Whats Up With Australian Wine?

Have you seen a picture of the grape vine? It is used in many paintings and has an infinitely delicate and fragile look to it. This is so even in reality. The grapes and grapevines are highly prone to getting hurt or bruised at any kind given time and during any kind of inclement weather conditions. Too much rain, bad crop of grapes; too little rain, bad vintage! Only a good rain fall and lovely summer with clement weather and preferably and early warm summer will beget a good harvest and a very fine vintage. However, you will only find out after the wine has been bottled and aged.

The El Ni?o, in2006-2007, caused severe conditions to prevail over the Southern hemisphere. Dry soil, extreme drought, severe frosts, hailstorms and bushfires resulting from it caused widespread destruction of crops and added the threat of disease. The grape production in Australia dropped by a whopping 32% from the previous year according to official Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) surveys. Not only was the quantity of the crop affected, but the quality too was severely impacted by the shortage of water and the smoke from the bushfires. What a huge impact the blowing of an 'ill wind' has on the vintage!

However, all was not lost so to speak. According to ABS 978 million liters of wine was produced in 2006-07. The earlier crops of 2003-2005 had produced some exceptionally good vintages, so the Australian wine Exports continued to see an increase in sales and were up by 4%. Even with decreasing prices of wine the Australian Wines have done well in exports worldwide.

Sales to the UK accounted for 34% of the total export according to ABS followed by the EU and then by North America. 2005-2006 produced some very fine Ros? wines. Though not as popular as the Australian Reds, they are gaining in popularity. They are basically partly made red wines and drunk very young. They are very adaptable to a variety of foods with which they can be drunk as accompaniments; easy to chill, fruity, light or full bodied, sparkling or still sweet or dry or even crisp, bone-dry. They can complement any kind of palate.

The Ros? especially complements the Australian's love of life outdoors, on the beach, at barbecues, the love of dining outside and long hot summer days. It has a combination of very summery aromas of seasonal fruits, raspberries, cherries, watermelons, strawberries, plums, kiwis, etc. Have the Ros's with Thai food (Charles Melton, Victoria 2006 or the Annies Lane, Clare Valley 2006), Barbecues (Bremerton Racy Ros? 2006 or the GibbstonValley Blanc Pinot Noir 2005), and even with Gourmet Pizza (Juniper Crossing Ros? 2006 or the Mount Majura Ros? 2006).

The El Ni?o may have given the Australian Industry a rough ride, but the earlier crop helped to ride out the turbulence. Therefore, the exports did not suffer too badly. Their domestic market sales also picked up by 4%.

The Australian Wine Industry is on an upswing, the graph is climbing, despite adverse conditions affecting production. Kudos to Australian Wine!

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About The Author, Ian Love
Ian Love is the owner of Perth Restaurant group West Valley and also owns Australian Wine retailer - Liquor Merchants and runs a great Australian wine club.