• NSW
  • Hunter Valley Zone

Hunter Valley Zone

New South Wales

About

The Hunter Valley is honoured worldwide as being the birthplace of Australian wine. With vines dating back to the 1800s, some of the most awarded varieties are produced in the area, including semillon, shiraz, chardonnay, and verdelho. As well as those first families who have been established in the region for decades, there’s also a rising number of up-and-coming wineries, that are equally as interesting. Regarded as a place where history meets new-day, there’s plenty to explore: striking hikes through national parks, music concerts that pulsate the vineyards, and sweeping views enjoyed from high in the sky. With so much to learn, see and do, there’s no better time to that a breath where it all began.

Kangaroos Hunter Valley Vineyard

THE HISTORY OF THE HUNTER VALLEY

Rich history is one of the Hunter Valley's most prized possessions, next to the fine wine that has grown with it. The first plantings date back to 1823, with the early settlers of winemaking history named as George Wydnham, William Kelman and James King. James Busby, however, was responsible for bringing a near 500 vine cuttings over from Europe and South Africa to the Hunter Valley. Once they had sprout, and the area flourished with fruits, families became established here: The Lindeman, Drayton, Tyrrell and Wilkinson families to name a few. In the 1960s, a shift in drinking culture was noted, with the dryer wines coming to the fore. These dry varieties are what the Hunter Valley is regarded highly for today.

The Hunter Valley Wine Styles

Hunter Valley Varietals

The unique climate of the Hunter Valley sets the perfect scene for wines of great ageing potential. As the area enjoys moderately warm, and noticeably humid conditions, semillon and shiraz grapes plump full of flavour. Chardonnay is also a key player, James mentioning that “Tyrrell’s and Lake’s Folly are setting the pace.” Additionally, the Hunter Valley produces the finest verdelho in the country, being a niche white grape brought over from Portugal.

Semillon:

Hunter Valley semillon is no stranger to the wine-drinking world; it’s arguably what they’re known for most. The semillon grape is honey skinned and sits at the top of the dry white wine varieties. It’s also not unusual to hear winemakers pronounce sem-ih-yon, which is true to phonetics. They believe this more closely relates to the warmth and generosity of character that is semillon. Hunter Valley semillon can be enjoyed throughout its entire lifespan: from a youthful example exempting citrus and herbs, to matured semillon noting honey and toast.

Shiraz:

Shiraz is at the center of Australian red varieties and has fruited in the Hunter Valley since the first vines were planted. James says that “Shiraz was planted here before it was plated in any other region in Australia”, which solidifies its importance to the region. Young Hunter Valley shiraz gives blackberry notes, with spices and strong tannins, whereas matured versions become deep in flavour, with compelling complexities. Hunter Valley shiraz is nonetheless, ever smooth.

Chardonnay:

Equally as the Hunter Valley paves the way in fine semillon and shiraz, it also produces applaudable chardonnay. Expect a dry white wine that’s soft, and bursting with freshness. Hunter Valley chardonnay is also known for its rich and creamy qualities, with oak notes that are subtle, but certainly recognised.

Verdelho:

Verdelho is a white variety that has thrived through the region for decades. It’s clear, fresh, and maintains its bouquet exceptionally well. Verdelho is delightful on a hot summer day, particularly when enjoying the afternoon sun. Expect summer fruits, with subtle minerals that linger.

THINGS TO DO 

The Hunter Valley offers experiences not just within wine, although you may find wine a common companion through all. Take a horseback ride through the scenic Molly Morgan Range, where glorious views can be enjoyed on track. Trek the hikes of Yengo, Watagans, Mt Royal and Wollemi national parks, and experience the best of local and international music — Bruce Springsteen, The Rolling Stones and Elton John have all performed in vineyards within Hunter Valley. The art appreciator shall visit Mistletoe Winery, where a sculpture garden and gallery await exploration, and at Wilderness and Art Retreats, let resident artist Jacquie Mather accommodate you. Her peaceful abode offers a welcome space where art teachings are to be had, and you’re free to create. For those longing moments of peace within nature, it's essential to take a float in a hot air balloon. There’s no better way to take in this stunning wine country.

Hunter Valley Ranges

accomodation in the Hunter valley

If it's luxurious stays, or humble abodes that you prefer, the Hunter Valley can accommodate. Oaks Cypress Lakes Resorts enjoys the tranquil hinterland surrounds, and their premium villas provide utmost comfort; unwinding here seems effortless. Cedars Mount View is where to head for self-contained, romantic stays. Their standalone cottages are plotted throughout nature, weaved through the gum trees, dams and forest. Enjoy the echoing sounds of the Australian bush, while running a bath and enjoying the finest wine. Prefer an entire house to yourself? Simply visit Beautiful Accommodation and find a stylish home to reside within. If you’re seeking simplicity, the Leisure Inn is an affordable and comforting option.

Mount View Hunter Valley

Facts

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