Hunter Valley Wine Region
The Best-Known Wine Region in New South Wales
The Hunter Valley, which is located in the New South Wales, is the wine region that has played a pivotal role in the Australian wine history.
Without any doubt, this region, which is one of the first wine regions in New South Wales is the best-known wine region in the country!
Yes, this was the home to the Father of Viticulture – James Busby. It is being said that he shipped the European vine cuttings during the 1830s and these vines are known to be the country’s oldest living ones today.
Wine Regions and Sub-Regions of Hunter Valley
The wine zone of Hunter Valley was registered as an Australian Geographical Indication during the year 1996.
As per the appellation system of Australia, the Hunter Valley GI is covering the entire catchment area of the Hunter River along with its tributaries.
The Hunter wine region was declared as a Geographical Indication during the year 1997.
The Hunter region can be divided into three sub-regions.
This sub-region, which is surrounding the towns of Broke, Fordwich, and Bulga, is lying between the Upper and the Lower Hunter Valley.
Several of the vineyards in this region are seen on the hills. These regions’ vineyards are accounting for 14% of the total vineyard area of the Hunter Valley.
The soils of this sub-region, which is sheltered on the southern side of the valley are found to be rich in volcanic red clay, free-draining alluvial soil, and sandy loams.
The major vine plantations of this sub-region are found to be:
In addition to these varieties, we can also find some other grape varieties like:
This region is surrounding the Pokolbin and is found to have several wineries of various sizes.
In this sub-region, we can find both larger multi-national wineries and the smaller family-run wineries. This sub-region is observed to be a successful wine growing area with richer red volcanic soils and sandy loams.
The mountain ranges along with the cloud cover and afternoon sea breezes are making this region a perfect place for vine cultivation.
The major grape varieties that are grown in this region are found to be the traditional varieties like Shiraz and Sémillon.
In addition to these, we can find the plantations of other varieties like Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Pinot Noir in the Pokolbin sub-region.
Upper Hunter Valley
The Upper Hunter Valley represents the northernmost, as well as the westernmost sub-region of the Hunter Valley.
Here, the first vines were planted in the year 1860 thus making it one of the oldest wine regions in the state. After a lot of experiments, this region was found to be more suited for the cultivation of white vine varieties.
This sub-region, which is found to be receiving lesser amounts of rainfall than the Lower Hunter Valley, is operating several small wineries.
Viticulture in the Hunter Valley
This region is found to have little to no restrictions on the viticultural practices and hence, the winegrowers have the freedom to cultivate the grape variety of their choice.
Currently, the region has about 4,469 acres of vineyards of which 1,687 acres are planted with red grapes and the remaining 2,782 acres are planted with white varieties.
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