The purpose of this paper is to trace the dispersed yet influential presence of the French in the Australian wine industry from the beginning of the industry until the present day. It looks at the physical presence of the French on Australian soil (e.g. winemakers, companies, vines) and the French cultural influence (e.g. publications, stereotypes, promotion). It aims to provide an historical context in which to place questions concerning contemporary Australian attitudes to French wine and to wine in general.
Historical review of French presence and influence on the Australian wine industry using historical and contemporary documents and records.
While the French presence in Australia has always been minimal, it exerts a powerful influence on the Australian wine industry. Throughout the history of the industry, French individuals and culture have maintained the image of “French expertise”, thus French wine is still the point of reference for the Australian wine industry and consumer. The high status enjoyed by French wine can be attributed in part to the historical influence of the French on Australian wine.
Further research into attitudes to French wine in Australia is needed to understand consumer preferences.
The paper represents one of the first attempts to investigate the presence and influence of French wines and winemaking in the Australian wine industry. It presents an historical account of the French in the Australian wine industry and the influence of French culture on Australian wine.
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