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Australia, the magazine : Australia, the magazine
59 wine trail " e rainfall can vary from 25 inches [635 millimetres] in some areas to 75 inches [1900 millimetres] in others. e valley oor has clay loam soils high in minerals, while the Upper Yarra has basalt-based red soils. "As a region we aim to make wines that taste more of the soil than the sun -- we want our wines to taste of the place they come from." In 2009, 12 of Australia's most highly-regarded family wineries: Brown Brothers, Campbells, d'Arenberg, De Bortoli, Henschke, Howard Park, Jim Barry, McWilliam's, Tahbilk, Taylors (also known as Wake eld), Tyrrell's and Yalumba -- created the First Families of Wine group to promote the individuality and regionality of Australian wine. Chairman Alister Purbrick Tahbilk says: "While as family winemakers we all value our independence, we do share a common vision -- that Australian wine can take on the world's best and win.'' T NSCONTINENTAL WINE T IL Get a taste for Australian wines on an epic road trip that takes in all the prominent wine regions. Imagine a wine trail stretching more than 4000 kilometres, from the Indian Ocean to the Paci c Ocean. Along the way there are visits to famous established wine-producing regions, such as Margaret River, the Barossa, the Yarra and Hunter valleys, as well as exciting emerging districts, such as Beechworth, Orange and the Granite Belt. Welcome to the great southern drive across the breadth of Australia, from booming Western Australia to subtropical Queensland, with a plethora of wine regions in between. It could probably lay claim to being the world's longest wine trail in a single country. It certainly contains a multicultural variety of wine styles, with growers planting grape varieties from Spain, Italy, Germany and France. ere's the opportunity to taste everything from big, bold reds made from shiraz in the Barossa Valley to elegant cool-climate rieslings grown just half an hour away on higher ground in the Eden Valley. ere's the chance to meet up with colourful characters -- from science bo ns to salt-of-the-earth farmers. You'll sample wines made from varieties new to Australia: saperavi, tempranillo and nero d'Avola. ese are grapes well known in Europe but made with Australian spirit and ingenuity. In fact, there's a whole world of wine to be discovered in just one country. ere's only one problem -- you have to cross Australia's challenging semi-arid Nullarbor Plain en route. Between the premium winemakers of Western Australia and the standout wine state of South Australia is a veritable desert. But, with wines from the likes of Henschke, Yalumba and Penfolds beckoning, the longest straight piece of tarred road in Australia, which crosses the Nullarbor, is only a minor stumbling block. While there are several possible routes, most wine lovers will want to stop in on as many grape-growing regions as possible. Start your journey in the suburbs of sun-baked Perth, where you'll nd the vineyards of the Swan Valley. Your route will then wind through sleepy Geographe down to beautiful Margaret River (famous for its cabernet sauvignons and chardonnays) and then on to the remote Great Southern, where rolling vineyards share the landscape with giant kauri trees. A er crossing the Nullarbor you can visit some of Australia's classic wine regions, including the Clare, Barossa and Eden valleys, Adelaide Hills, McLaren Vale and Coonawarra, where the superb terra rossa soils produce cabernets that many say rival those of Bordeaux . You then cross into Victoria, where the Grampians and Pyrenees, Bellarine and Mornington peninsulas, Yarra Valley, Heathcote and the Macedon Ranges will be on your itinerary. A er a side trip to the cool, lovely state of Tasmania, known for its fabulous fresh produce and splendid pinot noir, and a brief stop in north-east Victoria to sample the glorious forti ed wines of Rutherglen and elegant styles from the high-altitude Alpine Valleys, it's onto western New South Wales. Your route via the wineries takes you in and around the nation's capital, Canberra, up through Cowra, cool-climate Orange and Mudgee and into the Hunter Valley. You then head up through the emerging New England wine region to the Granite Belt in Queensland before ending the tasting tour in the burgeoning South Burne , one of Australia's newest winegrowing regions. We want our wines to taste of the place they come from. -- Steve Webber GOLDEN E Australia's wine regions produce highly individual drops. ibrand Creative Library