The heritage and history of Hunter Valley vineyards will benefit from a $100,000 grant from the NSW Liberal National Government to support the enhancement and protection of local heritage assets.
Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter Scot MacDonald MLC yesterday joined the Chair of Hunter Valley Wine and Tourism Association Lindy Hyam at Tyrrell’s Wines in Pokolbin for the announcement.
The funding, from the Local Heritage Strategic Projects as part of the Heritage Near Me program will go towards the Hunter Valley Heritage Vineyards Strategic Study.
The Hunter Valley has some of the oldest surviving vineyards in the world. Planted on these vineyards are vines that are direct descendants of the original vine stocks bought into Australia in 1820 by James Busby.
These vineyards and their planted stocks trace the birth of the Australian wine industry, which has had an enduring impact on the history and economic development of the Hunter Valley, and generated a cultural landscape that contains many significant heritage items, some of which are already listed in Local Environmental Plans (LEPs).
This project seeks to expand the understanding of the range of heritage item types representing this heritage and to broaden the understanding of these items to study the cultural landscape at a regional level.
“The viticulture industry supports 2,800 jobs across the Hunter Valley, and has been an important economic and tourism driver for the region for the past 160 years,” Mr MacDonald said.
“Helping the Hunter Valley community to conserve and share their vineyard and winery heritage is a key feature of the Heritage Near Me Local Heritage Strategic Projects funding stream.”
“This is a timely opportunity for the Hunter Valley wine country to progress the preparation of a heritage plan and assessment of the vineyards,” Ms Hyam said.
“This heritage project will put us on the same footing as our competitor regions internationally and support future visitation to the region and underpin future sales of Hunter Valley wines.”
For more information on the Heritage Near Me program, which offers a range of grant programs to assist local communities, owners and managers of heritage items, visit www.environment.nsw.gov.au/heritage-near-me