Australia is an undeniable leader in the New World wine industry. Winemakers across the nation have long held a standard of professionalism and dedication, producing some of the highest quality wines in the world.
As Australia’s reputation continued to grow, it was clear that the final piece of our series, “A World of Wine”, should be dedicated to the land Down Under. Please enjoy the article and infographic included in this informational post, and more importantly…enjoy Australian wine.
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First introduced to New South Wales in 1788, winemaking has been a part of Australian soil since the original colony was established. While the initial growth struggled, other settlers managed to successfully cultivate vines for the purpose of wine, establishing private vineyards in agriculturally friendly regions.
By the 1820s, Australian wine was available for domestic sale and purchase, quickly expanding to the point of export. The man to pioneer wine exportation, Gregory Blaxland, was also to the first Australian winemaker to receive an international award. Five years later, Blaxland was awarded again, receiving a gold medal from the Royal Society of Arts. Another notable figure is James Busby, who, in 1833, brought a significant selection of grape varieties from France and Spain, including grapes designated for fortified wine.
19th century winemakers surmounted obstacles such as the difficult Australian climate, creating one of the fastest growing wine industries in the world. Australia’s reputation and prestige also grew, witnessing high honors at the 1878 Paris Exhibition, the 1882 Bordeaux International Exhibition, the 1889 Paris International Exhibition, and other esteemed events.
Then phylloxera arrived. Ravaging region after region, the aphid-like pestilence spread for years, destroying vineyards until the early 20th century. As a result, sweet and fortified wines remained the primary product of Australian viticulture for decades. It wasn’t until 1970 that a focus was placed upon the quality of wine and the overall reestablishment of Australia as a world leader in wine production and sales. The following forty years have seen that goal accomplished – to say the least.
In addition to quality, large scale production and innovation have become staples in the Australian wine industry. In 2004, 20,000,000 cases were shipped to the US alone and the First International Biodynamic Wine Forum was hosted in the state of Victoria.
As premium wines continue to flow from the land Down Under, it’s clear as to why they are the world’s 4th largest exporter of wine and home to quality seen nowhere else. Australia is a gold mine for modern wine and the future of viticulture across the globe.
This is the final installment in our series exploring wine worldwide. To read the previous three posts, click the links below.
- A World of Wine Part I: A Taste of France
- A World of Wine Part II: Experience California
- A World of Wine Part III: Lovely Italy