When one talks of Australian wines, one must talk of the Barossa Valley in South Australia, arguably the nations foremost wine-making region.
Disputing this would be the wine country of New South Wales, the Hunter Valley, a couple of hours north of Sydney.
There's also the relatively smaller wine country of McLaren Vale in the Fleurieu Peninsula, also in South Australia.
Together the Barossa Valley and the Hunter Valley provide the most formidable group of wine makers -- and a number of Australian vintners have, in fact, vineyards and wineries in both regions.
150 years of tradition
But back to the Barossa Valley.
Within a couple of leisurely hours by car from Adelaide, the Barossa Valley was discovered a century and a half ago as having a most appropriate soil and climate for growing wine grapes.
Silesian and English pioneers who had migrated to the Barossa Valley found wine-making fruitful and in the 150 years or so since that time, the Barossa has grown as famous as its wines.
Theres hardly a good drop of shiraz, grenache or riesling which hasnt had its source in Barossa Valley soil -- or so the Barossa people say.