Which 2 oceans bracket Australia?
- Indian Ocean (west)
- Pacific Ocean (east)
When and where in Australia were the first vines planted?
New South Wales in 1788 (late 18th century)
When was commercial viticulture established across the southern portions of Australia?
1820 - 1840
What four principal vine-growing areas of Australia do you need to know for the exam?
- New South Wales
- South Australia
- Western Australia
Which state was hit by phylloxera in the late 1800s?
From the late 1800s until about the mid-20th century, Australia was really known for what style of wine?
Industrial, inexpensive, sweet wines
Where in Australia did these inexpensive, sweet wines come from?
Hot, vast, and heavily irrigated areas along rivers, mostly in the center of the country.
In Australia, what caused the shift in focus from inexpensive, sweet styles of wine to more moderate/premium dry styles?
When did that happen?
- Introduction to temperature-controlled fermentation vessels
- Planting superior grape varietals
- Planting in cooler sites (elevation, near coast)
With this shift in wine style in Australia, why were the industrial, inexpensive, sweet styles abandoned?
Post-World War II, waves of European immigrants and Australian tourists returning from Europe increased demand for dry, non- fortified wines.
Even today, huge companies that make cheap, sweet wine continue to make wine side-by-side smaller, boutique wineries focusing on dry, premium styles.
Where in Australia are most wine regions located?
- Southeastern corner of the continent
- Temperate climate
Why aren’t vineyards planted in the center/interior of Australia?
It’s too darn hot
- Australia’s hot, arid interior is entirely too much to support viticulture
What are the soils of Australia?
Ancient and diverse
Some of the soils include:
What are the 4 main white grapes of Australia?
- Sauvignon Blanc
Which white grape is best associated with Hunter Valley?
What are the 5 main red grapes of Australia?
- Shiraz (most important)
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Pinot Noir
To find cooler places to grow grapes in Australia, where must you go?
- Higher in elevation
- Towards the coast
- Further south (away from the Equator)
For vineyards planted in Australia’s hotter regions, especially towards the arid interior, what is necessary to support viticulture?
With Australia being so hot and dry, it has no trouble ripening grapes.
What is the consequence of achieving such high levels of ripeness?
Lack of natural acidity in the grapes
Most Australian producers, especially the industrial ones, will have to acidify their wines to balance the grapes’ ripeness.
Why is Australia always seen as a leader in wine technology and development?
- The culture supports innovation
- They mechanize a lot due to labor shortages
Stylistically, Australian wines – no matter their price point – tend to be:
- clean, precise, technically correct, fruit-driven
- dirty, don’t really follow protocols, eschew technology
Clean, precise, technically correct, fruit-driven
In the past, Australian winemakers used to heavily favor oak from _____, but in recent years they’ve begun to use _____ oak.
Past: American oak
Recent: French oak
Australia’s embrace of innovation helps it lead the world in new packaging.
What sorts of packaging will you see on Australian wines?
- Bag-in-Box (BiB)
- Screw caps
- Crown caps on sparkling wines
Australia is really known for blending – blending wines across states, appellations, and vineyards.
Why is this?
- Main reason is to create consistent flavors and an ‘Australian style’ of wine
- Grapes are trucked from vineyards to wineries, which sometimes can be hundreds of miles apart
Give an example of a super-premium Australian wine that is a blend of grapes across different appellations.
Why are grapes generally harvested at night in Australia?
To preserve freshness and the grapes’ natural acidity
What is the appellation system that Australia uses?
Geographical Indications (GIs)
What is the hierarchy of Australian GIs from largest to smallest?
- Country: Australia (if a wine has just “Australia” as its appellation, it means the grapes came from anywhere in Australia)
- Southeastern Australia
- State of Origin (e.g. Victoria)
- Zones (which can cross several states)
Australia’s Label Integrity Program has a sweeping requirement of what minimum percent for grape, vintage, and region if stated on a label?
The huge Southeastern Australia GI consists of all or parts of which 5 states?
- South Australia
- New South Wales
What is The Great Dividing Range?
A mountain chain running north-south that separates the wetter coastal regions of New South Wales from the dry, hotter interior regions.
As it runs through Victoria it provides alpine climates in the northeastern part of the state and high-elevation vineyards in the southern portions of the state.
Where is the state of New South Wales, and what is its capital?
Eastern Australia, with Sydney as its capital
What is the climate of New South Wales and what helps define it?
