Australia's top 10 white wine producers
- Friday 31 August 2012
The mere idea of selecting my top 10 Australian white producers is almost an insult to the next 10 – no, the next 50 – in line. I could easily have picked all 10 from purveyors of Hunter Valley Semillon, or Yarra Valley Chardonnay. The important thing was to find a balance between big and small, old and new, varietal specialisations and regions.
If I’d done this 80 years ago, Yalumba would again have figured – but as a master of Riesling. Otherwise, the map has changed beyond recognition. Chardonnay, almost unknown 35 years ago, is now one of Australia’s greatest strengths. Semillon, always a strong suit, is better than ever before, and while it’s a hard sell, its makers and drinkers are ever more passionate.
And there’s a panoply of ‘new’ grapes: Viognier, Pinot Gris, Fiano, Arneis, Vermentino, Roussanne, Gruner Veltliner, Friulano, Greco, Garganega, Grenache Blanc, even Bianco d’Alessano.
Improvement in Aussie whites isn’t limited to the variety: site selection and choice of winemaking technique ensures we have an increasingly fascinating menu from which to drink.