© Paul Foley; Destination NSW
© Paul Foley; Destination NSW

Wine growing in New England began early in the 19th century and by the 1880s, the district was winning international prizes for its wines.  In 1882 it was described as "one of the foremost wine producing regions in the colonies" in the Sydney Daily Mail. Abandoned vines from this era still twine around old homestead ruins.

 

The region boasts Australia’s highest vineyard, lying at 1320 metres above sea level at Black Mountain. It is a region with a diversity of soils and aspects, and a network of small towns and villages.

30° 3'S
Latitude
365-1320m
Altitude
545mm
Growing season rainfall

Chardonnay

The New England region offers some very elegant and well balanced Chardonnays with excellent varietal definition.  These wines display generous aromas of stone fruit, citrus and tropical fruit. The careful use of oak allows integration with the fruit. 

Riesling

Fragrant floral characters, exotic and citrus fruit round out the aromatics of these lively wines.  The rich fruit flavours and balanced acidity are hallmarks of the Rieslings from the region. 

Sauvignon Blanc

The region’s Sauvignon Blancs are enhanced with aromas of gooseberry, lemon and passionfruit characteristics.  The wines are elegantly structured.

Shiraz

The delicate aromas of plum, red berries and white pepper are frequently found in the Shiraz from the region.  Soft, velvety tannin structures enhance the mouth-feel and roundness on the palate.  

Top varieties grown in New England Australia
Climate
  • Most of New England’s rain falls between late summer and early autumn.  
  • Summer days are warm but rarely exceeding 30º C, followed almost certainly by cool nights.  
  • Thunderstorms often produce heavy falls of rain and occasionally destructive hail.  
  • Severe frosts set in from June.  Late frosts and even snow are possible until November, presenting major problems for vine growers. 
Soil
  • Rich alluvial soils are deposited by the Peel River in valley flats around Tamworth.  From here the elevation rises sharply up through the Moonbi Hills on the way north to Armidale.  
  • This is granite country and the soils are rough and highly suited to vineyards.  Around Inverell the soils are black earth.  
  • Along the spine of the Great Divide the hilltops are basalt and in the far north around Tenterfield the country is granite again, with extensive sandy loams. 
  • The region is also the only place in Australia where terra rossa soils exist at high altitude.