Wine Tips

How Australian Wine Regions Are Defined

wine regions

You love your wine cellar when it’s full of Australian wines…

Have you ever wondered how the Australian Wine Regions got allocated?

In this article we’ll explain in brief why the regions were defined and how.

Australia has more than 60 designated wine regions across the country and has developed a worldwide reputation for its award-winning wines.

Each region produces slightly different wine varieties and styles depending on the local soil conditions.

To allow Australian wine to be sold in Europe, the Australian wine industry had to comply with EC regulations governing regional marketing and content for wines.

This meant that 85% of the wine must come from the region named on the bottle.

In 1980, the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation (AWBC) was established and has the role of ensuring label integrity.

The first task was for the Australian wine industry to establish regions. Without the historic boundaries that defined Europe’s regions, the AWBC used geographical indications to name Zones.

There are 8 zones and within those zones there are 62 defined wine regions. These wine regions can be divided into sub-regions.

Regions and sub regions must be a single tract of land where grapes are harvested.


They must be separate from neighbouring regions or sub-regions and must produce at least 500 tonnes of wine grapes each year. There must also be at least 5 wineries within the region or sub-region.

Regions can differ from each other based on the types of soil that the vines are grown in.

Another factor is the climate that the vines experience and the type of land. For example higher altitude will be considerably different from those at a lower altitude.

Also the aspect and temperature range can have a bearing on what wine can be produced. All these factors add up to make wine from a particular region unique.

Wine makers must keep audit-able records of what grape is used to make a wine so that the buyer can be sure the wine on the label is what is in the bottle. This is good news for the buyer as it ensures consistent quality.

So, why not give yourself a challenge – taste at least one wine from each of the Australian wine regions. We’re sure you’ll sample some great drops!

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