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The Hunter Valley is one of Australia's best known wine regions and, thanks largely to a steady stream of visitors arriving from Sydney, it is also the busiest. The region has played a pivotal role in the history of Australian wine as one of the first wine regions planted in the early 19th century.
The Hunter produces wine from a variety of grapes including Shiraz, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Verdelho, however Hunter Valley Semillon is widely considered the iconic wine of the region. First planted in the region in 1830, the grape has been produced and variously labelled as Hunter Valley Riesling, Shepherd's Riesling, Hock, Rhine Gold, White Burgundy and Chablis. The Semillon grape possesses a unique profile which, in the harsh climate and humidity of the Hunter, develops to higher acid levels than it can achieve in cooler climates. In its youth it exhibits strong citrus and grassy notes however with age (10 plus years) in the bottle it develops into a rich, minerally wine with biscuit notes. The character of the wine changes so much that, in maturity, it is often mistaken for oak aged Chardonnay, despite never having spent any time in oak barrels.
Semillon is the ideal seafood wine, pairing beautifully with shellfish, crustaceans and most fish. From a chilled seafood platter to old fashioned fish and chips, Semillon is the perfect accompaniment.
Audrey Wilkinson currently produces no fewer than five Semillons, as well as a Semillon Sauvignon Blanc blend, and it is this range that Chief Winemaker, Jeff Byrne, is proudest of.
“Our portfolio of Hunter Valley Semillons are what I take the most pride in. They’re a very light, clean style of wine rarely duplicated anywhere else in the world and will reward those patient enough to cellar these wines for 10 plus years.”
On the Audrey Wilkinson Behind-The-Scenes Premium Experience, you can meet Jeff in the heart of the working winery for a private tour of the winemaking process. Taste wine directly from the barrel while learning from the expert all details of the grapes’ journey to the bottle.
Following the winery tour, enjoy a scenic helicopter tour and indulge in a 3 course lunch with Jeff where you can further your one-on-one knowledge over a meal matched to Audrey Wilkinson wines.
End your day with a vertical tasting and a stroll through the vineyard, taking in the Hunter Valley’s best view.