The Hilltops region surrounds the township of Young, the unofficial cherry capital of Australia. There appear to have been some wineries in the Hilltops region, run by settlers from the Dalmatian coast of Croatia, towards the end of the 19th century.


However, the modern-day pioneer of the region was the late Peter Robertson who commenced the establishment of his Barwang vineyard in 1975. For visitors, the region offers an authentic and unhurried country experience with a wide range of wine and food experiences. 

Hilltops Regional Snapshot 2020

Regional Snapshots are one-page profiles updated annually of individual Australian wine regions. They provide at-a-glance summary statistics on: climatic characteristics, viticulture data, winegrape production, and winegrape price and export sales data for wine, compared against the same statistics for the whole of Australia.

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Total Vineyard Area
Growing season rainfall

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon produced in this region is medium weight with cassis/blackberry flavours and firm tannins.


For such a warm area, the Chardonnays are surprisingly lean and elegant, with citrus and melon flavours merging into stony/mineral characteristics. They lend themselves to subtle oak handling and give every impression they will age with grace for five years. 


Several memorable late harvest Semillons have been produced in the region, but today the accent is on dry table styles.  They are powerful and carry excellent mid-palate weight. 


Verdelho ripens early in the harvest and is made using the same methods as Semillon except that it is usually picked riper. It goes into bottle early and is usually at it’s best in the year or two after it is made, when it shows ripe, tropical flavours.

Top varieties grown in Hilltops
  • While the climate is unequivocally Continental with substantial diurnal temperature variation (difference between maximum and minimum daily temperatures) during the growing season, the altitude at which most of the vineyards are established ensures an even and lengthy ripening period. 
  • Spring frosts necessitate careful site selection along ridge tops and the upper slopes.  While substantial rainfall occurs in the growing season, most rainfall is in spring.
  • The dry summer and autumn provide excellent ripening conditions but make irrigation essential.  
  • The soils are rich and deep; typically dark red granite clays impregnated with basalt.  While capable of holding water at depth, they are free draining and support strong vine growth.  
  • These soils persist along the ridge tops and hillsides, which provide the greatest degree of protection against frost. 

This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.

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This content is restricted to wine exporters and levy-payers. Some reports are available for purchase to non-levy payers/exporters.