The French and Americans call it Syrah; we call it Shiraz. Shiraz is without doubt our favourite grape, and its powerful iconic, rich reds have helped establish Australia’s international reputation as a top wine producer. This dark-skinned, versatile variety is well suited to a range of climates and growing conditions.
Syrah has been for many centuries, and continues to be the main grape of the Northern Rhone in France, and is associated with famous classic wines such as Hermitage, Cornas and Cote Rotie. Consequently, the top wine gems gleaned from these old vine producers command extremely high prices.
In 1831, the Scotsman James Busby, often called “The Father of Australian Viticulture”, made a trip back to Europe to collect cuttings from vines (primarily from France and Spain) for introduction to Australia. One of the varieties collected by him was Syrah, although Busby initially used the two spellings ‘Scyras’ and ‘Ciras’. The cuttings were planted in Sydney’s Botanical Gardens, and in Hunter Valley. In 1839, they were introduced to South Australia from Sydney. By the 1860s Shiraz was well-established as an important, foundational variety in Australia.
Shiraz is Australia’s most widely planted grape variety. Representing around 40% of our total red grape crush, it produces almost one fifth of all wine grape production. Its wines are highly popular, on both the local and global stage. But, this wasn’t always the case.
Over the years Shiraz has been overlooked in favour of Cabernet Sauvignon and even Chardonnay. At one point, the South Australian government ordered that low yielding Shiraz vines be dug up and replaced with these fashionable varieties. Thankfully, some growers resisted, allowing the growth of iconic old block vines that Australia is now renowned for.
When the international wine world’s focus turned to Australia in the 1980s, Shiraz underwent a revival. Our rich, seductive, opulent Shiraz reds began to spill onto the market - setting new benchmarks in flavour and taste.
Because it flourishes in a range of climates, Shiraz offers many different styles:
Today, if you are a Shiraz drinker, you are well and truly spoilt for choice.
Is there anything more Australian than throwing some snags and steaks on the barbie and reaching for a glass or two of Shiraz? Maybe not, but with its many different styles, Shiraz can provide a perfect partnership across a range of dishes. From beef stews to lamb shanks, from kangaroo steak to spicy curries, its food matching possibilities are endless… and so is the enjoyment.
Aromas of dark fruit, spice and leather lead into a palate of blackberries and cedar. The fruit sweetness is balanced by firm acid and fine tannins. A great example of Central Victorian Shiraz.
Dan Murphy's supports the Responsible Service of Alcohol. New South Wales: Liquor Act 2007. It is against the law to sell or supply alcohol to, or to obtain alcohol on behalf of, a person under the age of 18 years.Victoria: WARNING: Victoria Liquor Control Reform Act 1998: It is an offence to supply alcohol to a person under the age of 18 years (Penalty exceeds $7,000), for a person under the age of 18 years to purchase or receive liquor (Penalty exceeds $600). WARNING. Under the Liquor Control Act 1988, it is an offence: to sell or supply liquor to a person under the age of 18 years on licensed or regulated premises; or for a person under the age of 18 years to purchase, or attempt to purchase, liquor on licensed or regulated premises.South Australia: Liquor Licensing Act 1997, Section 113. Liquor must NOT be supplied to persons under 18. Queensland: Under the Liquor Act 1992, it is an offence to supply liquor to a person under the age of 18 years. For more specific legislation in your state or territory visit our Liquor Licensing Acts page. ABN 88 000 014 675.