Hunter Valley

Hunter Valley Wine Region

The Hunter Valley located approximately 2 hours north of Sydney is undoubtedly one of Australia’s most well-known wine regions which, since its foundation, has produced many fine, world recognised wines.

There are over 150 wineries producing exceptional wines with Semillon, Chardonnay and Shiraz being the dominant varietals of the region from one of the warmest, humid and wettest climates of Australia.

White Wine 57%
Red Wine 43%
150 Wineries
2606 ha Vineyards
8 Common Varietals

Principal Varieties

Shiraz

Chardonnay

Semillon

HISTORY

Hunter Valley’s winemaking history dates back to the early 1800’s when pioneers George Wyndham, William Kelman and James King planted their first grapes. By 1823 over 20 acres of vineyards were planted on the northern banks of the river.
 

Hunter Valley Wine HistoryJames Busby then brought around 500 vine cuttings to the region drawn from collections and private plantings in Europe and South Africa. By 1840 the Hunter Valley’s registered vineyard area exceeded 500 acres.

By the 1960’s the wine market shifted towards fine dry table wines and the industry could once again flourish with a proliferation of boutique wineries.

History of Hunter ValleyThis is what characterises the Hunter Valley today being one of Australia’s most well-known wine regions. Over 150 wineries are producing a wide array of exceptional wines.

Hunter Valley Semillon enjoys a very special place in the world wine industry because, as award-winning Australian wine writer Campbell Mattinson puts it, ” it produces a wine (…) that is acknowledged as the best in the world, the benchmark. It is the same kind of advantage enjoyed by Burgundy and Bordeaux and Champagne “.

CLIMATE

From here the Hunter Valley flourished with several families establishing vineyards such as Dr Henry Lindeman, The Drayton, Tyrrell and Wilkinson families in the latter part of the 19th century.

The Hunter Valley is divided into two sub-regions, the “Lower Hunter Valley” and the “Upper Hunter Valley”, both of which have slightly varied climates.

The Lower Hunter is one of the warmest, most humid and wettest climates in Australia with an average of 750ml of annual rainfall, mostly between October and April. The rain, humidity, afternoon cloud cover and sea breeze all work together to reduce the impact of the heat that would otherwise hamper the production and quality of the vines.

The Upper Hunter does not change all that much except that the rainfall is slightly less, and the heat is better than the Lower Hunter due to the sea breeze. January and February are the most humid of the year.

 

you can match or put a lineup of wine and have a Chablis, a white Burgundy, and a Hunter Valley Semillon and everyone will go, 'that's a Hunter Valley Semiilon. That's a Chablis.' - it makes us really quite unique and distinctive.

Daniel Binet
Winemaker Tatler Wines

WHY YOU SHOULD GO

No wine region in Australia offers more for visitors than the Hunter Valley. It is the most visited tourist destination in NSW outside of Sydney, and you will find everything from resorts, spas, cheese factory, golfs, restaurants, horse riding, art galleries, live music…

How To Get There

By Car: From Sydney, it takes approximately 2 hours, and is 180km north of Sydney. Very accessible by car, you can take the Tourist Route T33 passing through scenic mountains and into the Hunter Valley via historic Wollombi or take the Hunter Expressway off the M1 for the fastest route.

BEST TIME TO GO

Every season brings something different to the Hunter Valley and everyone who visits takes something different away. Harvest is from December to February. This is a good time to come, it’s a vibrant time with lots of activities but it’s very warm.

In Autumn (March, April, May) the colours are particularly wonderful, the temperature will be cooler and the region will be calmer after the summer!

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