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In January 1788, an English ship carrying 300 convicts and guards landed on the south-eastern coast of Australia in the harbour of Sydney, a city founded later that year. The commander was Captain Arthur Phillip (1738-1814), who also became the first governor of what would later become the state of New South Wales. He recorded in writing that viticulture could be carried to any desired degree of perfection in such a favourable climate. Work was at once commenced on planting the vines he had brought with him (where Farm Cove now stands). But it was still to take 200 years for Australian viticulture to become established. The first decades, rum was drunk so excessively that the camp was called "Rum Corps".

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