Shiraz is the name given to the dark-skinned Syrah grape when grown in Australia and selected pockets of the New World. Though genetically identical, the stylistic differences between Shiraz and Syrah are pronounced enough to consider them distinct varieties. Shiraz is so important to Australian viticulture that it is the most planted grape variety in the majority of Australian vineyards and is virtually synonymous with marquée wine regions such as the Barossa Valley.... more
Western Australia is the largest of the eight administrative zones and territories of Australia. Covering the entire western third of the vast island continent, 'WA' (as it is widely called) spans 1000 miles (1600km) from east to west and roughly the same distance from north to south. This makes it the second-largest administrative sub-division of any country in the world – bigger than Alaska and Texas combined.
The Western Australian wine regions, of which Margaret River is the most famous, are clustered in the state's cooler, coastal, south-western corner. The northern and eastern two-thirds of WA are too hot – and either too dry or too humid – to support quality viticulture. The north-western corner is the hottest area of Australia as a whole, with summer tempera ... more
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 liters, valued at 2.2 billion Australian dollars.