Australia's most popular red grape? It's shiraz, with a diversity of styles beyond those of its Rhône Valley homeland. Australia has the world’s oldest shiraz vines (imported in 1832) and the variety leads our export charge. The temperate regions of South Australia (McLaren Vale, the Barossa and Clare Valleys) form the heart of our old-vine plantings, delivering rich plum and blackberry flavours, a firm tannin structure and the power to age for decades. It’s this bold, brash style that caught the attention of global wine critics.

However, in the 1980s, the fashion shifted to more elegant wines with cabernet sauvignon favoured over shiraz and its Rhône companion, grenache. Sadly, 100-year-old vines were grubbed out and the move to plant vines in cooler regions saw a new style of shiraz emerge – lighter, brighter and spicier, with Victoria leading the way. The Adelaide Hills, Great Southern and Canberra have joined the "cool" cult and pushed shiraz back to its top spot.

Syrah is shiraz's French name, with our cuttings coming from the hill of Hermitage in France, (which explains why Aussie shiraz was first called hermitage). It was thought the original shiraz vines came from Persia (Iran) due to the city of the same name. DNA has proved this wrong and dated shiraz back to the ninth century, and possibly even further, on the banks of the Rhône River. Australian winemakers use the French name to denote a lighter, spicier style, and it’s this breadth of styles that makes shiraz our greatest grape.

Shaw And Smith Shiraz 750mL
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Penfolds RWT Shiraz 2015 750mL
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De Iuliis Winemakers Selection Shiraz 750mL
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McWilliams McW Alternis Petite Sirah 750mL
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