Sunday, 1 December 2013

Australia's wine regions - Western Australia

Western Australian Wine Regions
Australia's wine regions have not only gained well-deserved reputations for their wines but also for producing top-quality foods. Margaret River, for example, is known for its dairy products, Mudgee for honey and olives, Orange for meats and stone fruit, and Queensland’s Granite Belt for apples and pears. Cellar-door tastings and sales are usually available and at small family-owned wineries visitors will often find themselves being greeted by the winemaker.

1 Swan Valley, Western Australia

Historic wineries, family-owned vineyards and international producers alike occupy picturesque riverside locations only a short trip from Perth. Many cellar doors can be visited on river-borne wine tours and host musical events, dinners and picnic concerts. The region is best known for its whites (verdelho, chardonnay and chenin blanc), but good reds are made here, as well as fortified wines.

2 Geographe, Western Australia

This region enjoys the moderating maritime influences of Geographe Bay, which in turn encourages the production of full-bodied reds and full-flavoured whites. Italian families originally planted vineyards around Harvey in the north; today’s vineyards are found around Busselton in the south, Bunbury in the centre, and inland to the south and east along the Ferguson Valley and the Darling Range around Collie and Donnybrook.

3 Margaret River, Western Australia

Internationally renowned cabernet sauvignons and chardonnays are produced here at more than 100 wineries. Visitors are made welcome at the sometimes rustic, sometimes elaborate cellar doors, many of which have top-notch restaurants. Diverse micro climates play a part in the success of the Margaret River, which has an enviable reputation for its production of top-quality wines.

4 Great Southern, Western Australia

Sandy loam soils and a Mediterranean climate produce fine shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir and riesling in this sprawling coastal region centred on the towns of Mount Barker, Denmark, Porongorup, Albany and Frankland. Food and wine events take place throughout the year; the Great Southern Wine Festival is held every October in several locations. The surrounding agricultural districts also graze sheep and cattle and grow wild flowers.

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