Essential Guide to Australia

20 January, 2016

The past few years have seen a remarkable evolution both with classic varieties such as Chardonnay and Shiraz, along with a host of other exciting grapes and styles. The OLN Essential Guide to Australia explores the diverse grapes and regions from the land down under.

We square up to Australia in this issue, speaking to its champions and indulging in a fair bit of sipping and slurping too. Not only is Australia a tremendously exciting source of wines, it also manages to deliver a disproportionately high level of quality from entry level upwards. Consider, too, that Australia remains the most popular source of wine for UK drinkers, accounting for 23% of the volume drunk and almost 23% of sales by value. The reason for taking the wines from Down Under seriously – no matter what channel of the trade you may inhabit – is clear. The wine- drinking public likes the wines. What is also becoming clear, though, as exchange rates soften in favour of buying Australian, is that these past few years have seen a remarkable evolution – both with the classic varieties such as Chardonnay and Shiraz, along with a host of other exciting grapes and styles. Meanwhile, Australia’s diverse producers appear to have come together once more as a cohesive force, pushing a premium (and regionally-linked) message, but also stressing the quality ladder made available by its ever popular brands. We cover all of this and more, hopefully giving a taster of why I believe Australia is reasserting itself as one of the most exciting, diverse and enjoyable wine- producing countries – and why it should be playing a vibrant and profi table role in your portfolio.

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In the not-too-distant future, when all humans are born with inbuilt VR headsets and Trump is Supreme Commander of the Known Universe, how will students of wine look back on the present era of retail in the UK? And, in such a dystopian world, why would anyone care?

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