The grape varietal which has earned Australia a place of pride in world wine map is Shiraz. This varietal was popularised in Australia in 1990s and Australia’s position was 35th in the world at that time. This proved to be a game changer as it was well accepted not only domestically but also internationally. The growing demand led to increase in the area and it almost increased three times over a period of 10 years. The increase in the area was significant and proved that Shiraz wines Australia had clear dominance over other varietals. By 2010, meaning in two decades time of its introduction, the area further increased and Australia became the 6th country in global ranking for this wine grape varietal.
What is worth noting is the fact that area under Shiraz did not grow only under Australia but also in other wine regions of the world, notably France and Spain. So, despite the increase, Australia is still not the leader. Also, this varietal has also started to grow in new countries, such as Portugal and Italy. This has led to decline of Australian share in growing this varietal in global comparison.
Aussie wine industry has been rather laggard at looking at different alternatives of other grape varietals. But, there is an increasing recognition of the fact that diversification of varietals shall be undertaken in right earnest. This has also been a subject of discussion in the Australian wine industry bodies.