The #WorldWineTravel writers are exploring the white wines of New South Wales Australia this month. Here’s the thing…they can be hard to find. I was lucky enough to have 2 in the cellar that we brought back from a trip. So, not all the writers may have been able to find one. We are going to allow people to color outside the lines a bit here.
But let me tell you a bit about New South Wales Australia!
New South Wales Australia
This is the region that includes Sydney. It is also the region that has been recently pounded by flooding and not too long ago was battered by fires, so you may have seen a bit of the region in photos.
The region is located in Western Australia North of Victoria and South of Queensland. Sydney sits about a third of the way up its coast.
You can divide the region into 3 sections;
- North of Sydney
- West of Sydney and
- South of Sydney.
North of Sydney you find the regions of New England, Hastings River on the coast and the Hunter Valley.
South of Sydney near the coast you find Southern Highlands and the Shoalhaven Coast. Further inland there is the Canberra Districk, Hilltops, Gundagai, Tumbarumba, Riverina and Perricoota.
West of Sydney over the Blue Mountains you find Mudgee, Orange and Cowra.
South of Syndey
Riverina is the largest of these GI (protected Geographical Indications, similar to an AVA, a DOC or and AOC). This region is mostly known for bulk wine. Yellowtail finds its home here. But there are smaller wineries with an artisanal style popping up!
Perricoota is the smallest GI in NSW. The region sits on the Murray River and as a result has lush vineyards.
Gundagai is an emerging region with some exciting diversity in varieties.
Tumbarumba has an alpine microclimate perfect for highly aromatic wines.
Canberra District is known for its award-winning cool climate wines. The climate here is said to be similar to that of the Rhône Valley and they focus on Shiraz and Viognier.
Hilltops is known for cherries and high altitude wines they have the same Terra Rossa Soils that the Coonawarra District of South Australia is known for.
Southern Highlands is a beautiful lush region that sees all 4 seasons. Early on it became the place for those from Sydney to escape the summer heat. It is home to beautiful vineyards with talented wine makers and amazing chefs.
Shoalhaven Coast sits just south of Sydney on the Coast. It is the place to get out to town to and find less crowded beaches. Here you find vineyards that overlook the sea.
West of Sydney
Cowra sits in the fertile Lachlan Valley. You find many of the big Australian wineries have estate vineyards here, but boutique wineries are on the rise.
Mudgee sits near the charming town of the same name. It sits out in the Wilderness, a fact I can attest to after our drive there. Once you are there, the town is welcoming and the outskirts are dotted with vineyards and wineries, you will find Italian wines, Riesling, biodynamic vineyards…there is a little bit of something for everyone and wonderful passionate winemakers.
Orange is the largest high-altitude region in NSW. You will find history and culture here, and the wines are fabulous. Grown in soils thrown out by Mount Canobolas you find volcanic basalt soils, well drained clay loam, and sandy clay loam soils. The cool climate here makes it great for white wines as well as sparkling. You also find delicious Nebbiolos and of course, Shiraz.
North of Sydney
New England is the furthest North GI and is the newest winegrowing region, but it does have a bit of history. The first vineyards were planted in the 1850s, but the industry dried up by the 1920s. It was not until 1968 that vineyards were planted again. The 1990s saw a resurgence in the area. Today there is experimentation with new varieties, past the traditional, Chard, Riesling, Sav Blanc and Shiraz.
Hastings River sits on the Coast around the town of Port Macquarie. The climate goes from tropical to subtropical as you go from river to ocean, country to city.
The Hunter Valley is best known for its Semillon. It is the oldest of Australia’s wine regions. Due to the area it covers it is environmentally diverse. Vines were first planted here in the 1820s from cuttings brought by Australia’s father of wine James Busby. There is history here and they are proud of it. That doesn’t mean that they get stodgy with their wines. You will find winemakers ready to grab a bottle or a Magnum, perhaps labels with a white marker and throw some meat on the barbeque to kick back and boisterously discuss wine! The region is a getaway for tourists and has great restaurants, and venues for concerts. You will find great food, great wine and great conversation here.
Not the easiest to find!
Sadly Australia is on the other side of the globe and getting wines from the smaller wineries to the States, well that is not always easy. While you are sure to find a bottle of Yellowtail, something from a smaller winery may not be easily available. Of course you can help with that. Go in and ask your local wine shop for these wines. They more demand, the more likely they are to find a way to bring them in. Or…you could hop a flight and go visit! (I highly recommend that!)
The #WorldWineTravel Writers will gather on Saturday, July 23rd at 8 am Pacific or 11 am Eastern to discuss white wines from New South Wales and beyond on Twitter. You can join us by following and using the hashtag #WorldWineTravel.
Here are the Articles my colleagues and I will be sharing!
- Jeff with Food Wine Click is sharing “Why Does WSET Love Hunter Valley Semillon?“
- Wendy with A Day in the Life on the Farm shares “Yellow Tail Wine Round 2 and the Weekly Menu“
- Terri of Our Good Life shares “Simply Summer’s Best: BBQ Pork Steaks and Rock It Like a Redhead Sauvignon Blanc“
- Nicole at Somm’s Table shares “Tyrrell’s Hunter Valley Semillon and Seared Salmon Steaks“
- Gwendolyn Alley of Wine Predator shares “Burning Man 2022: Waking Dreams, Secretly Abandoned Spaces, Minstrel Cramp, and the Fox in the Henhouse“
- Deanna with Wineivore shares “Korean Bar Snacks with Biodynamic Somos Orange Verdehlo Wine”
- Cam of Culinary Adventures with Cam shares “A Sémillon from New South Wales + A Snack from Japan”
- Here at Crushed Grape Chronicles, we are sharing “Semillons from New South Wales Australia – comparing the young and the old”
Robin Renken is a wine writer and Certified Specialist of Wine and WSET 3 Certified. She and her husband Michael travel to wine regions interviewing vineyard owners and winemakers and learning the stories behind the glass.
When not traveling they indulge in cooking and pairing wines with food at home in Las Vegas.