We Used to Get and Give a Lot of Help: Networking, Cooperation and Knowledge Flow in the Hunter Valley Wine Cluster



The Hunter Valley, New South Wales, is both Australia's oldest continually producing wine region and a highly functioning wine business cluster. New generation cluster actors perceive that the region's concentration of historic family-based firms has contributed to its strength. We have used rarely consulted and newly accessioned evidence from the 1820s to the 1920s to qualitatively test the extent to which early networking created pathways for knowledge flow in the region. Our cross-disciplinary research into the historic depth of embedded cooperation reveals a little known feature of early Australian business history and complements the more commonplace breadth approach in cluster studies.