Australia began making wine over two centuries ago, but it only burst into the export markets in the 1980s. Since then, it has offered the world vibrant, fruit-forward wines of exceptional value.
Australia is the fifth largest wine producer in the world and the largest in the Southern Hemisphere. About two million bottles of wine leave Australia every day to go to 111 international markets – about 60% of its total wine production.
In Australia, there are 65 wine regions, each with its unique topography, geography, climate and soil. Within these regions, more than 100 different grape varieties have been planted, however, Shiraz and Chardonnay are grown in every region.
One of the primary reasons Australia has some of the best wines is that most of its vineyards are in suitable locations, with the right climate. Some vineyards grow their grapes and make wine in their specific regions for generations.
Shiraz is still king – it dominates the Aussie red category. Barossa Valley, less than an hour’s drive from Adelaide in South Australia, is one of the world’s great wine regions and it is famous for its full-flavoured Shiraz, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Wines from the New World (such as Australia) tend to be more ripe, fruit-forward and round than wines from the Old World (such as France), which might show more structure and non-fruit notes of flint, spice and earth, but there are plenty of exceptions.
Among the finest examples of Australian wine are Leeuwin Estate and Torbreck, both of which are available at aeclub.com.my.
Family-owned Leeuwin Estate is one of the five founding wineries of the now famous Margaret River district of Western Australia. It is under the direction of two generations who work with a team of highly skilled winemakers to consistently produce wines ranking alongside the world’s finest.
In 1972, legendary Napa Valley winemaker, Robert Mondavi, identified the future site of the Leeuwin vineyard as being ideal for the production of premium wine and provided early mentorship to Denis and Tricia Horgan in the transformation of their cattle farm into Leeuwin Estate.
Enjoying its first commercial vintage in 1979, Leeuwin was thrust into the international spotlight when Decanter Magazine gave its highest recommendation to the 1981 “Art Series” Chardonnay.
The international accolades have continued and Leeuwin now exports to 30 markets. The prestigious Langton’s Classification of Australian wine includes Leeuwin Estate Art Series Chardonnay in the top “Exceptional” category and among the iconic “Heritage Five” celebrating Australia’s most exceptional, ground-breaking wines, whilst Art Series Cabernet Sauvignon is classified as “Outstanding”.
Since 1994, Torbreck has been committed to creating exceptional Rhone-style red and white wines reflecting the very best vineyards in Australia’s famous Barossa Valley.
Torbreck believes the Barossa is the most exciting place to make wine in the world, with its gentle Mediterranean climate and 175 years of Silesian and English commitment to winemaking and grape-growing.
There is a European sense of tradition here that means vines planted in the 1840s – many of them Rhone varieties such as Shiraz, Grenache, and Mourvédre – still thrive and bear fruit of unique concentration and flavour.
The multi-generational growers, whose descendants arrived here nearly two centuries ago, are the backbone of Torbreck’s winemaking aspirations. Without their knowledge of the seasons and the soil, we would not have such a precious resource of fruit to work with.
Torbreck has also been fortunate to have the opportunity to invest in the protection of some of the Barossa’s most precious vineyards, after accepting fruit from them over many years. The historic Hillside Vineyard at Lyndoch, The Laird Vineyard in the sub-region of Marananga and the Greenock Keller Vineyard owned by the Schultz family, are all now under the custodianship of Torbreck.