Non-alcoholic wine has come a long way and Australian wine makers have played a big role in raising the bar. This doesn’t surprise me, Australian wine has a global reputation. Thanks to a variety of micro climate, topography and soil types, our country produces an impressive range of wine.
With 2,400 wineries, more than 60 wine regions and at least 100 different grape varieties, Australia is one of the world’s largest wine exporters. If you’re looking for the best non-alcoholic wines Australia has to offer, it’s worth taking a virtual stroll around some of Australia’s most iconic wine regions.
The Barossa Valley is renowned globally for its quality wines. It is also home to some of the oldest continuously producing Shiraz, Cabernet, Sauvignon, Mataro, Grenache and Riesling vines in the world. The Barossa Valley has a warmer, Mediterranean climate while the Eden Valley has a cooler climate. The warmer climate of the Barossa Valley is favourable for full-bodied red wines, fortified wines, and robust whites but it is most famous for its Shiraz.
Try this — Compared by Body & Soul to a Penfolds Bin 389, and with many customers saying this is the best non-alcoholic red wine on the market, the Next Destination Barossa Valley Shiraz is a one of a kind non-alcoholic Shiraz from the iconic Barossa Valley. Produced by gently dealcoholising super premium Barossa Valley Shiraz, this complex wine features generous notes of dark chocolate, ripe berry and new French oak. This non-alcoholic red wine pairs well with grilled or roasted dishes and hearty vegetable dishes such as charred eggplant.
Try this — Established in the Barossa Valley since 1966, Wolf Blass is one of Australia’s best known wine brands and has produced a delicious non-alcoholic Rosé wine. Wolf Blass Rosé is a non-alcoholic wine made with grapes picked in South Australia. With notes of juicy red apple and wild strawberries along with pink musk and rose petals, this wine pairs well with soft cheeses and vegetarian pizza.
McLaren Vale is the birthplace of wine in South Australia and is home to one of the most environmentally conscious wine communities in Australia. The Mediterranean climate typically boasts warm summers and mild winters. Around 90% of the grapes grown here are red varieties with Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Grenache dominating the red wine space and Chardonnay dominating the white.
Try this — Next Destination McLaren Vale Chardonnay is the first non-alcoholic Chardonnay from the world famous McLaren Valley. This wine started life as a super premium alcoholic Chardonnay ensuring that, after alcohol removal, the taste and aroma is true to the varietal. Featuring a buttery mouthfeel along with hints of French oak tannins, this wine has been described as the Australia's best non-alcoholic Chardonnay. Pair this non-alcoholic wine with Asian-inspired summer salads.
Situated in the Fleurieu Peninsula of South Australia, Langhorne Creek has a proud tradition of family-run wineries and vineyards, some of whom have made wine for six generations. The climate is influenced by southerly winds that blow directly from the Southern Ocean across Lake Alexandria, and known for producing vibrant Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Merlot and Chardonnays.
Try this — Next Destination Langhorne Creek Blanc de Blanc has been made with premium Langhorne Creek Chardonnay grapes. With aromas of lemon curd and crisp apple along with a hint of toasted brioche, this non-alcoholic sparkling wine features a crisp palate and a lingering finish. It is best paired with canapés and light summer salads.
The Clare Valley is an influential wine region thanks to the combination of classic, traditional wine producers coupled with a history of experimentation. The warm, moderately continental climate combines cooler afternoon and night breezes to create varied conditions and cooler-climate sites which help local winemakers set the benchmark for classic Riesling flavours. Other notable varieties for the area include Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Tip — A good Australian non-alcoholic Riesling should be dry or off-dry with floral aromas and fruity flavours such as apple, peach and citrus. It’s usually a pure varietal (not blended with other varieties) and pairs well with dishes that are slightly spicy such as cajun and Tex-Mex.
The Adelaide Hills region boasts one of the most diverse terrains in the country. It is also the coolest and most elevated in Australia. The steep terrain creates several microclimates across the valley that work beautifully for different varieties of wines which may be part of the reason Adelaide has recently been named one of nine Great Wine Capitals of the world (along with Bordeaux in France and Bilbao Rioja in Spain). Adelaide Hills is well-regarded for its Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Shiraz, which are well suited to the region’s cool climate.
Tip — A good Australian non-alcoholic Sauvignon Blanc should be light-bodied and dry with fruity flavours such as citrus, pink grapefruit and passionfruit. Pair with dishes that have tangy or zesty ingredients.
