NSW is the spiritual center and soul of Australian fine wine production and the second largest wine state. Within New South Wales there are two areas of primary importance, plus assorted smaller areas.
Mudgee, which means little mound in Aborigine, is located at a moderate elevation and is best known for deep red, earthy Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz, though it also produces many other varietals including Chardonnay, Riesling and Semillon. It has its own self-imposed AOC system.
Also known as the MIA (Murrumbidgee Irrigation Area), Riverina produces large quantities of bulk wine and lots of everything else as well (Chardonnay, Riesling, sparkling wine and Cabernet Sauvignon). The district has been producing since the early 1900s.
Other New South Wales:
Other NSW wine-producing areas include Cowra (several hours west of Sydney), Port Stephens, Camden and Canberra, with many boutique wineries dotted throughout.
This cool-climate island is home to more than the Tasmanian Devil. Revitalization of the Southern Australia wine industry is underway in districts such as Hobart and Launceston. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are the key varietals of the area, supplemented by Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon. Sparkling wines are supplied by the well-known French name Roederer.
Other Western Australian fine wine districts include Great Southern, Gingin, Waneroo and Mt. Barker.
Wine is a popular industry as well as a hobby in Australia, and vintners and consumers alike pay scrupulous attention to medals awarded in the state-sponsored regional wine shows. While judging standards can be faulted for a strong "New World" emphasis, these shows have resulted in a generation of extremely clean wines with few noticeable faults. Those in the state capitals, particularly, also contribute to world taste by elevating prize-winning winemakers almost to celebrity status. Some of the best known vintners become the celebrated "Flying Winemakers," who moonlight as consultants on the other side of the globe while their own vines are dormant.
As a rapidly developing wine area, Australia has already demonstrated tremendous potential. The promise of even more developed regional variation makes Australia an attractive choice as the rest of world becomes better acquainted with its great quality and diversity.
The expanding winemaking area of Goulbourn Valley seventy miles north of Melbourne has easy access to water and is the best area in the state for full-flavored, long-lived Australian red wines. Shiraz has been an area mainstay, as have Marsanne, full-flavored Chardonnay, Videlho and Cabernet Sauvignon.