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Though Australia lacks the history and tradition of other top wine-producing countries like France and Italy, it has definitely made its mark on the international wine market in recent years. During the 1990s, winemaking and wine exports boomed in Australia. Though the market has come back to earth a bit in recent years, Australia is still the fourth-largest exporter of wine in the world.
When casual wine drinkers think of Australian wine, they probably think of the critter-laden labels of Yellow Tail and The Little Penguin, among others. And while large wine companies dominate the Australian list, there are also a great number of smaller producers creating highly-rated, award-winning wines.
The majority of Australian wine is produced in South Australia, with most of that (those “critter wines”) carrying a South Eastern Australia appellation. Subregions such as Barossa Valley, Coonawarra and McLaren Vale are home to smaller producers and higher quality wines. Victoria and New South Wales are also significant regions, and wines from Western Australia are reaching America in increasing numbers. Though Shiraz is the grape most associated with Australia, they’ve also had great success with Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Riesling and Grenache.
Shop for Wines from California
“Wish they all could be California…wines!” Yes, it’s a familiar refrain, one we’ve all sung to ourselves countless times. California wines are among the most famous and recognizable in the world, and for good reason: boasting a wide variety of climates and growing areas, California produces wines that rival any in the world for quality and price.
The best California wines arguably come from Napa Valley and Sonoma County in Northern California, but don’t forget about the Central Coast, or even an up-and-coming region like Temecula in Southern California.
Cabernet Sauvignon is the staple red grape of California, matched by Chardonnay as the most popular white grape in the state. Whatever your preference, it’s clear that every growing region in California excels in producing both red and white wines of unmatched excellence.