The Hunter Valley is Australia’s oldest wine region. It is an Australian wine region that is defined by its rich historical tapestry. Famous Australian wine names like Len Evans, Audrey Wilkinson, Maurice O’Shea, Murray Tyrrell, and famous wine families like Drayton, Tulloch and McWilliams are all borne of the Hunter Valley and its winemaking traditions. 

In a rugged and unforgiving environment, they helped lay a foundation of hard work and determination for the Australian wine community. Today this legacy is continued by many familiar names complimented by a new generation of innovative young winemakers.

Hunter Valley
Hunter Valley
This map is not an accurate representation of the regional GI boundaries. Please click here to view an accurate map of the regional boundary.

Hunter Valley snapshot

Lower Hunter is known for medium-bodied, savoury Shiraz and a unique expression of unoaked, age worthy Semillon.

Given its proximity to Australia’s largest city, Sydney, it is one of the premier wine country tourist destinations.

2,324ha
Total vineyard area
75m
Altitude
32° 54'S
Latitude
500mm
Growing season rainfall
22.3°c
Mean temperature (Jan)
2170
Heat degree days
White
53%
Red
47%
Type

Chardonnay

One of the first regions to produce Chardonnay commercially. Full flavoured, richer, peachy style.

Semillon

The best versions come from the Lower Hunter Valley. This is one of Australia’s classic and most unique dry white wine styles: high acid, low alcohol and unoaked. Fresh, tart and lemony when young, capable of ageing for decades.

Shiraz

Very distinctive moderate alcohol, medium-bodied, savoury style.

Top varieties grown in Hunter Valley
Climate
  • One of the wettest, most humid and technically warmest climates of any region in Australia
  • Most of the annual rain falls during harvest
  • Rain, humidity, cloud cover and gentle sea breezes mitigate the warmth
Soil
  • Quite varied soils across the region
  • Shiraz does best on friable red duplex and loam soils
  • Semillon does best on the sandy alluvial flats

Stories of Australian Wine