Comprehensive Australian history of wine to launch in 2023

Dr Angus Hughson and Andrew Caillard MW

Australia’s most complete wine history, The Australian Ark by Andrew Caillard MW, to launch in 2023.

The Australian Ark: The Story of Australian Wine, 1788 to the Modern Era, is a three-volume, heavily-illustrated history of Australian wine that will be published in October/November 2023. Pre-sales including options for personalised custom editions will begin in February 2023.

The manuscript of around 330,000 words (approximately 1200 pages) has been researched and authored by Andrew Caillard, a former wine auctioneer, a Master of Wine, and one of Australia’s most influential wine experts.

The project started in 2005 with the majority completed over the last five years. The narrative is based on extensive research and draws on Caillard’s 43-year experience in the wine industry. It is the first book to chart the complete history of Australian wine, documenting not only key individuals and events but also the deeper stories behind them.

More than a simple historical text, the three volumes comprehensively cover every decade starting with the 1770s. The Australian Ark also brings in social and political contexts as well as highlighting the imagination, strength, and foresight of Australia’s fine wine pioneers. In addition, illustrations, photographs and maps are being collected from across the archives of the Australian wine industry to complement the manuscript and bring to life the full story of the country’s remarkable vinous history.

Lofty ambitions to publish a definitive fully-illustrated three-volume book resulted in author Andrew Caillard teaming up with publishers Dr Angus Hughson of The Vintage Journal and David Longfield of Longueville Media to steer the project from manuscript to publication and sales without compromising the integrity of The Australian Ark.

Self-publishing a work of this magnitude is almost unheard of in publishing circles. But the decision was deliberate. After exploring many options, the team believed that The Australian Ark should be first printed and published in Australia to reflect a fine wine vision of authenticity and country of origin. This has been enabled by a group of private and wine industry benefactors who see the value in having complete control over the manuscript, design, layout, print, and production quality. When published, Foundation Members of The Australian Ark will receive one of a limited run of numbered editions, hand-bound in fine grain calf leather by a Master Bookbinder in Australia.

Co-publisher Dr Angus Hughson said “The Australian Ark is a seminal text and will be the reference bible for the Australian wine industry and beyond, for now and for decades to come. This grand opus promises to appeal to wine enthusiasts and anyone with an interest in Australian history, both here and abroad.”

Behind the scenes, archivists, editors, historians, map-makers and designers have been engaged to shape The Australian Ark into a once-in-a-lifetime publication. The three-volume paperback and hardback sets will also be distributed by international publisher, Simon & Schuster, and be available in bookshops nationally. A range of events around the country and worldwide are also planned to coincide with the launch of The Australian Ark in late 2023 and continuing into 2024.

Author Andrew Caillard said: “The Australian Ark is very much a collaborative project. Without the generosity of our foundation members and the energy and drive of Angus Hughson and David Longfield, the manuscript would be gathering dust in a deep drawer. It’s just brilliant to have this belief and support in The Australian Ark.”

The Australian Ark will be available for members of the wine industry to pre-order in early 2023, including options for bulk purchases with custom print options available for wineries, distributors, exporters and retailers to on-sell to their customers. It will then be launched in bookstores for Christmas 2023.

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