The Hunter Valley Vineyards (1882)

Copy of an engraving illustrating the Bordeaux Exhibition Pavilion of 1882, titled "Exposition de Bordeaux Pavillon de l'Exposition des vins. (Dessin d'apres nature par M. Albert Tissandier.)"
Copy of an engraving illustrating the Bordeaux Exhibition Pavilion of 1882, titled “Exposition de Bordeaux – Pavillon de l’Exposition des vins. (Dessin d’apres nature par M. Albert Tissandier.)” Bordeaux Exposition – Pavillion of the Exposition of Wines (Drawn from life by M. Albert Tissandier.

Valley of the Hunter: The Hunter Valley Vineyards

Preface by Henry Bonnard
Text by Major Thomas Richard, Mr Edward Dowling, Mr J.J. Spruson
Translation (2023) by Angus Alexander James Glasper

Mrs Bonnard Brings in a French Text on the Hunter Vineyards

In 2012 Mrs Bonnard brought in a photocopy text of an account of the Hunter Vineyards in 1880s.

The publication was prepared to accompany the N.S.W. exhibition of Hunter Valley wines at the Bordeaux Wine Exposition of 1882.

She had married a descendant of Henry Bonnard, who was the Colony’s representative at the Exposition and the author of the preface to the text, and she wanted to find someone could translate it.

A French Translation of an English Work!

We handed the copy of the French text to our Emeritus Professor of French Ken Dutton to examine. He took a look at it and advised that the French was a actually a translation of a published English work.

He sent through a translation of the first two paragraphs, which provided the title of the work and the names of its authors, in the hope that we could track it down.


The Hon. Sir Henry Parkes, KCMG, Prime Minister* and Colonial Secretary of New South Wales (Australia), having had to travel to Europe and the United States of North America at the beginning of 1882, the Colonial Government decided on that occasion to publish a succinct resumé describing the progress made by the Colony from the time of its foundation in 1788 until the end of 1881, based on the most recent official statistics.  The first edition of this work, published in Sydney on 28 December 1881 under the title New South Wales in 1881, was the work of Major Thomas Richard, Director of the Official Printery, Conservator of the Rights of Literary and Artistic Property, etc., etc., who had had as his co-authors Mr Edward Dowling, Mr J.J. Spruson and several heads of the Public Services.

Today, on the occasion of the International Wine Exhibition in Bordeaux, the Colonial Government has charged its special delegate to the Exhibition with publishing this same work in French, and it is this translation which the signatory now offers to the [French] public.”

*The term ‘Prime Minister’ was generally used of the leader of State governments until Federation, when it was replaced by ‘Premier’. – Emeritus Professor Ken Dutton

A Copy of New South Wales in 1881 Is Found!

We fortunately have a copy of it in our University’s Leslie Collection.

New South Wales in 1881 : a brief statistical and descriptive account of the colony up to the end of the year, extracted chiefly from official records / compiled and edited by Thomas Richards
Cultural Coll/RB LESLIE 994.4 RICH 1882   NOT FOR LOAN

It’s Not There!

Unfortunately, the text (which is supposed to be the translation), isn’t in the book!

So, if anyone out there knows where the original French text is located, as well as the original English work from which is it translated from, please let us know.

In the meantime, one of our University of Newcastle GLAMx volunteers, Mr Angus Glasper, has generously transcribed the text of the photocopy from Mrs Bonnard, and translated it into English for us. We thank him very much for his time and effort.

Page numbers are in bracketed roman numerals e.g., (I), (II) etc

Editor’s Note

This project has been known as the Vineyards of the Hunter’s Valley A long lost publication that was thought lost forever, lost for many years, but has now been discovered in 2023 by university staff from Newcastle NSW Australia and was translated by fellow assistant/volunteer MR ANGUS ALEXANDER JAMES GLASPER FROM THE AUCHMUTY LIBRARY in the GLAMx lab at University of Newcastle NSW Australia.

It took many weeks of hard work and dedication to translate the French text into English and now the French text has been translated and put into English for all to read for many years to come.

Please enjoy.

For educational reuse.

Preface by Henry Bonnard (1882)


The Honorable Sir Henry Parkes, K.C.M.G. Prime Minister and Colonial Secretary of New South Wales (Australia) having had to visit Europe and the United States of North America at the beginning of 1882, the Colonial Government decided on this occasion the publication of a succinct summary, descriptive of the progress made by the Colony since its foundation in 1788 until the end of 1881 and based on the most recent official statistics. The first edition of this work published in Sydney on December 28, 1881, under the title “N. S. Wales in 1881“, emanated from Major Thomas Richard, Director of the Official Printing office, Registrar of Literary and Artistic Property Rights etc., etc., who had for collaborators Mr. Edward Dowling, Mr. J. J. Spruson, and several heads of public services.

Today, on the occasion of the International Wine Exhibition in Bordeaux, the Colonial Government has entrusted its special delegate, at this Exhibition, to publish the same book in French, and it is this translation that the signatory comes today to offer to the public.

This volume is also composed of various appendices, including: 1. the customs tariff of the Colony; 2. a table weight and measures. 3. a diagram showing using of rectangles, lines and points, area, population and population density per square mile of New South Wales, compared to various other countries listed.

(II)  4. A table of general and comparative statistics embracing all of the Australasian Colonies.

5. A coloured map showing the parts of the Colony more specifically assigned to agriculture, viticulture, the breeding of horse, bovine, ovine and porcine breeds, and to the exploitation of gold mines and various other minerals which abound in all points of the territory.

6. An excerpt from a report on the ”industrial progress of the Colony, dealing more specifically with the wine industry in the colonial districts of Murray and Hunter: report of a Mr Chas. Lyne, editor at the “Sydney Morning Herald”.

The translation of the various documents which have just been statements has no literary pretensions: we have focused on make the original almost literally, so as to be one faithful interpreter, while producing a composition in enough good French to be intelligible and presentable to the reader who interested in the progress of Australia: in printing several errata and typographical errors may have escaped the correction; but do not distort the meaning of the sentences.

Finally, the volume ends with a simple Notice, from signatory of this preface, dealing especially on behalf of taken by the viticulture and the wine industry of the Colonie, at the Bordeaux Exhibition, and inclusive of information most precise and complete information on the main present-day New South Wales vineyards.

The French themselves admit that they deserve the blame that they are generally told to confine themselves too much to them, to lose interest in what is happening outside, to remain oblivious to the progress and developments of others country. It is to be regretted, in fact, that the taste for travel distant countries, that of emigration and even more that of colonization are so little in favour in France; we don’t see it not that one can usefully serve his country, while living in abroad or by joining the colonization of the most distant!

(III) In France meaning of the word Colony is quite different from that that he has in English; he arouses no sympathy, barely a weak sense of curiosity or astonishment, and generally, leaves the majority of the French absolutely indifferent!

In England, on the contrary, the word Colony has the same meaning than before in Latin. The Government and the Nation do not shrink from any sacrifice for the annexation, even slow and gradual, of absolutely uncultivated, even unhealthy territories, and whose current holders are often very unhospitable!

Either we place ourselves from the point of view of national egoism, either we consider the question from the point of view more higher and more general for the good of humanity and for the progress necessary for civilization, the benefits to be collected from all extension of the most distant possessions, are so certain, so prompt and so important for the development of trade national, for the betterment of the lot of many fellow citizens, for the very consolidation of political influence and strategic advantages, so flattering finally for patriotic self-esteem, that one is surprised that the English people are the only ones to understand them and to profit from them to the point of monopolizing today almost all the present commerce of the world known to the ancients!

It is that when the Government of Great Britain decides that such territory becomes an English possession, he of course, as soon as circumstances permit, and this, the as soon as possible, let the inhabitants who have come fix on this territory, the care, the responsibility, the freedom of to govern themselves, to administer themselves as they see fit will seem; the English colonies have at home all the powers sovereigns, the laws of the metropolis only become applicable that after they have been adopted by the colonial legislatures, and, far from paying any tribute to the metropolis, the goods coming from the Motherland are often subject to almost prohibitive import duties!

(IV) One of the consequences no less surprising of this system is that these Colonies, which little by little form their own militias, constitute their navy, raise their fortifications, indignant at the idea of separation with England!

They have simply become veritable small states semi-sovereign, absolutely independent, and living happily, quietly, under the protectorate of Great Britain, as to international political relations only!

The various australian Colonies are there today; their Ministers, their administrators are real men of state. Their resources, the wealth of the territories, the energy of the inhabitants, the intelligent organization and the most intelligent yet functioning public services, credit institutions, unity of action and will, have already made their commerce comparatively more important than that of many ancient States.

The projected Federation of the various divisions of the territory Australian, federation encouraged even by the Government Imperial in London, will certainly add a lot to the vitality of the various colonies, which today have no between them no political or administrative link; they are each an isolated unit in the empire, and even willingly use this independence to wage a small war of prices!

The capitals, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, are cities more beautiful, richer, cleaner than any large second-rate city in France or in Europe.

In these Colonies, physical and moral instruction receives the greatest encouragements, the sciences, the letters and the arts are honored there, commerce and industry are in great favour!

Railways, telegraph lines, services post offices criss-cross the country in all directions, thus helping agriculture and industry to change the aspect, the constitution of the soil, even to modify the climate! education, the press, penetrate into the most remote solitudes and the great newspapers (V) In Sydney and Melbourne’s papers feel superior to the main papers of the European capitals of the Continent.

The Australian has the greatest confidence in himself, in his own and in his country.
Events prove that he is right.

Already Australia has founded a most flourishing Colony, in the Fiji Islands in 1874.

People don’t seem to know enough about all this in France; its influence in Oceania is not what it should be, nor what it would be there, if the French population increasing instead of decreasing, the possible excess of this population was going to mingle to the nations being formed, to create sympathy, ties and interests for the future! It’s not only from the political point of view that the French emigrant could rendering service to one’s country is still, and even greatly from an industrial and commercial point of view; let’s stop rather to this passage from the book than these previous remarks:

“The emigrants who came from Great Britain to these colonies contributed more to the. wealth of their Motherland that if they had stayed in their hometowns: and the statistics prove that a resident of New South Wales today consumes a relatively greater amount of articles of English manufacture than an inhabitant of the United Kingdom.”

The total trade of the Australasian Colonies now amounts to the figure of £94,000,000, which accuses, for a population of just over 3,000,000, a proportion of 35 lbs. stg. per inhabitant.

New South Wales imports annually for over of 14,000,000 pounds. stg. of goods, it exports for nearly 16,000,000 pounds. stg. The proportion of its trade is about 41 lbs. stg. per inhabitant. We know that this Colony alone possesses almost half of the herds of (VI) Australasia sheep (Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand combined.)

The various other colonies closely follow the great commercial movement at the head of which is their elder sister!

Do we want to know now what is the current importance direct trade relations between France and Australia! Here are the official statistics for New South Wales for the year 1880:

Value of direct imports from France: £37,859: of which £34,000 represent the quality of cognacs and eaux-de-vie (Brandy).

Direct exports to France: £144 (three thousand six hundred francs)!

While between this Colony on the one hand, and England of the other, these same numbers are:




As to the movements of French ships in the waters colonial twenty sailboats only of these representing 7,196 tons and having a total of 248 crewmen, are entered New Wales ports during the year 1880, out of a total of 2,108 mainly English ships (including 1.092 steamships) representing a tonnage of 1,242,458 tons and manned by 54,024 crew.

One might, however, believe that trade relations direct links between France and Australia likely to exceed development: and perhaps the moment of awakening is not distant. A major French financial institution finally comes to settle in Sydney and Melbourne, shipping lines to steam are created between large Australian ports and those of France! We must hope that the momentum is taken and that the movement won’t stop anytime soon!

Australia is open to everyone; however, as we let us say further, and we cannot repeat it too often, it is absolutely necessary that all those who would propose to immigrate in New Wales or any other of the Australian Colonies are well convinced that the indispensable conditions (VII) to their success, are to be strictly independent people of any protection or administrative assistance, sober, serious, not to be discouraged at the first difficulties, endowed with activity and initiative, ready to pay personally, to count only on their own energy, their individual value, as true pioneers of civilization and colonists of a new world, governed by principles, only true, only stable of a perfect and persevering democracy!

