You may have heard about ‘Australia’s First Families of Wine’ (AFFW) somewhere along your wine drinking journey. Today on the blog I wanted to share with you all a bit more about this group of Australian wine producers and why we’re celebrating them.
Who are the First Families of Wine?
There are 12 iconic wine brands that make up the First Families of Wine which was started up in 2009. They are all family owned wine producers who have passed the helm through the generations. The brands include:
- Brown Brothers – Heathcote (VIC)
- Campbell’s – Rutherglen (VIC)
- d’Arenberg – McLaren Vale (SA)
- De Bortoli – Yarra Valley (VIC)
- Henschke – Barossa Valley (SA)
- Howard Park – Great Southern (WA)
- Jim Barry – Clare Valley (SA)
- McWilliam’s – Hilltops (NSW)
- Tahbilk – Nagambie Lakes (VIC)
- Taylors – Clare Valley (SA)
- Tyrrell’s Wines – Hunter Valley (NSW)
- Yalumba – Eden Valley (SA)
The AFFW come from 4 states in Australia and represent 16 Australian wine regions with vineyards throughout the country. Combined they have over 5,000 hectares of vines!
Why are we celebrating?
This year, 2017, marks 1,380 years of combined winemaking experience and heritage for the First Families of Wine. To help celebrate, the team at Wine Selectors have put together a 12-bottle ‘Australian Shiraz Showcase‘ ($220 down from $308 currently) to celebrate the families and also Australia’s leading red grape variety. I have been lucky enough to receive a sample case from Wine Selectors to give it a whirl and I absolutely can’t wait to get stuck in! A big thanks to Wine Selectors for inviting me on a journey through Australia’s Shiraz.
Shiraz is like Australia in a bottle” – Mitchell Taylor, Taylors Wines
As I taste my way through this exclusive dozen, I will be posting my tasting notes below (and on social media), so please stay tuned. If you’re also working your way through the dozen, I’d love to hear how you’re getting on! The Shiraz’s come from 10 different wine regions around Australia, so it’s going to be a real adventure to taste how they all differ.
6 Fun Facts About Shiraz
- Shiraz and Syrah are the same grape variety! Typically a winemaker uses one or the other to explain the style of how it has been made. I.e. Syrah typically means it’s a more refined old world style while Shiraz means it’s more in a new world style with bold fruit flavours. You can learn more about the old and new wine worlds here
- Shiraz originally came from the village of Tain, in the Northern Rhône Valley, just south of Lyon in France
- The famed Penfolds ‘Grange’ is made predominately from Shiraz (usually it has a small percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon in the mix too)
- The oldest Shiraz vines in the world can be found in Australia’s Barossa Valley
- Shiraz was one of the first wine grape varieties brought into Australia with vineyards dating back to 1843
- Shiraz is grown in nearly every wine region in Australia
Make sure to check out Wine Australia’s webpage on Shiraz for even more interesting info on this grape variety.