They say 'Syrah', we say 'Shiraz'!

They say 'Syrah', we say 'Shiraz'!

Find out why Shiraz is so well known and loved in the Australian Wine World.
New Zealand - a special corner of the world Reading They say 'Syrah', we say 'Shiraz'! 3 minutes

Australian Shiraz, known as Syrah in its European homeland, has a rich history and a distinct reputation in the world of wine. Its journey from France to Australia, adaptation to the Australian terroir, and diverse winemaking approaches have made it a special and iconic wine variety.

Shiraz arrived in Australia with early European settlers in the 19th century. The grape was initially planted in the Hunter Valley in New South Wales, and its cultivation spread rapidly to other regions. The name "Shiraz" is believed to have been adopted in Australia due to its resemblance to the Persian city of the same name, where the Syrah grape may have originated.

Australian Shiraz is renowned for its ability to adapt to various Australian terroirs. The country's vast size and diverse climates have allowed winemakers to craft Shiraz wines with a wide range of styles and flavors. From the cooler climate regions of Victoria's Yarra Valley to the warm and sunny Barossa Valley in South Australia, each region imparts its unique characteristics to the grapes, resulting in diverse expressions of Shiraz.

Australian Shiraz is celebrated for its bold and robust profile. It shows ripe dark fruit flavors, such as blackberry, plum, and cherry, along with hints of black pepper, spices, and often a touch of eucalyptus. The wines are known for their generous fruitiness, full body, and velvety tannins, which contribute to their approachability in their youth while also having excellent aging potential.

Let's explore some regions and styles in which Shiraz shines.

Barossa Valley Shiraz: Barossa Valley, South Australia, is perhaps the most famous region for Shiraz in Australia. Its wines are known for their opulence, with rich, ripe fruit flavors, full-bodied structure, and often higher alcohol content. Barossa Shiraz often has a warm, sun-kissed character.

Margaret River Shiraz: Located in the south west of Western Australia, Margaret River is known for its elegant and refined Shiraz wines. These wines showcase a balance between fruit, acidity, and fine-grained tannins. They often exhibit red fruit flavors, floral notes, and subtle spice.

Cool Climate Shiraz: Regions like Yarra Valley, Adelaide Hills, and Tasmania produce cool climate Shiraz. These wines are characterized by their vibrant acidity, lower alcohol levels, and a focus on fruit purity. They often express flavors of red berries, white pepper, and floral nuances.

Shiraz-Viognier Blends: Inspired by the Côte-Rôtie wines of France, some Australian winemakers blend a small amount of Viognier with Shiraz. This addition enhances the aromatics and adds a touch of floral and stone fruit notes to the wine.

Australian Shiraz's history, adaptability, and diverse styles have made it a special and versatile wine that appeals to a wide range of palates. Whether you prefer the bold, powerful expressions or the elegant, cool-climate styles, Australian Shiraz offers a world of flavors and experiences to explore.