Allow me to express here my thanks and recognition, to New South Wales, about the distinction with which she has honored me; by delegating the care to me of his interests at the Bordeaux Exhibition, and to his Minister, the Honorable Sir John Robertson K.C.M.G., for the confidence and the esteem that it pleased him to testify to me, charging me of a mission and special studies of such great interest for Australia as a whole!

I shall consider myself happy if by my modest cooperation in the publication of this volume, I was able, as a Frenchman, as Australian, by helping to make them better known, to be made useful to the interests of Australia and those of France!

Bordeaux, 4 September 1882.


Copy of an engraving of the Bordeaux Exhibition 1882 titled "Exposition des vins d'Australie - Novelle Galles du Sud. (D'apres un croquis de M Albert Tissandier.)
Copy of an engraving of the Bordeaux Exhibition 1882 titled “Exposition des vins d’Australie – Novelle Galles du Sud. (D’apres un croquis de M Albert Tissandier.) Exposition of Australian wines – New South Wales (After a quick sketch by M. Albert Tissandier)

Valley Of The Hunter  (11)



Of all the industries existing in the districts of the Hunter, none is more important than the cultivation of the vine and the manufacture of wine. The soil is admirably favorable, the vineyards are numerous: very extensive and well cared for; as for the wine, its excellence is for a long time like Australians, what if, basing on the honors granted to the samples of the wines of the Hunter, there. At the recent Paris Exposition, attempts were being made to introduce Australian wines into England on a larger scale than before, their superior qualities would soon be recognized by European connoisseurs. Many people, especially those recently arrived from Europe, whose knowledge of the wine trade is beyond compare, predict a great future for the Australian wine industry.

The vineyards of Europe are old and their soil is exhausted quickly; moreover, the ravages of phylloxera and other scourges in destroyed many, while the vineyards of Australia are young, and, with the exception of oidium, free from all disease; when the wines of Europe will run out, the wines of Australia may replace them and their merits will then be proclaimed on the Continent as well as in England. So far, the quantities shipped from the Hunter to London, appear to have been only consignments restricted to agents, for the sole purpose of trying to place them on the English markets or to fulfill orders received from Australians residing in England, accustomed to colonial wines and preferring them to what is generally sold in Europe as wine, for their own use. The time is not still come for growers from Australia to make strong shipments on England, where the demand for Australian wines is not moreover not general; but shipments and sales of importance are certain, subsequently, when this industry will have reached the development necessary to cope with the local and external consumption, after certain prejudices against all that is colonial will have disappeared and when the amateurs of wines will be prepared to judge impartially the samples that we submit to them, and to buy the wines on their own merits.


Currently, Australian winemakers are focusing their attention on the sale of their products in their Colonies, because here, it there is a great bad will that must be fought and overcome before the colonial wine industry could assume large proportions.

Unfair prejudices, at the same time as a taste for highly cooled drinks, are harmful, many have the admission and establishment of Australian wines as a general consumption product in the Colonies themselves. These singularities of the colonial population have an even more serious effect: they suggest to the wine trade that if it wants to sell its products and continue its industry, it must put up for sale something that consumers will buy, and in order to achieve this result, commerce is compelled to make the sacrifice of purity wine and fortify it with alcohol in proportions to make it strong enough and heady for the taste of the public. The appreciation of wines, pure seems to be gaining ground, but although a certain number of people have acquired this superiority of taste and buy their wines in consequence, The number is very small compared to those who feel the need to drink something stronger; Unfortunately, if we have to refer to our wine traders, the demand for very heady wines (when we ask them for wine), seems to increase rather than decrease. Perhaps circumstances will occur that will defeat these tastes, and put in addition Great favours the consumption of wines, which are really the pure juice of the grapes; But until then, the source of the evil lies in the population itself. If the vines grow, if you make the wine, you have to sell the wine, and producers whose efforts to produce pure wines will be unsuccessful cannot be blamed if they give up the wishes of the mass of consumers, to obtain different wines.

With the exception of the Macarthur vineyards, at Camden, the vines of Hunter appear to be the oldest in the Colony: it was at Kirkton, near Branxton, that the first vines were planted, there already 40 or 50 years passed. Of course, when this industry was in its infancy, the vines were very small, the wine-making very primitive, and the wine itself was of no quality whatsoever. Since then, not only have the vineyards increased in number, as well as in size and extent, but the constant introduction of improvements in the manufacture of wine, has enabled the winemakers to produce what satisfies the demand of the masses. consumers, as well as what the taste of connoisseurs requires. The Hunter River Basin is in fact so well suited to growing vines that there are


Valley of the Hunter 13


in all directions, small or large vineyards, and this cultivation is so easy and so profitable, that the smallest vine grower in derives satisfactory benefits.

The existence of a greater number of producers than is necessary for the needs of the local trade, does not seem to have the result of improving all the wine sold, because many of the small winegrowers produce an inferior quality which harms development of good taste, and to the operations of the careful owners and desirous of marketing only really good wines; but this circumstance in no way affects the question of the profits to be made by these ways of doing things, and it is not difficult to see how one could bring about a state of affairs such that the wines of the smallest winegrower would deserve to be drunk, and that all the vintages of large and small owners would easily realize highly remunerative prices: if the small winegrower is heedless of the time and care that wine-making requires, his harvest could be, as often happens, bought by others, ready to give this production all the attention it requires, and there is no doubt that however great the needs of the future may be, the production of colonial wines will always be equal to the demand.

As far as statistical information is concerned, the number of acres planted in vines in the basin of the Hunter. existing in 1880, was:

In the electoral district of Hunter ……….. 628 acres

Murrurundi …… 11 >

Scone ………… 55 >

Morpeth ……… 64 >

Northumberland …….. 16 >

Patrick plains…….. 171 >

Woollombi ………141 >

Tamworth…….. 9 >

Totalling………………………… 1,093 acres

the product of which in that same year was 277,527 gallons of wine.

Annual production varies, as the quantity of grapes and wine are highly dependent on temperature at various times of year. But these figures are sufficient to provide information on the importance of this industry in this part of the Colony alone, and as soon as the needs of the trade will justify it, the extent of the plantations and the wine production can both be easily and greatly increased.

The season during which the writer of this information has


visited the vineyards was not the best choice, because the vines were in this naked and stripped state which immediately precedes the operation of size, and the pleasing look of green leaves and clusters brown, from the time of the harvest, was completely lacking.

It was hard to imagine that the twisted and deformed vines, clinging to their stakes and partially stretched out on iron wires, could ever give the slightest sign of life; but if the pruner comes to remove all the superfluous wood, and on these little excrescences called garlic, little buds will be born and spread, new branches will grow, flowers will follow them, and the vines will take care little by little of their beautiful fruit. During this visit, we were taking care of the pruning and at the end of September, the vines should begin to show themselves: they are in flower towards the end of November, and very shortly after, the grapes appear. The harvest begins in February and March.

The eastern slope of a hill seems to be the most desirable situation for the vineyards of the Hunter, because the vines are then sheltered from the strong westerly winds, and have the advantage of the sun’s rays during most of the day.

The high grounds are also, it seems, considered preferable to the plains, although the average of the grape harvest and of the production of wine on the slopes of the hills is less than the average obtained in the lower grounds. A yield of 400 gallons per acre is estimated to be a good average for the highlands, while one hopes to obtain from 700 to 1000 gallons (1) in the plains; but on the other hand, the produce of the hillsides is generally of better quality, and the cause is attributed to this circumstance that the higher lands are drier, contain less vegetable matter, and are therefore not so rich.

Once the vine is planted, it becomes necessary to monitor the growth of the cuttings, to deal with remedying the progress of powdery mildew or caterpillars and grasshoppers {if either others appear}, and finally prepare for the making of wine and its storage: these various treatments do not require more work, nor has more pecuniary advances, than any other industry in the Colony

The powdery mildew disease is sometimes very widespread, but sometimes also, the effects have been barely perceptible, and the remedy generally adopted by our winegrowers is to suffer the vigues. There is, however, another method of caring for the vine and which a winegrower assured me


(1) one hectolitre equaling 22 gallons and one hectare to 2 and a half acres


be very efficient. He prepares a mixture of rock salt, lime and sulfur, one third of each; it opens up the earth around the roots and pour about a liter of the mixture on each foot. This process is somewhat expensive, but seems to have excellent results, and better still, if put into practice in conjunction with the ordinary sulfur treatment. From June to August, and in dry weather, is the time to apply this remedy. If the disease is allowed to spread, it becomes very destructive. It breaks out like a mold immediately after the vine has flowered, and when the verjuice is already the size of shotgun pellets, a very short time later the grapes burst and are lost.

Other inconveniences for some of the winegrowers come from depredations of caterpillars and other insects, and unless the vines are examined very carefully, and the insects removed as they are discovered, one is exposed to the loss of an entire harvest, and even to the leaf destruction. Many of the great proprietors of vineyards employ scores of children to keep their vines clean, more especially to seize and destroy the caterpillars in their embryonic state, and without this precaution it is difficult to say where the ravages would stop…. but one can easily protect oneself from such inconvenience, and oidium is the only scourge of importance that our winegrowers really have to fear.

Sometimes the rain comes when the grapes could only win over drought, and often causes great damage in the vineyards, but it is still one of those difficulties of the same kind than any other that farmers have to expect whatever their specialty.

The barrels can either be made on site by a specially employed cooper, either obtained from Sydney or purchased in the neighboring town: the cooper’s trade and the manufacture of wine bottles are destined for great development in the wine-growing districts, but today the wine trade does not is not yet important enough for these two specialties. It is generally found cheaper to buy barrels of the required size in Sydney, just as all the necessary bottles are also procured there, second-hand, and at so much per dozen.

The cellar does not need to be very complicated or expensive. In the Colonies, the cellars generally consist of a wooden shed, quite solid, having a roof of galvanized iron, with the earth for a floor and sometimes there is a lower floor or basement, for the storage of wines older or more facts. A well-stocked and well-kept cellar deserves to be visited, the long rows of barrels,


The enormous dimensions of some of them, the butchering machines, and the great quantities of wine, are so many objects of great interest to anyone who knows how to appreciate the signs of an important industry.

On one of the vineyards (1) visits, the visitor is particularly surprised at the ease and comfort revealed by the owner and his vineyard. and this, all the more so since it is a striking example of the success that in this country, can obtain the immigrants of this class, which the Colony desires more than any other; that is to say men brought up in some European country and educated in the practice of agriculture, coming to Australia with sufficient capital to acquire the land and to devote themselves to their occupation to advantage. Of the winegrowers of much higher social position and possessing larger and more valuable properties, also prove the beneficial results of the wine industry in Australia. but there is more to learn and better to judge the success of this industry, in the winemaker of a more humble position: like the one to which reference is made.

Aware of the vine and the wines since his childhood, having made an apprenticeship of 4 years, according to the use, in a foreign country, and then sent for a tour of the principal wine districts, French, this winegrower was hired to come to this Colony and import there the manufacture of wine in the district by a company. He arrived here 25 years ago, bringing with him a fairly large capital, and after having served the Company for which he had come to the sale of the vineyard, he bought, in 1869:

a small property and immediately began to transform the virgin land he had bought into a vineyard and an orchard for his own account.

At that time, it was perhaps easier than today to provide suitable land; but in compensation for this advantage for the grower, it was then much more difficult to sell thousand gallons of wine than to sell 20,000 gallons now, and it there was still a lot more to learn about wine making. Having cleared his land and planted his vines, our man occupied himself with building a house for himself, while the vines grew, and twenty months later he collected 100 gallons of wine per acre. In 1880, notwithstanding the great rarity of the rains, he obtained more than 700 gallons per acre, or 3,400 gallons for 4 acres and a half, and selling two tenons of table grapes.

The vine had to suffer from powdery mildew, and the orange trees were affected,


(1) The Saint-Helene vineyard at Lochinvar, near Newcastle, and belonging to Mons. Philibert Terrier Nuits, (Cote-d’Or) France.


that year, from an illness which presented itself under the guise of soot layer; but we remedy it as much as possible, and we didn’t have to suffer too much.

The overall look of the property is happy and comfortable. A solid brick house, in the center of an orchard and a garden, looks like, seen from the outside or from the road, the residence of a wealthy owner; inside, nothing is missing of all that can make life pleasant A large courtyard extends behind the house, and we see the cellar, the press, and all the outbuildings ordinary on a farm. Not far from there, on the slope of a hill, is the vineyard that really produces excellent wine; all together is eminently satisfactory in appearance and clearly proves what can be expected from the soil of New South Wales, when it is in the hands of serious, persevering, economical and skillful men, and already possessing some money to begin with.

