Australia is the world’s 7th largest producing wine country following Italy, France, Spain, the United States, China and Argentina. It expanded production heavily in the early 2000s due to government grants increasing their amount of wine produced by 73% in just five years. However, this resulted in a notable surplus after which the government then put forth an extensive vine pulling scheme. The country is divided into six states – Western Australia, Northern Territory, South Australia, Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria – as well as Tazmania, its southern island. Apart from the Northern Territory which is too hot, each state holds a number of wine regions. While the Barossa Valley is arguably its most famous, particularly for the country’s Shiraz (Syrah), there are a number of highly respected and diverse wine producing areas that are located around Australia’s southern perimeter. Some of these include: Margaret River in Western Australia which is known for its refined Bordeaux blends and creamy Chardonnays; Coonawarra, a neighbor of the Barossa where it produces excellent minty Cabernet Sauvignon; McLaren Vale for a number of varieties but particularly those from the Rhône – Shiraz and very old vine Grenache; Eden and Clare Valleys for their zesty Rieslings, Tasmania and Victoria for their refined Pinot Noirs and the Hunter Valley for their incredibly long aged Semillons.