The classic Australian red wine

Shiraz was one of the original varieties brought into Australia and is firmly established as our iconic grape.

It is grown in all regions and these different terroirs in combination with creative winemaking results in a complex array of styles and qualities.

Shiraz snapshot

  • With vineyards dating back to 1843 Australia has the world’s oldest Shiraz vines still in production
  • There are ungrafted, pre-phylloxera Shiraz vineyards spread across Australia with the single largest repository in the Barossa Valley

In the vineyard

  • Shiraz is Australia’s best known and most widely planted variety
  • Grown in virtually every wine region in Australia
  • Shiraz is relatively adaptable and can be grown in moderate to cool regions as well as warm areas
Regions

Shiraz thrives in moderate to warm climate areas.

Styles

Shiraz creates medium to full-bodied wines with varying flavour profiles and structure depending on region, climate and winemaking techniques.

Qualities

A wide range of qualities exist. Affordable, everyday drinking wines through to some of Australia's most sought after, collectible fine wines.

39,900ha
Total plantings (2014-15)
Late 1700s
First plantings

In the winery

Vinification techniques
  • Vinification techniques vary depending on style and quality
  • Whole bunch use has increased – destemming still very common
  • Shiraz partners well with several other varieties. The classic blend of Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvedre (GSM) in varying proportions has a long tradition, as does the Shiraz Cabernet blend
  • Co-fermenting a small proportion of Viognier with Shiraz has led to the trendy Shiraz Viognier style
Maturation
  • Oak use common for maturation
  • Less reliance on new oak especially American, more use of French oak and combinations of different oak types for complexity
  • Use of older barrels for subtlety – some fresh, early-drinking styles see no oak at all

Major regional expressions

Barossa Valley

  • The is one of Australia’s oldest and best known regions for Shiraz
  • Barossa is home to some of the oldest Shiraz vines in the world – Langmeil Freedom vineyard was planted in 1843 and is still producing today
  • Barossa Shiraz is one of the most widely available and best-known red wines in the global market
  • It is an important variety in the classic Shiraz-Cabernet and GSM blends
  • Full-bodied, richly textured wines with blackberry, pepper and spice characters
Read more on Barossa Valley

Clare Valley

  • The Clare Valley is known for Riesling but the paradox is that Shiraz also thrives in this region
  • The warm days are ideal for the development of rich Shiraz flavours and the consistently cool nights aid in acid retention
  • Full-bodied richly textured wines with typical flavours of blackberry, black cherry, plum and licorice
Read more on Clare Valley

Eden Valley

  • Eden Valley is part of the greater Barossa Zone
  • Vineyards sit at higher altitudes which affects the growing conditions and style of wine
  • Harvest takes place up to two weeks later that the Barossa Valley
  • Henschke Hill of Grace is located in this region
  • Medium to full-bodied wines with classic blackberry, sage and pepper notes
Read more on Eden Valley

Heathcote

  • Shiraz is ideally suited to this region and is the most planted variety
  • Shiraz thrives in the ancient Cambrian soils which are over 500 million years old
  • The weight and texture of the best wines is similar to Barossa but the flavour profile is very different
  • Medium to full-bodied wines with rich dark fruit and spice and an iron-like minerality
Read more on Heathcote

Hunter Valley

  • The Hunter Valley is Australia’s oldest wine producing region
  • Shiraz is one of the signature grapes of the region but the style is decidedly different to other famous regions such as Barossa and McLaren Vale
  • The growing season is warm and condensed but without big heat spikes
  • The wines are typically medium-bodied with red fruit and savoury characters
Read more on Hunter Valley

McLaren Vale

  • Temperatures in McLaren Vale are affected by the proximity of the sea – a classic Mediterranean climate
  • Shiraz is the most planted red variety and considered to be the signature grape of the region
  • Typically full-bodied wines with rich blueberry fruit and chocolate character
Read more on McLaren Vale

In the glass

Style and character

Shiraz creates wines with medium to full-bodied character and varying flavour profiles and structure depending on region, climate and techniques.

Pairs with

Charcuterie, grilled and roasted meats (lamb, beef and game), stews and casseroles, firm, aged cheeses.

Typical flavours

Spice
Red Fruit
Pepper
Black Fruit

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