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New World wines: Australia

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Australia produced 1.29 billion liters of wine in 2018 ranking the country as the 6th largest producer of wine globally. More than 60% of the total production in volume is exported annually to the world market. Based on an export value of 849 million liters that generated $2.8 billion as of 2018, Australia is ranked the 5th largest exporter of wine after France, Italy, Spain, and Chile. The Australian wine industry contributes significantly to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the economy. Revenue of over $40 billion is generated annually to the economy.

Approximately 2,468 wineries produce fruity red, white and sparkling wines from quality grapefruits. The top five wineries are Penfolds, Hardys, Wynns Coonawarra Estate, Yarra Yering and Morris.

There are 65 regions in all the States of Australia where the wines are produced. Many grape varieties are cultivated, harvested and crushed in each of the regions. South Australia is the most famous wine producing State having 18 regions. This is because the State produces more than 50% of the total production volume. The best quality wines produced in Australia have been helpful to the tourism industry of the country. Many Australians and foreigners visit these regions as tourist attraction centers. Therefore, an overall boom of these regions.

The grapes used in winemaking are not locally originated from Australia. The major wine types which include Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc, Sparkling white, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are made from grapes that were introduced to Australia and have been domesticated. Vitis vinifera grape (Syrah), locally domesticated as Shiraz was introduced to Australia from Europe and South Africa. 

Shiraz takes 30% of the total vineyard regions in Australia, making it the most preferred variety for making wines. Based on the policy that wines are to be named from the dominant grapefruit, Shiraz wine was named after the grape. Recently, wineries have also been using imported varieties from France, Italy, and Spain such as Petit Verdot, Sangiovese, Tempranillo, and Viognier. Australian viticulturists also cultivate Cienna and Tarrango varieties.

Shiraz wines are particularly a preferred choice because they come in a lot of styles. The cheap, tasty wines with ripe plum and blackberry fruit express distinct characteristics from the regions they are produced from such as spice and pepper from the cool-climate areas like Yarra Valley and the Adelaide Hills.

Australia will continue to be recognized as one of the top wine producing countries in the world.

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