Hunter River Vineyard Pioneers and solving the Greatest Mystery of Civilization

Updated: Jan 9

Bob’s blog from Around Hermitage June 2019


We are fortunate that the Hunter wine industry grew from the enthusiasm of pioneers who were inheritors of the mindset of the age of enlightenment. They formed the Hunter River Vineyard Association in 1847 with a view to exchanging ideas and experience, acknowledging they came from a country devoid of a wine-growing culture.



That is not to say they were not wine drinkers, indeed their knowledge included the great wines of Burgundy, Bordeaux claret and German white wines. Some such as Wyndham and Busby had been on the Grand Tour of France and Italy in the post-Napoleonic era. Wine, of course, was one of the great civilizing influences but no one knew how it was really made.



These men were keen observers of nature and interested in all aspects of viticulture and winemaking. Possibly because of a lack of inherited knowledge they were open to trial and error and the application of the scientific method of experiment and observation. James King of Illawong was probably the best conne