Oh! said this winegrower with a tone of enthusiasm, the richness of the soil here is wonderful. When I returned to France (because the profits of his industry allowed him to go on a trip to his native country) I said to my friends: « You can’t get an idea of the splendid country we have here, you can do and say there what you want, live there as you please, and no one meddle in your affairs; while in France you can’t even sit by your fire in your own house without having to be very careful about what you say. »

I went to France, he continued, I stayed there for two years, I spent all the money I took with me there, and I came back here.

There is no other country like this, it is a country that I admire, the soil produces everything there, we enjoy all the freedoms there, and everything that makes life easy.

The social condition of the richest vine growers is equal to that of any other landlord class in the Colony. Sometimes, perhaps, there is more pageantry than substance, but this is a circumstance common to all classes of society; and speaking in general, the position of the big wine industrialists is equal to that of the richest breeders. All the vineyards are known by distinct names and these names are used in a manner such that people unaware of this usage can believe that one speaks well-known cities. This usage is entirely English, and is adopted probably in imitation of the large landowners of England, who, as is well known, give their estates special names which end up being as well known as those of the great towns and cities.

Generally the colonial properties here belonged to the same –


families for one or two generations, and although the first owners have had to work and struggle like all other pioneers and first occupants of uncultivated lands, their successors have, in most cases, followed the same progressive course, and enjoy today the advantages which result from their position as owners of the ground.

As for the wines and their qualities, the producers and their families make constant use of them and feel good about them. The rich winegrower and all his family, from the child of 8 to 10 years old, drink their wine at all meals, in silver cups obtained as prizes at various Agricultural Shows; the less well-to-do winemaker and his wife, care about no other drink, but wine, while beautiful young girls, as amiable as they are distinguished, drink wine at the lunch, and enjoy a glass of mulled wine in the evening before withdraw; which must certainly contribute to maintain their freshness and rosy colors, as well as their excellent and cheerful dispositions.

If the qualities of a production are due to the confidence it inspires its producer and the personal use he makes of it, as well as by the way in which the latter physically benefits himself, the Australian wine deserves to be recommended as strongly as any other production from the Australian continent.  No doubt appears exist as to the excellence of well-made and mature wine, and there are good reasons to believe that colonial wine is considerably superior to most wines imported from Europe.

If we consider that the quantity of really good wine made in Europe is so limited that, if it is not insufficient at the demand of the European markets the price at which it is sold is so high that it is inaccessible to the middle classes, we will immediately admit that there can only be a very small quantity of good wine shipped from Europe to Australia. The wines however that arrive here, however inferior, find more consumers, generally speaking, than the best Australian wines.

This is largely the result of the preference given in the Colonies has everything that comes from abroad, under the impression that this must be better than colonial productions of the same nature, and also, the continued efforts of European wine importers to expand their import trade rather than promote the consumption of Australian wines. For the trader this may be a question of large or small profits, or there may be other causes for this unwillingness to encourage the efforts of Australian producers, resulting from the relationship between the import and supply of debits. These latter establishments have certainly not


nothing to regret in relation to the profits to be made on colonial wines, because judging by the price at which the winegrower sells his products, the various intermediaries, through whose hands these products pass successively, must make strong profits. If all interested parties wanted to be satisfied with moderate gains, the sale of the wines would immediately increase; but it must not be hoped that the Australian wine industry will ever be on a good footing, until not only prices are within reach of the general public, but also until the taste of the mass of consumers for strong drinks, and consequently; for adulterated wines or wines fortified with alcohol, has been abandoned and replaced by a marked preference in favor of a pure, light and hygienic wine.

It is easy to understand that it is necessary for producers to study the tastes of the public. This is the case in Europe as well as in Australia. The method adopted here consists in cutting or mixing two or three wines together, or to fortify the wines with alcohol. Some wines mix well and frequently, win by their mixture, by strength and body, especially lower quality wines. We thus treat a large number of foreign wines, and this treatment is not considered as falsification, insofar as the wines thus cut are of the same kind and that a different name is not given to the mixture. The introduction of alcohol into wine is quite a different thing; and although some producers and most of the merchants believe it necessary to alcoholize their wines, in order to better ensure their sale, it is a process, all the more regrettable, as it maintains the depravity of the taste of the residents, already so prone to the consumption of strong liquors. But since, unless it contains an addition of alcohol, the wine will not sell, it is very difficult to say how, in the present state of affairs, the difficulty can be solved.

The manufacture of wine, like any other industry, is a commercial speculation, and the vine-growers believe themselves obliged only to consult their own interests, and to manufacture their wine according to the desire of those who are likely to consume it. A healthy reform in the tastes of the population would greatly reduce the propensity to brandies and increase the consumption of pure wines. Nevertheless, the general preference is currently so marked for imitations of Port wines and Sherry, that some winegrowers have equipped themselves with distillation apparatus to obtain for themselves the necessary alcohol and combine it with the greater proportion of their products.

On the other hand, while the process of alcoholization is in favor among a number of winegrowers, we must hasten to say that the most important and longest-established ensure that their


wines remain pure and reach a certain age before leaving their cellars; it is to this class of owners and to their efforts that we shall attribute the progress and development of industry and wine trade in Australia; convinced of the importance of their enterprise and of the advantages which can result from it, not only for themselves, but also for the Colony, and jealous of their reputation as winegrowers, they watch carefully that no inferior wine comes out of their cellars under their name; if some portion of a harvest is of inferior quality, it is cut with a better wine, which improves it and allows it to be sold; or again, it is sold to some buyer whose clientele is content with such wines, but it is never sent to market in bottles labeled in the same way as good wine. Some winegrowers do not want, under any pretext, to have a distilling machine at home. Talking on this subject with one of them, he answered me:

« In any vineyard, one must expect, each year, a certain proportion of wine below good first quality, and if I want to sell only good wine, I must either transform this proportion into alcohol, or lose it; but I don’t want to have a still, because as soon as it is known that you have one, there is always a suspicion that the wines coming out of your house are somewhat alcoholic. I never fortify my wines in this way, because I consider that the pure juice of the grape is much healthier, although perhaps more acidic than any alcoholic wine. »

For the placement of their products, the main winegrowers and those of the best class, can only count on this portion of the public whose taste is in favor of a natural wine, and the success they have obtained so far on the colonial markets has not been obtained without much patience and perseverance. The elders winemakers planted their vineyards and made wine systematically, on certain principles, and started with a certain capital; but inexperienced winegrowers speculated on the production, and their way of doing things came to compromise the interests of all; once the vines were in full swing, they set about making wine and delivering a product which, as soon as it was in circulation, damaged the industry, turning many people away from the very idea of drink colonial wine.

Since then there has been some improvement, but a high proportion of these bad wines is still brought on the markets and sought after by consumers of a certain class; and in what may be called ordinary commerce the best vine-growers say that they do not have a great chance of success.


A large number of small winegrowers sell their wine quite new, while it still contains a high proportion of the acetic qualities special to Australian wine, and is therefore unhealthy. This material seems to be widely consumed in cabarets, but it is also sometimes offered in establishments of better quality; and although it cannot be represented as a desirable drink, it is none the less tasted in considerable quantities, Sometimes the great vine-growers will buy the harvest of the small ones, and after having mixed it, will sell it with their vintages, or else will buy the grapes from them in bunches, will press them and make wine of them; but this will only be exceptional.

During the last few years, it was planned to form a Company which would build large and spacious cellars, buy the harvest of all the small winegrowers en bloc, make and preserve the wine, and sell it under the conditions best calculated to support and increase the reputation of Australian wines; it does not appear so far that this project is in progress; but if such a Company existed with an agency in England, many people assert that it would result in a great trade, that the wine would gain much in quality, and that the wine industry in general would find great profits.

The age of the wines coming out of the cellars of those of our winegrowers enjoying a certain reputation, is around three years, sometimes less, but in this case, it is only when there is a strong demand, which can only be met by delivering wine less than 3 years old; formerly also, the wine thus delivered to the trade, has much more than three years.

The winegrowers seem to have no idea what becomes of their wine after he left home; they are satisfied if they get a remunerative price for it, leaving the merchants to do with it as they please. It seems likely that while a portion of the wine is bottled and sold by them as pure Australian wine, a large proportion is cut, and perhaps partly sold for something other than its true nature; it is commonly accepted that the wine and spirits trade lends itself to a great deal of manipulation, and it is also believed that Australian wine is prepared according to the investment one finds.  It may happen that a merchant will buy a certain quantity of good wine from one producer and another quantity of inferior and cheap wine from another, and, mixing the two, will obtain a fairly good price at all. We even go so far as to suspect that a large proportion of colonial wine is put in bottles bearing European labels and marks, to be –


sold as imported wine from Europe. The ordinary Claret wine and the Hock, are wines that can be sold in this way. Some wines Australian reds, without manipulation, are so similar in color and taste to claret from France that, sold under a Bordeaux label, very few people would see a difference! and, moreover, at worst, the addition of an ingredient well known to those skilled in the art would suffice to give Australian wine the special bouquet of foreign wine. It would be even easier for the Hock, because the white wines of the Hunter are generally congeners of similar wines from the Rhine. Wines from Albury or the South are stronger and closer to wines from Spain and Portugal.

One immediately explains the conduct of the trade, on this point, if it pent ensure by these means a greater placement and more great profits on famous imported wines; it is assured that in the wine trade, the greatest profits are made by importing foreign wines; winemakers hold importing merchants responsible for the apathy that hotel managers and other similar establishments have shown towards Australian wine. If the wine merchants wanted to, they could indeed greatly develop the colonial industry, and bring about the improvement of wine, in their own interest and in that of the consumers; but one of the greatest difficulties encountered in the outlets, is that of obtaining a sufficient quantity of good quality wine at a reasonable price. In many places you can’t get less than a bottle at a time, and again at an exorbitant price, and almost always, at least in the big cities and especially in Sydney, a glass of ordinary colonial wine can never be paid for. less than six pence, or 60 cents. Sold in such quantities and at such a retail price, it is not possible for Australian wine to become a popular drink, for a workman’s purse cannot often bear such expense.

If, wishing to drink a glass of wine, the consumer cannot get less than one bottle, he will prefer to ask for only one glass brandy, or other such drink; or, if he discovers that the weak sufficient quantity to fill a glass of wine costs him sixpence, he would prefer to pay half that price for a large glass of a drink less beneficial and sometimes positively injurious to health as is often the case, for example, with colonial beer. Similarly if someone wanting half a bottle of wine for his midday meal, is obliged to pay 2 fr. 50 or 3 fr. 75, minimum price on the same wine districts, this person will prefer to ask for a bottle of beer which will only cost him 1 fr. 25. There seems to be no good –


reason why colonial wine would not be so cheap, or more or less than Australian beer. It is true that most wines spoil very quickly after the barrel or bottle containing them has been opened without being consumed; but this difficulty is not insurmountable. The susceptibility of wines to pitting, if left racking for a long time, is given as an excuse for the alcoholization of colonial wines to the same degree as the wines of Portugal; but it must also be said that general opinion considers wine merchants as hostile to the sale of colonial wine; and relative to the idea already put forward that wholesale traders have more profits or advantages from the importation of wines from Europe, it is also believed that a large number of outlets are entirely under the control of wholesale traders, their supplies remaining constituted and their sales controlled more or less as these merchants please to do.

However important the consumption of wine will be, the wine-growing districts of the Colony are so favorable to this industry, that one can easily give to the vineyards any desirable extension of extent; what the producers ask today as an encouragement to extend their plantations, is a certainty of sale of their products. A big reason why some of the main winegrowers bottle their own wines and endeavor to retain its identity is, naturally, the hope of also increasing the sale; but all would not ask for better, if they could do it at remunerative prices, and without harming their industry, than to sell their wines in barrels and leave to the merchants, not only the bottling, but also the care and storage until maturity.

