The wine-making history of Hunter Valley begins with the European settlement of the Sydney and the New South Wales region of Australia in the late 18th century as a penal colony of the British Empire. The Hunter River itself was discovered, by accident, in 1797 by British Lieutenant John Shortland as he searched for escaped convicts. The region soon became a valuable source for timber and coal that fuelled the steamship trade coming out of Sydney.
Coal mining has been carried out throughout the area since the mid 1800s The port at Newcastle was not too far away & with the help of the railway network from the mines enabled vast amounts of coal to be transported to the docks very quickly.
It was under these auspices that the grapevine followed land prospector John Howe as he cut a path through the Australian wilderness from Sydney up to the overland area in what is now known as the (Lower) Hunter Valley proper in 1820. Today, the modern Putty Road between the cities of Windsor and Singleton follows Howe's exact path and is a major thoroughfare for wine tourists coming into the Hunter Valley from Sydney.
The area prospered rapidly & many historic buildings that remain through out the area are testimony to the huge wealth that was gained by the early business people.
Read more at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hunter_Valley_wine
Also at https://hunterlivinghistories.com