Originally occupied by the Wonnarua tribe of Aboriginal Australians over 30,000 years ago, the Hunter Valley was discovered by John Shortland RN in 1797 and named after John Hunter the second Governor of NSW and captain of the HMS Sirius of the First Fleet.
The first major vineyard was planted in 1825 by James Busby from some of the 500 vine cuttings he collected from Spain and France.
This made the Hunter Valley, Australia’s first and oldest vineyard.
The Hunter Valley produces several varieties of grape including Shiraz, Semillon, Chardonnay and Verdelho. The most iconic of all the grape variety is Semillon.
Because of the Hunter Valley’s unique climatic conditions, the Semillon variety’s style is unlike any other and cannot be replicated. It is therefore regarded as Australia’s unique white wine.
Originally known as Hermitage or Burgundy, Hunter Valley Shiraz has also established itself as one of Australia’s great red styles.
The Chardonnay grape not only the world’s most popular wine, it is also Australia’s most planted variety. In the Hunter Valley, Chardonnay is the most prominently planted grape with several vineyard’s producing some of Australia’s best styles.