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While it's true that Australia can't stand side-by-side with the likes of France and Italy when it comes to winemaking history and tradition, it has made a definitive mark on the international wine world over the two decades. In fact, Australian wine exports have grown so much since the nation's wine boom started in the 1990s that it's now the fourth-largest exporter of wine in the world.
Certainly, much of Australia's growth can be attributed to the critter-laden labels of brands like Yellow Tail and The Little Penguin, among others. However, while large wine companies may serve as the "face" of Australian wines, there are also a large number of artisanal producers creating critically-acclaimed wines that are not to be ignored.
The majority of Australian wine is produced in South Australia in the South Eastern Australia appellation. Smaller producers making higher-quality wines are prevalent in subregions such as Barossa Valley, Coonawarra and McLaren Vale. There are other significant regions, of course, like Victoria and New South Wales, and the US has also seen an uptick in wine imports from Western Australia.
Shiraz is undoubtedly the most celebrated grape in Australia -- it led the way for Australia's burst in production -- but the country has also seen great success with Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Riesling and Grenache.