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The iconic Hunter Valley – Australia’s first wine region, world famous international tourist destination, and home to some of the world’s finest wines. Acclaimed for being one of Australia’s best wine regions, Hunter Valley wines are unique, delightful, and extremely easy to guzzle. In this article, we’ll give a snapshot view of the Hunter Valley region, wines, and everything you need to know prior to your first visit, or before you purchase that next bottle of Shiraz from the Hunter Valley.

Hunter Valley Wine: from the Hunter to the World

Nestled in the Hunter region, the Hunter Valley is located a few hours outside of Sydney. The Hunter Valley is known for producing some of the best Semillon in the world however, the area is known for producing other varieties such as Verdelho, Shiraz, Chardonnay and most recently, Tempranillo. Wine Australia reports that the top five Hunter Valley wine varieties for 2020 were Chardonnay (34%), Verdelho (24%), Semillon (19%), Shiraz (13%) and Tempranillo (3%). The thirst for Hunter Valley wine reaches international heights with a share of large export volumes heading to China (47%), the UK (16%), and the USA (9%) as of 2020.

Serving Hunter Valley wine
Serving Hunter Valley wine

Growing Conditions

The Hunter Valley retains unique environmental conditions in which wine is produced in humid and warm conditions, with occasional rain. It can sometimes be referred to a sub-tropical climate, closely aligned to conditions of the Mediterranean. Each grape variety is suited to a variety of soil conditions which the region can innately provide. The Hunter region is also made of notable subregions such as Broke Fordwich, Pokolbin and Upper Hunter Valley.      

Hunter Valley Wine Flavours

So now to the important part; how does the wine taste? Well, the answer this question depends on the variety, vintage, technique and more. Generally speaking, Shiraz’s from this region are usually medium weight in body with unique savoury notes and sometimes oaky undertones. The Hunter Valley Semillon is famously known for its dry style, light body, with aromatic characters of lemon and herb. Semillon is usually blended with other varieties such as the Sauvignon Blanc to enhance quality however, you will find delight in drinking this variety on its own from the Hunter. When aged, this variety can develop with great complexity for those who patiently wait.

Wine Grapes
Wine Grapes

World Famous Tourist Destination

The Hunter Valley draws many international and domestic tourists every year – bus loads in fact! There are many wonderful experiences you can soak up from wine tastings, grape stomping to dining experiences and much more. If you’re in the area, pair your Hunter Valley wine experience with local cheese or condiment tasting tour as the area is well known for its quality local produce. Alternatively, you can shop online and get a little glass of the Hunter Valley delivered to your door. Being a few hours outside of Australia’s largest city, this a popular wine region which is easy to reach for any wine lover visiting Sydney.

Hunter Valley close to Sydney
Hunter Valley close to Sydney

Top Hunter Valley Wineries

There are roughly 120 wineries in the Hunter Region, so yes that’s a lot of wine on offer. If you’re looking for quality Hunter Valley wine, you don’t need to look too far, there are many long-standing quality producers in the region such as Tyrrell’s who have been producing wine in the region for over 160 years and Hungerford Hill who have been producing wine since 1960s. Tulloch wines is another notable favourite with a long history of wine production for 125 years. The area is steeped in tradition, history, and great wine – a region not to be missed!