Australian White Wine Varieties

When it comes to wine, Australia should not be disregarded, as it’s the 4th largest wine producer and exporter in the world. Approximately 750 million litres of Australian wine ends up on the international market and the local market is also strong. Australians love consuming wine and a massive 530 million litres is consumed each year with white wine being the most popular at 50% followed by red wine at 35%.

Practically, every state of Australia is producing wine with places like South Australia’s Adelaide Hills, Western Australia’s Margaret River and New South Wales’ Hunter Valley regarded as some of the top wine growing regions. All up, Australia has about 60 regions that are entirely designated to growing grapes and making wine, which cover about 160,000 hectares of land, the main regions being located in the southern part, where the air is cooler.

When it comes to grapes and wines varieties, there are quite a few, the following list presenting the most popular types of grapes and the wines these regions produce:


Sauvignon Blanc is a white grape variety, with a light green skin. Originally, these grapes come from Bordeaux, a region in France, from which it spread all over the world. The climate can influence the flavor of these grapes, which ranges between grassy and exotic notes. The wine made from these grapes is fresh, crisp, and elegant, being the perfect accompaniment for cheese and one of the few wines that can be served with sushi.

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This is another type of white grape variety, which comes from Portugal, being mainly planted in Madeira. It’s known for being richer in sugar in comparison with other white grape types, so the taste of the wine is also be sweeter. In Australia, Verhelho is famous for its honeysuckle and lime flavours, and tends to get an oily texture once it starts aging.


A type of white grape with a beautiful golden skin, the Semillon is commonly used in France and Australia. This grape variety is well known for the fact that it produces sweet and dry wines, with a citrusy flavor, of lime or green apple.


This is a white variety of grapes that originates from the Burgundy area of France, famous for its wine. Its versatility and flavours, plus its importance to wine making, made the Chardonnay appreciated and cultivated around the world. In warm locations, such as Australia, the body of the Chardonnay wine tends to be rather acidic, with a fruity flavor of pear, plum, or apple.

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Riesling is a white grape type originally from Germany. It is highly regarded because it tends to produce very aromatic grapes. Its flavor is rather flowery, almost like a perfume, although in Australia it also gets a citrusy taste, similar to lime.


Pinot Gris or Pinot Grigio is the white variety of Pinot Noir. The fruits have a grayish-blue color, which explains the name. The wine produced from this type of grape has a variety of colours, ranging from a brilliant gold to a coppery shade, and even a soft shade if pink. It is appreciated for its light body and rather spicy flavor.

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by Fiona S