Australian Wines - Find Information about the Wineries, Terroir for Your Favorites
Do you love Australian wine and have a particular favorite? Do you want to find out more about where it is produced, who made it, and the wine-maker's philosophy, approach and techniques used to make the wine? Do you want to know about other wineries in the same area? Well the good news is that various new web sites have been designed to provide this information, for example: Findawinery and Winebiz.
How do you want to search for the wine? Generally you will want to search by the name of the winery that produced the wine (which you can get from the label on the bottle). But you may only have the name or label of the wine itself, especially when someone says: "Have you tried Wine 'xxxxx'" and you want to find out more. You may also want to search by the name of the region, district or town where the wine is produced (from the address or region information on the label). This will help you understand the regional characteristics and importantly what other wines are available from the same district.
Many site have maps of regions, but you don't want to have to work through the layers, especially when you know very little about the region names and their location. It is better to simply be able to read the location on the label as a region or town name and to be able to search for these terms. The other requirement is to be able to easily see an online wine tour map for the district so that you can see its location and the surrounding wineries. Preferably you will be able to get summaries about the wineries directly on the maps, without having to look up details on another list. Finally the listing should show you details about the winery website and its telephone number so that you can get more information and directly contact the winery. You may be wanting to visit the area on you next holiday or simply see the neighbouring wineries. In summary the search terms that a wine enthusiasts wants are:
- Winery Name
- Region or District
- Nearby town, address details
- Local Winery Tour Maps, with information summaries on the map.
- Maps based on Google Maps that can be easily zoomed and displayed
The only site that I am aware of the that does this for Australian wine is www.findawinery.com. I would be pleased to learn of other sites that provide this comprehensive range of information for other countries.
The booming Australian wine industry, that has a famous international reputation has more than 3,000 wineries spread over a huge range climates, altutudes, soil types, generating a pethora of terroirs throughout Australia that suit every taste [terroir: come from the French word terre `land`, that refers to the special characteristics that geography, climate and soil where the grapes are grown bestows upon the grapes harvested. The growing area in the same region or district share similar soil, weather conditions, landscape, and local environment - all of which features contribute to the unique qualities of the wine produced].
There are more than 60 recognised wine regions spread across the vast continent of Australia from Western Australia to New South Wales (latitude range 37 degrees and a distance of 3,300 km (2050 miles) and from Tasmania in the south to Tropical north Queensland in the north (longitude range 17 degrees and distance of about 3750 km (2300 miles)). Wine grapes are grown in altitudes ranging from sea level to more than 700 m (2624 feet ). The highest altitude winery in Australia is Snowy Vineyard Estate, in Dalgety, Snowy Mountains NSW which lies at about 750 m above sea level. ( Australia has few mountainous areas and high altitude regions).
Australians have been making wine for over 200 years. The first vines were planted in 1788 when Captain Arthur Phillip, of the first fleet brought vine cuttings into Australia from Europe. They were first planted in `Camp Cove` in Sydney Town, close to the current location of the Botanic Gardens. However they quickly died as the soils were unsuitable. The first successful plantings were made by John MacArthur who planted vines in the more fertile and suitable soils of the Hunter Valley, north of Sydney. Today, the Hunter Valley is one of the Australia's best known wine growing regions. Over the years, wine making was fostered by European immigration to Australia, initially in the Gold Rush era and later though assisted migration. The famous Barossa Valley in South Australia was originated by the German Lutheran population after fleeing their homeland because of religious persecution. Similarly, the wine industry in Victoria was influenced by Swiss settlers. Italian immigrants also has a major influence on the development of the Australian wine industry.
It is only in the 20-30 years that Australian wine has been recognised internationally for its unique wines of outstanding character and quality. Wine tourism is very popular both with Australians and international visitors, mostly to the most famous regions such as the Barossa Valley, Hunter Valley, Adelaide Hills and Margaret River. Most of the wine regions have a wide range of organized tours that are popular for visitors from within Australia and worldwide.
Online buying of wine has opened up a whole new world of possibilities for the Australia’s 3,000 small wine makers. Those ordering wine are demanding more and more about the wine so that they can refine their choices. In general, the old more established Australian wine regions, such as those in eastern New South Wales and Victoria, produce the more traditional fine wines, while newer regions like those in South Australia and Western Australia, are known for the newer Italian and Spanish varieties and show greater innovation in wine styles.
Major Australian Wine Regions
New South Wales
Southern Flinders Ranges
Western Tamar Valley
East Tamar Valley
Pipers Brook/ Pipers River
© 2010 Dr. John Anderson