Many Australian wines are labeled South Eastern Australia or South Australia. These designations are essentially the same except that one place is a bit more eastern than the other.
In fact, they could not be more different. South Australia is one of the six Australian states. (These are comparable to states in the United States, although Australian states are much larger.) Within the state of South Australia are some of the country’s most famous wine regions, including the Barossa Valley (renowned for shiraz), the Clare Valley (remarkable for dry riesling), and Coonawarra (known for cabernet sauvignon). By contrast, South Eastern Australia is not a state, and in a sense, not a place in the same sense. It’s a legal designation that means the wine in the bottle is a blend of wines made from grapes that can be grown thousands of miles apart, often in three different states—New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia. To give a New World analogy, a wine labeled South Eastern Australia is the rough equivalent of a wine hypothetically made from a blend of grapes grown in California, Oregon, Washington State, and Texas and then called “Western United States.” Not surprisingly, South Eastern Australia wines are often inexpensive wines meant for everyday drinking, while wines from South Australia are among the most expensive in the country.