Wine Lists

Hunter Valley wines to try now

By Halliday Promotion

18 Apr, 2024

These eight Hunter Valley wines showcase why the region remains one of the country's most popular. From semillon and chardonnay (and blends of the two) to verdelho and a rosé made from shiraz – add them to your list.

Hunter Valley Wines

Did you know the Hunter Valley is the birthplace of Australian wine? Located in New South Wales, the Hunter Valley includes the region of Hunter, and the sub regions of the Upper Hunter Valley, Broke Fordwich, and Pokolbin. Just a two-hour drive from Sydney, the oldest wine region in the country is celebrated for its award-winning wines, particularly semillon – expressions both ready to drink and those with strong ageability – and shiraz. Some of Australia's oldest shiraz vines are planted in the Hunter, with the region's shiraz famous for elegant structure, spice and dark fruit flavours.

Alongside the flagship grapes, the region also produces distinctive chardonnay, verdelho, and cabernet. While tradition is still alive and thriving in the Hunter, it's also on the map as one of Australia's most innovative regions, with fiano, vermentino and sangiovese carving out space for themselves.

So, let's talk about your itinerary. Be sure to make time for the icon wineries like Brokenwood, Lake's Folly, Mount Pleasant, and Tyrrell’s Wines. And then there's the new Hunter, the modern makers, led by the likes of Thomas Wines, Silkman, and Vinden – they're not to be missed.

And while the region is celebrated for its award-winning wine, it's also a mecca for foodies, music-lovers, thrill seekers, and those searching for the ultimate weekend away. For eats, we recommend Muse Kitchen (located at Keith Tulloch Wines), The Gates Restaurant (Leogate Estate), EXP. Restaurant, and Restaurant Botanica is a two-in-one, located at Spicers Retreat. And a trip to the Hunter isn't complete without a trip to the Smelly Cheese Shop or the Hunter Valley Chocolate Company.

Stay at Spicers for a luxury retreat, The Boathouse at Leaves & Fishes offers boutique accommodation with a maximum capacity of six couples, or if you prefer to be among the vines, try Scarborough Cottage, Winmark Wines or Blueberry Hills.

If you can't visit the Hunter Valley just yet, you can taste the region from the comfort of your own home. Below are eight wines that have been rated 'highly recommended' or 'outstanding' by Tasting Team member Toni Paterson MW. 

Thomas Wines' "distinctive" Braemore Individual Vineyard Semillon has been rated 96 points, also from Andrew Thomas is a blend of semillon and chardonnay – the "utterly delicious" 2023 Vat 32 Vineyard Selection Semillon Chardonnay. Also a blend of semillon and chardonnay, Latitude 32's The Great White is $30 and 'highly recommended'. 

For straight semillon lovers, try the 'outstanding' 2023 Limited Release Semillon from Mercer Wines, or its "approachable, youthful, contemporary" 2023 Semillon. On show from Hollydene Estate are three 'highly recommended' wines: the 2022 Show Reserve Chardonnay, the 2023 Upper Verdelho – with "excellent tension, freshness and length" – and the 2023 Juul Loaded Fox Upper Hunter Valley Rosé that's been gently pressed with shiraz. 

Find your new favourite Hunter Valley wine below.

Image credit: Thomas Wines.