Planet View: S32°44.645’ E151°06.005’
Street View: S32°44.645’ E151°06.005’
Leaving the warmth of the Newby’s home to venture back out into the rainy weather of the surrounding Sydney area took some extra enthusiasm. We headed north through Sydney to reach the Hunter Valley wine region around midday. Knowing that the Hunter Valley is best known for it’s Semillon, that’s what we focused on tasting. First stop was the information center to pick up a wine map, here we learned the east side of the region has sandy soils and is better known for its Semillon. Beginning on the eastern side of the Hunter we tasted at Adina Vineyard first and then Tatler Wines across the road, the Semillons were nice but it would be great to taste the same wines again in five or 10 years. The west side of the region is comprised of more clay-loam soils and is a bit more hilly, we headed to the famous McWilliams Mount Pleasant Estate in search of their well known Elizabeth’s Semillon. For tasting that day they offered a 2001 Semillon as well as a 2004, amazing to see the color change and the honey-like texture of the aged Semillons, it almost seemed as if they’d been aged in oak, but none had ever seen a barrel. We bought the 2004 to save for a few more years to see how it develops. McGuigan Wines was our next stop, where we tasted a line-up of six different Semillons, walking away with a bottle of 4 Gen Semillon which was made to represent the four generations working within the winery. After a phone call to my father-in-law, John, he said that Tyrrell’s Wines was a must visit – it was by far my highlight of the day. Their cellar door was open which allowed us to have a wander around, they have some open-topped concrete fermenters that I would love to experiment with (pictured here to the right). Although the open-topped concrete fermenters weren’t used for the Semillons, they showed their strengths in some of the Shiraz. The tasting room attendant was very enthusiastic and knowledgeable, he lined up eight-or-so Semillons starting with a bottle of 1998, which was about to be over the hill but still quite good. Interesting to watch the color change and taste the texture differences throughout the range. The Vat 1’s were most interesting, all of the wines ferment for about 15 days, never touching an oak barrel. He also lined up some Shiraz, Hunter Valley Shirazes are very different to the famous Shirazes of South Australia’s McLaren Vale and Barossa regions. At Tyrrell’s they’re all dry farmed and sourced from older vineyards. One last stop in the region was at Sam’s request to visit the Bluetongue Brewery, where we picked up a carton of Alcoholic Ginger Beer (they need to make this stuff in the States!). Thanks to the end of day light savings, by the end of our tastings it was high time to find a campsite for the night as it was approaching dark very quickly. We found a great spot in a little area called Broke on the far west side of the Hunter Valley. An interesting day, fun to visit another wine region of Australia where the locals are so proud of what they’re producing.
This entry was posted on Thursday, April 8th, 2010 at 6:00 AM and is filed under Australia, New South Wales, Wines. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.