World Beater? The short history of Australian wine.

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By Robert Horvat

The success Australian wine has received over the years is amazing. It, of course, is cyclic depending on things like droughts, floods and pests. In its infancy there were serious doubts about its viability, which was noted in the 1864 edition of Wine, the Vine and the Cellar by English wine merchant T.G. Shaw. He wrote, “So far as I can learn, Australia is not well adapted, either by soil or climate, for growing wine and this opinion seems confirmed by the unsuccessful efforts of many years.” If only Shaw had a crystal ball to see how far Australian winemakers have come today, to be one of the world’s preeminent producers and exporters of wine.

Australia’s reputation as one of the world’s leading wine exporter, as I have hinted, didn’t happen overnight. In the last thirty years or so, Australia’s modern wine making industry embarked on an aggressive…

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