Birthplace of Australian wine
The area around Sydney has the longest history of grape growing in Australia. The original grape vines came with the First Fleet and were planted at Sydney Cove in 1788. New South Wales is Australia’s most populated state but it is represents only about 30% of Australia’s total production on an annual basis. Subsequent to the initial vines arriving in 1788, Captain John Macarthur planted vines near Camden and Gregory Blaxland planted vineyards around the Parramatta River in the early 1800s.
James Busby’s collection of 362 vines, originally planted at the Botanical Gardens, was the most significant development in the early history as cuttings of these vines made their way to other parts of NSW, Victoria and South Australia.
The State, lying on the continent’s east coast, boasts an incredibly diverse range of climates, including coastal, like the Shoalhaven Coast region lying south of Sydney, to Alpine, across the top of the Great Dividing Range, where hardy growers persist at over 500m above sea level.
Moving west over the Great Dividing Range and along the inland flowing Murrumbidgee and Murray Rivers are the warm-climate regions of Riverina and Perricoota and the northern portion of the Swan Hill and Murray Darling. One of Australia’s best known and most historic wine regions – the Hunter Valley – is located just north of Sydney, Australia's business and multicultural centre.