Featuring 68 wines from 17 producers and seven emerging and established regions, New South Wales (NSW) will hold its first live wine showcase since Covid at 67 Pall Mall in London on September 21. This is a unique opportunity for UK buyers to take a deep dive into this vast and diverse region with producers represented across the Hunter Valley, Hilltops, Orange, Central Ranges, Tumbarumba and Mudgee, featuring a wide range of wines that are both in the UK already and those looking for distribution.
Sixty eight wines from 17 producers covering seven wine regions will be available to taste at the New South Wales trade tasting at a new venue of 67 Pall in London on September 21. Here’s what to expect from each producer. You can register here.
Five of the producers taking part in the special New South Wales tasting in London next week are already represented in the UK – Tyrrell’s, Brokenwood, Gundog Estate, Grove Estate and Philip Shaw Wines. Then there are 12 wineries that are seeking distribution in the UK for the first time including: Contentious Character, Cassegrain Wines, Hollydene Estate, Briar Ridge Vineyard, Pepper Tree Wines, Latitude 32 Wines, Thomas Wines, Faisan Estate, Rowlee Wines, See Saw Wines, Mayfield Vineyard and Leogate Wines.
Established in 1970, Brokenwood Wines has evolved from a weekend venture for self-professed hobby winemakers into one of Australia’s most reputable wine labels and a must-visit in the Hunter Valley. Brokenwood was founded by a trio of Sydney-based solicitors, Tony Albert, John Beeston and James Halliday, who paid a then record price of $970 per acre for a 10-acre block in the foothills of the Brokenback Ranges. Their flagship ILR Reserve Semillon has been awarded ‘Best Semillon’ in the James Halliday Australian Wine Companion twice, most recently with the 2014 vintage released in 2020. It is home to the famous Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz, which the Langton’s Classification of Australian Wine when first released in 1991 honoured with ‘Outstanding’. The Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz remains the only Hunter Valley Shiraz in the Classification and was elevated to the highest category of ‘Exceptional’ where it has remained for each release since.
The 5th generation family-owned Tyrrell’s estate, nestled in the foothills of the Brokenback Range in the Hunter Valley, is a unique patchwork of vineyards. Having lived and breathed wine growing and winemaking in the Hunter Valley for more than 160 years, the family amassed an unrivalled knowledge of what makes the Hunter one of Australia’s, and indeed the world’s, greatest winegrowing regions. Thriving in a diverse range of soils, from sandy loams lying on ancient creek beds to heavier red clays over limestone, these vineyards produce some of the most distinctive and refined wines in the world. Tyrrell’s are the custodians of the famous Vat 1 Semillon selected from the very best old vine, dry grown vineyards, the oldest of which was planted in 1923. These feature ideal sandy, free draining soils that give these wines their unique character.
Thomas Wines was established in 1997, with a clear and focused objective to specialise in single vineyard Hunter Valley Semillon and Shiraz. Over the years Andrew Thomas has formed close and collaborative alliances with an impressive folio of local growers. These growers own and operate arguably some of the Hunter Valley’s most distinguished sites, producing world class, uniquely regional styles. Each wine is destined to showcase its unique vineyard signature and express a real sense of place. Kiss Shiraz and Braemore Semillon sit at the top of an impressive range, becoming modern benchmarks for the Hunter Valley. A no compromise, attention to detail approach to his winemaking has seen Andrew Thomas named 2008 and 2014 Hunter Valley Winemaker of the Year as well as contributing to an impressive mantlepiece of wine show trophies, medals, and enviable critical acclaim.
One of the few cellar doors and wineries in the Upper Hunter Valley, Hollydene has some of the oldest vines in the area, established in 1969. Owner Karen Williams used to exclusively supply Arrowfield Estate with grapes from her Hollydene and Wybong vineyards, but when Arrowfield closed in 2010 she decided to purchase it to make a presence with her own wine labels. The Upper Hunter brings its own unique climate where lower annual rainfall and less maritime influence leads to lower disease pressure and allows the Hollydene Estate to produce premium quality Semillon, Chardonnay and Shiraz.
