Matching varieties to regions

Why match variety to region?

  • The one thing that makes a difference in choosing a great value wine, is matching the variety or style you want, with a well-suited growing region for the grapes that made the wine
  • Great wine only comes from great grapes
  • Great grapes only come from growing conditions suited to that variety of grape or that style of wine
  • Growing conditions (climates) are distinctive in each region
  • Growing conditions of some regions match really well to specific varieties or styles, to make great value wines
  • Your chances of finding an excellent wine at a good price are significantly better if you follow this approach

 

Some principles to remember

  • ‘Cool’ tasting wines usually grow best in cool climates (e.g. Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, sparkling styles), although there are exceptions – for example, ‘cool’ tasting Semillon grows best in the Hunter Valley, which has a hot climate
  • ‘Hot’ tasting wines usually grow well in hotter climates (Shiraz, Grenache, Fortified wines)
  • Regions that are famous for a particular variety or style are famous for a reason (see examples below)
  • Regions that pride themselves on one particular variety or style of wine will contain a critical mass of wineries that push themselves harder in improving that style, through friendly rivalry, local competition and a desire to maintain the region’s reputation. Those regions will produce better wines in that particular variety or style. Often that quality then flows down to the cheaper range wines from that region.

 

Examples

  • Shiraz matches well with Barossa Valley, Grampians, Great Southern, Mclaren Vale
  • Cabernet Sauvignon and blend match well with: Coonawarra, Yarra Valley, Clare Valley, Margaret River
  • Chardonnay matches well with Mornington Peninsula, Adelaide Hills, Margaret River, Yarra Valley
  • Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio match well with Malborough, Tasmania, Mornington Peninsula, King Valley
  • Sauvignon Blanc matches well with Malborough, Margaret River, Adelaide Hills
  • Riesling matches well with Great Southern, Clare Valley, Eden Valley
  • Sparkling matches well with Tasmania, Yarra Valley, Macedon Ranges
  • Fortified matches well with Rutherglen, Glenrowan, Barossa
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