Return to New World Wines


Australia is one of the world’s lea­ding wine count­ries — more wine is pro­du­ced Down Under than in Germany. Australian red wine in par­ti­cu­lar has gai­ned inter­na­tio­nal reco­gni­ti­on. Around 60 per­cent of the wine-growing area in Australia is plan­ted with red gra­pe varie­ties. They are main­ly loca­ted in viney­ards in the south of the coun­try. The sta­tes of Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia pro­du­ce par­ti­cu­lar­ly lar­ge quan­ti­ties of wine.

Most popu­lar gra­pe varie­ties and best-known wines in Australia
A litt­le more than 40% of the wines grown are white vines- include Chardonnay, Sémillon, Sauvignon Blanc, Gewürztraminer, Riesling. The remai­ning almost 60% are red. Among the­se are in the first place Shiraz, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Tempranillo.

Most important gro­wing areas

  • South Australia: Barossa Valley Mc Laren Vale, Riverland, Coonawarra, Adalaide Hills
  • Western Australia: Margret River, Swan Valley
  • Victoria: Goulburn Valley, Yarra Valley, Pinisula
  • New South Wales: Hunter Valley, Reverina
  • Canberra: Hunter Valley, McLaren Vale
  • and Tasmania.

Main trans­ship­ment points (ports)
Melbourne, Adalaide, Perth

from Country Reports WEIN+MARKT 3|2024

Even Australian con­nois­seurs are curr­ent­ly unwil­ling to be per­sua­ded to esti­ma­te the 2024 wine har­ve­st, not even in terms of the trend. In some regi­ons, the quan­ti­ty of white gra­pes har­ve­s­ted appears to be lower than initi­al­ly expec­ted, and the­re are fears that viney­ards will not be har­ve­s­ted for red wines due to a lack of pro­fi­ta­bi­li­ty. The Australian wine indus­try is in a dif­fi­cult situa­ti­on. There are high hopes that the Chinese tariffs, which were lifted at the end of March, will pro­vi­de a decisi­ve boost. This is also neces­sa­ry, as the intro­duc­tion of tariffs in 2020 cau­sed enorm­ous pro­blems for Australia. Australia’s wine indus­try has not been able to gene­ra­te repla­ce­ments for sales in China. This has led to the curious situa­ti­on that 2023 was the smal­lest har­ve­st of the cen­tu­ry and pri­ces still fell becau­se win­egro­wers are still sit­ting on lar­ge stocks of red wine.  The lif­ting of Chinese tariffs is now pro­vi­ding a slight boost to pri­ces, but hard­ly anyo­ne belie­ves that exports to China will return to pre-crisis levels. It the­r­e­fo­re remains to be seen whe­ther the ope­ning of the Chinese mar­ket will signi­fi­cant­ly impro­ve the situa­ti­on of the Australian wine indus­try. A pro­po­sal from Accolade Wines is indi­ca­ti­ve of the uncer­tain­ty. The wine giant (see p. 6) offe­red to pay the win­egro­wers of a pro­du­cer asso­cia­ti­on in Riverland if they agreed to can­cel Accolade’s exis­ting purcha­se gua­ran­tees. Equally indi­ca­ti­ve of the low level of con­fi­dence is the fact that the gro­wers’ asso­cia­ti­on rejec­ted the pro­po­sal by a lar­ge majo­ri­ty. Overall, Australia’s acreage is under pres­su­re becau­se many win­egro­wers are con­side­ring the eco­no­mic future of viticulture.