The King Valley, in North East Victoria, is known for its continental climate characterised by warm days and cool nights. It’s one of the highest-altitude grape-growing regions in Australia with many vineyards growing on gentle slopes, facing north and northeast. With an Italian heritage, the region is best known for Italian wine styles such as Prosecco, Sangiovese and Rosé.
Try this — Next Destination King Valley Rosé. The Fourth wine destination from super premium non-alcoholic wine brand Next Destination. This is an elegant Rosé with a salmon pink shade and aromatic strawberry aromas with subtle overlying floral perfume of rose petals. A silky smooth, dry palate displaying a mélange of delicate red berry flavours, laced with a refreshing natural acidity.
Try this —Brown Brothers has been established in the King Valley since 1889. Brown Brothers Prosecco Ultra Low is one of the best non-alcoholic sparkling wines Australia has to offer. With notes of crisp green apple and lush pear, this non-alcoholic sparkling wine has a satisfying citrus tang on the finish. Pair with a sweet and salty appetiser or earthy cheese.
The Mornington Peninsula region features over 200 vineyards tucked into the southern corner of the mainland. Most of the vineyards are small, are family run and the easy access to Melbourne has seen a boom in boutique wineries. Mornington Peninsula is Australia’s only maritime wine region with its exposure to prevailing breezes creating an array of microclimates. The region is famed for its Pinot Noir, though other key varieties are Chardonnay and Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio.
Tip — There is a subtle difference between Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio, however they are both made from the same grape. An Australian non-alcoholic Pinot Gris should be medium bodied with fruity flavours such as melon, pear and apricot, while a good Australian non-alcoholic wine should be lighter, with crisp flavours such as citrus, white peach and green apple. Pair with spicy dishes such as Indian cuisine.
New South Wales
The Hunter Valley is one of Australia’s best known wine regions and home to some of the oldest vine stocks in the world with vineyards dating back to the 1860s. It has a sub-tropical climate with warm, humid days through Spring and Summer, and cold nights in Autumn and Winter. The Hunter Valley creates some of the finest and most unique Semillon in the world, along with world class Chardonnay, Shiraz and a growing list of alternative varieties that thrive in the warm climate.
Try this — Tempus Two made their home in the Hunter Valley in the late 90s and now have a range of non-alcoholic wines to their name. This Tempus Two Zero Pinot Grigio features citrus and green apple along with notes of spiced pear. Pair with light Italian dishes.
Try this — McGuigan is one of the Hunter Valley’s best known wineries. McGuigan Zero Chardonnay has a slightly sweet flavour profile and features aromas of white peach along with hints of oak and vanilla. Pair this non-alcoholic wine with sushi and Asian-inspired salads.
The Orange region has a number of distinctive features including an extinct volcano and being of the highest altitude vineyard areas in Australia. It has a continental climate that features warm summer days and cool nights. While the signature variety for the Orange region is Chardonnay, it is able to produce a diverse range of wines including Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Tip — A good Australian Cabernet Sauvignon should be full-bodied with dark fruity flavours such as plum, black cherry and blackberry along with earthy notes. Pair with mushroom dishes or chocolatey desserts.
Unsurprisingly, nestled as it is between mainland Australia and Antarctica, Tasmania is Australia’s coolest climate region, heavily influenced by the westerly winds that come in off the Southern Ocean. The growing conditions found in Tasmania are ideal for intensely flavoured and highly aromatic wines such as Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. A good portion of their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir yield also go into a fine selection of sparkling wines.
Tip — A good non-alcoholic Pinot Noir should be light to medium bodied with complex flavours such as cherry, raspberry, vanilla and spice. Pair with goat's cheese or root vegetable dishes.
Despite its global renown, the Margaret River region is actually one of the world's younger wine regions. It is one of the world’s most geographically isolated regions with a Mediterranean climate strongly influenced by the ocean which surrounds it on three sides. Notable varieties for Margaret River include Semillon Sauvignon Blanc blends, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, which have a reputation for being elegant and refined.
Where to find the best non-alcoholic wine
While non-alcoholic wine may not be as well established as traditional wine, there is a lot to learn and discover. You may not be able to take a non-alcoholic wine tour (yet!) but you can take a virtual wine tour of Australia by browsing Australian made wine here at Sans Drinks.
My personal favourites include brands that are dedicated to making non-alcoholic wine such as Next Destination Wine, 1920 Wines, Edenvale and Plus & Minus. I hope that by exploring Australian non-alcoholic wine, you will find a drop you love.