« “Now,” said a winemaker to me, whose wine recently won one of the highest awards ever given to those Australia, at present, with my vineyard of 20 acres, and producing from 5 to 6,000 gallons a year, I am obliged, before being able to sell my wine at the proper age, to have it undergo several operations, to look after it, rack it, clear it, and various others, each of which is a separate job usually left to large houses on the Continent. If there were houses of the same size in Sydney, buying our wines, at 6 months of age for example, and letting them age before selling them, it would be much more in favor of the trade; but currently, it is absolutely as if a man producing corn, was obliged to grind it, to knead it and to cook it, to be able to sell it. »

Another no less important winemaker made the same comment to me. there is no doubt that it would be beneficial for the winegrowers if they –


could sell all their wines a few months after their production, and leave the bottling and maturing in the hands of merchants; as long as they respected the identity and the good quality of the wines, neither the public nor the producers would lose out.

Some people sometimes complain of a special acidity or sourness in certain Australian wines, but this acidity disappears with age; it is believed to be attributable to the presence of tan in the wine, resulting from a certain proportion of saltpeter or some other alkali in the soil, but the opinion of competent judges is that this taste quite usually disappears in a very short time.

A singular circumstance relating to the appearance of this saltpeter inland, in greater quantity than usual, has been reported to me, and attributed (although only by conjecture) to the effects of a flood of the district in 1857. In the locality where there is a certain vineyard, the water of all streams and wells was, until this flood, fresh and perfectly sweet; since then, on the contrary, all these waters have turned brown, apparently by result of some accumulation of salts in the surrounding land. What was most extraordinary was that the soil was so impregnated with it that all the wines from this vineyard, even long after 1866, were brownish in color. « To the point in fact, the owner told me, that if I had put 200 pounds of salt in a barrel, the wine could not have been worse. Three times the wine was decanted and saltpeter crystals were noticeable even 12 months after the wine was bottled. »

Speaking on this subject to other winegrowers, in other localities I have not been able to learn that any other similar experience has been done; however, it was not the only vineyard thus affected because a nearby cave, during its first harvest, and a little later than the previous one, experienced the same symptoms, and its wine tasted the same; the owner of this second vineyard assured me that even today, if it received a few heavy rains before harvest, it would be sure that his wine would be of this same brown color, adding that, as the wine ages in the cellar, the taste in question disappears, evaporation or otherwise.

In 1871, heavy rains having occurred in this district, the wine of this locality was quite dirty.

The tilling of the ground has some tendency to prevent this inconvenience to a great extent, and in the course of a few years the vintages of these vineyards are believed to be as free from it as those of all the others. It is fair to say, for the purpose of pre-


were dug into the rock and built breakwaters. To the Clarence River, a dike was built at great expense, Powerful steam dredgers work constantly, to destroy obstacles to navigation and prevent the silting up of passes in coastal ports. On the rivers Darling and Murrumbidgee, on the inside, we’ve been having some great work of clearing the bottom, whenever he has been possible, thus providing inland transport with several hundreds of miles of river navigation.

The Chief Engineer of Ports and Rivers reports following the work of his service during the last ten years:

« Erection of quays and jetties at all points of the Colony: breakwaters, improvement of ports and waterways, including the Murray River, the Murrumbidgee Rivers,

Darling and Richmond, whose funds had to be cleared from rocks, sandbanks and tree trunks. (these last coming from the accumulation of centuries) which obstructed the navigation.

« Backfilling of considerable spaces in the port of Sydney and erection on these lands of spacious docks or containment walls. Construction of dredging equipment. Preparatory studies for the distribution of water in Sydney and on many other points inside the Colony: hydrography of our ports, rivers, etc. »

About 680,000 lbs. stg. were taken from public funds consolidated, and spent during the decade for the construction of public works depending on the service of ports and rivers.

Considerable and expensive work to ensure abundant and constant supply of water in the metropolis colonial and some cities of the interior, as well as for a
sewage system in the capital are currently underway.

The telegraph lines received an extension of the most –


The necessary co-operation is this: 1. A method adopted by all the winegrowers themselves to ensure that the wines coming out of their cellars are natural and good; 2. A determination on the part

of those who put wine in bottles, to no longer falsify it, nor alcoholize it or cut it in an offensive or incompetent manner;

  1. A disposition on the part of the customers to content themselves with moderate and fair earnings, and to sell the wine to their customers at such prices and in such quantities as to induce the public to consume it regularly. Public sympathy is also, of course, essential to success, but this sympathy is sure to result from this co-operation, in at the same time that the industry could be encouraged by all other legitimate means.

Those who consider the culture of the vine in New South Wales as of great value to the Colony, are convinced of the importance of leaving it free from all restrictions, and of allowing it to follow its path unhindered until the point where it will have become not only a means of improving the condition of these masses today absorbing alcoholic beverages, but still a source of great export trade to foreign countries. Nothing is apt to remedy the pernicious habits of drunkenness existing in the Colony, such as the development of a general taste for a refreshing drink, exciting the spirits without going so far as inebriation (unless one drinks it in quantity). unreasonable), and not having in any way offensive effects; these qualities are those of the wines which the soil and climate of New South Wales are recognized as eminently suited to produce.

During our visit to the winegrowers, the opinion was often expressed an excellent opportunity to benefit the industry Australian wine had been lost by not having had experts Europeans to judge the wine samples at the recent International Exhibition in Sydney. It was intended, not to cast doubt on the capacity or the decisions of the colonial jury, but to bring out the greater influence which would have attached to the decisions of European jurors, and it is contended that the probable result of these decisions would certainly have been to spread knowledge of Australian wines outside the Colonies; but even though the winegrowers did not have the satisfaction of seeing their wines at the Exhibition judged in this way, large number of European gourmets, although not specialists, have gave high praise to the wines on display. During the duration of this Exhibition, foreigners of distinction, passing through Sydney, more especially the warships’ staffs, both consumed large quantities of Australian wine and declared themselves to be very –


appreciaters. Two French visitors having gone to visit the cellars at Sydney of one of the greatest winegrowers established on the edges of the Paterson, near the port of Newcastle, enjoyed one of his wines which they asked for the quantity on sale, and bought immediately several boxes, the payment being at the rate of 28 shillings per dozen, and declaring their intention to take some with them to France. As the winemaker expressed some surprise at such an enthusiastic preference for a wine that he himself, familiar with colonial products, did not hold for extraordinary,

Oh! answered one of the French visitors, we can’t get wine like this in France for less than 60 shillings or 75 francs a dozen; we are forced to settle for a wine much lower than yours! »

May this answer serve as conclusion and moral, and provoke wise reflections!



Message de l’éditeur:

Ce projet a été connu sous le nom de les vignobles de la vallée du chasseur Une publication perdue depuis longtemps que l’on pensait perdue à jamais, perdue pendant de nombreuses années, mais qui a maintenant été découverte en 2023 par le personnel de l’université de Newcastle NSW Australie et a été traduite par un collègue assistant / bénévole MR ANGUS ALEXANDER JAMES GLASPER DE LA BIBLIOTHÈQUE AUCHMUTY dans le glam x lab à l’université de Newcastle NSW Australie.

il a fallu de nombreuses semaines de travail acharné et de dévouement pour traduire le texte français en anglais et maintenant le texte français a été traduit et mis en anglais pour que tous puissent le lire pendant de nombreuses années à venir.


Et pour toute question, n’hésitez pas à contacter le personnel de l’UON pour une réutilisation pédagogique.



L’honorable Sir Henry Parkes, K. C.M. G. premier ministre et Secretaire colonial de la Nouvelle-Galles du Sud (Australie) ayant du se rendre en Europe et aux Etats-Unis de l’Amerique du Nord, au commencement de 1882, le Gouvernement Colonial decida a cette occasion la publication d’un resume succinct, descriptif des progres fait par la Colonie depuis sa fondation en 1788 jusqu a la fin de 1881, et base sur les plus recentes statistiques officielles. La premiere edition de cet ouvrage publie a Sydney le 28 decembre 1881, sous le titre “N. S. Wales in 1881“, emanait du major Thomas Richard, directeur de l’imprimerie officielle, conservateur des droits de propriete litteraire et artistique etc., etc., lequel avait eu pour collabo-­rateurs M Edouard Dowling, M. J. J. Spruson, et plusieurs chefs des services publics.

Aujourd’hui, a l’occasion de l’Exposition internationale des Vins a Bordeaux, le Gouvernement Colonial a charge son  deIegue special, a cette Exposition, de publier le meme onvrage en langue francaise, et c’ est cette traduction que le signataire vient aujourd’hui offrir au public.

Ce volume se compose, en outre, de divers’ appendices, comprenant: 1.  le tarif douanier de la Colonie; 2. un tableau des poids et mesures; 3. un diagramme indiquant a l’ aide de rectangles, lignes et points, la superficie, la population et la densite de population par mille carre, de la Nouvelle – Galles du Sud, comparee a divers autres pays indiques.

(II) 4. Un tableau de statistiques generales et comparatives embrassant l’ensemble des Colonies Australasiennes.

5. Une carte coloriee renseignant sur les parties de la Colonie plus, specialement affectees a l’agriculture, a la viticulture, a l’ elevage des races chevalines, bovines, ovines et porcines, et a l’exploitation des mines d’or et des divers autres mineraux qui abondent sur tous les points territoire.

6. Un extrait d’un rapport sur les ”progres industriels de la Colonie”, traitant plus specialement de l’ industrie, vinicole dans les districts coloniaux du Murray et du Hunter: rapport du a Chas. Lyne, redacteur au “Sydney Morning Herald”.

La traduction des divers documents qui viennent d’etre enonces n’a aucune pretention litteraire: on s’est attache a rendre l’ original Presque litteralement, de manière a en etre un interprete fidele, tout en produisant une composition en assez bon francais pour etre intelligible et presentable au lecteur qui s’interesse aux progres de L Australie: au cours de l’impression plusieurs errata et fautes typographiques ont pu echapper a la correction; mais ne denaturent pas le sens des phrases.

Enfin le volume se termine par une simple Notice, du signataire de cette preface, traitant specialement de la part que prennent la Viticulture et l’ Industrie vinicole de la Colonie, a l’ Exposition de Bordeaux, et inclusive des renseignements les plus precis et les plus complets sur les principaux vignobles actuels de la Nouvelle-Galles du Sud.

Les Francais admettent cux-memes qu’ils meritent le reproche qu’ on leur adresse generalement de trop se renfermer chez eux, de se desinteresser de ce qui se passe au dehors, de rester inconscients des progres et des developpements d’autres pays. Il est a regretter, en effet, que le gout des voyages lointains, celui de l’emigration et encore plus celui de la colonisation soient si peu en faveur en France; on ne s y figure pas qu’on peut servir utilement son pays, tout en vivant a l etranger ou en se joignant a la colonisation des pavs les plus lointains!

(III) En France le’ sens du mot Colonie est tout different de celui qu’il a en anglais; il n eveille aucune sympathie, a peine un faible sentiment de curiosite ou d’ etonnement, et generalement, laisse la majorite des Francais absolument indifferents!

En Angleterre, au contraire, le mot Colony a le meme sens qu’autrefois en latin. Le Governement et la, Nation ne reculent devant aucun sacrifice pour l’annexion, meme lente et graduelle, de territoires absolument incultes, meme malsains, et dont les detenteurs actuels sont souvent fort peu hospitaliers!

Soit que l’on se place au point de vue de l’egoisme national, soit que l’on considere la question au point de vue plus eleve et plus general du bien de l’ humanite et des progres necessaires de la civilisation, les benefices a recueillir de toute extension des possessions les plus lointaines, sont si certains, si prompts et si importan pour le developpement du commerce. national, pour l’amelioration du sort de nombreux concitoyens, pour la consolidation meme del’influence politique et des avantages strategiques, si flatteurs enfin pour l’amourpropre patriotique, qu’on s’etonne que le peuple anglais soit le seul a les comprendre et a en profiter au point de monopoliser aujourd’hui presque tout le commerce actuel du monde connu des anciens!

C’est que, lorsque le Gouvernement de la Grande-Bretagne decide que tel territoire devient une possession anglaise, il entend bien, des que les circonstances le permettront, et ce, le plus, tot possible, laisser aux habitants qui seront venus se fixer sur ce territoire, le soin, la responsabilite, la liberte de se gouverner, de s’administrer eux-memes comme bon leur semblera; les colonies anglaises ont chez elles tous les pouvoirs souverains, les lois de la metropole n’y deviennent applicables qu’apres qu’elles ont ete adoptees par les legislatures coloniales, et, loin de payer un tribut quelconque a la metropole, les marchandises venant de la Mere-Patrie sont souvent frappees de droits d’entree presque prohibitifs!

