Description 1 of 2
Hunter Valley is the best known region within the state of New South Wales in Australia. The upper and lower areas surround the Hunter River, with most vineyards in the south part in the foothills of the Brokenback Range.
It is credited with being the country’s oldest region, very close to Sydney, with vines brought over from Europe and planted in the 1820s. James Busby, known as the “Father of Australian Wine” brought over some of the first plantings, with vines that still exist thanks to the area’s successful dodging of Phylloxera which otherwise devastated Europe and other parts of the country.
The region is mostly hot and wet with ample cloud cover and cool breezes from the ocean balancing it out. Semillon is the pride of Hunter Valley, world renown for its distinct, grassiness when young with evolving caramel and nutty flavors that benefit from long aging.
Oaked Chardonnay is also very popular here. Shiraz is the star red with a range of concentrated styles from younger table wines to aged premium releases.
It is divided into four subregions:
* Broke Fordwich: lower, more continental in climate. Besides Semillon it is also known for its Cabernet.
* Hunter: an exclusive growing area created to distinguish itself from Hunter Valley, which could encompass any part of the region.
* Pokolbin: the birthplace of Semillon.
* Upper Hunter Valley: slightly higher temperatures but still producing quality wines.
Description 2 of 2
This region encompasses both the lower and upper Hunter Valley areas which have traditionally been regarded as quite separate. They are, however, geographically linked by the umbilical cord of the Hunter River. There is a registered sub regions: Broke Fordwich, in the lower Hunter area. The majority of the vineyards in the lower Hunter are situated on the extreme southern side of what is a broad and relatively flat valley that nestles in the foothills of the Brokenback Range. With a few exceptions, most notably Mount View, the hills are gentle and their gradients modest. As is indicated by the well-drained and moderately fertile black silty loams, the vineyards of the Upper Hunter are much closer to the river systems, notably the Hunter and Goulburn rivers, but also tributaries such as Giants Creek. Rows of vines are framed against the backdrop of rocky hillsides that add a sense of wild and untamed beauty to the landscape. Statistics reveal that the climates of both areas of the Hunter are similar yet perversely, the heat degree days' summation of each is very high with the majority of the rainfall occurring between January and April, blanketing the harvest. However, the rain, the humidity, the afternoon cloud cover and weak sea breezes all act to ameliorate the impact of the heat, which would otherwise make the production of quality table wine very difficult, if not impossible, in the region. – Description from Oldbridgecellars
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