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Australia has a well-earned reputation for producing high-quality wines, with popular varietals such as Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay holding a permanent position in the hearts of many wine enthusiasts. However, the Australian boutique wine scene offers an extensive range of lesser-known grape varietals that deserve recognition and appreciation for their unique characteristics, flavours, and potential for exceptional food pairings. In this article, we will introduce you to some of the lesser-known varietals that artisan boutique wineries like Millon Wines are crafting, examining their origins, taste profiles, and food pairing recommendations.

While it might be tempting to remain within the comfort of familiar varietals, venturing beyond the mainstream can lead to the discovery of exciting new flavours and a deeper understanding of the intricate world of wine. Australia's diverse terroirs, innovative winemaking techniques, and inspiring enthusiasm for experimentation among boutique winemakers contribute to the development of these rare and captivating varietals.

As we embark on this journey of exploring the lesser-known gems of Australian boutique wines, you will uncover a new appreciation for the creativity, passion, and craft that winemakers, such as Millon Wines, bring to their work. Curiosity and a love for experimentation are integral to wine enthusiasts who crave exceptional experiences, so we invite you to join us as we delve into the fascinating world of these uncommon varietals and the extraordinary qualities they possess.

Tempranillo: A Taste of Spain in Australia

Originating in Spain, Tempranillo is a red grape varietal that has gained a small but steadfast following among boutique wineries in Australia. The grape's name is derived from the Spanish word "temprano," meaning early, which is fitting as Tempranillo typically ripens earlier than many other red varietals. Australian winemakers recognise the potential of this grape, given its adaptability to various climate conditions and its capacity to capture distinctive regional expressions.

Tempranillo offers a unique flavour profile, with red fruit, cherry, and dried herb notes often accompanied by subtle hints of tobacco, leather, and spice. The varietal's medium body and moderate tannin structure make it suitable for various food pairings, including tapas dishes, grilled meats, and tomato-based pasta dishes. An expertly crafted Australian Tempranillo, such as those from Millon Wines, can transport your taste buds on an exhilarating journey to the Spanish countryside.

Fiano: An Italian White with a Bright Australian Future

Fiano is a white grape varietal with its roots in southern Italy, particularly in the Campania region. Successfully cultivated by several Australian boutique wineries, this grape thrives in various climates, from cooler elevated regions to warm, sun-drenched lands. Fiano's recent rise in popularity reflects Australian winemakers' desire for diversity and innovation, as well as the public's increasing interest in exploring new varietals.

Fiano typically produces aromatic and medium-bodied white wines with notes of citrus, nectarine, honey, and almonds, often accompanied by a refreshing, mineral undertone. The varietal's natural acidity makes it an excellent candidate for food pairing. It complements a diverse range of dishes, from seafood and white meats to salads and creamy pasta dishes. Relish in the charming flavours of a boutique Australian Fiano and experience a taste of Italy's rich wine heritage.

Petit Verdot: Rich and Complex in the Australian Landscape

Petit Verdot is a red grape varietal that originates from the Bordeaux region of France. Traditionally used as a blending grape to add depth, tannin, and colour to red blends, Petit Verdot has found a niche within the Australian boutique wine scene as a single-varietal wine. Australian winemakers appreciate the grape's ability to flourish in warmer climates, where it can ripen fully and develop its unique characteristics.

Wines made from Petit Verdot exhibit a deep, inky colour and a rich, full-bodied structure. They showcase an array of flavours, such as dark fruit, plum, and blackberry, intertwined with notes of violet, spice, and cedar. Petit Verdot's high tannins and robust flavours make it a prime candidate for pairing with hearty, robust dishes, including slow-cooked lamb, rich stews, and game meats. Indulge in an Australian Petit Verdot from a boutique winery like Millon Wines, and discover the depth and complexity of this often-overlooked red grape.

Vermentino: The Coastal White with a Unique Australian Twist

Hailing from the coastal regions of Italy and France, Vermentino is a white grape varietal that is making waves across the Australian boutique wine market. Its ability to produce refreshing and vibrant white wines with a saline, mineral edge makes it an ideal fit for the Australian climate, particularly in coastal areas where the sea breeze can impart a distinct character to the grapes.

Australian Vermentinos typically offer vibrant citrus and green apple notes complemented by hints of delicate florals, almonds, and briny minerality. The wine's bright acidity, combined with its refreshing flavour profile, makes it an ideal match for seafood dishes, grilled vegetables, and light pasta creations. A glass of Australian Vermentino, such as those produced by Millon Wines, can be the perfect accompaniment to al fresco dining on a warm summer day.


The Australian boutique wine scene offers a treasure trove of hidden gems, presenting adventurous wine enthusiasts with a myriad of opportunities to explore and appreciate lesser-known grape varietals. Whether seeking a refreshing coastal white, a rugged and hearty red, or something uniquely rooted in European tradition, the diverse landscape of Australia's wine industry ensures that there is a boutique wine to suit every palette. 

By supporting innovative winemakers in Australia like Millon Wines, you empower their pursuit of crafting distinctive, high-quality wines that celebrate the artistry, passion, and uniqueness of the Australian wine experience. Dive into the world of uncommon varietals and expand your wine horizons with Millon Wines, a family-owned South Australian winery dedicated to producing exceptional boutique wines that defy convention, tantalise the senses, and create unforgettable moments of delight.