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Murray Darling

Spanning the states of Victoria and New South Wales, the Murray Darling is one of the great engine rooms of Australian wine. The combination of heat, irrigation and fertile soil produces a massive grape harvest, contributing up to 20% of the national crush. The Murray Darling makes soft and generous, easy drinking wines that offer great value for money. The ripe and fruitful style contribute... continue reading
Spanning the states of Victoria and New South Wales, the Murray Darling is one of the great engine rooms of Australian wine. The combination of heat, irrigation and fertile soil produces a massive grape harvest, contributing up to 20% of the national crush. The Murray Darling makes soft and generous, easy drinking wines that offer great value for money. The ripe and fruitful style contributes to some of Australia’s most well known and success labels around the world. Chardonnay is the region’s principle variety, followed by shiraz, cabernet sauvignon and merlot. New plantings of Spanish and Italian grape varieties including sangiovese, tempranillo, dolcetto and vermentino are suited to increasingly warm climate conditions. Other whites include colombard, sauvignon blanc, pinot gris and viognier. Fortified varieties are also found. Stretching for 350km, the Murray Darling is amongst the largest wine regions in Australia. Over 20,000 hectares of vineyard are centred around the town of Mildura (Victoria 15,600 ha, New South Wales 7,600 ha). It is the domain of global corporations and medium sized wineries. The inland region has a very hot, dry, continental climate with virtually no rain during the growing season. Soaring Summer temperatures regularly exceed 30 degrees and irrigation is essential to keep the vines alive. The terrain is uniformly flat, with maximum altitudes of 55-70 metres. Fertile calcareous earths including loamy sands and sandy loams are the predominant soil types. Salinity can be an issue resulting from long term irrigation in some areas. The reality of climate change coupled with drought and maturing consumer tastes has brought about big changes in the region. There is renewed focus on innovation, sustainability and increasing quality by cutting back on irrigation and reducing yields.
Country Australia
State VIC
Principal Grape Variety Chardonnay, Shiraz, Sultana, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Colombard, Muscat Gordo Blanco, Ruby Cabernet, Petit Verdot
Harvest Early February to mid March
Latitude 34˚10'S
Altitude 55-70m
Chief Viticultural Hazards Drought
Mean January Temperature 23.7˚C
Growing Season Rainfall 130-150mm
Heat Degree Days 2150-2240

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