February 7, 1802: On this day, James Busby was born in Scotland. He was a civil engineer who was given a job as a mineral surveyor in the British Australian colony. He collected vine cuttings in Europe and planted the first vineyards in Australia. Busby is considered a pioneer in the early wine industry of both Australia and New Zealand.
February 7, 2009: On this day, a proliferation of bush fires during a heat wave in Australia became one of the country’s worst ecological disasters in its history, raging for over a month and causing 173 deaths, as well as the destruction of thousands of homes. Vineyards were not spared from the flames. Many wineries were destroyed, and many more were heavily damaged, including Yabby Lake Winery, run by Tom Carson.
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