Australia's first vineyards were planted in 1788 in a small area near the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Nowadays you will find vineyards planted throughout more than 60 designated wine regions totalling approximately 160,000 hectares. Although Australia's vineyards are concentrated in the cooler regions, furthest from the equator, there is enough climatic variation to suit pretty much any grape variety.
Current export figures place Australia as the fourth largest exporter of wine, selling to more than 100 countries around the world. Australia is a respected leader in combining tradition with new ideas and technical innovation and produces a wide variety of wine styles.
In 2001 Australia introduced a new classification system which defines regional boundaries to ensure that grape varieties are concentrated in the most appropriate climatic conditions to provide the best wines.
The Riverina, the Barossa and Hunter valleys, McLaren Vale and Margaret River are some of the top regions in Australia providing their most famous and celebrated wines.