On January 13, 1964, a Border Morning Mail article was headed "Husbands and wives may take turn-about in the kitchen before many years have passed, a famous French gourmet said yesterday."
The article described the visit of Monsieur Andre Simon, world president of the Food and Wine Society, who spent a week touring district wineries.
M Simon noted "that husbands all over the world are taking greater interest in culinary affairs and their wives in world affairs. Some of the nicest meals I have enjoyed in Australian homes so far have been cooked by the man of the house.
"People are no longer content to stuff themselves with food and then washing down with large quantities of cold beer. They are now beginning to demand wine with their meals and match it to the food they are eating," he went on to say.
"Your Brisbane mud crabs are some of the finest sea food in the world. Your crayfish and lobsters are very good too."
The visit reminded many, including Cliff Chamberlain, the Border Morning Mail's regular history columnist, of "the days when Albury vineyards ranked among the world's most famous."
The first recorded vineyard was planted by John P Frauenfelder, Henry Rau and Sebastian Schubach.
They arrived in Australia from Germany in 1849 and in 1851 came to Albury.
Leasing land east of Kiewa Street between Guinea and North streets, they planted a quarter-acre of vines for each family.
Albury and Australia's largest vineyard was the Murray Valley Vineyard of 150 acres (61 hectares) near the Albury Racecourse.
Owner, Albury's first mayor James Fallon, built wine cellars in Kiewa Street, opened in 1867, and capable of storing 300,000 gallons (about 1.1 megalitres) of wine.
The cellars were demolished in 2007 and Quest Apartments now occupy the site. In the 1870s, Albury wine was exported to England where it received high praise.
The first winery that M Simon visited was All Saints' Winery at Wahgunyah, where he sampled typical district wines.
They included a flor sherry, a 1961 vintage dry red, the firm's famous tawny port, and, as a comparison with the Australian wines, a Spanish sherry.
The 86-year-old expert was quoted as saying that "Australian wines, although different to European, were of high standard."
Before leaving the district, M Simon was guest of honour at the Rutherglen Food and Wine Club and visited the Corowa cellars of Lindeman's Ltd, Seppelts' Rutherglen winery and the Milawa vineyards.
Find more information on Albury's wine industry at https://alburyhistory.org.au/resources/history-topics
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