The Different Types of Wines Produced in the Hunter Region

The Hunter Valley is well-known as one of Australia’s best wine regions.

Amongst sweeping valleys and sprawling fields, historic vineyards continue to create delicious wine flavours that have characterised the region for more than a century.

Hunter Valley Wines

The region itself has been an important part in the historic timeline of Australian wine, and was one of the very first wine regions to get planted back in the 19th century. Though there are plenty of grape varieties and wine flavours created throughout the Valley, including Shiraz, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Verdelho, the region’s Semillon is widely considered to be the most iconic.

Its close proximity to the bustling streets of Sydney has made the Hunter Valley so popular, and it has been fuelled by tight trade network links with the city.

The Different Grape Varieties in the Hunter Valley

Today, the most common wine varieties are Chardonnay, Semillon, and Verdelho for the whites, and Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot for the red wine.

About 70% of the area is planted with Chardonnay grapes, which are often blended with Semillon to get that unique Hunter Valley flavour. The Chardonnay is recognisable by its rich, oaky flavours that hang with high notes of peaches and cream.

Shiraz is another popular tipple. The Valley boasts some of the oldest rooted Shiraz vines in the world, with a number of vineyards hosting vines that are older than 120 years. Here, the Shiraz is characterised by its gamy flavour. When left to sit, it takes on a silky texture with earthy undertones.

The Cabernet of the region is not too dissimilar from the Shiraz. It is commonly very earthy and is often cross-blended with a variety of wines from regions outside of the Hunter Valley.

Semillon is perhaps the most iconic wine of the Hunter Valley, though. It was originally planted in the region way back in 1830, and has since been labelled under various names like Hunter Valley Riesling, Shepherd’s Riesling, Rhine Gold, White Burgundy, and Chablis. When it is young, the Semillon of the Valley exudes lemon and grassy notes. In its more mature years, you can expect a richer flavour with heavy biscuit notes.

The Hunter Valley is a must-visit for any wine lover out there. As well as sampling some of the iconic flavours of the region, you can learn all about the winemaking process and why the Valley has played such an important role in Australia’s wine history.

Related article: The Sparkling Wine Production Process in the Hunter Valley