Briar Ridge Vineyard is a boutique winery and the largest holder of vineyards in Mount View, a renowned viticultural area higher and cooler than any other in the Hunter Valley. Producing since 1972, they have uncovered soils and a micro-climate that are unique for the region helping to create wine styles and flavours that are distinctively theirs and are hard to beat. Winemaker Alex Beckett, a Hunter Valley local and finalist for the Australia Young Gun of Wine in 2021 and 2022, is bringing a modern interpretation to the oldest wine region in Australia.
Thirty years ago, John Davis commenced his vision of identifying and developing optimum wine growing regions purchasing the land and planting grape varieties perfectly suited to the terroir. He often states that ‘his own indulgence’ enabled him to plant with no geographic boundaries to achieve optimum expression in the wines. A dream for most! For a small family-owned winery, they have won more awards and accolades than many others of their size. Up against the giants of Wynns and Penfolds, Pepper Tree continually shines helped by the impressive young gun female winemaker, Gwyn Olsen. To complete the picture, Pepper Tree is working on becoming a fully certified member of Sustainability Australia. Pepper Tree Wines, located in the Hunter Valley, sources its Estate grown fruit from the Hunter Valley, Orange, Coonawarra and Wrattonbully.
Gundog Estate was founded in 2010 with the intention of producing small quantities of premium wine from the Hunter Valley, Hilltops, and Canberra District. They employ a combination of new and old-world practices to deliver high quality and innovative wines that represent some of the best examples of regional, modern Australian styles, produced at a boutique scale. Finalist in the 2021 Gourmet Traveller Australian Winemaker of the Year, owner and winemaker Matt Burton is passionate about single vineyard wines, regional expression, and premium grape varietals. Their goal is to craft high quality wines & build a sustainable business that combines commerce with social conscience making a meaningful difference to the lives of all their stakeholders. Gundog Estate is Carbon Neutral, is currently planting over 2,000 native trees and partners with the Path to Change homelessness charity.
Leogate Estate is a sustainable producer located at the foot of the Brokenback Ranges. First planted in the 1970s by one of the founding fathers of the modern Australian wine industry, Len Evans AO OBE, current custodians Bill and Vicki Widin bought the original 50-hectare Brokenback Vineyard in 2008. Former Angus producers in the Tamworth district at ‘Middlebrook Park’ they have used their knowledge and experience on the land, along with the expertise of others such as senior winemaker Mark Woods, to reinvigorate the property and build the successful wine brand they are known for today. Together, the Widins and Mark have achieved international accolades including the IWC Trophy for Best New Wine and wines poured in Qantas First and Business class over the past five years. James Halliday’s 2020 Australian Wine Companion gave Leogate Estate a red 5-Star Winery rating for the ninth year in a row.
Founded by UK corporate escapees Emma & David White, Latitude 32 are making wines designed for busy City professionals – guaranteed to reflect their fantastic sites in Upper and Lower Hunter Valley. In 2019, they found a perfect, old vine vineyard in Pokolbin, planted a hectare of own-root Shiraz in 2021 with another 5 ha on the way. Their baptism since 2019 has included drought, bushfire, COVID and floods. They don’t want you to have to think too much about the wines, they want customers to have fun at a dinner party or ordering off the wine list from their traditional Hunter Valley or new varietals and blends.
At Rowlee, ex-Melbourne sommelier Nicole Samodol and her partner James Manny work the vineyard and winery founded by Nicole’s parents, Deonne and Nik. They make wines exclusively from a single 8ha vineyard at an elevation of 950m in ancient volcanic soils of deep clay loam, red and brown earth, derived from basalt, in the foothills of extinct volcano Mount Canobolas. They utilise varieties suited to the cool climate and high altitude: Arneis, Chardonnay, Gewurztraminer, Nebbiolo, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc. Harvested by hand and crafted in small batches, their aim is to make delicious wine. They work in harmony with the seasons to create the best quality wines from their vineyard.
