Discover Hunter Valley’s best wines

Discover Hunter Valley’s best wines

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 09/12/2019

Reading time: 4 mins

When it comes to wine, we all have our favourites, our go-to drops that we simply love. But a visit to the Hunter Valley could be the perfect time to shake up your tastebuds and try something new (or try some of the best examples of your personal favourites).

Hunter Valley is famous for a few grape varieties that produce excellent single varieties and blends. The most well-known wines of the region are Shiraz, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Verdelho but the absolute rock star must be the Semillon. Here we provide you with a list of some of the best wines available in the Hunter Valley. The wines are organised by price so that whether you’re a budget buyer or a confident collector, there’s something here that’s perfect for you.

  • Mount Pleasant Elizabeth Semillon

    Mount Pleasant Elizabeth Semillon

    Starting with our most budget-friendly wine, the Elizabeth Semillon is an excellent choice. With its green hue and citrus characteristics, there’s a hint of lime and lemongrass that make it infinitely drinkable. It has an intense, yet elegant flavour and with a relatively low abv of 10.5% it certainly makes for easy drinking.

    This winery has enjoyed many accolades over the years with the chief winemaker, Adrian Sparks, named as the Hunter Valley Winemaker of the Year in 2019. With an award like that under his belt, you can be assured that this wine is going to be something special.

  • Brokenwood Shiraz

    The Brokenwood winery produces many excellent bottles of Shiraz, ranging in age and blend. The clean air and excellent soil have led to the success of this grape variety, with the soil’s heavy clay content giving the wines a full flavour and character. Shiraz is one of the most popular wines of the Hunter Valley with a distinct flavour that is characteristic of the region. At 14% abv, it’s on the strong side but with a flavour like that, it’s not something that you’ll want to rush.

  • First Creek Winemaker’s Reserve Chardonnay

    For all chardonnay lovers, First Creek provides you with the chance to sample some of the best of the region. The 2017 bottle won the James Halliday Chardonnay Challenge in 2018 and that was not the first time that the producer came up with excellent chardonnays. Buttery and complex, the wine has flavours of white peach and grapefruit with a hint of oak. Perfect served with mushrooms, this wine (or any of the chardonnays from this vineyard) is fabulous and well worth a try.

  • Mount Pleasant Single Vineyard Lovedale Semillon

    Another Semillon from Mount Pleasant, this wine gets a look-in due to its fantastic quality that comes from being grown on the Lovedale vineyard. This vineyard was planted in 1946 after World War II, and the first Mount Pleasant Lovedale Semillon was made in 1950. With its sandy aggregate loam topsoil, the Semillon grapes take on a fantastic complexity of flavours that make, arguably, one of the best in the region.

  • Tyrrell’s Vat 1 Semillon

    Tyrrell's Vat 1 Semillon

    Yes, another Semillon. It may seem like we have a one-track mind here but with this variety being so prevalent (and delicious) in this region, it’s hard for it not to make multiple appearances. For over 5 decades Tyrell’s Semillon has been internationally recognised and a visit to the Hunter Valley wouldn’t be complete without a visit to this winery and its cellar door. Vat 1 is fermented in special, temperature-controlled tanks made from stainless steel. It is then rested in bottles for a few years. Each of these processes gives the wine its enviable taste. Of course, it features the easily recognisable lime and citrus flare of a Semillon, but its bottle aging also produces a hint of toasty complexity.

  • Lake’s Folly Cabernet blend

    ​The name of this wine came from the fact that when Doctor Max Lake first established his vineyard, it was considered a Folly. But boy, did he prove his critics wrong. Far from a folly, this is one serious wine producer and their Cabernet blend is rich and intense. Considered Australia’s first ‘boutique’ winery, this location also produces a fine Chardonnay and both of their flagship wines demonstrate elegance and restraint and a great flavour. You can visit the vineyard’s cellar door for a tasting however due to its small size it is recommended that you contact them ahead of your visit.

Related article: The Different Types of Wines Produced in the Hunter Region

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.