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Yes—There’s More Than Yellowtail Down Under. Get to Know Australia’s Thriving Wine Scene With a 
Local Food & Wine PR Pro


 

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Getting to know a region’s wines helps you get to know the region itself.  In markets and restaurants around the world, Australia is most often represented by a bottle — or two— of Shiraz. Their own word for the French grape Syrah, Australia spent millions creating a global brand for this full bodied red wine produced en masse in hot southern climates such as the country’s famous Barossa Valley.

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While you can’t go wrong with a nice bottle of Shiraz, Australian wine makers have so much more to offer. Australia is after all a massive country with an influx of different peoples and a diversity of climates still being explored. Add in the adventurous Aussie spirit, and you’ve got all the right ingredients for a rich and varied wine culture.

To guide us through all things Australian wine, we turned to local foodie and entrepreneur Lindy Thompson. In over 15 years as a PR and marketing consultant in hospitality, Lindy has worked alongside some of the best chefs and sommeliers in Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane, indulging her passion and curiosity for food and wine along the way.

“I love the way the people within this industry are so passionate about what they do,” Lindy tells us. “I would discover, by osmosis (and also, luckily, by lots of tasting!), how a particular red gina-with-winewine blend would bring out the best in a venison dish, or how the complex sweet, sour, salty flavors of Modern Asian Food (which Australia does particularly well) will go with a crisp Riesling or Gewurztraminer. It’s been a diverse education from a wide bunch of very talented professionals who take their industry, but not themselves, very seriously!” 

Lindy has recently left her bustling city life in Sydney for the wine country of Orange, NSW, where she can witness the blossoming culture first hand. “This is a magical food and wine town,” says Lindy. “Foodies come from far and wide to taste the delicious produce and the most amazing cool climate wines.” Having fallen in love with Orange, Lindy is working on launching her own bespoke food and wine tours of the region — Gumboot Gourmet.  Read on to learn about her favorite wines, wineries, and cellar doors from the sprawling country she calls home.

 

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The Quintessential Pour
Penfold’s – Grange (Shiraz) | Barossa Valley, South Australia

left-quote I remember once asking a somm friend what I should eat when drinking a bottle of Grange that someone had given me for my birthday, and they said with your favorite (gourmet) pizza and friends! It’s this kind of attitude that sets us apart I think. Good food and wine are to be enjoyed with good friends! right-quote

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Must-Visit Wineries

 

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Lowe Wines | Mudgee, NSW
left-quote This place is beautiful, and now has a sublime restaurant overlooking one of the vineyards — the Zin House, by local chef Kim Currie. She uses local produce wherever she can. right-quote

Visit

 

Pizzini Wines | King Valley, Victoria
left-quote I hear great things about the Cellar Door and Cooking School at Pizzini Wines in the King Valley of Victoria. They are a family owned winery and a fantastic example of the multi-cultural layers Australia enjoys. I love their wines, especially their Rosetta. right-quote

Visit

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Philip Shaw Wines | Orange, NSW
left-quote Philip Shaw has just completed building a new Cellar Door, which will become more and more stunning as it continues to evolve. There is a wood-fired pizza oven, kitchen vegetable garden and rolling fields where you can relax and taste their wines. It’s another family owned business, with premium wines, but there is also something cheeky about what they do. Look out for their creative labels and names like “The Idiot Shiraz”! right-quote

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The Up-and-Comer
De Salis Wines | Orange, NSW

left-quote On Mt. Canobolas (an extinct volcano), in the cool climate region of Nashdale, husband and wife team Charlie and Loretta Svenson adhere to a minimalist winemaking practice, challenging “industrial” wine culture. An ex-university research scientist, Charlie loves to talk through the philosophy behind his wines. Their handcrafted wines are produced using the classic French varieties: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Pinot Meuniere — and they are spectacular! They also have a small but stunning Cellar Door overlooking their loft vineyard. right-quote

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Your Wine Country Escape

 

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Visit
Orange, NSW
left-quote I am obviously a bit biased because I did move here only a year ago, but the beauty of the countryside takes my breath away every day! You get all four seasons here and the colors are magnificent. In winter it’s the place to sip on a good local red by a soaring log fire. There are friendly people, wonderful restaurants, stylish bars and pubs, plus the most amazing food and wine festivals throughout the year. right-quote

 

Margaret River, Western Australia
left-quote This is my favorite maritime climate wine destination. Similar to Orange, in that there’s a plethora of fabulous restaurants and produce in the area, but the big difference is that it is also close to the beach, with some of the best surfing in Australia. right-quote
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Lindy’s Wine Guide
 
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Winning Combinations
Want to try something new? Look for these wine regions on a label and you’re on the right track.

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Lindy’s Wine Guide

If You Like
Chardonnay

Try
Devils Lair (Margaret River, WA); Canobolas-Smith (Orange, NSW); Oak Ridge (Yarra Valley, VIC); Yabby Lake (Mornington Peninsula, VIC)

If You Like
Sauvignon Blanc

Try
Angullong (Orange, NSW); Sorrenberg’s Sauvignon Blanc/Semillon (Beechworth, VIC)

If You Like
Cabernet

Try
Moss Wood or Cullen Wines from the Margaret River, WA

If You Like
Pinot Noir

Try
Stefano Lubiana (TAS); William Downie (Mornington Peninsula, VIC)

If You Like
Organic / Biodynamic Wine

Try
Lark Hill Winery in the Canberra Region, NSW

If You Like
Rose

Try
Spinifex (Barossa Valley, SA); Pizzini Rosetta (King Valley, VIC); Well Mannered’s Rose of Sangiovese (Mudgee, NSW)

If You Like
Sparkling

Try
House of Arras (Tasmania); Logan Vintage ‘M’ Cuvee (Orange, NSW)

If You Like
Riesling

Try
Grosset “Polish Hill”  (Clare Valley, SA)

If You Like
Shiraz

Try
Philip Shaw “No. 89” (Orange, NSW) Eden Road Wines Canberra Shiraz (Murrumbateman, NSW)

Winning Combinations
Want to try something new? Look for these wine regions on a label and you’re on the right track.

Riesling + Clare Valley, South Australia

Cabernet + Margaret River, Western Australia

Chardonnay + Beechworth & The Yarra Valley, Victoria

Chardonnay or Shiraz + Orange, New South Wales

Shiraz + Murrumbateman, New South Wales

Shiraz + Adelaide Hills, South Australia

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