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 from 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 ageing 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.

Alternative varieties in the Hunter region 

  • Adina Vineyard Arneis, Gamay, Pinot Blanc, Sangiovese, Tempranillo
  • Allandale Chambourcin, Gewurztraminer, Sangiovese
  • Aramis Barbera, Chambourcin, Durif, Meunier
  • Audrey Wilkinson Arneis, Gewurztraminer, Malbec, Moscato, Tempranillo
  • Ballabourneen Wines Chambourcin, Gamay
  • Benwarin Wines Chambourcin, Sangiovese
  • Bilgavia Wines Fiano, Tempranillo
  • Bimbadgen Barbera, Fiano, Nebbiolo, Tempranillo, Vermentino
  • Boydell's Gruner Veltliner
  • Briar Ridge Vineyard Albarino, Gewurztraminer, Fiano, Gruner Veltliner, Tempranillo, Verduzzo, Vermentino
  • Brokenwood Wines Nebbiolo, Roussanne, Sangiovese
  • Brycefield Estate Pecorino
  • Calais Estate Chambourcin, Vermentino
  • Camp Road Estate Barbera
  • Capercaillie Chambourcin, Durif, Gewurztraminer
  • Catherine Vale Vineyard Arneis, Barbera, Dolcetto
  • Cockfighters Ghost Barbera, Nebbiolo, Sangiovese
  • Colvin Wines Sangiovese
  • Comyns and Co Gruner Veltliner, Tempranillo
  • Dalwood Tempranillo, Touriga
  • David Hook Wines Barbera, Nebbiolo, Pecorino, Sagrantino, Sangiovese, Vermentino
  • De Iuliis Montepulcianoo, Pecorino, Sangiovese, Tempranillo, Touriga
  • Dimbulla Tempranillo
  • Dirt Candy Barbera, Fiano, Vermentino
  • Domaine De Binet Barbera, Fiano, Graciano, Nebbiolo, Tempranillo, Touriga
  • Drayton Family Wines Tempranillo
  • Ernest Hill Wines Chambourcin, Gewurztraminer, Tempranillo
  • First Creek Barbera, Malbec, Sangiovese, Tannat, Tempranillo, Vermentino
  • Glandore Estate Gewurztraminer, Malbec, Nebbiolo, Savagnin, Tempranillo, Vermentino
  • Greeenway Wines Fiano
  • Hart and Hunter Fiano
  • Honeytree Estate Clairette
  • Horner Marsanne, Picpoul
  • Hungerford Hill Corvina, Fiano, Gewurztraminer, Meunier, Tempranillo, Vermentino
  • Iron Gate Tempranillo
  • Ironbark Hill Estate Moscato, Tempranillo, Tyrian
  • Ivanhoe Wines Chambourcin, Gewurztraminer
  • Jacksons Hill Vermentino
  • Jubilee Wines Chambourcin
  • 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
  • Latitude 34 Sangiovese
  • Leogate Estate Gewurztraminer, Tempranillo
  • Margan Family Albarino, Barbera, Graciano, Tempranillo
  • Meera Park Marsanne, Roussanne
  • Mercer Barbera, Malbec, Montepulciano, Nero d'Avola, Picpoul, Vermentino
  • Mistletoe Wines Sangiovese
  • Montebello Estate Orange Muscat, Sangiovese, Vermentino
  • Moorebank Vineyard Gewurztraminer
  • Mount Broke Wines Barbera, Tempranillo
  • Mount Eyre Chambourcin, Fiano, Negroamaro, Nero d'Avola
  • Mount Pleasant Fiano, Tempranillo, Touriga
  • Mount View Estate Durif
  • Mount Vincent Estate Sangiovese
  • Oakvale Chambourcin, Sangiovese
  • Pepper Tree Wines Aglianico, Fiano, Cabernet Franc, Gewurztraminer, Malbec, Tannat, Verduzzo, Zinfandel
  • Peter Drayton Wines Arneis, Barbera, Montepulciano, Saperavi, Tempranillo, Tyrian, Vermentino
  • Piggs Peake Winery Barbera, Marsanne, Sangiovese, Touriga, Zinfandel
  • Pokolbin Estate Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Tempranillo
  • Quid Pro Quo Fiano, Gamay, Negroamaro, Nero d'Avola, Sangiovese, Touriga, Zinfandel
  • Racecourse Lane Wines Sangiovese
  • Saddlers Creek Wines Aglianico, Arneis, Sagrantino, Vermentino
  • Scarborough Wine Vermentino
  • Stomp Fiano
  • Stonehurst Cedar Creek Chambourcin
  • Talits Sangiovese
  • Tallavera Grove Winery Aglianico, Negroamaro, Sagrantino, Tempranillo, Verduzzo, Vermentino
  • Tamburlaine Cabernet Franc, Chambourcin, Malbec, Marsanne
  • Tempus Two Arneis, Durif, Gewurztraminer, Graciano, Marsanne, Moscato, Prosecco, Sangiovese, Tempranillo, Zinfandel
  • The Little Wine Company Barbera, Gewurztraminer, Pecorino, Sangiovese, Tempranillo, Vermentino
  • Tinklers Tempranillo
  • Travertine Estate Chambourcin, Fiano, Tannat
  • Tulloch Barbera, Sangiovese, Tannat, Tempranillo
  • Undercliff Chambourcin
  • Vinden Estate Alicante Bouschet, Gamay, Tempranillo
  • Wandin Valley Estate Barbera
  • Whispering Brook Arinto, Touriga
  • Windsors Edge Tempranillo, Tinto Cao, Touriga
  • Wren Estate Gruner Veltliner, Sangiovese, Vermentino
  • Wright Family Wines Chambourcin
Updated 12 June 2024

Buying wine from the Hunter valley

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Visiting the Hunter Valley

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