Back in August 2006 I looked briefly at the early history of wine growing on the New England Tablelands and Slopes. From early beginnings, grape and wine production grew rapidly only then to vanish, re-emerging in recent years. Now in the next stage of the industry's development, the Tablelands and immediate slopes have achieved GI status under the "New England Australia" label.
GI, short for Geographical Indications, is the official system by which Australia's different wine regions are recognised and protected. According to the Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation, the area's unque set of climatic conditions and similarities of topography, soil types and climate have earned the region its new status.
At 27,000 kilometres, the new region is one of Australia's largest and is presently home to 42 vineyards. The area's diverse conditions makes for considerable variety.
According to the Inverell Times, local industy associations are planning an official regional launch at Armidale on 15 February, with a gala event at Parliament House in Sydney later in the year.