Hunter valley Wine region

This is Australia's oldest wine region, and certainly one of the best known.

Tallavera Grove winery in the Hunter Valley makes wine from a range of alternative varietiesImage by leGuik via Flikr

Some writers, including James Halliday, divide this area into two regions,

  1. The Upper Hunter around the towns of Musselbrook, Denman, Aberdeen and Scone
  2. The Lower Hunter around Singleton, Cessnock and Maitland.

These are not official regions, officially it is the Hunter Valley Zone which includes the Hunter Region. Broke-Fordwich is a registered subregion.

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History of the Hunter region

In the years immediately after European Settlement, the rich agricultural land along the Hunter Valley was quickly developed to supply the nearby settlement of Sydney.

In the early Nineteenth Century Colonial New South Wales needed to find commercial crops to move the colony from being entirely dependent on its status as an offshore prison. Viticulture was an obvious choice as the product was easily exported to the mother country. Under the influence of James Busby the Hunter Region became the focus of the emerging wine industry after the 1820s.

A series of boom and bust, driven by factors both inside the the wine industry and the broader economy has unfolded over the past 180 years.  The are planted to vines has fluctuated widely. The last boom peaked in about 2005.  Competing land uses and competition for other Australian regions are now putting on the squeeze and the area under vines is declining rapidly.

viticulture and Varieties in The Hunter valley

The climate in the Hunter Wine Region is warm and humid from a viticultural view, but generations of growers and winemakers have developed some distinctive wine styles. Gladstones believes that the region is able to produce table wines of higher quality than the heat summation data suggest because the temperatures during the last month of ripening are lower than those experienced in regions with similar heat summation.

The outstanding white wine of the region is Semillon, which was formerly known as Hunter Riesling. It was even marketed in a Riesling bottle. Hunter Semillon is a refreshing but unexceptional wine when young but develops into a complex and beautiful wine with age.

The Shiraz of this region is also known for its aging ability. The list of alternative varieties grown in the region is dominated by Chambourcin and Verdelho, both of which thrive in warmer humid climates.  Barbera is used by a substantial number of winemakers.

Over the past few years a wider range of varieties have been introduced, notably Tempranillo, Sangiovese and the southern Italian whites Vermentino and Fiano.

Many wineries in this region source grapes from cooler regions of New South Wales such as Mudgee and Orange.

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Alternative varieties in the Hunter region 

  • 201 Wines Barbera, Chambourcin, Durif
  • Adina Vineyard Sangiovese
  • Allandale Chambourcin, Gewurztraminer, Sangiovese
  • Audrey Wilkinson Arneis, Gewurztraminer, Malbec, Moscato, Tempranillo
  • Ballabourneen Wines Chambourcin, Gamay
  • Benwarin Wines Chambourcin, Sangiovese
  • Bilgavia Wines Fiano, Tempranillo
  • Briar Ridge Vineyard Gewurztraminer, Vermentino
  • Brokenwood Wines Nebbiolo, Roussanne, Sangiovese
  • Calais Estate Chambourcin, Vermentino
  • Camp Road Estate Barbera
  • Capercaillie Chambourcin, Gewurztraminer
  • Catherine Vale Vineyard Arneis, Barbera, Dolcetto
  • Colvin Wines Sangiovese
  • Comans and Co Fiano
  • David Hook Wines Barbera, Nebbiolo, Sangiovese
  • De Iulius Sangiovese, Tempranillo, Touriga
  • Dimbulla Tempranillo
  • Domaine De Binet Barbera, Nebbiolo, Tempranillo
  • Ernest Hill Wines Chambourcin, Gewurztraminer, Tempranillo
  • First Creek Barbera, Tempranillo, Vermentino
  • Glandore Estate Gewurztraminer, Savagnin, Tempranillo
  • Hart and Hunter Fiano
  • Honeytree Estate Clairette
  • Hungerford Hill Gewurztraminer, Tempranillo, Vermentino
  • Ironbark Hill Estate Moscato, Tempranillo, Tyrian
  • Ivanhoe Wines Chambourcin, Gewurztraminer
  • Keith Tulloch Wine Malbec, Marsanne, Roussanne, Tempranillo
  • Kelman Vineyard Tempranillo
  • Kevin Sobels Wines Chenin blanc, Gewurztraminer, Petit verdot, Sangiovese
  • Krinklewood Tempranillo
  • Kurrrajong Estate Barbera, Tempranillo
  • Leogate Estate Gewurztraminer, Tempranillo
  • Little Wine Company Gewurztraminer, Sangiovese, Tempranillo, Vermentino
  • Margan Family Albarino, Barbera, Graciano, Tempranillo
  • Meera Park Marsanne
  • Moorebank Vineyard Gewurztraminer
  • Mount Broke Wines Barbera, Tempranillo
  • Mount Eyre Vineyards Fiano, Nero d'Avola
  • Mount Vincent Estate Sangiovese
  • Oakvale Chambourcin, Sangiovese
  • Peter Drayton Wines Tyrian
  • Piggs Peake Winery Barbera, Marsanne, Sangiovese, Touriga, Zinfandel
  • Pokolbin Estate Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Tempranillo
  • Racecourse Lane Wines Sangiovese
  • Saddlers Creek Wines Vermentino
  • Scarborough Wine Vermentino
  • Stomp Fiano
  • Stonehurst Cedar Creek Chambourcin
  • Tallavera Grove Winery Aglianico, Negroamaro, Sagrantino, Tempranillo, Verduzzo, Vermentino
  • Tamburlaine Cabernet franc, Chambourcin, Malbec, Marsanne
  • Tempus Two Aranel, Arneis, Gewurztraminer, Marsanne, Moscato, Prosecco, Sangiovese, Tempranillo, Zinfandel
  • The Little Wine Company Barbera, Gewurztraminer, Sangiovese, Tempranillo Vermentino
  • Travertine Estate Chambourcin, Fiano, Tannat
  • Tulloch Barbera, Sangiovese, Tannat, Tempranillo
  • Undercliff Chambourcin
  • Vinden Estate Alicante Bouschet
  • Wandin Valley Estate Barbera
  • Windsors Edge Tempranillo, Tinto Cao, Touriga
  • Wright Family Wines Chambourcin

Visiting the Hunter Valley

Visiting the Hunter Valley an easy day trip from Sydney. But there is so much to see and do that you may be tempted to stay a few days.

There is plenty of quality accommodation available.

Perhaps you can use Vinodiversity's Wine Country Hotel Booking Service to seek out the best deal.

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