The Riverina region of NSW is one of Australia's largest regions, particularly in terms of production.
And yet, it is one of those regions which can successfully produce everything from bulk wine for everyday drinking, to premium wines which can rank among the world's greatest.
There are a number of large producers in this region, whose main centre is Griffith (several hours drive from Sydney), and many of them are still family owned and operated. There are also several smaller producers who are also family-owned.
Bulk production is still an important business in the region but a substantial and ever-increasing proportion has been turned into high-quality and beautifully hand-crafted premium wines. The major wineries of the region are McWilliams (Australia's largest family winery), De Bortoli, Miranda, Cranswick Estate, Riverina Estate, Westend Estate, Casella Estate and Rossetto.
McWilliams celebrated its 125th anniversary last year. In addition to the main Riverina winery at Hanwood, it also owns Mount Pleasant in the Hunter Valley and Brand's at Coonawarra among others- thus allowing it to offer a broad range of wines from premium regions. Its wine range is vast, and quality is excellent. The greatest wines from the Riverina are its fortified wines (still a very important part of their business) and botrytis Semillon.
De Bortoli is another long-established large producer with a wide range of quality wines, but has achieved world fame for one reason. In 1982, when Semillon grapes were affected by botrytis, they ended up producing a late harvest Semillon which astonished the world. It did so because this wine, known as Noble One, was the wine which can upstage the best Sauternes. Noble One is a luscious wine which is astonishingly reliable- EVERY single vintage has been an award-winner, consistency many can only dream about. Late harvest, botrytis-affected dessert wines have become a Riverina specialty.
Riverina Estate is one of Australia's largest producers, and some of its best reds (Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon) have been award-winners ranking among the best reds in the region while its Ballingal Estate late harvest Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc wines are quality wines at affordable prices.
2002 has seen an excellent vintage in the Riverina, and visiting this region you'll surely find something to your taste [IMG]http://**********************/smile/emthup.gif[/IMG]