For several hundred years now, the Vermentino grape varietal has flourished over several parts of Europe. Although widely thought to have originally come from Spain, the Vermentino grape is now most closely associated with the islands of Sardinia and Corsica, where they are widely grown and are considered an important varietal for the island's economy. Vermentino grapes are particularly popular with vintners due to the fact that they are very easy to cultivate, and are especially resistant to rot and mildew. The vines are vigorous, and produce high yields of a reliable quality. The wines which come from the Vermentino varietal are generally pale yellow in color, high in acidity and pleasantly crisp, with flavors of green apple, lime and other bright citrus fruits.
The Fleurieu Peninsula in southern Australia has been gaining a lot of international attention in recent years due to the wide range of excellent grape varietals which are currently flourishing there, and resulting in superb wines. The Mediterranean style climate allows the grapes to ripen slowly and fully, and express the many features of the excellent terroir which typifies the area. The variation in geological features of the peninsula is one of the key reasons why the wines from Fleurieu vary so greatly, and vintners in the region delight in experimenting with the micro-climates which make up the island's unique features. Today, the region mainly produces Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon wines of great character, although there are many varietals currently being grown there very successfully.
Whilst every Australian state has some level of wine production, it is in South Australia and on the island of Tasmania where the finest wines are made to the highest quantities. Here, the scorching Australian sun is a little tamer, and the heat is tempered by brisk oceanic winds, making the climate of these regions ideal for vineyard cultivation. The Tamar Valley on Tasmania has been making waves internationally in recent years, as both Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grape varietals are thriving there and resulting in hugely flavorful wines, which are at once distinctly Australian, yet remain unique and interesting enough to surprise and impress. Elsewhere in the country, the Syrah grape (known locally as Shiraz) reigns supreme, as the long, hot summers allow these grapes to ripen fully and lend their intensely fruit-forward character to the ruby red Australian wines, which have such international appeal.