Course: Australia & New Zealand

Class 1: Australia: History and Grapes


For many consumers, Australian wine is synonymous with Shiraz. Australia has truly made this variety its own. Now the most-planted variety in Australia, Shiraz accounts for almost 20% of the country's plantings.

Red varieties make up about 60% of Australia's total grape acreage. The other important reds are Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Grenache and Mourvedre.

The top white wines are made with Chardonnay, Riesling, Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc.

Finally, Australia also produces significant amounts of fortified and sparkling wines.

This module describes these grapes and wines they make.


Click to see full size image
Ancient Vines
Gnarled, old Shiraz vines such as...

Ready to enroll? First, you must register for a membership to Your membership benefits include:

FREE enrollment in any course at Wine Spectator School

Over 230,000 searchable ratings and tasting notes

FREE mobile access so you can research wines wherever you are

E-newsletters with advance ratings

Editors’ blogs

Food and wine matching tool

And much more

Log In If You're Already a Member

Please log in using your email address and password for Wine Spectator School students who enrolled before 7.4.10, log in with your email address and school password or get more info here.

Forgot Password?

By clicking "Log in" you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Wine Spectator Online

Read our FAQ for more information

If you have questions about Wine Spectator School, please contact us.


= members only

Keep me logged in      Forgot Password?

Job Opportunities

Passionate about wine? Wine Spectator magazine is looking for an enthusiastic copy editor in the New York office.

Email Newsletters

Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions
New! Ratings Flash | New! Unfiltered

» View samples
» Or sign up now!
» Manage my newsletter preferences