The Hunter Valley is one of Australia's best known wine regions. Located in the state of New South Wales, the region has played a pivotal role in the history of Australian wine as one of the first wine regions planted in the early 19th century. Over 30,000 years ago the Wonnarua tribe of aboriginal Australians inhabited the land that is now known as the Hunter Valley wine region. Along with the Worimi tribe to the north and the Awabakal to the south, the Wonnarua developed a trading route connecting the Coquun (Hunter) Valley to the harbour now known as Sydney harbour.
This ancestral relationship between the Hunter Valley and Sydney would find itself played out again thousands of years later as the Hunter Valley became one of the world's most unlikely wine regions due to its close proximity to Australia's first and largest city of Sydney. Wine writers Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson describe the history of the Hunter Valley wine region as a "triumph of proximity over suitability".