New South Wales is the birthplace of Australia’s wine industry. Wine grapes were planted there in the late 18th century by the governor of the colony, but wine wasn’t successfully produced until the early 19th century when James Busby brought 600 vine samples from across Europe and figured how to make them thrive. He wrote an influential manual for growing wine grapes and winemaking and by the mid-19th century wines from New South Wales were earning awards at wine expositions in Paris. Perhaps surprisingly, a sparkling wine from New South Wales particularly appealed to the French. Today the 309,000 square-mile region is home to Sydney and Australia’s largest concentration of consumers, making New South Wales a perennially bustling region for new wine startups and innovation. The Hunter Valley is the most prestigious wine sub region in New South Wales, while some other parts of New South Wales produce mostly mass market, boxed wines. There are many microclimates in New South Wales, from the maritime climates on the Pacific Coast to high elevation, cooler climates and hot, high humidity climates. About 30% of all the wine made in Australia comes from New South Wales. Many grapes are grown here, from Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon to Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Semillon.
One of the most widely grown grape varieties, it can be found in nearly every wine growing region. A cross between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc. It’s a hardy vine that produces a full-bodied wine with high tannins and great aging potential.