Wines arrived with some of the first prisoners shipped to Australia in the late 18th Century. Shortly thereafter fortified wines were produced and have remained very popular. Over the last 30 yerars Australia has dramatically entered the world of wine with top quality productions of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc. The wines have styles similar to California in their rich lushness. However, the aromas and tastes have a style all their own. Winemakers are not bound by a sense of tradition as exhibited in the many unique blends that are enjoyed.