On those first ships the team had the wonderful forethought to bring along some vine cuttings from the Cape of Good Hope. Sadly the cultivation of those vines failed, but with huge perseverance the first wines were available domestically by the 1820s – “good on ya’!”.
They were obviously beavering away as in 1822, for the first time, an international award for winemaking was given to an Australian.
Once the ‘terroir’ and climate had become more familiar the quality of the wines being produced rocketed. At the 1873 Vienna Exhibition the French judges praised some wines from Victoria in a blind tasting. Once the provenance of the wine was revealed they withdrew their comments in protest stating that ‘wines of that quality must clearly be french’!