Nothing says “celebrate” quite like a bottle of bubbly, and as we enter spring, there’s no better time to pop the cork. In fact, since 2020, sales of Champagne and sparkling wine have surged as people sought a bit of sparkle in the everyday, to combat the dreariness of a certain pandemic.
Lucky for us Aussies, some of the world’s best sparkling wine is crafted right here in our own backyards. Australian sparkling wine has been getting rave reviews around the world, and for good reason.
Perhaps the biggest success story of the Australian sparkling wine scene is the Apple Isle — Tasmanian sparkling wine is already giving French Champagne a serious run for its money.
It was only around 40 years ago that visionaries spied the region’s similarities in terroir to the cool-climate areas of northern France and its suitability for the classic Champagne grapes: chardonnay, pinot noir and pinot meunier. Working with techniques honouring the Champagne producers’ méthode traditionelle, local winemakers like Pipers Brook, House of Arras, Jansz and Tamar Ridge offer award-winning sparkling wines to rival French sparkling.
On the mainland, Adelaide Hills in South Australia has emerged as one of the country’s premium regions for sparkling wine. The altitude and rainfall means it produces some of the best-quality grapes in Australia, especially chardonnay, pinot noir and sauvignon blanc.
Adelaide Hills winemakers’ forward-thinking, progressive, and experimental approach have produced impressive sparkling wines like Nova Vita’s Firebird Sparkling or Sterling Vineyards Sparkling Rosé.
Another region that has carved a reputation for excellent Australian sparkling wine brands is Victoria’s Yarra Valley, home to over 80 vineyards. Grape varieties that thrive in the Yarra’s cool climate include chardonnay, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon and shiraz, all with an elegant array of profiles and unique characteristics.
The other of Victoria’s renowned wine valleys, the King Valley, prides itself being the leading producer of Italian-style wines in Australia. Wine houses of the sparkling variety include Brown Brothers and Pizzini.
When it comes to the best prosecco in Australia, King Valley is king. The Australian answer to Italy’s beloved apéritif is characterised by a light and lively bubble, flavours of fresh fruit, and a dry finish — just try a bottle of the Chalkboard King Valley Prosecco.
If sparkling wine spells celebration, then perhaps sparkling rosé spells spring. Some of the best sparkling rosé in Australia include Tasmanian heroes like Jansz Premium Vintage Rosé, and Victorian stalwarts like Yarra Burn Vintage Pinot Chardonnay Rosé, Chandon NV Rosé, and Croser Rosé NV, from South Australia.
For those who prefer a sweeter wine, pink moscato in Australia has experienced a steady rise in popularity. Brown Brothers produce a lovely Moscato Rosa, and the Yarra Valley’s Innocent Bystander Moscato is another excellent choice.
Australia’s favourite red wine has also taken on a sparkle of its own. Sparkling shiraz from South Australia is among the most celebrated. McLaren Vale brings us Andrew Garrett’s Sparkling Shiraz while the Barossa brings us an Mc Sparkling Shiraz from Teusner.
And, if you’re joining the growing tribe of people who prefer low- and no-alcohol drinks, there is an increasing number of non-alcoholic sparkling wine options too. McGuigan’s range of alcohol-free beverages, including the Zero Sparkling, is a great option.
Whether you’re looking for high-end Australian Champagne (although technically, it can only be called Champagne if it’s produced in that specific region of France), or the best value sparkling wine in Australia, you’ll be spoilt for choice.