5 Aussie Wine Facts That’ll Make You Seem Sophisticated

5 Aussie Wine Facts That’ll Make You Seem Sophisticated

April 30, 2018

Did you know that the world’s oldest vines can be found in Australia? That some of the coolest (temperature-wise, not cred wise) vineyards can be found in Queensland? That the first grapes were actually planted in 1788?

Let’s memorise some wine facts so you can pass them off as your own raw intelligence.

The first settlers were very keen for a vino

It looks like planting vineyards was a top priority for the British settlers, as they didn’t even wait a year after arriving to Australia to establish crops – the first grapes were planted in in 1788! Royal Navy Officer (and future Governor of New South Wales) Arthur Phillip, brought vine cuttings with him on the First Fleet and had a crop growing within eight months of arriving at Botany Bay. Talk about commitment to a good drop.

Initially, this wine was designed to be drunk by clergymen and other conservative members of society as a “temperance beverage” that was so much more ‘dignified’ than beer. What a time.

We have cold climate wine regions in surprising places (seriously)

Tasmania is undoubtedly Australia’s coolest climate – which makes sense, it gets darn chilly there – and has become known as the hub for cool climate wines. But can you create cool climate wines in Queensland?

Surprisingly, yes! Along the Granite Belt (an area of the Great Dividing Range) wineries have taken advantage of the high-altitude and the fresh mountain air to make some beautiful wines. It’s funny to think that you can produce cool climate wines just three hours out of Brisbane.

We’re super old

Did you know that Australia has some of the oldest vines in the world? Weird, but true. In the 1800s, many of Europe’s established vineyards were destroyed by phylloxera, a scourge that almost halted all European winemaking. Families were forced to burn ancient vineyards to stop the microscopic aphid and by the 1900s, over 70% of France’s grapevines were dead.

Australia was also hit with the plague in 1875 but due to strict quarantine, South Australia’s vineyards remained untouched. One of the oldest surviving vineyards in Australia, and the world, is Langmeil’s Freedom vineyard in the Barossa Valley, planted in 1843.

“I’ll take the $20 bottle thanks.”

Ever get confused about what prize constitutes a ‘good’ bottle of wine? (We should remind you that you can find a great-tasting wine at any price – but that’s not the point of this story.)

Well, in case you’re wondering, the most expensive Australian bottle of wine ever sold was a Penfolds 2004 Kalimna Block 42 Cabernet Sauvignon in 2012. The price? $168,000. Maybe select something a little cheaper this weekend?

Everyone loves Australian wine – like, heaps

Australia is the fourth largest producer of wine in the world – in 2012, total sales were worth $4.4 billion. Every single day 30 million glasses of Aussie wine are drunk around the world. We’re not saying we’re the most popular but look, we’re up there.

Here are some Aussie wines to try this month:
• Anything from Taylors Estate – given that they’re currently the world’s most awarded winery, every bottle is a winner.
Peter Lehmann’s Futures Shiraz was named Australia’s best and the world’s second-best shiraz at this year’s Syrah du Monde International Competition.
Story Bay Margaret River Semillon Sauvignon Blanc was awarded a “five star” rating in a recent Winestate Magazine Tasting Panel – and it’s only $7!
• Brown Brothers is one of Australia’s leading family-owned wine – and what better than Brown Brothers Moscato to toast World Moscato Day on May 9!
Lindemans Bin range is super tasty and super great value!

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