Producer: Nugan Estate
Food Suggestion: Chilis and Hot Spicy Foods
Wine Style: White – Aromatic and Floral
Australia is an extremely important wine-producing country, both in terms of quality and the sheer scale of its wine economy. It ranks sixth in the world in wine production and has an annual total of 773 million liters, valued at 2.2 billion Australian dollars.
Australia has long been at the forefront of the New World wine renaissance, with a highly dedicated and professional industry based on research and development. Both Australia and the global wine industry have benefited from the technological advancements in wine-growing made by organizations such as the Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI). The country’s contribution to revolutionizing vineyard management practices is also impressive.
Australia, an iconic ‘New World’ wine nation ©Jonathan Reeve
Australia has developed a comprehensive appellation system, which complements its high production standards and the reputation of its wines. You can find more about the wine and labeling laws on our Australian wine label page.
The vast landscape of Australia, with its huge range of climatic and geographical conditions, makes it one of the most versatile wine-growing countries in the world. Overall, the climate is affected by its southerly latitude, but regional features such as altitude and proximity to the oceans also play a significant role. Wine is produced in all of Australia’s six states, but the vast majority is made in the southeast, in New South Wales, Victoria and particularly South Australia.
Australia’s wine portfolio is almost as complete as one can imagine, and includes cult wines based on its very own Shiraz, southern Rhone-style blends, classic fruit-forward aromatics led by Riesling from the Eden and Clare Valleys, highly acclaimed Chardonnay with or without barrel influence, unpretentious but delicious Hunter Valley Semillon, heavy and complex fortified and dessert wines, and world-class sparkling wines.
The country has also played a major role in the globalization of wine. Many of its brands have a strong international presence, as do its well-trained and well-qualified wine professionals, who have spread their expertise to many corners of the world.
Overall, Australia has a well-established and highly regarded wine industry, which has set new benchmarks in quality wine production. With continued technological advancements and individual endeavors, these standards are expected to achieve even greater heights.
Muscat (Moscato in Italy, Moscatel in Spain and Portugal) is the name of one of the oldest and most widespread grape families in the world. The grapes we know today as Muscat – which are believed to have originated in the Middle East – have been used in winemaking since the times of the ancient Greeks.
As a general rule, Muscat prefers warm climates and thrives in a typical Mediterranean climate. The best examples come from Italy, France, Spain and in Rutherglen, Australia. However, a long history brings with it an equally long list of synonyms, mutations and crossings.
There is no one “true” Muscat, but rather a great many incarnations, each with its own regional nuance and character. Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains (Moscato Bianco in Italy) is the oldest and most highly valued of the Muscat family. It is grown throughout the Old and New Worlds and made into a range of wine styles as diverse as its synonyms. The most notable wines made from Muscat Blanc à Petit Grains are Muscat de Beaumes de Venise, Muscat de Lunel, Clairette de Die and the historical Vin de Constance wines of Constantia, South Africa (where this variant is known as Muscat de Frontignan) as well as Klein Constantia’s modern recreation. Lesser-known, but often of excellent quality, are the examples produced in Austria’s Wachau region. Italy produces more Muscat than any other country, largely in the form of Moscato d’Asti, made from Moscato Bianco.
Other notable branches of the family include Muscat of Alexandria, the second oldest member of the Muscat group, known for its light and fruity white wines. Muscat Ottonel is pale and ripens early, while Muscat Hamburg is a black grape variety and is often used as a table grape. The colorfully named Moscato Giallo and Moscato Rosa (yellow and pink) both come from northern Italy and are used to make a range of sweet and dry wines.
The distinctive grapey aroma of Muscat is one of its chief properties, but its versatility also makes it an attractive option for winemakers. Muscat may be produced as dry, medium, sweet, sparkling or even dessert wine, and are also used as table grapes around the world – this is why we particularly describe Muscat wine as being “grapey”. However, the Muscat family in general has low acidity and is not suited to aging more than about four years (with the exception of fortified Muscat).
Despite their similar names, Muscadelle, Muscadet and Muscardin are not members of the Muscat family.
Synonyms include: Moscato, Moscatel.
Food matches for Muscat include:
- Poached fish fillet with salsa verde (dry)
- Cashew nut curry (sweet)
- Chocolate and custard pie (fortified)
(sources : wine-searcher)