If you love a good natural white wine, there is a fair chance it may not be from a traditional European country or region like France or Italy. As Europeans colonised far-flung parts of the world down the centuries, they took winemaking traditions with them.
This means there are many places from which what are often called ‘new world wines’ are sourced, with Australia being an example of a country that now has many well-established wine-growing regions.
Perhaps the best-known is the Barossa Valley of South Australia. Unlike other parts of the country, this state did not begin as a convict colony, with a strict free settlers-only policy.
Among those who came were Huguenots fleeing religious persecution in Europe and it was one of them, a German man named Johann Gramp, who planted the first vines by the banks of Jacob’s Creek in 1847, producing the first wines from around 1850 and starting one of the most famous Australian brands.
What is notable is that many Jacob’s Creek wines are white - such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio - as these are in the minority in the Barossa; the soils are well suited to growing grapes for red wine, which is why there are some notable Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Malbec wines produced in the valley.
Other major wine names associated with the valley - although some of these produce wines in other Australian regions too - include Lindemans, Penfolds and Chateau Yaldara. The last of these is named after the building itself, which looks so French it has a proud boast that adverts for French wines are shot there.
With its convenient location to the north-east of Adelaide, the Barossa Valley is a popular destination for tourists, either to stay or just to come from the city on a day trip. But you don’t need to travel there to become familiar with its many fine wines.