Established in the 18th century, winemaking flourished in Australia's southern states, noted for their particularly hot and dry climate. Four states account for almost all the Australian wine production: South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia. For many Australian wine boils down to a few internationally distributed brands produced by a few giants in industrial design. However, Australia's wine industry has another side embodied by a generation of increasingly large independent producers thriving to produce wines with strong personality exploiting the potential of cooler vineyards at higher altitude or closer to the coast. Red wines are mostly made of Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Syrah excels in an opulent, fleshy style (Barossa) or stronger (Victoria) while Cabernet Sauvignon produces red wines of great elegance in Coonawarra and Margaret River. Chardonnay largely dominates Australian white wines, with Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Riesling.
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