Book Review: Australia’s First Families of Wine, by Richard Allen & Kimbal Baker • Glam Adelaide

Book Review: Australia’s First Families of Wine, by Richard Allen & Kimbal Baker

A celebration of eleven of Australia’s most iconic and important wine families and the vineyards and businesses they have built.

By
An absolute collector’s item, rich in stories and imagery. It’s one to savour like a good wine and to display proudly.
Overall
5

Australia’s First Families of Wine is a collective of multi-generational wine-making families who banded together a decade ago to help build the international profile of premium Australian wines.

On the tenth anniversary of the collective’s establishment, Melbourne University Publishing has released a stunning hardback volume by seasoned journalist Richard Allen that takes us through the history of all eleven of these family-owned wineries and the generations that have run them.

This is more that just a book about wine and wineries in Australia however. Australia’s First Families of Wine is a rich history of our country, taking us through the highlights and challenges of our fledgling nation – through early migration, prohibition, the Victorian Gold Rush of the 1850s and 1860s, world wars, the technology revolution, natural disasters, the growth of the export industry, and the floating of the Australian dollar in 1983, while also looking forward to the challenges and opportunities of the future – climate change, political landscapes, future generations…

Allen weaves a masterful and engaging tale of Australia through the lens of each family. We move from their humble beginnings to where they are now, and everything that’s happened in between. Kim Baker’s sumptuous photography brings these stories to life, interspersed with historical black and white images. This is a beautiful volume for lovers of wine, history and photography.

The iconic wineries we visit through this book are Brown Brothers, Campbells, d’Arenberg, Henschke, Howard Park, Jim Barry Wines, McWilliams, Tahbilk, Taylors Wines, Tyrrell’s Wines and Yalumba. We see the families at work, understand their business nous, revel in their marriages and explore some of their historic buildings.

The foreword by James Haliday AM, one of Australia’s leading wine commentators, sets the scene for the establishment of the collective and its ongoing success.

Australia’s First Families of Wine is an absolute collector’s item, rich in stories and imagery. It’s one to savour like a good wine and to display proudly on the bookshelf.

Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Twitter: @StrtegicRetweet

Distributed by: Melbourne University Publishing
Released: November 2019
RRP: $69.99 hardback

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