(IV) Une des consequences les non moins surprenantes de ce systeme est que ces Colonies, qui peu a peu forment leurs propres milices, constituent leur marine, elevent leurs fortifications, sindignant a lidee de seperation davec l angleterre!

Elles sont tout simplement devenues de veritables petits Etats semi-souverains, absolument independants, et vivant heureusement, tranquillement, sous le protectorat de la Grande Bretagne, quant aux relations de politique internationale seulement!

Les diverses Colonies australiennes en sont la aujourd’ hui, leurs Ministres, leurs administrateurs sont de veritables hommes d’ Etat. Leurs ressources, la richesse des territoires, l’ energie des habitants, l’ intelligente organisation et le plus intelligent encore fonctionnement des services publics, des etablissements de credit, l’unite d’action et de volonte, ont deja rendu leur commerce, comparativement, plus important que celui de nombreux anciens Etats.

La Federation projetee des diverses divisions du territoire Australien, federation encouragee meme par le Gouvernement Imperial a Londres, ajoutera certainement beaucoup a la  vitalite des diverses colonies, lesquelles n’ont aujourd’hui  entre elles aucun lien politique ni administratif; elles sont  chacune une unite isolee dans l’empire, et usent meme volontiers de cette independance pour se faire une petite guerre de tarifs!

Les capitales, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, sont des cites plus belles, plus riches, plus propres que n’importe quelle grande ville de second ordre en France ou en Europe.

Dans ces Colonies, l’instruction physique et morale, recoit les plus grands encouragements, les sciences, les lettres et les arts y sont en honneur, le commerce et l’ industrie y sont en grande faveur!

Les chemins de fer, les lignes telegraphiques, les services postaux sillonnent le pays dans tous les sens, aidant ainsi l’agriculture et l’industrie a changer l’aspect, la constitution du sol, meme a modifier le climat! L’ instruction, la presse, penetrent dans les solitudes les plus reculeos et les grands journaux (V)  de Sydney et de Melbourne sent superieurs aux principales feuilles des capitales europeennes du Continent.

L’ Australien a la plus grande confiance en lui-meme, dans les siens et dans son pays.

Les evenements prouvent qu’il a bien raison.

Deja l’Australie a fonde une Colonie des plus florissantes, dans les iles Fiji en 1874.

On ne parait pas savoir assez tout cela en France; son influence en Oceanie n’y est pas ce qu’ elle devrait etre, ni ce qu’elle y serait, si la, population francaise augmentant au lieu de diminuer, I’ excedant possible de cette population allait se meler aux nations en cours de formation, creer des sympathies, des attaches et des interets pour l’avenir! Ce n’est pas seulement au point de vue politique que l’emigrant francais pourrait rendre service a son pays, c’est encore, et meme grandement au point de vue industriel et commercial; qu’on s’arrete plutot a ce passage extrait du livre que ces remarques precedent:

« Les emigrants venus de la Grande Bretagne dans ces colonies ont plus contribue a la. richesse de leur Mere-Patrie que s’ils etaient restes dans leurs villes natales: et les statistiques pronvent qu’un resident de la Nouvelle-Galles du Sud  consomme aurjourd’hui relativement une plus grande quantite d’articlesde manufacture anglaise qu’un habitant du Royaume-Uni. «

Le commerce total des Colonies Australasiennes atteint aujourd’hui le, chiffre de 94,000,000 de livres sterling, ce qui accuse, pour une population d’un peu plus de 3,000,000, une proportion de 35 liv. stg. par habitant.

La Nouvelle-Galles du Sud importe annuellement pour plus de 14,000,000 liv. stg. de marchandises, elle en exporte pour pres de 16,000,000 liv. stg. La proportion de son commerce est d’environ 41 liv. stg. par habitant. On sait que cette Colonie possede a elle seule, presque la moitie des troupeaux (IV) de moutons de l’ Australasie (Australie, Tasmanie et Nouvelle-Zelande reunies.)

Les diverses autres colonies suivent de pres le grand mouvement commercial a la tete duquel se trouve leur saeur aine!

Veut-on savoir maintenant quelle est l’importance actuelle des relations commerciales directes entre la France et l’ Australie! Voici ce que donnent les statistiques officielles de la Nouvelle-Galles du Sud pour l’annee 1880:

Yaleur des importatious directes de France: £ 37,859: dont 34,000 £ representent la Yaleur de cognacs et eaux-de-vie.

Exportations directes sur France: £ 144 (trois mille six cents francs)!

Tandis qu’entre cette Colonie d’une part, et l’ Angleterre de I’autre, ces memes chiffres sont:


6,536,661 £

7,625,637 £

Quant aux mouvements des navires francais dans les eaux. coloniales vingt voiliers seulement de ceux-ci representant 7,196 tonnes et ayant en tout 248 hommes d’equipage, sont entres dans Ies ports de la Nouvelle-Galles pendant I’ annee 1880, sur un total de 2,108 navires principalement anglais (dont 1,092 navires a vapeur) representant un tonnage de 1,242,458 tonnes, et montes par 54,024 hommes d’equipage.

On pourrait cependant croire les relations commerciales directes entre la France et I’ Australie susceptibles de plus de developpement: et peut-etre le moment du r’eveil n’est-il pas eloigne. Un grand etablissement financier de France’vient enfin de s’etablir a Sydney et a Melbourne, des lignes de navigation a vapeur se creent entre des grands portsaustraliens et ceux de France! Il faut esperer que l’elan est pris et que le mouvement ne s’arretera pas de-sitot!

L’ Australie est ouverte a tous; toutefois, comme nous le disons plus loin, et on ne saurait trop le repeter, il faut absolument que tous ceux qui se proposeraient d’ immigrer dans la Nouvelle-Galles ou quelque autre des Colonies Australiennes soient bien convaincus que les conditions indispensables (VII) a leur reussite, sont d’etre strietement des gens independants de toute protection ou concours administratif, sobres, serieux, ne devant pas se decourager aux premieres difficultes, doues d’activite et d’ initiative, prets a payer de Ieur personne, a ne compter que sur leur propre e’nergie, leur valeur individuelle, en veritables pionniers de la civilisation et colons d’un monde nouveau, r’egi parles principes, seuls vrais, seuls stables d’une parfaite et perseverant d’emocratie!

Qu’ il me soit permis d’exprimer ici mes remerciements et laa reconnaissance, a la Nouvelle-Galles du Sud, au sujet de la distinction dont elle m’a honore; en me dele’guant le soin de ses interets a l’ Exposition de Bordeaux, et a son Ministre, l’ Honorable sir John Robertson K.C.M.G., pour la confiance  et l’estime qu’il lui a plu me temoigner, en me chargeant d’une mission et d’etudes speciales d’un aussi grand interet pour I’Australie toute en tiere!

Je m’estimerai heureux si par ma modeste cooperation a la publication de ce volume, j’ ai pu, comme Francais, comme Australien, en contribuant a les faire mieux connaitre, m’etre rendu utile aux interets de l’Australie et a ceux de la France!

Bordeaux, 4 Septembre 1882.

Vallee Du Hunter  11


De toutes les industries existant dans les districts du Hunter, aucune n’ a plus d’ importance que la culture de la vigne et la fabrication du vin. Le sol y est admirablement propice, les vignobles sont nombreux: tres etendus et bien soignes; quant au vin, son excellence est depuis longtemps comme des Australiens, et si, se basant sur Ies honneurs accordes aux echantillons des vins du Hunter, a la. recente Exposition de Paris, on tentait l’ introduction des vins australiens en Angleterre, sur une plus grande echelle que precedemment, Ieurs qualites superieures seraient bientut reconnues des connaisseurs Europeens. Un grand nombre de personnes, plus specialement celles recemment arrivees d’ Europe, et dont les connaissances du commerce des vins sont hors de donte, predisent comme prochain, un grand avenir a l’ industrie vinicole d’ Australie.

Les vignobles d’ Europe sont ages et leur terroir s’epuise rapidement; en outre, les ravages du phylloxera et d’autres fleaux en ont detruit un grand nombre, tandis que les vignobles d’Australie sont jeunes, et, a l’ exception de l’ oidium, francs de toute maladie; lorsque les vins d’Europe viendront a manquer, les vins d’Australie pourront les remplacer et leurs merites seront’ alors proclames sur le Continent aussi bien qu’en Angleterre. Jusqu’a present, Ies quantites expediees du Hunter a Londres, paraissent n’avoir ete que des consignations restreintes a’ des agents, dans le seul but d’essayer leur placement sur les marches anglais ou pour executer des commandes recues d’ Australiens residant en Angleterre, habitue’s aux vins coloniaux et Ies preferant a ce qui est generalement vendu en Europe comme vin, pour leur propre usage. Le moment n’est pas encore venu pour les producteurs d’Australie de faire de forts envois sur l’Angleterre, ou la demande des vins australiens n’est d’ailleurs pas generale; mais les expeditions et Ies ventes d’importance sont certaines, par la suite, Iorsque cette industrie aura atteint le developpement necessaire pour faire face a la consommation locale et exterieure, apres que certains prejuges contre tout ce qui est colonial auront disparu et lorsque les amateurs de vins seront disposes a juger impartialement les echantillons qu’on leur soumettra, et a acheter les vins d’apres Ieurs merites propres.


Actuellement, les vignerons australiens concentrent leur attention sur Ia vente de leurs produits dans leur Colonies, car ici, il existe une grande mauvaise volonte qu’il faut combattre et vainere avant que l’ industrie vinicole coloniale puisse assumer de grandes proportions.

Des prejuges injustes en meme temps qu’un gout tres prononce pour les boissons fortement acoolisees, nuisent beaucoup a l’admission et a l’etablissement definitifs des vins australiens comme un produit de consommation generale dans les Colonies elles-meme’s. Ces singularites de la population coloniale ont encore un effet plus serieux: elles donnent a entendre au commerce des vins que s’il veut ecouler ses produits et continuer son industrie, il lui faut mettre en vente quelque chose que les consommateurs acheteront, et pour arriver a ce resultat, le commerce se voit oblige’ de faire le sacrifice de Ia purete du vin et de le fortifier d’alcool dans des proportions a le rendre assez fort et capiteux pour le gout du public. L’appreciation des vins, purs parait pourtant gagner du terrain, maisquoique uncertain nombre de gens aient acquis cette superioritie de gout et achetent leurs vins en consequence, Ieur nombre est tres restreint compare a celui de ceux qui eprouvent le besoin de boire quelque chose de plus fort; malheureusement, sil faut sen rapporter a nos negociants en vins, la demande de vins tres capiteux (lorsqu’on leur demande du vin), paralt plutot augmenter que diminuer.  Peut-etre des circonstances se produiront-elles qui viendront faire echec a ces gouts, et mettre en plus grande faveur la consommation de vins, qui soient reellement le pur jus du raisin; mais d’ici la, la source du mal reside dans la population meme. Si les vignes poussent, si l’on fait le vin, il faut vendre le vin, et les producteurs dont les efforts a produire des vins purs reste’ront sans succes, ne peuvent etre blames s’ils cedent am: desirs de la masse des consommateurs, d’obtenir des vins differents.

A l’exception des vignobles Macarthur, a Camden, les vignes du Hunter paraissent etre les plus anciennes de la Colonie: c’est a Kirkton, pres Branxton, que lon planta les premiers ceps, il y deja 40 ou 50 ans passes. Comme de juste, lorsque cette industrie e-tait dans son enfance, les vigaobles e’taient bien petits, la fabrication du vin tres primitive, et le vin lui-meme saus ancune qualite. Depuis lors, non-seulement les vignobles ont augmente en nombre, ainsi qu’en dimensions et etendues, mais l’ introduction constante d’amelinorations dans Ia fabrication du vin, a permis aux vignerons de produire ce qui satisfait a la demande de la masse des consommateurs, de meme que ce qu’ exige le gout desconnaisseurs. Le bassin du fleuve Hunter est en fait si bien adapte a la culture de la vigne, que I’on y rencontre

Vallee Du Hunter 13

dans toutes les directions, des vignobles petits ou grands, et cette culture est si faeile et si profitable, qua le plus petit vigneron en retire des benefiees’ satisfaisants.

