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Australia’s Sparkling Wines

Sparkling WineSparkling wines come from all over the world, but not all of them can be called champagne. That name has been protected since 1891 and can be used only by wines produced in the Champagne region of France in compliance with the process prescribed by the Comité Interprofessional du vin de Champagne. Even if other wines are made from the same grape variety and use the same process as champagne, they can only be referred to as sparkling wines. Fortunately, as the saying goes, “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

A New World “Sparkler”

Along with the United States, Chile, and South Africa, Australian champagne is sometimes referred to as a New World sparkler. However, Australian wine historians will insist that the country has produced sparkling wine since the 1890s. The only thing is the Australian’s bubbly was not made with grapes classified as classic Champagne varieties. It was only n 1960 that the Hawke Bay’s Mission Vineyard produced sparkling wine – wine using Pinot Meunier, Pinot Gris, and Folle Blanche, and produced according to the “classic” champagne method. Today, there are more than two dozen Australian producers of good sparkling wines. [Read more…]

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