Faisan Estate has taken a road less travelled with aged releases of barrel fermented and aged Sauvignon Blanc and lees aged, textural Pinot Gris, grown at elevations from 780 to 900m. The soils are lava, magma and upthrust rock that has broken down over the years into a highly complex patchwork, including red volcanic clay, decomposed limestone, and decomposed basalt. Owner and winemaker, Michael Walker refuses to compromise on quality, wanting you to experience the unique, surprising, and complex flavours that can only be created in cold climates, with loving care and attention paid to every single grape they pick. With natural production and minimal intervention, he uses extended maceration to draw out the subtle flavours of the fruit. Only when convinced it is the best it could possibly be, he transfers it to French oak barrels to develop flavour, complexity, and texture.
Mayfield Vineyard in Orange, Australia sits on one of the State’s most historic properties. It dates to 1813 and the explorer William Wentworth who was gifted “Mayfield” as a Crown Grant from the Governor of NSW for his leadership in the first successful expedition across the Blue Mountains. The vineyard is one of the highest in the region with elevation up to 970m above sea level. Mayfield specialise in acid-driven cooler climate styles, including Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, and Sparkling wines. The wines are a harmonious partnership between growing and making as they strive to showcase the region, soil and purity of fruit. They produce true Single Vineyard wines in a unique Orange NSW style – handling changes from year to year based on the vintage – maximising the integration between winemaking and grape production on a seasonal basis. The common thread is elegance, refinement and vivacity.
See Saw in Orange with sustainability a key focus had its first vineyard organically certified and vegan in 2007. Owners Justin and Pip Jarrett have over 25-years’ experience growing grapes and making wine but what stands out most is their ability to make organic wines that deliver both quality and value, which is quite rare, particularly for Pinot Noir. Their balanced, sustainable ethos and desire to leave a positive environmental legacy is cultivated into the 170 hectares they have under vine over three sites of varying elevations. Minimal intervention winemaking results in beautifully balanced, handcrafted wines. They also dabble in skin contact styles that show attractive texture and flavour.
Philip Shaw always wanted to find a place to grow cool climate wines and was drawn to Orange for its unique position in Australian viticulture – high altitude, cool continental climate, and rich volcanic soils. First planted in 1988-89, the Koomooloo Vineyard and Philip Shaw Wines are now run by the second generation, selling their wines across Australia and 12 International markets. Winemakers Philip and now Daniel Shaw refuse to be defined by conventions taught to winemakers, allowing the fruit to define decisions when making wine that expresses a varietal, relates to a place and has subtly, depth and complexity.
Representing the NSW Central Ranges and Mudgee regions is Contentious Character, a brand all about conversation and debate – fun wines made well to get the conversation started. That conversation may or may not be contentious, but it is likely to include discussion about their low yield, fruit-driven, minimum intervention, and seasonal wines. They grow their own grapes, sell their own wines, and make their own good times. Based in Canberra with conditions akin to Continental Europe, their premium wines take on an elegant, nuanced character. It’s a lovable contrast to what many expect from an Aussie wine. They also draw wines from grapes grown in Mudgee and the NSW Central ranges in the Western rain shadow of the Great Dividing Range that runs along Australia’s east coast with diversity of soils and climates.
Based in Hastings River, Cassegrain are a multi-regional producer focussed on the strengths of each region, blending fruit and crafting wines of complexity and real interest, but true to style and variety. The family can trace their winemaking origins back to 1643 and have spent the last 30 years marrying their French tradition to Australian technique to create diverse portfolio of wines. For over thirty years, Cassegrain has been led by industry pioneer John Cassegrain, whose French heritage and unique wine-making experience has shaped the distinctive house style. For the NSW tastings, Winemaker Alex Cassegrain, the 2021 Australian Society of Viticulture and Oenology Winemaker of the Year, is featuring elegant restrained regional wines from two of New South Wales tiny emerging cold, elevated regions; Hilltops and Tumbarumba.
Brian and Sue Mullany began the plantings of Grove Estate Vineyard on their wedding day in October 1989 on a site originally planted the 1870’s. They have grown the vineyard to over 100 hectares on two sites around Young in Hilltops, a hidden gem in the Australian wine industry which regularly creates wines with both power and subtlety with the significant altitude (450 to 600m), cool nights and volcanic soils the key to its success. The Grove Estate Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon are the traditional standout wines from this vineyard. The Italian variety of Nebbiolo has also emerged as a more recent outstanding wine.