Hastings River

New South Wales

About

Discover Hastings River with James Halliday's Wine Atlas of Australia

Viticulture and winemaking in the Hastings River region date back to 1837, when the first vineyard was planted by Henry Fancourt White, a colonial surveyor; by the 1860s there were 33 vineyards in the area. Following Federation and the shift to fortified wine production, along with many other wine regions production declined and ultimately ceased in the Hastings Valley in the early years of the twentieth century.

In 1980, after 60 years of non-productivity, the French-descended Cassegrain family decided to expand into real estate and associated viticulture and winery interests. As a result they significantly – if improbably – expanded the modern viticultural map of Australia. In the process they pioneered (with considerable help from Dr Richard Smart) new varieties and new ways of managing vineyards to meet the unique climatic challenges of the region, and have indirectly encouraged the development of other vineyards and wineries along the Northern Rivers Zone and adjacent Northern Slopes Zone.

Hastings River wine region image

The best vintages are those in which the late summer rains are below average, but even in these circumstances the successful outcome of the vintage is dependent on split-second timing of the harvest and upon very careful management of the canopy. The only assured answer has been the propagation of the French hybrid Chambourcin, which is resistant to the mildews that otherwise pose a constant threat. Much the same applies to the other vineyards dotted along the coast.

Facts

Wineries 5
Tasting Notes 235

Geographic

Latitude 31°27’S
Altitude 70 m
Heat Degree Days 2310
Growing Season Rainfall 1080 mm
Mean January Temp 22.5°C
Harvest Early February to March