Australia is famous for its production of world-class wines, ranging from fruity whites to hearty reds, fortified wines and delicious desserts. In just a period of 200 years, wine industry in Australia has exponentially grown from just some few plantings to an industry recognized throughout the world for innovation, quality, and depth. Australia, in fact, is consistently among the top 10 wine producing countries in the world. The country also prides itself as one of the few countries which produces each and every one of the major styles of wine.
Australia’s history of manufacturing wine dates back to its settlement in 1788.
Governor Arthur Phillip purchased vines during the First Fleet, and various vineyards were established in the location which is now called Sydney. And by the 1890s, the popular Yarra Valley, Barossa Valley, and Hunter Valley had started producing wine.
Australia mainly produced fortified wines until the 1950s. Fortified wines were quite popular as the extra or additional alcohol protected its wine from microbiological attack. This made it possible for both storage and transport.
Around this period, the country saw an influx of Italian and German immigrants. The immigrants helped in expanding the wine industry in Riverina and Barossa regions. Several of their descendants still run wineries today in these areas.
In the 1960s, the country turned its attention to producing sweet, sparkling wines. In the later part of the 60s, the emergence of full-bodied red wines came into vogue.
Aromatic wines, like gewürztraminers, Rhine rieslings, gewürztraminer rieslings in the 1970s were quite popular. Australia, during this decade, developed also the wine cask (or “bag in a box). This is just some simple Australian invention that made wine more accessible since individuals were able to drink at a time a small amount of wine. Angroves started to utilize the cask in 1965, followed quickly by Penfold’s wine. This is used all over the world now.
By the end of 1970’s, the Australian tastes had changed-from semi-sweet wines to dry wines. At this time, Chardonnay became the most popular drink of choice for most people. It has maintained its reputation, still remaining a popular option today for wine drinkers.
Australian wines began breaking into European markets in the late 80’s. The country earned reputation for its fresh and fruity white wines together with robust red wines. By 1995, it had secured 1.5 percent of wine trade in the world. This has grown to 3 percent today, according to the Foster’s Group.
Presently, Australia is the 7th largest wine producer in the world. It produces more than one thousand million liters of wine each year.