Australian Wine from
Alternative Grape Varieties
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New England Wine Region

The New England wine region is the the latest region to be officially recognised by the Australian Geographic Indicators scheme. It was declared as such in January 2008. The wineries were formerly part of the larger North West Slopes Zone.

The region is on the western, inland side of the Great Dividing Range. Most of the wineries are at considerable altitude, between 400 and 1000 metres. These factors mean that there is a continental climate with a bracing winter and a warm summer with cool to mild nights. Spring frosts are a hazard in some sites.

In his seminal work Viticulture and Environment, John Gladstone points to a number of climatic factors which add up to benign ripening conditions for the production of midseason to late ripening varieties.

At the southern end of the region is the rural city of Tamworth and it follows the New England Highway through Uralla, Armidale, Glen Innes and Tenterfield. Just over the border is Queensland's Granite Belt Region, with which it shares a similar climate.

The history of grape growing this region, like many other Australian wine regions is punctuated. It had some production in the nineteenth century which petered out. The modern industry dates back to the 1970s, but now the momentum seems to have picked up only this century.

The following wineries in the New England Wine Region are using alternative varieties

  • Doctors Nose Wines Grenache, Petit verdot, Tempranillo, Verdelho
  • Dumaresq Valley Vineyard Barbera, Tempranillo
  • Kitty Crawford Estate Grenache, Petit verdot
  • Kurrajong Downs Taminga
  • Laurellyn Wines Pinot gris, Verdelho
  • Melville Hill Estate Wines Tempranillo, Verdelho
  • Mihi Creek Vineyard Viognier
  • Richfield Estate Verdelho
  • Toppers Mountain Barbera, Gewurztraminer, Nebbiolo, Petit manseng, Tannat, Tempranillo, Touriga, Verdelho, Viognier/I>
  • Walden Woods Farm Pinot gris
  • Whyworry Wines Gewurztraminer, Pinot gris, Pinotage, Viognier
  • Wright Robinson of Glencoe Pinot gris

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