Shiraz is a red grape variety. It is the most widely planted variety in Australia, and helped put it on the wine map. It is an adaptable grape that has distinctly regional characteristics from elegant, peppery cool climate styles to sweet and chocolatey (McLaren Vale), muscular, and ripe-fruited (Barossa), to savoury and rich (Hunter Valley). Shiraz was one of the first vine varieties to arrive in Australia in 1832 and is grown in most regions. However, its home is the Barossa Valley where old vines date back to the 1860's.
The classic, truly Australian blend is Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon, but it is also blended with Grenache and Mourvedre (GSM) in warmer climates. In recent years it is increasingly being blended with Viognier to create the Shiraz/Viognier blend.
Shiraz's home is in the Northern Rhône's, Hermitage, Cote Rôtie and Cornas, in France. It is now also grown extensively in the Southern Rhône where it is blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre to produce the great red wines of Châteauneuf du Pape and Gigondas amongst others.