The History New South Wales’ Hunter Valley Wine Region

The Hunter Valley (or ‘The Hunter’ as it is affectionately known) is the jewel of the NSW wine industry. The first plantings date back to 1823, with early settlers, including George Wydnham, William Kelman and James King, all paving the way for the area. However, it was James Busby that was responsible for bringing a near 500 vine cuttings over from Europe and South Africa to the Hunter Valley region.

Once these cuttings had sprout, and the area began to flourish with fruits, families quickly became established here: familiar family names such as Lindeman, Drayton, Tyrrell and Wilkinson were just a few. In the 1960s, there was a real shift in the style of drinks being consumed, with the drier wines coming to the fore. These dry varietals have become signature to the Hunter Valley and are highly regarded today.

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 style wines are of exceptional quality. Chardonnay is also a key player in the Hunter region, alongside the finest Verdelho made in the country grown out of the Hunter. This niche white grape that originates from Portugal has fast become a Hunter Valley favourite.

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