Commercial Australian winemaking first thrived here in 1825. "The Hunter," as it's known locally, is 100 miles from Sydney, the best known of NSW's wine districts and a popular tourist destination. The lower Hunter Valley is hot and damp and frankly better suited for cattle than grapes. Nonetheless it is known for Semillon, Shiraz and Chardonnay. The Upper Hunter Valley also produces Chardonnay, Semillon, and others; the dry whites are known for their richness and depth.