It would not be wrong to say that Shiraz grape has changed the face of Australian wine industry. It is grown in the largest wine-grapes growing area of the country. In 2015, the total land area under this grape was 39890 hectares, which accounted for about 30 percent of the total land under under grape cultivation in Australia. The next largest area is under the white wine grape variety of Cabernet Sauvignon at about 25000 hectares.
Shiraz is also the most widely produced wine in Australia with 395000 tonnes crushed in 2015 and also the most exported wine with 207 million litres exported in 2015. Interestingly, the cabernet sauvignon red grape variety does not take the second position in terms of tonnage crushed or exports. It takes the third position, with the second position going to white wine variety of Chardonnay in terms of tonnes crushed as well as exports.
Shiraz is believed to have come to Australia from Europe, where it was called Syrah. Some experts suggest that Europe, particularly France, is the birth place of this grape. But, some people also suggest that the ancient Iranian city of Shirazi also cultivated this grape variety and it is considered to be its birthplace. Irrespective of the birth place, it is a fact that this wine has been the face of this nation’s wine industry in front of the world community. It has earned it a place of pride among the wine-producing nations of the world.
Riverland-Riverina Wine Regions
Shiraz is grown mostly in the Riverland and Riverina regions of Australia. Together, these account for 43% of Shiraz growing region. Riverland wine region is in the state of South Australia. This region is situated where the Murray river enters South Australia from the border of New South Wales and Victoria. From there, the region stretches till the Blanchetown downstream. This region is situated to the east of another famous wine region, the Barossa Valley. Riverland is the largest wine producing area of Australia.
Riverina region is another wine region where Shiraz is grown. This region lies in south-western part of state of New South Wales, to the east of Riverland region and to west of the Great Dividing Range. This is a flat plains region drained by Murray and Murrumbidgee rivers, and the northernmost boundary of this region is identified by catchment area of River Lachlan. This is also the region which is home to Aborigines. Thus, the wine region comprises both the agricultural and the pastoral areas.
Best Shiraz Wines
Almost all famous wine brands of Australia produce Shiraz wines. These are grown in wide variety of climatic conditions. Some of the best shiraz wines are also featured in the video below.