Hunter Valley Semillon is incredibly unique and you will be hard pressed to find a winemaker globally that won’t agree that the Hunter Valley makes some of the best of this style of wine in the world. A mild climate and the perfect soil, Semillon from The Hunter truly makes Australian white wine drinkers proud.
While rain certainly hits the region with veracity in the warmer seasons, grapes are picked early and ensure the Hunter Semillon is ages incredibly well. Semillon delivers large bunches with big berries and thin skins, all of which should – and indeed do – make it susceptible to wet weather.
So, why even go there to plant such a grape in the region?
When the Semillon grape was first planted in the Hunter Valley, the region was the only pastoral land that could be reached from Sydney, and even then, largely by boat. However, it was there and so, trade routes opened up. One of the staples sent to Sydney was wine, and Semillon (and Shiraz) quickly proved itself as an exciting drop of a limited library. Through a strategic planting and picking process (i.e. avoiding the weather), Hunter Valley Semillon has quickly positioned itself as a must have wine for visitors to the region.
Semillon has never been successfully fermented in barrel, no matter the quality of the oak or the skill of the winemaker. However, what does happen with age is that the wine takes on the appearance of having been oaked; its body increases markedly, and it gains a honey, nutty aroma and flavour that bears no hint of a young wine.
I have been drinking Hunter Valley Semillon for almost 15 years, and believe me when I say nothing beats it! I strongly recommend sharing it with friends over fresh seafood - watch it disappear quickly (the wine that is)!