Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Australian Shiraz - 170 Years Old And Still Maturing
They came in 1788, many of them convicts, to the great southern land. They brought vines. The first vineyards planted in those early years around what is now Sydney were not great successes. It is believed that Shiraz vine cuttings were brought to Australia in 1832, from Montpellier in France, by wine pioneer James Busby. He was given a grant of land in the Hunter Valley of New South Wales. The property was called ‘Kirkton’. James Busby was not involved in the running of Kirkton. William Kelman, Busby’s brother-in-law, took care of the vineyards. Kelman is thought to have been among the first to plant vines in the Hunter Valley. George Wyndham planted vines in the Hunter in 1828. By 1835 Wyndham had planted the first commercial Shiraz vineyards at Dalwood in the Hunter Valley.

According to a recent Press Release the Dalwood vineyards are the first commercial Shiraz plantings in Australia. Wyndham Estate is Australia’s oldest continuously operating winery and its story can be viewed in a Promotional Video.