History of Shiraz Wine in Australia
Australia first got introduced to the Syrah grape in 1832. It was bought by James Busby, an immigrant who got some clippings of the vine from Europe with him and it is invariably called Shiraz. Today, it is one of the Australia’s most popular red grape but it didn’t start that well as it seems. In 1970’s the white wine became so popular that the producers started tearing off the unprofitable Shiraz and Grenache vineyards from even the old vines. Many factors including the expansion of Lindemans, Jacob’s Creek and Rosemount in parts of US and UK. These factors were responsible for the dramatic expansion of plantings in the 80’s and 90’s. Another big factor was tax subsidy in those new vineyards.
In the growing season of 2005-2006, the total plantations for Australia stood at 41,115 hectares. This made Australia the biggest wine producer after France. Cooler climates of Australia generally manage to have less alcohol content in the wine and have a more traditional French style. The wine that is created by the winemaker Max Schubert in 1951 at the Penfolds Grange. The Shiraz from this location often includes a small amount of Cabernet Sauvignon. Some other well known Australian Shiraz include, The Henschke Hill of Grace and the Penfolds RWT.
Traditionally, the Australian sparkling Shiraz has had some sweetness. A number of Australian winemakers has a full bodied sparkling dry Shiraz. It contains the complexity and can sometimes, also has some earthy notes that are normally still found in the wine.
In short, it is the Australia’s most popular grape variety. Shiraz is generally full bodied with high content of alcohol and has a vibrant berry and plum on both the nose and palate. Australia has a hot summer and cold winters which can easily impart a complexity and different structure that will be able to collect well.
With it’s deep and peppery state, you can enjoy this wine with tasty flavorful spicy foods that would go well with steak, latin and even mediterranean cuisines.