New South Wales
Vines arrived in New South Wales with the earliest European settlers and were first planted, rather unsuccessfully, at Sydney Cove. These days the State’s wine industry is flourishing and is predicted to overtake South Australia as the country’s leading grape producer by 2010.
Divided into 14 regions, each markedly different from the next in climate and terroir, New South Wales produces a hugely diverse collection of very good wines. Probably the best known region is the Hunter Valley which produces “Australia’s unique gift to the world”, its world famous Semillon.
Another widely recognised region within New South Wales is Mudgee, where the Mediterranean climate creates beautiful Cabernet Sauvignon. Here, as with many NSW regions, wine producers are beginning to experiment with older European varieties, so look out for Mudgee Sangiovese and Barbera.
Canberra, similar in climate to the Rhone, produces fine Shiraz and in recent times has been experiencing winning successes with Riesling. Riverina’s Botrytis Semillons are world-class stickies. Hastings River leads with Verdelho, Perricoota with Shiraz. Keep a close eye on the stellar Shoalhaven region, a recent contender on the International scene with its red, Chambourcin.