Wine connoisseurs visit from all over the world to Australia especially to go Hunter Valley winery tours. The valley is located near the New South Wales. Tourists enjoy and love these special wine tours that allow them to indulge some of the greatest wines in the world. However, do you realize that Valley would not exist today if European settlers had not visited this area?
According to historians, around 20 acres of vineyards were planted on Dalwood/ Gresford area by 1823. These were some of the first vineyards. The first few individuals to start Hunter Valley’s long wine-making history were George Wyndham, William Kelman and James King.
Although these individuals deserve the credit for starting the wine-making trend in the Hunter Valley, it was thanks to the James Busby, an amateur viticulturalist, different variety of wines were grown in Hunter Valley. James brought with him around 500 vine cuttings from some of the best vineyards in Europe and South Africa. The clones from these cuttings helped Valley to soar in viticulture fame.
By the early 20th century, the Pokolbin area was well-known for the quality of wine production. According to historians, a large number of winemakers like Maurice O’ Shea,Ben Ean, Han Mollenhaure, Karl Stockhausen and many other individuals helped in pushing the growth of the wine production.
Due to the popularity of wine and the fertility of the soil in the Valley, there are families living and prospering from winemaking for generations. In the winery tours, it is common to hear your tour guide praising families like the Draytons, the Tyrrells and Tullochs. In Australia, these families are referred as ‘pioneers of the Australian wine industry’.
The only time the vineyards suffered in this area was when the great Depression took place. It impacted the whole world in the 1930s. The inevitable World War also dragged down the economy everywhere. However, during those hardships and crisis, winemakers like Maurice O’Shea, Tyrrells and Elliot continued to experiment with new flavors of wines. Wine merchants who knew that these individuals were ‘geniuses at work’ supported their cause. Some of the best wines that you will sample on your Hunter tour can be traced back to those tough times in the 1930s. wine tours in willamette valley