L’ existence d’un plus grand nombre de producteurs qu’il n’est necessaire pour les besoins du commerce local, ne semble pas avoir pour resultat d’ameliorer tout le vin vendu, car beaucoup des petits vignerons produisent une qualite inferieure qui nuit au developpement du bon godt, et aux operations des proprietaires soigneux et  desireux de ne mettre sur les marches que des vins reellement bons; mais cette circonstance n’affecte en rien la question des benefices a realiser par cesmanieres de faire, et il n’est pasdifficile de se rendre compte comment on pourrait provoquer un etat de choses tel, que les vins du plus petit vignerea meriteraient detre bus, et que la totalite des crus des proprietaires grands et petits realiseraient facilement des prix hautement remunerateurs: si le petit vigneron est insouciant du temps et des soins que reclame la fabrication du vin, sa vendange pourrait etre, comme il arrive souvent, achetee par d’autres, prets a donner a cette fabrication toute l’attention qu’elle exige, et il n’existe aucun doute que quelque considerables que puissent etre les besoins de l’avenir, la preduction des vins coloniaux sera toujours egale a la demande.

Pour ce qui est des renseignements statistiques, le nombre d’acres plantes en vignes dans le bassin du Hunter. existant en 1880, etait:

Dans le district electoral du Hunter ……….. 628 acres

Murrurundi …… 11 >

Scone …………   55 >

Morpeth ………  64 >

Northumberland …….. 16 >

Patrick plaines…….. 171 >

Woollombi ………141 >

Tamworth…….. 9 >

Soit en tout…………………….. 1,093 acres

dont le produit de cette meme annee a ete de 277,527 gallons de vin.

La production annuelle varie, car Ia quantite de raisins et de vin depend beaucoup de la temperature a diverses periodes de l’annee mais ces chiffres suffisent a renseigner sur l ‘importance de cette industrie dans cette seule partie de la Colonie, et aussitot que les besoins du commerce le justifieront, l’ etendue des plantations et la production du vin peuvent etre toutes deux facilement et grandement augmentees.

La saison durant laquelle le redacteur de ces renseignements a


visite les vignobles n’etait pas la mieux choisie, car les vignes e’taient daus cet etat nu et depouillie qui precede immediatement l’operation de la taille, et l’agreable coup d’oeil des feuilles vertes et des grappes brunes, de l’epoque des vendanges, faisait completement defaut.

Il etait difficile de s’imaginer que les ceps tordus et difformes, cramponnes a leurs echalas et partiellement allonges sur des fils de fer, puissent jamais donner le moindre signe de vie; mais que le secateur vienne enlever tout le bois superflu, et sur ces petites excroissances appelees ails, de petits bourgeons vont naitre et s’etendre, de nouvelles branches vont croitre des fleurs leur succederont, et les vignes vont se charger petit a petit de leurs beaux fruits. Lors de cette visite, on s’occupait precisement de la taille et a la fin de septembre, les vignes devaient commencer a se montrer: elles sont en fleurs vers la fin de novembre, et tres peu de temps apres, les raisins apparaissent. Les vendanges commencent en fevrier et mars.

Le versant Est d’un coteau parait etre la situation la plus desirable pour les vignobles du Hunter, car les vignes sont alors a l’ abri des grands vents d’ Ouest, et ont l’ avantage des rayons du soleil pendant la plus grande partie de la journee.

Les terrains eleves y sont aussi, parait-il, consideres comme preferables aux plaines, quoique la moyenne des vendanges et de la production du vin sur le flauc des coteaux soit moindre que la moyenne obtenue dans les terrains inferieurs. On estime qu’une production de 400 gallons par ‘acre est une bonne moyenne pour les hautes terres, tandis qu’on espere obtenir de 700 a 1000 gallons (1) dans les plaines; mais d’un autre cute, le produit des coteaux est generalement de meilleure qualite, et la cause en est attribuee a cette circonstance que les terres elevees sont plus seches, contiennent moins de matieres yegetables, et, par suite, ne sont pas si riches.

Une fois la vigne plantee, il devient necessaire de surveiller la croissance des boutures, de s’occuper de remedier aux progres de l’oidium ou des chenilles et sauterelles {si les unes ou les autres apparaissent}, et enfin se preparer a la fabrication du vin et a son emmagasinage; ces divers soins n’ obligent ni a plus de travail, ni a plus d’ avances pecuniaires, que toute autre industrie dans la Colonie.

La maladie de l’oidium s’est quelquefois tres etendue, mais, parfois aussi, Ies effets ont ete a peine sensibles, et le remede generalement adopte par nos vignerons, est de souffrer les vigues. Il existe cependant une autre methode de soiguer la vigne et qu’un vigneron m’a assure


(1) un hectolitre equivant 22 gallons et un hectare a 2 acres et demi



etre tres efficace. II prepare un melange de sel de roche, de chaux et de soufre, un tiers de chaque; il ouvre la terre autour des racines et verse environ un litre du melange sur chaque pied. Ce procede est quelque peu couteux, mais paralt avoir d’ excellents resultats, et mieux encore, si on le met eu pratique conjointement avec le traitement ordinaire par le soufre. De juin a aout, et par des temps secs, est le moment d’ appliquer ce remede. Si l’ on permet a la maladie de s’etendre, elle devient tres destructive. Elle se declare comme une moisissure immediatement apres la floraison de la vigne, et lorsque les verjus ont deja les dimensions de plombs de chasse, fort peu de temps plus tard, les raisins crevent et sont perdus.

D’ autres incommodites pour certains des vignerons proviennent des depredations des chenilles et autres insectes, et a moins de faire examiner les vignes bien soigneusement, et enlever les insectes au fur et a mesure qu’on les decouvre, on s’ expose a la perte d’ une recolte entiere, et meme a la destruction des feuilles. Plusieurs des grands proprietaires de vignobles emploient quantite d’enfants a tenir Ieurs vignes propres, plus specialement a saisir et detruire les chenilles a leur etat embryonnaire, et sans cette precaution, il est difficile de dire ou les ravages s’ arreteraient …. mais on peut facilement se preserver de pareille incommodite, et l’ oidium est le seul fleau d’importance que nos vignerons aient reellemeut a craindre.

Quelquefois la pluie arrive alors que les raisins ne pourraient que gagner a la secheresse, et souvent cause de grands dommages dans Ies vignobles, mais, c’ est encore la une de ces difficultes du meme genre que toutes autres auxquelles les agriculteurs doivent s’attendre quelque soit leur specialite.

Les barriques peuvent etre, soit confectionnees sur place par un tonnelier specialement employe, soit obtenues de Sydney, soit achetees dans la ville voisine: le metier de tonnelier et la fabrication de bouteilles a vin sont appeles a un grand developpement dans les districts de viticulture, mais aujourd’ hui, le commerce des vins n’ est pas encore assez important pour ces deux specialites. On trouve generalement meilleur marche d’acheter, a Sydney, les barriques des dimensions requises, de meme qu’on s’ y procure aussi toutes les bouteilles necessaires, de seconde main, et a tant par douzaine.

La cave n’a pas besoin d’etre tres compliquee ni couteuse. Dans la Colonie, les caves consistent generalement en un hangar en bois, assez solide, ayant une toiture de fer galvanise, avec la terre pour plancher et quelquefois on y trouve un etage inferieur ou sous-sol, pour l’ emmagasinage des vins plus ages ou plus faits. Une cave bien pourvue et bien tenue merite d’etre visitee, les longues rangees de barriques,


les dimensious enormes de quelques-unes d’elles, les machines a boucher, et les grandes quantites de vin, sont autant d’objets de grand interet pour quiconque sait apprecier les signes d’ une industrie importante.

Sur l’un des Vignobles (1) visites, le visiteur est particulierement surpris de l’aisance et du confort que revelent le proprietaire et son vignoble. et ce, d’autant plus que c’e’st un exemple frappant du succes que dans ce pays, peuvent obtenir les immigrants de cette classe, que la Colonie desire plus que de toutes autres; c’est-a-dire des hommes eleves dans quelque pays d’Europe et instruits dans la pratique de l’agriculture, venant en Australie avec un capital suffisant pour acquerir le sol et se livrer avac avantage a leur occupation. Des vignerons de bien plus haute position sociale et possedant des proprietes plus vastes et de plus de valeur, prouvent aussi les resultats avantageux de l’industrie viticole en Australie. mais il y a plus a apprendre et mieux a juger du succes de cette industrie, chez le vigneron de position plus humble: comme celui auquel on fait allusion.  Au courant de la vigne et des vins depuis son enfance, ayant fait un apprentissage de 4 ans, suivant l’usage, dans un pays etranger, et envoye ensuite faire un tour des principaux districts viticoles, francais, ce vigneron fut engage’ pour venir dans cette Colonie et y importer la fabrication du vin dans le district par une Compagnie. II arriva ici, il y a 25 ans, apportant avec lui un assez fort capital, et apres avoir servi la Compagnie pour laquelle il etait venu jusqu’a Ia vente du vignoble, il acheta, en 1869:

une petite propriete et se mit aussitot a transformer le terrain vierge qu’il avait achete, en un vignoble et un verger pour son propre compte.

A cette epoque, il etait peut-etre plus facile qu’aujourd’hui de se procurer les terrains propices; mais en compensation de cet avantage pour le cultivateur, il e’tait alors beaucoup plus difficile de vendre mille gallons de vin que d’en vendre maintenant 20,000 gallons, et il y avait encore beaucoup plus a apprendre relativement a la fabrication du vin. Ayant defriche’ son terrain et plante ses pieds de vignes, notre homme s’occupa de batir une maison pour lui-meme, tandis que la vigne poussait, et vingt mois plus tard, il recueillait 1OO gallons de vin par acre. En 188O, nonobstant la grande rarete des pluies, il obtint plus de 700 gallons par acre, soit 3,400 gallons pour 4 acres et demi, et vendant deux tenneaux de raisins de table.

La vigne eut a souffrir de l’oidium, et les orangers furent atteints,


(1) Le vignoble de saint-helene a Lochinvar, pres Newcastle, et appartenant a mons. Philibert Terrier Nuits, (Cote-d ‘Or) France.


cette annee-la, d’une maladie qui se presenta sous l’apparence d’une couche de suie; mais on y remedia en tant qu’il fut possible, et on n’eut pas trop a en souffrir.

L’apparence generale de la propriete est heureuse et confortable. Une solide maison en briques, au centre d’un verger et d’un jardin, ressemble, vu du dehors ou de la route, a la residence d’un proprietaire aise; a l’interieur, rien n’y manque de tout ce qui peut rendre la vie agreable Une vaste cour s’etend derriere la  maison, et l’on y voit la cave, le pressoir, et toutes les dependances  ordinaires d’une ferme. Non loin de la, sur-le versant d’un coteau, est le vignoble qui produit reellement d’excellent vin; le tout ensemble est d’un aspect eminemment satisfaisant et prouve clairement ce que l’ on peut attendre du sol de la Nouvelle-Galles du Sud, lorsqu’il est entre Ies mains d’hommes serieux, perseverants, economes et habiles, et possedant deja quelque argent pour commencer.

Oh! disait ce vigneron avec un ton d’enthousiasme, la richesse du sol ici est merveilleuse. Lorsque je suis retourne en France, (car les profits de son industrie lui ont permis d’aller faire un voyage dans son pays natal) je disais a mes amis: « vous ne pouvez vous faire une idee du pays splendide que nous avons ici, vous pouvez y faire et y dire ce que vous voulez, y vivre a votre guise, et personne ne se mele de vos affaires; tandis qu’en France, vous ne pouvez meme pas vous asseoir au coin de votre feu, dans votre propre maison, sans avoir a faire bien attention a ce que vous dites. »

Je suis alle en France, continuait-il, j’y suis reste deux  ans, j’y ai depense tout l’argent que j’avais emporte, et je suis revenu ici. II y n’a pas d’autre pays comme celui-ci, c’est une contree que j’admire, le sol y produit tout, l’on y jouit de toutes les libertes, et de tout ce qui rend la vie facile.

La condition sociale des plus riches vignerons est egale a celle de n’importe quelle autre classe de proprietaires fonciers de la Colonie. Quelquefois, peut-etre, il y a plus d’apparat que de substance, mais  c’est la une circonstance commune a toutes les classes de la societe; et parlant en general, la position des grands industriels viticoles est egale a celle des plus riches eleveurs. Tons les vignobles sont connus par des noms distincts et l’on fait usage de ces noms d’une maniera telle que les gens ignorants de cet usage peuvent croire que l’on parle de villes bien connues. Cet usage est tout a fait anglais, et est adopte par imitation sans doute des grands proprietaires fonciers d’ Angleterre, qui, comme on le sait, donnent a leurs domaines des noms speciax finissant par etre aussi connus que ceux des grandes villes et des cites.

