Australian Wine: Liquid Gold

Australians are changing the world of wine. Even the French seem grateful

Soon after leading the first European crossing of the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, explorer Gregory Blaxland was back on his New South Wales farm, tending his vines. By 1822 he had sufficient confidence in his winemaking skills to submit a quarter-pipe (about 37 gal.) of red wine for assessment by the London-based Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce. The society's judges awarded him a silver medal--and five years later a gold medal--for a wine they described with tepid enthusiasm as having "much the odor and flavor of ordinary claret."

Blaxland was a colorful pioneer, but the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!