Finding Irrawang: James King, scientific transnationalism and colonial wine heritage

A significant colonial vineyard and winery among the original Lower Hunter properties in Australia’s Hunter Valley wine region was actually located about fifty kilometres east of the present-day hub of cellar doors at Pokolbin. In the mid-19th century a key figure in this original siting – James King  – conducted a robust correspondence with European scientist Justus von Liebig. […]

I Go to Rio: how wine studies research revealed Australia’s forgotten history with Brazil

Nearly a decade ago I began to explore the early importation of wine, and grape vine plant stock, to Australia from ports of call in the North and South Atlantic. This week, to mark the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Australia and Brazil, I wrote this story on the forgotten links between colonial Australia and […]

Blogger challenge: shelves full of wine books to read, a new year ahead – what could possibly go wrong?

I’ve just hit ‘submit’ on the manuscript for a book review I was invited to write for the International Journal of Wine Research on Paul Luzacs’ Inventing Wine (2012). Excellent book. I’ll post the review once it’s published. With that task completed; with this New Year coinciding with the beginning of a new three-year postdoctoral project attached […]

Five wine documentaries you must see

My valued colleague Catherine Oddie has a fondness for listicles so in the spirit of her appreciation for pithy instructive roll calls of things people absolutely must know – I offer my top five favourite wine documentaries. Each of these are on DVD and some have been cinema releases (McMan and I saw the #1 doco twice within a […]

Water into wine: a controversial Riverina miracle, in pictures

Too much wine and not enough water – this is one of the environmental tensions of our times, and it’s in the news again in Australia this week. As I wrote in First Vintage (2012), the use of irrigation to produce wine grapes in the Riverina is a site of contestation between the people who […]

Winter is coming!

I mean this literally and metaphorically. First, the metaphorical, which – as anyone who is a fan of Game of Thrones has already guessed – entails Starkish tidings of potential doom. Sounds serious? It is. (And those who have not read or seen GoT, be warned, there is a minor spoiler at the end of […]