Thursday, August 10, 2006

New England Wine Regions - Hastings Valley

The Hastings Valley region is located 390 kilometres north of Sydney, 557 kilometres south from Brisbane, around 230 kilometres south and east from Armidale.

Port Macquarie at the mouth of the Hastings River, now the largest centre with a population of over over 40,000, was founded in 1821 as a penal settlement. Wauchope, for long the Valley's main commercial centre, began as a timber centre and is the site of Timbertown, a major heritage attraction.

The first wines were planted in the 1860s. However, and as happened to the New England Tablelands' wine industry, wine production declined before re-emerging in recent years because of the influence of the Cassegrain family.

The family pioneered the use of the French hybrid and fungus resistant Chambourcin grape along Cabernet Frank, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz, Chardonay, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. Today the Valley has a number of vineyards.

The combination of quality wines, cellar door facilities, music events, good regional restraurants with surf and other coastal attractions are all building interest in the Hastings' wine industry. Wine Diva provides further information for those who are interested.

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