Australia is the world's driest continent which is inhabited by people, yet the country still manages to produce a wide variety or grapes at a great quality for a reasonable price. Most of the vineyards are located close to large coastal cities like Melbourne and Sydney where the climate is slightly temperate in comparison to the rest of the country. For much of the year many parts of Australia are very hot which gives rise to an abundance of creatures both safe and cuddly, and creepy and poisonous. Many people joke about how terrifying nature is in Australia as the country is home to the box jellyfish, tarantulas, poisonous snakes, and crocodiles - often what is forgotten is the beautiful side to Australia's nature. It is home to some incredible landscapes like the Australian Alps (which receive enough snow to ski on), the Daintree Rainforest in Queensland, Ayers Rock (a massive sandstone formation), and Kangaroo Island (where Dave Irwin, a cousin of Australia’s famous Steve Irwin the 'Crocodile Hunter’ has a wildlife sanctuary). Even though it only makes up a small portion of one of Australia’s wine regions, Kangaroo Island has a small number of wineries for those who visit. On the mainland, one of Australia’s most well known wineries is in New South Wales where the first grapes were planted in vineyards nearing the end of the 18th century. Since then Australia has founded a reputation for grapes which produce fruity wines that are bold and fresh in flavours. Australia’s signature varietal is shiraz, a full-bodied bold red wine with strong notes of plum, berry, and often a peppery finish. On top of being known for enjoying a Vegemite spread on toast or a box of Tim Tams, Australians are also known as being wine lovers - in 2018, 34% of what they drank was bottled wine, surpassing beer which was only 20% of what they consumed.
24.6 million (2017)
7.692 million sq km (4.779 million sq mi)