The Aussie Wine Trail – Melbourn Australia
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Shot on location in Australia this series takes the viewer on a journey through the historic wine regions of Australia. Produced by Sydney based Panorama Films International, this series will give rare access to the exotic and colorful world of Australian wine. While Australian wines are available for purchase in many countries, little is known about the vineyards, process, culture and people who cultivate the grapes. This may very well be the only wine series available on Australia.
Major grape varieties are Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, and Riesling. The country has no native grapes, and Vitis vinifera varieties were introduced from Europe and South Africa in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. Some varieties have been bred by Australian viticulturalists, for example Cienna and Tarrango.
Although Syrah was originally called Shiraz in Australia and Syrah elsewhere, its dramatic commercial success has led many Syrah producers around the world to label their wine “Shiraz”.
About 130 different grape varieties are used by commercial winemakers in Australia. Over recent years many winemakers have begun exploring so called “alternative varieties” other than those listed above. Many varieties from France, Italy and Spain for example Petit Verdot, Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese, Tempranillo and Viognier are becoming more common. Wines from many other varieties are being produced.
Australian winemaking results have been impressive and it has established benchmarks for a number of varietals, such as Chardonnay and Shiraz. Moreover, Australians have innovated in canopy management and other viticultural techniques and in wine-making, and they have a general attitude toward their work that sets them apart from producers in Europe. Australian wine-makers travel the wine world as highly skilled seasonal workers, relocating to the northern hemisphere during the off-season at home.” They are an important resource in the globalisation of wine and wine critic Matt Kramer notes that “the most powerful influence in wine today” comes from Australia (Kramer).
GSM is a name commonly used in Australia for a red wine consisting of a blend of Grenache, Shiraz (a.k.a. Syrah), and Mourvèdre. This blend originated from those used in some Southern Rhone wines, including Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Grenache is the lightest of the three grapes, producing a pale red juice with soft berry scents and a bit of spiciness. As a blending component, it contributes alcohol, warmth and fruitiness without added tannins. Shiraz can contribute full-bodied, fleshy flavors of black fruits and pepper. It adds color, backbone and tannins and provides the sense of balance such blends require. Mourvèdre contributes elegance, structure and acidity to the blend, producing flavors of sweet plums, roasted game and hints of tobacco.