News Articles

What sets Australian wine apart?

Publish Date: Not Available

Authored by: Tyson Stelzer

Wine writer Tyson Stelzer points to three wine styles unique to Australia, as well as the advantages we have over Old World counterparts.

Australia is privileged to a unique position in the wine world in three distinctive wine styles unrivalled anywhere else: the dry semillons of the Hunter Valley (well represented by Tyrrell’s Vat 1 Hunter Semillon), the dry rieslings of, especially, the Great Southern, Clare and Eden Valleys, and Australia’s definitive red blend of cabernet sauvignon and shiraz.

Four other wine styles deserve to be added to the list of what this country does best. While Australia’s highlights in these styles may not yet be the equal of their global benchmarks, all offer distinction and affordability that set them apart. Tasmanian sparkling is an affordable substitute to Champagne. Western Australian cabernet presents consistency, reliability and affordability that runs rings around Bordeaux. Chardonnay is arguably Australia’s greatest varietal, rivalling all but Burgundy’s Grand Crus. And, of course, shiraz is our most important and most celebrated varietal; it put Australia on the wine map and continues to keep it there.

Tyson Stelzer's ultimate Aussie six-pack

1. Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet Sauvignon Shiraz
RRP $90 | Barossa Valley | Penfolds

2. House of Arras Blanc de Blancs
RRP $70 | Northern Tasmania | Bay of Fires



3. Cullen Diana Madeline

RRP $125 | Margaret River | Cullen Wines



4. Henschke Hill of Grace Shiraz

RRP $700 | Eden Valley | Henschke 

5. Grosset Polish Hill Riesling
RRP $60 | Clare Valley | Grosset

6. Xanadu Stevens Road Margaret River Chardonnay
RRP $70 | Margaret River | Xanadu Wines

*Don’t miss our video intro to defining Australian wine with Halliday Wine Companion reviewer Lak Quach.

The Defining Australian Wine series is produced with thanks to our brand partner Winery Lane, an online marketplace designed to unite wine lovers with our nation’s best independent winemakers. Watch Winery Lane’s Stephen Mobbs tackle the topic of what makes an archetypally Aussie wine.

Subscribe to Wine Companion today

Become a member

Let's Socialise Stay Connected

Become a member and get access to more than 100,000 tasting notes

Join today

For the full winecompanion.com.au experience, please update your web browser. to something less antiquated

Special Value

Wines considered to offer special value for money.