Wine has been prominent in the life of New South Wales since the First Fleet arrived, and Dr Julie McIntyre from the Faculty of Education and Arts in her book First Vintage reminds us of its long and often fraught history.
Her book is an outstanding regional history of the Australian wine industry, with particular emphasis on the Hunter Valley and Port Macquarie regions, and a world-class contribution to the history of wine.
First Vintage reveals the people who dreamed of making Australia a wine-drinking country, and shows the challenges of choosing wine stock, the battles to protect against pests and diseases, and the innovations which assisted small-scale growers, many in wine regions which have since vanished from the landscape.
Written in a lovely lyrical style, with touches of humour, First Vintage is one of those rare works that crosses over from academy to the general reading public, and has been warmly embraced by historians, the wine industry and general readers. It appears that wine making, selling and drinking has brought people to Australian history who might not have otherwise connected with it.
Praise for First Vintage
First Vintage has been favourably reviewed in the Journal of Australian Studies (2014) and by major wine industry figures, Max Allen, Huon Hooke and Iain Riggs.
It has back-cover endorsements by wine writer James Halliday and Emeritus Professor of Australian History, Richard Waterhouse, University of Sydney.
Recent historiographical surveys of food and drink history in Australia and New Zealand have highlighted its contribution to history of food and drink (Santich 2012; Luckins 2013).
First Vintage was shortlisted for the 2013 NSW Premier's History Awards and 2013 Wine Communicators of Australia Best Publication. It was highly commended in the 2013 UoN Vice Chancellor's Research Excellence Awards and was named 2013 Best Drinks History in Australia in the Gourmand Food and Cookery Publishing Awards. It was the Australian entry for 2014 Best Wine History in the Gourmand International Awards alongside publications from the UK, the US, France, China and Peru.