Australia

Australia is an extremely important wine-producing country, both in terms of quality and the sheer scale of its wine economy. It ranks sixth in the world in wine production and as at March 2010 was the fourth-biggest exporter of wine, with an annual total of 773 million litres, valued at 2.2 billion Australian dollars.

Australia has long been at the forefront of the New World wine renaissance, with a highly dedicated and professional industry based on research and development. Both Australia and the global wine industry have benefited from the technological advancements in wine-growing made by organisations such as the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI). The country's contribution to revolutionising vineyard management practices is also second to none.

Australia has developed a comprehensive appellation system, which complements its high production standards and the reputation of its wines.

The vast landscape of Australia, with its huge range of climatic and geographical conditions, makes it one of the most versatile wine-growing countries in the world. Overall, the climate is affected by its southerly latitude, but regional features such as altitude and proximity to the oceans also play a significant role. Wine is produced in all of Australia’s six states, but the vast majority is made in the southeast, in New South Wales, Victoria and particularly South Australia.

Australia's wine portfolio is almost as complete as one can imagine, and includes cult wines based on its very own Shiraz, southern Rhône-style Grenache Syrah Mourvèdre blends, classic fruit-forward aromatics led by Riesling from the Eden and Clare Valleys, highly acclaimed Chardonnay with or without barrel influence, unpretentious but delicious Hunter Valley Sémillon, heavy and complex fortified and dessert wines, and world-class sparkling wines.

The country has also played a major role in the globalisation of wine. Many of its brands have a strong international presence, as do its well-trained and well-qualified wine professionals, who have spread their expertise to many corners of the world.

Overall, Australia has a well-established and highly regarded wine industry which has set new benchmarks in quality wine production. With continued technological advancements and individual endeavours, these standards are expected to achieve even greater heights.
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