The Wines of Australia
- Provides an up-to-date analysis of the current wine industry and the people making the wines
- Author is an acknowledged expert on Australian wine
- Contains handy list of 101 Australian wines to taste, enabling readers to gain a detailed picture of the wine output of the country
Australia’s wine history dates back almost 250 years, to the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788. The first commercial wine region, the Hunter Valley in New South Wales, was created a mere 40 years later, and by as early as the 1850s small amounts of wine were being exported to the UK. In the modern era, Australian wine became known for fortified wine styles modelled on Port and Sherry. These were the main wine styles consumed for several decades, but by the mid-1990s nearly all grapes were going into table wine and Australia was the sixth largest global exporter of wine. Vibrant, varietally expressive and affordable wines introduced new generations of drinkers to the joys of wine. The popularity of Australian wine has ebbed and flowed over the years but experimentation, innovation and the illumination of newer regions has created a quiet revolution, challenging preconceptions of what is possible.
In The Wines of Australia, sommelier Mark Davidson tastes his way round this new Australian wine world. European immigration was an important factor in the development of wine but it also had a dramatic and negative impact on the indigenous peoples, an issue that Davidson addresses in a chapter on history and culture, explaining how the wine industry is taking steps to involve First Nations peoples in grape growing and winemaking. The growing environment, including the critical question of climate change, is tackled, and today’s most important grape varieties, along with those that can take Australian wine into the future, are profiled. This is followed by a chapter explaining why the country is home to some of the oldest vines in the world. Every region is clearly delineated, its key producers introduced and their wines assessed. The Wines of Australia captures the character of one of the most exciting wine-producing countries on the planet.