Generalement les proprietes coloniales ont appartenu ici aux memes –


familles depuis une ou deux generations, et quoique les premiers proprietaires aient eu a travailler et lutter comme tous autres pionniers et premiers occupants de terres incultes, leurs successeurs, ont dans la plupart des cas, suivi la meme marche progressive, et jouissent aujourd’hui des avantages qui resultent de leur position de detenteurs du sol.

Quant aux vins et a leurs qualites, les producteurs et leurs families en font un usage constant et s’en trouvent bien. Le riche vigneron et tous les siens, derpuis l’enfant de 8 a 10 ans, boivent leur vin a tous les repas, dans des coupes d’argent obtenues comme prix a divers Comices agricoles; le vigneron moins aise et sa femme, ne se soucient d’aucune autre boisson, que le vin, tandis que de belles jeunes filles, aussi aimables que distinguees, boivent du vin au repas du midi, et degustent un verre de vin chaud le soir avant de se retirer; ce qui doit certes contribuer a entretenir leurs fraiches et roses couleurs, aussi hien que leurs excellentes et gaies dispositions.

Si les qualites d’une production sont en raison de la confiance qu’elle inspire a son producteur et de l’usage personnel qu’il en fait, ainsi que par la maniere dont ce dernier en profite physiquement lui meme, le vin d’Australie merite d’etre recommande aussi energiquement que toute autre production du continent Australien. Aucun doute ne parait exister quant a l’excellence du vin bien fait et arrive a maturite, et il y a de bonnes raisons pour croire que le vin colonial est considerablement superieur a la plupart des vins importes d’Europe.

Si l’on reflechit que la quantite de vin reellement bon, fabrique en Europe est tellement limitee que, si elle n’est pas insuffisante a la demande des marches Europeens le prix auquel elle est vendue est si eleve qu’il est inaccessible aux classes moyennes, on admettra immediatement qu’il ne peut y avoir qu’une tres faible quantite de bon vin expediee d’Europe en Australie. Les vins cependant qui arrivent ici, quelque soit leur inferiorite, trouvent plus facilement des consommateurs, generalement parlaut, que les meilleurs vins Australiens.

Ceci resulte en grande partie de la preference accordee dans les Colonies a tout ce qui vient de l’ Etranger, sous l’ impression que ce doit etre meilleur que les productions coloniales de meme nature, et aussi, des efforts continus des importateurs de vins d’Europe d’etendre leur commerce d’importation plutot que de favoriser la consommution des vins australiens. Pour le negociant, ceci peut etre une question de grands ou petits benefices, ou il se peut qu’il y uit d’nutres causes de cette mauvaise volonte a encourager les efforts des producteurs Australiens, resultant des rapports entre le commerce d’importation et la fourniture des debits. Ces derniers etablissements n’ont certainement


rien a regretter par rapport aux benefices a realiser sur les vins coloniaux, car a juger du prix auquel le vigneron cede ses produits, les divers intermediaires, entre les mains desquels ces produits passent successivement, doivent realiser de forts profits. Si tous Ies interesses voulaient se contenter de gains moderes, la vente des vins augmenterait de suite ; mais il ne faut pas esperer que l’industrie vinicole australienne soit jamais sur un bon pied, d’ici, non-seulement, que les prix: demandes soient a la portee du public en general, mais encore que le gout de la masse des consommateurs pour les boissons fortes, et par consequent; pour les vins adulteres ou fortifies d’alcool, ait ete abandonne et remplace par une preference marquee en faveur d’un vin pur, leger et hygienique.

On comprend aisement qu’il soit necessaire pour les producteurs d’etudier les gouts du public. C’est le cas en Europe aussi bien qu’en Australie. La methode adoptee ici consiste a couper ou melanger deux ou trois vins ensemble, ou a fortifier les vins avec de l’alcool. Certains vins se melangent bien et frequemment, gagnent par leur melange, en force et en corps, surtout les vins de qualite inferieure. On traite ainsi un grand nombre de vins etrangers, et ce traitement n’est pas considere comme une falsification, en tant que les vins ainsi coupes sont de memes sortes et qu’on ne donne pas un nom different an melanga. L’introduction de l’alcool dans le vin est une chose toute differente; et quoique certains producteurs et la plupart des marchands croient necessaire d’alcooliser leurs vins, dans le but d’en mieux assurer la vente, c’est un procede, d’autant plus regrettable, qu’il entretient la depravation du gout des residents, deja si portes a la consommation des liqueurs fortes. Mais puisqu’a moins qu’il contienne une addition d’alcool, le vin ne se vendra pas, il est bien difficile de dire comment, dans l’etat actuel des affaires, on peut resoudre la difficulte.

La fabrication du vin, comme toute autre industrie, est une speculation commerciale, et les vignerons ne se croient obliges qu’a consulter leurs propres interets, et a fabriquer leur vin selon le desir de ceux qui sont susceptibles de le consommer. Une saine reforme dans les gouts de la population reduirait beaucoup la propensite aux eaux de-vie et augmenterait la consommation des vins purs. Neanmoins, la preference generale est si marquee actuellement pour les imitations de vins de Porto et de Xeres dit Sherry, que quelques vignerons se sont pourvus d’appareils a distillation pour se procurer a eux-memes l’alcool necessaire et l’allier a la plus grande proportion de leurs produits.

D’un autre cote, tandis que le procede d’alcoolisation est en faveur chez certain nombre de vignerons, il faut se hater de dire que les plus importants et les plus anciennement etablis veillent a ce que leurs


vins restent purs et atteignent un certain age avant de sortir de leurs caves; c’est a cette classe de proprietaires et a leurs efforts que l’on devra attribuer les progres et le developpement de l’industrie et du commerce des vins en Australie; convaincus de l’importance de leur entreprise et des avantages qui peuvent en resulter, non-seulement pour eux-memes, mais aussi pour la Colonie, et jaloux de leur reputation de vignerons, ils veillent soigneusement a ce qu’aucun vin inferieur ne sorte de leurs caves sous leur nom; si quelque portion d’une vendange est de qualite inferieure, on la coupe avec un meilleur vin, ce qui l’ameliore et permet de la vendre; ou encore, on la cede a quelque acheteur dont la clientele se contente de pareils vins, mais elle n’est  jamais envoyee sur le marche en bouteilles etiquetees de la meme maniere que le bon vin. Certains vignerons ne veulent, sous aucun pretexte, avoir chez eux de machine a distiller. Causant sur ce sujet avec l’un d’ eux, il me repondit:

« Dans tout vignoble, il faut s’attendre, chaque annee, a une certaine proportion de vin au-dessous de la bonne premiere qualite, et si je tiens a ne vendre que du bon vin, il me faut, ou transformer cette proportion en alcool, ou la perdre; mais je ne veux pas avoir d’alambie, parce que des qu’il est su que vous en avez un, il existe toujours un soupron que les vins sortaut de chez vous, sont quelque peu alcoolises. Jamais je ne fortifie mes vius de cette maniere, car je considere que le pur jus de la grappe est de beaucoup plus sain, quoique peut-etre plus acide que n’importe quel vin alcoolise. »

Pour le placement de leurs produits, Ies vignerons principaux et ceux de la meilleure classe, ne peuvent compter que sur cette portion du public dont le gout est en faveur d’un vin naturel, et le succes qu’ils ont obtenu jusqu’a present sur les marches coloniaux n’a pas ete obtenu sans beaucoup de patience et de perseverance. Les anciens vignerons ont plante leurs vignobles et fabrique le vin systematiquement, sur certains principes, et ont commence avec un certain capital; mais des vignerons inexperimentes ont specule sur la production, et leur maniere de faire est venue compromettre les interets de tous; une fois les vignes en plein rapport, ils se sont mis a faire du vin et a livrer un produit qui, des qu’il fut en circulation, porta atteinte a l’industrie, en detournant grand nombre de gens de l’idee meme de boire du vin colonial.

Depuis lors,il  y a eu quelque amelioration, mais une forte proportion de ces mauvais vins est encore amenee sur les marches et recherchee  par des consommateurs d’une certaine classe; et dans ce’ qu’on peut appeler le commerce ordinaire les meilleurs vignerons disent qu’ils n’ ont pas de grandes chances de success.


Un grand nembre des petits vignerons vendent leur vin tout a fait nouveau, alors qu’il contient encore une forte proportion des qualites acetiques speciales au vin australien, et par consequent, est malsain. Cette matiere parait etre en grande consommation dans les cabarets mais elle est aussi quelquefois offerte dans des e’tablissements d’un meilleur, erdre; et quoiqu’on ne puisse pas la re’presenter comme une boisson desirable, elle n’en est pas moins degustee en quantites considerable, Quelquefois, les grands vignerons acheteront les vendanges des petits, et apres l’avoir melee, la vendront avec leurs crus, ou bien leur acheteront les raisins en grappes, les presseront et en feront du vin; mais ce ne sera qu’ exceptionnellement.

Durant les demieres annees, il a ete projete de former une Compagnie qui construirait des caves vastes et spacieuses, acheterait en bloc les vendanges de tous les petits vignerons, fabriquerait et conserverait le vin, et le vendrait dans les conditions les mieux calculees pour soutenir et augmenter la reputation des vins Australiens ; il ne parait pas jusqu’a present que ce projet soit en voie de realisation; mais si une telle Compagnie existait avec une agence en Angleterre, beaucoup de personnes assurent qu’il en resulterait un grand commerce, que le vin y gagnerait beaucoup en qualite, et que l’industrie viticole en general y trouversit de grands benefices.

L’age des vins sortant des caves de ceux de nos vignerons jouissant d’une certaine reputation, est d’eviron trois ans, quelquefois moins, mais dans ce cas, ce n’ est que lorsqu’il se produit une forte demande, a laquelle on ne peut suffire qu’en livrant du vin de moins de 3 ans d’age; d’autrefois aussi, le vin ainsi Iivre au commerce, a beaucoup plus de trois ans.

Les vignerons semblent n’avoir aucune idee de ce que devient leur vin apres qu’il est sorti de chez eux; ils sont satisfaits s’ils en obtiennent un prix remunerateur, laissant les marchands en faire ce qu’ils veulent. II parais probable que tandis qu’une portion du vin est mis en bouteilles et vendue par ces derniers comme vin australien pur, une forte proportion est coupee, et, peut-etre, partiellement vendue pour autre chose que sa nature reelle; on admet communement que le commerce des vins et spiritueux se prete a beaucoup de manipulation, et l’on croit aussi que le vin australien est prepare selon le placement qu’on en trouve. Il pourra arriver qu’un negociant achetera une certaine quantite de bon vin d’un producteur et une autre quantite de vin inferieur et bon marche d’un autre, et, melangeant les deux obtiendra un assez bon prix du tout. On va meme jusqu’a soupconner qu’une forte proportion de vin colonial est mise dans des bouteilles portant des etiquettes et marques europeennes, pour etre


vendue comme vin importe d’Europe. Le vin ordinaire Claret et le Hock, sont des vins qu’il est possible cl’ ecouler ainsi. Certains vins rouges Australiens, sans manipulation, sont si ressemblants en couleur et en gout au claret de France que, vendus sous une etiquette bordelaise, bien peu de personnes y verraient une difference ! et, par ailleurs, au pis aller, il suffirait de l’adjonction d’un ingredient bien connu des gens du metier pour donner au vin australien le bouquet special au vin etranger. Ce serait encore plus facile pour le Hock, car les vins blancs du Hunter sont en general, congeneres des vins similaires du Rhin. Les vins d’ Albury ou du Sud sont plus forts et se rapprochent davantage des vins d’Espagne et de Portugal.

