New South Wales

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New South Wales australia wine region





















New South Wales


New South Wales is a Australian wine region. New South Wales is Australia's most populated state. The Hunter Valley, located 130 km (81 mi) north of Sydney, is the most well known wine region but the majority of the state's production takes place in the Big Rivers Zone-Perricoota, Riverina and along the Darling and Murray Rivers. A large variety of grapes are grown in New South Wales-including Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Shiraz and Semillon.


History

The very first Australian vineyard was planted in New South Wales in 1791 with vines from settlements in South Africa. The vines were planted in the garden of Arthur Phillip, then Governor of the colony. In 1824, James Busby was awarded a land grant for 800 hectares (1,980 acres) along the Hunter River which he planted with grapevines, studying the techniques that he would include in his 1830 book A Manual of Plain Directions for Planting and Cultivating Vineyards and for Making Wine in New South Wales.


In 1831, Busby toured Europe and collected over 600 vine samples from across the continent and shipped them back to Sydney. Many of these vines survived the trip and were cultivated in New South Wales and from there spread across Australia, introducing new varieties to the land. By the mid 19th century, the wine industry of New South Wales was thriving. In 1855, a sparkling wine from the region was featured at the Paris Exposition Universelle, the same exposition that introduced the Bordeaux Wine Official Classification of 1855. The wine was well received and won the honour of being served during the event's closing ceremonies at the state banquet of Napoleon III.


Soil and climate

New South Wales has varying microclimates. Overall, the climate shares some similarities with the French wine region of the Languedoc. The Great Dividing Range has a substantial influence on the climate of many viticultural areas with areas of higher elevation, such as Orange and Canberra. The Hilltops region have cooler climates with more continental influences. The Hunter Valley is very warm, with high humidity and a large amount of rainfall during the growing and harvest season. The Mudgee, Cowra and Big Rivers Zones are warm and much drier than the Hunter Valley with several areas requiring irrigation for grape growing. The soils of New South Wales are varied, clay, loam and sandstone are the most common. The Lower Hunter region has several locations with volanic loam with alluvial sands and silts on the flatter valley vineyards. The Tumbarumba region in the south has souls of basalt and granite with the Hilltops region also having granite based soils with mixtures of basalt and gravels.