, Dandelion, Z Wine and Alkoomi.