On s’explique de suite la conduite du commerce, sur ce point, s’il pent s’assuror par ces moyens un plus grand placement et de plus grands profits sur des vins reputes importes; l’on assure que dans le commerce des vins, les plus grands benefices sont realises par l’importation de vins etrangers ; les vignerons tiennent les negociants importateurs pour responsables de l’apathie evincee par les chefs d’hotels et autres etablissements du meme genre, a l’egard du vin australien. Si les debitants de vin le voulaient, ils pourraient en effet developper beaucoup l’industrie coloniale, et provoquer l’amelioration du vin, dans leur interet propre et dans celui des consommateurs ; mais l’une des plus grandes difficultes rencontrees dans les debits, est celle d’ obtenir une suffisante quantite de vin de bonne qualite a un prix raisonnable. Dans beaucoup d’endroits, on ne peut obtenir moins d’une bouteille a la fois, et encore a un prix exhorbitant, et presque toujours, du moins dans les grandes villes et specialement a Sydney un verre de vin colonial ordinaire ne se paie jamais moins de six pence, soit 60 centimes. Vendu dans de pareilles quantites et a un pareil prix en detail il n’est pas possible que le vin australien devienne une boisson populaire, car la bourse d’un ouvrier ne peut pas supporter souvent de pareilles depenses.


Si, desirant boire un verre de vin, la consommateur ne peut s’en procurer moins d’une bouteille, il preferera ne demander qu’un verre de brandy, ou autre boisson de ce genre; ou, s’il decouvre que Ia faible quantitie suffisante a remplir un verre de vin lui coute six pence, il preferera se payer pour moitie de ce prix un grand verre d’une boisson moins bienfaisante et quelquefois positivement injurieuse a la sante comme l ‘est souvent par exemple Ia biere colonial. De meme si quelque personne desirant une demie-boutille de vin pour son repas de midi, est obligee de la payer 2 fr. 50 ou 3 fr. 75, prix minimum sur les districts viticoles meme, cette personne preferera demander une bouteille de biere qui ne lui coutera que 1 fr. 25. Il semble n’exister aucune bonne –


raison pour laquelle le vin colonial ne serait pas a aussi bas prix, ou

a peu pres, que la biere australienne. II est vrai que la plupart des vins se gatent tres vite apres que la barrique ou la bouteille les contenant ont ete ouvertes sans etre consommees; mais cette difficulte n’est pas insurmontable.  La susceptibilite des vins a se piquer, si on les laisse en soutirage longtemps, est donnee comme excuse pour l’alcoolisation des vins coloniaux au meme degre que les vins de Portugal; mais il faut bien dire aussi que l’opinion generale considere les debitants comme hostiles a la vente du vin colonial; et relativement a l’idee deja emise que les negociants en gros ont plus de benefices on d’avantages a l’importation des vins d’Europe, on croit aussi que grand nombre des debitants sont entierement sous la main des negociants en gros, leurs approvisionnements restant constitues et leurs ventes controlees a peu pres comme il plait a ces negociants de le faire.

Quelle que soit l’importance qu’atteindra la consommation du vin, les districts viticoles de la Colonie sont si propices a cette industrie, qu’on peut facilement donner aux vignobles toute augmentation d’etendue desirable; ce que les producteurs demandent aujourd’hui comme un encouragement a etendre leurs plantations, est une certitude de vente de leurs produits. Une grande raison pour laquelle quelques-uns des principaux vignerons mettent eux-memes leurs vins en bouteilles et  s’attachent a retenir son identite est, naturellement, l’esperance d’en augmenter aussi la vente; mais tous ne demanderaient pas mieux, s’ils pouvaient le faire a des prix remunerateurs, et sans nuire a leur industrie, que de vendre leurs vins en barriques et laisser aux negociants, non-seulement la mise en bouteilles, mais encore les soins et la conservation jusqu’a maturite.

« A present, me disait un vigneron dont le vin a recemment obtenu l’une des plus hautes recompenses qui aient jamais ete accordees a ceux d’ Australie, a present, avec mon vignoble de 20 acres, et fabriquant de 5 a 6,000 gallons par an, je suis oblige, avant de pouvoir vendre mon vin a l’age convenable, de lui faire subir plusieurs operations, le soigner, le soutirer, le clarifier et diverses autres, chacune desquelles constitue un travail distinct generalement laisse a de grandes maisons sur le Continent. S’il existait a Sydney des maisons de meme importance, achetant nos vins, a 6 mois d’age par exemple, et les laissant vieillir avant de les vendres, ce serait bien plus en faveur du commerce; mais actuellement, c’est absolument comme si un homme produisant du ble, etait oblige de le moudre, de le petrir et de le cuire, pour arriver a le vendre. »

Un autre vigneron non moins important, me fit la meme reflexion. il n’y a pas de doute que ce serait tout profit pour les vignerons s’ils –


pouvaient vendre tous leurs Vins quelques mois apres leur fabrication, et en laisser la mise en bouteilles et la venue a maturite aux mains des negociants; aussi longtemps que ceux-ci respecteraient l’identite et la bonne qualite des vins, ni le public ni les producteurs ne perdraient au change.

Certaines personnes se plaignent quelquefois d’une acidite ou aigreur speciale a certains vins australiens, mais cette acidite disparait avec l’age; on croit pouvoir l’attribuer a la presence du tan dans le vin, resultant d’une certaine proportion de salpetre ou quelque autre alcali dans le terroir, mais l’opinion de juges competents est que ce gout disparait tout a fait usuellement en tres peu de temps.

Une circonstance singuliere relative a l’apparition de ce salpetre dans les terres, en plus forte quantite qu’a l’ordinaire, m’a ete signalee, et attribuee (quoique ce ne fut que par conjecture) aux effets d’une inondation du district en 1857. Dans la localite ou existe une certain vignoble, l’eau de tous les ruisseanx et des puits etait, jusqu’a cette inondation, fraiche et parfaitement douce; depuis lors, au contraire, toutes ces eaux sont devenues brunes, apparemment par suite de quelque accumulation de sels dans les terrains environnants. Ce qu’il y a eu de plus extraordinaire, c’est que le sol en fut tellement impregne, que tous les vins de ce vignoble, meme longtemps apres 1866, etaient de couleur brunatre. « Au point en verite, m’en disait le proprietaire, que si j’avais mis 200 livres de sel dans une barrique, le vin n’aurait pu etre plus mauvais. Trois fois le vin fut transvase et on y remarquait les cristaux de salpetre meme 12 mois apres que le vin eut ete en bouteilles. »

Parlant sur ce sujet a d’autres vignerons, dans d’autres localites je n’ai pu apprendre qu’aucune autre experience semblable ait ete faite; cependant ce n’a pas ete le seul vignoble ainsi affecte car un antre du voisinage, lors de sa premiere vendange, et un peu plus tard que le precedent, eprouva les memes symptomes, et son vin eut le meme gout; le proprietaire de ce second vignoble m’assura que meme aujourd’hui, s’il recevait quelques fortes pluies avant la recolte, il etait sur que son vin serait de cette meme couleur brune, ajoutant que, tandis que le vin vieillit en cave, le gout en question disparait, par evaporation ou autrement.

En 1871, de grandes pluies etant survenues dans ce district, le vin de cette localite a ete tout a fait sale.

Le labourage du terrain a quelque tendance a prevenir ce desagrement dans une grande mesure, et dans le cours de quelques annees ou croit que les crus de ces vignobles en seront aussi affranchis que ceux de tous les autres. II est juste de dire, dans le but de pre-


ont ete’ creuses dans le roc et des brise-lames construits. A la riviere Clarence, une digue a ete formee a grands frais, De puissantes dragues a vapeur fonctionnent constamment, pour detruire les obstacles a la navigation et empecher l’ensablement des passes sur les ports de la cote. Sur les rivieres Darling et Murrumbidgee, a l’interieur, on s’est livre a de grands travaux de deblayage du fond, toutes les fois qu’il a ete possible, assurant ainsi aux transports interieurs plusieurs centains de milles de navigation fluviale.

L’ Ingenieur en chef des Ports et Rivieres rend le compte suivant des travaux de son service pendant les dix dernieres annees:

« Erection de quais et jetees sur tous les points de la Colonie: brise-lames, amelioration des ports et cours d’eau, notamment du fleuve Murray, des rivieres Murrumbidgee, Darling et Richmond, dont il a fallu deblayer les fonds des roches, bancs de sables et troncs d’arbres. (ces dernirrs provenant de l’accumulation des siecles) qui en obstruaient la navigation.

« Remblaiement d’espaces considerables dans le port de  Sydney et erection sur ces terrains de quais spacieux ou de  murs d’endiguement. Construction de materiel de draguage.  Etudes presparatoires pour la distribution de l’eau dans Sydney  et sur nombreux autres points a l’ interieur de la Colonie:  hydrographie de nos ports, rivieres, etc. »

Environ 680,000 liv. stg. ont ete prises sur les fonds publics consolides, et dep’ensees pendant la decade pour la construction de travaux publics dependant du service des ports et rivieres.

Des travaux considerables et dispendieux pour assurer une fourniture abondante et constante de l’eau dans la metropole coloniale et quelques villes de l’intertieur, ainsi que pour un systeme d’egouts de la capitale sont actuellement en cours.

Les lignes telegraphiques ont recu une extension des plus –


La cooperation necessaire est celle-ci : 1. Une methode adoptee par tous les vignerons eux-memes de veiller a ce que les vins sortant de leurs caves soient naturels et bons ; 2. Une determination de la part de ceux qui mettent le vin en bouteilles, de ne plus le falsifier, ni l’alcooliser ou le couper d’une maniere injurien se ou inhabile;

  1. Une disposition, de la part des debitants, a se contenter de gains moderes et justes, et de vendre le vin a leurs clients a des prix et en des quantites de nature a induire le public a en faire une consommation reguliere. La sympathie du public est aussi, naturellement, essentielle au succes, mais cette sympathie est sure de resulter de cette cooperation, en meme temps que l’industrie pourrait etre encouragee par tous autres moyens legitimes.

Ceux qui considerent la culture de la vigne en Nouvelle-Galles du Sud comme de grande valeur pour la Colonie sont convaincus de l’importance de la laisser libre de toutes restrictions, et de lui permettre de suivre son chemin sans entraves jusqu’au point ou elle sera devenue non seulement un moyen d’amelioration de la condition de ces masses absorbant aujourd’hui des boissons alcooliques, mais encore une source de grand commerce d’exportation sur des pays etrangers. Rien n’est propre a remedier aux habitudes pernicieuses d’ivresse existant dans la Colonie, comme le developpement d’un gout general pour une boisson rafraichissante, excitant les esprits sans aller jusqu’a l’ebriete (a moins de la boire en quantite deraisonnable), et n’ayant en aucune maniere d’ effets injurieux; ces qualitfs sont celles des vins que le sol et le climat de la Nouvelle-Galles du Sud sont reconnus eminemment propres a produire.

Pendant notre visite aux vignerons, l’opinion a souvent ete emise qu’une excellente occasion de servir avantageusement l’industrie viticole australienne avait ete perdue en n’ayant pas eu d’experts Europeens pour juger les echantillons de vins lors de la recente Exposition Internationale de Sydney. On voulait non pas mettre en doute les capacites ni les decisions du jury colonial, mais faire ressortir la plus grande influence qui se serait attachee aux dicisions de jures europeens, et l’on pretend que le resultat probable de ces decisions aurait certes ete de repandre la connaissance des vins Australiens en dehors des Colonies; mais encore que les vignerons n’aient pas eu la satisfaction de voir leurs vins a l’ Exposition juges de cette maniere, grand nombre de gourmets Europeens, quoique non specialistes, ont fait de hauts eloges des vins exposes. Pendant la duree de cette Exposition, les etrangers de distinction, de passage a Sydney, plus specialement les Etats-majors des navires de guerre, ont tout a la fois consomme de grandes quantites de vins australiens et declare en etre tres –


appreciateurs. Deux visiteurs francais etant alle visiter les caves a Sydney de l’un des plus grands vignerons etablis sur les bords du `Paterson, pres le port de Newcastle, apprecierent si bien l’un de ses vins qu’ils demanderent la quantite en vente, et en acheterent de suite plusieurs caisses, le payant a raison de 28 shillings la douzaine, et declarant leur intention d’en emporter avec eux en France. Comme le vigneron exprimait quelque surprise d’une preference si enthousiaste pour un vin que lui- meme, au courant des produits coloniaux, ne tenait pas pour extraor-dinaire,

Oh! repondit l’un des visiteurs francais, nous ne pouvons pas obtenir de vin comme celui-la en France a moins de 60 shillings soit 75 francs la douzaine; nous sommes obliges de nous contenter d’un vin bien inferieur au votre! »

Puisse cette reponse servir de conclusion et de morale, et provoquer de sages reflexions!

Angus Glasper

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