Climate varies from subtropical in Hunter Valley, to dry and arid in Riverina, to Alpine climate in the furthest southern reaches.
Defined by The Great Dividing Range, a mountain chain running north-south that separates the wetter coastal regions from the dry, hotter interior regions.
What are 2 important GIs of New South Wales?
- Hunter Valley / Hunter GI
- Riverina GI
Run through Hunter Valley / Hunter GI’s:
- main grape
- North of Sydney
- Subtropical, moderated by cool sea breezes
What is the topography of Hunter Valley / Hunter GI?
Some ridges along its east side but generally a flat river valley
Run through Riverina GI’s:
- West side of Great Dividing Range, very inland
- Hot, humid in some areas
- Semillon, Chardonnay
- Shiraz, Merlot
The largest wine region in Australia is _____ GI.
What are the soils like in Riverina GI?
Fertile, so they grow a lot of everything (read: they make a lot of inexpensive wine)
Riverina GI is responsible for what percent of Australia’s total wine production?
Because Riverina GI is inland and quite hot, what is necessary in order to support viticulture?
Irrigation, which comes from nearby rivers
Besides inexpensive everyday wines, what other styles of wine is Riverina GI known for?
- Fortified wines
- Sweet wines affected by botrytis
Where is the state of Victoria?
Southeastern Australia, with Melbourne being its capital
The climate of Victoria is quite varied. What are some of the climates found there?
- Cool Maritime
- Continental with big diurnal shifts
What are the wine styles made in Victoria?
What are 3 important GIs in Victoria?
- Yarra Valley GI
- Rutherglen GI
- Murray-Darling GI
Run through Yarra Valley GI’s:
- wine styles
- Cool maritime, humid, moderated by the ocean
- Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Shiraz
- Sparkling and still wines
Run through Rutherglen GI’s:
- wine styles
- Continental (hot summers!)
- Muscadelle, Shiraz, Brown Muscat
- Still wines and Fortified wines
What is a synonym for Brown Muscat?
Muscat Rouge à Petits Grains
What are dessert wines from Rutherglen GI also known as?
Run through Murray-Darling GI’s:
- wine style
- Climate: super hot
- Viticulture: massive acres of irrigated vineyards
- Style: bulk / inexpensive, everyday wine
Murray-Darling GI is predominantly in the state of Victoria, but a portion of it bleeds into which other state?
New South Wales
Where is the state of South Australia?
Southern Australia, with Adelaide being is capital
What are some of the climates found in South Australia?
- Mediterranean (warm, dry)
- Cooler climates (higher elevations)
What are 5 important GIs in South Australia?
Of these, which one is known for its premium wines?
- Barossa Valley GI
- Eden Valley GI
- McLaren Vale GI
- Clare Valley GI
- Coonawara GI
Run through Barossa Valley GI’s:
- Shiraz, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon
- Exceedingly old vines, never had phylloxera
Run through Eden Valley GI’s:
- wine style
- Cool, high elevation (natural acidity remains high in grapes)
- Riesling, Chardonnay, Shiraz
- Its Rieslings are vinified dry
Run through McLaren Vale GI’s:
- Warm Mediterranean, moderated by cool sea breezes
- Shiraz, Grenache
- Vineyards planted on slopes facing the sea to take advantage of the sea breezes
Run through Clare Valley GI’s:
- Warm Continental (diurnal shifts, so natural acidity remains high)
- 1300 - 1800 ft asl
- Riesling, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon
- Riesling vinified dry!
From the capital of Adelaide, in which directon are the GIs Clare Valley, Barossa Valley, and McLaren Vale?
- Clare Valley GI is 60 miles NORTH of Adelaide
- Barossa Valley GI is NORTHEAST of Adelaide
- McLaren Vale GI is SOUTH of Adelaide
Notably, both Eden Valley and Clare Valley vinify their Rieslings ____.
Run through Coonawarra GI’s:
- famous soil
- Cool Mediterranean
- Terra Rossa, an iron-rich soil over limestone
- Cabernet Sauvignon
Coonawarra GI’s Terra Rossa soils extend across the entire GI or are they in a more enclosed spot?
They run just a 9-mile narrow stretch.
The best vineyards in Coonawarra GI are planted on this soil.
Where is the state of Western Australia?
Western Australia, with Perth as its capital
What is the most important GI of Western Australia?
Margaret River GI
Run through Margaret River GI’s:
- white grapes
- red grapes
- Warm Maritime, moderated by breezes off the Indian Ocean
- Chardonnay, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc
- Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz