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Championing diversity in Australia: Emerging grape varieties and 12 wines to try

Having had two decades to take root, a host of Mediterranean and other more specialist grape varieties are producing some stellar wines in Australia – and changing perceptions of how the country is seen on the global wine stage.

Montepulciano: savoury, sophisticated, nuanced and delicious. And from South Australia, not Southern Italy – an unexpected punchline that draws a double-take from many.

Isn’t Australian wine all about Chardonnay and Shiraz, and sunny, exuberant generosity? It still is in many cases, but the narrative is being changed by a diverse cast of Mediterranean grape varieties that have been planted across the country over the past 25 years. They are an exciting breed of new Australians – wines that shout proudly of their adoptive homeland while still remembering their European heritage.

Scroll down for notes and scores of 12 wines made from Australia’s emerging varieties

Australia’s emerging varieties: 12 wines to try

While growing in volume and popularity, these wines still represent only a tiny fraction of Australia’s wine production. Many are made in small quantities, so it doesn’t make commercial sense yet to export them – especially as savvy Australian wine lovers snap them up on release so they sell out fast.

If you want to get your hands on a few bottles, one option is to go direct to the winery to see if they can ship to your address. Second could be to use a shipping agent who is used to offering cellar door-to-doorstep services. Third, be patient and wait for an importer to order the wines to your country or check Winesearcher regularly to see if new stockists and retailers are listed. Finally, you could try nagging your local merchant to see if they could order it in specially? Good luck! 

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