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breathe issue 34 SPRING 2012

2012 Clear Image hunter valley wine show

Chris Tyrrell a rising star MEET THE LOCALS

Wine Reviews

What’s On


In its seventh year, Hunter Valley Uncorked Balmoral is your opportunity to share a premium Hunter Valley wine and food experience with more than 20 of our great wineries and producers.

Balmoral Beach, Sydney

With live entertainment and free entry for all the family, our beachside Balmoral event gives you the chance to taste some of our finest wines, while pairing the region’s fresh produce to match their unique characteristics. It’s the perfect way to enjoy the Hunter Valley at one of Sydney’s great icons.

Free Entry

huntervalleyuncorked.com.au

11am - 5pm Parking is extremely limited a FREE SHUTTLE BUS will run from Spit Junction to Balmoral Beach.

Sunday 4th

November 2012


mcguigancellars@mcguiganwines.com.au www.mcguiganwines.com.au


contents

issue 34 SPRING 2012

16

20

10 Every Issue

5 7 27 39 46 50

President’s Note News Meet the Locals Extra, Extra What’s On Out & About

Wine

10 16 20 24 30 31

40 Home Grown

Chris Elfes appearing in BREATHE may be purchased by contacting Chris Elfes, Photography on Hermitage. elfesphoto@bigpond.com.au

44

2012 Clear Image Hunter Valley Wine Show Exceptional Wines of Provenance Wine Profile: Chris Tyrrell The Maurice O’Shea Wine Label From the Cellar Wine Reviews

Food

COVER PHOTOGRAPH of Jim Chatto BY CHRIS ELFES. STORY ON PAGE 10. Photographs by

40

Lifestyle

44 Art: As The Sparrow Drives


BREATHE

president’s note

I

n this Spring issue of Hunter Valley Breathe, we congratulate our local winemakers and their teams for their talents and expertise, and for turning out some pretty amazing wines, shown by the results of the 2012 Clear Image Hunter Valley Wine Show. Trophies were presented at the Celebrations Luncheon held at Lindeman’s Winery, where guests were treated to exceptional gold and trophy-winning wines, and great food and service.

Publisher Hunter Valley Wine Industry Association

EDITOR

Melinda Kelly P 02 4991 4533 E melinda@winehuntervalley.org.au

graphic design Sally Sneddon Graphic Design P 02 4934 4781 E sally@ssgd.com.au www.ssgd.com.au

Join us on pages 10, 11 and 12, as we congratulate the 2012 Clear Image Hunter Valley Wine Show trophy winners. Then turn to pages 14 and 15 to enjoy the Hunter Valley Wine Show and Celebrations Luncheon, as seen through the lens of local photographer, Chris Elfes.

Photography Chris Elfes Photography P 0413 805 222 E elfesphoto@bigpond.com.au www.chriselfesphotography.com.au

SUB-EDITOR

Lauren Kennedy E wordhappy@gmail.com

The Hunter Valley Wine Show experienced a few changes this year, including the introduction of The Exceptional Wines of Provenance award. See page 16, where Patrick Haddock explains what this class is all about and why it is so sought after.

ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES Melinda Kelly P 02 4991 4533

E melinda@winehuntervalley.org.au

Recognising and celebrating our heritage is very important to us here in the Hunter Valley. On page 24, Rhiannon Stevens steps back in history to the time of Maurice O’Shea. Then flick from one of our most famous pioneering winemakers to one of our ‘young guns’ - on page 20, Melinda Kelly catches up with 2012 Hunter Valley Wine Industry Rising Star of the Year and successful young winemaker, Chris Tyrrell.

EDITORIAL Writers

Patrick Haddock, Melinda Kelly, Virginia Mitchell, Grant Radford, Rhiannon Stevens.

Printing

Finsbury Green P 02 9662 2600

Publisher DETAILS Hunter Valley Wine Industry Association P 02 4991 4533 E melinda@winehuntervalley.org.au ABN 15 728 023 119 All correspondence to: PO BOX 352, Cessnock. 2325 © COPYRIGHT This publication may not, in whole or part be reproduced, translated, copied, photocopied to any form without the express written permission of the publisher. While every care is taken in compiling the contents of this publication, the publisher assumes no responsibility for the effects arising there from. The information and figures contained in this publication have been provided to the publishers by the advertisers and their sources. No warranty is given by Breathe Hunter Style Magazine as to the accuracy of these figures and information as they are subject to change without notice. The responsibility or copyright on all supplied material rests with the supplier.

2012 CLEAR IMAGE

HUNTER VALLEY

If you can’t make it to the Hunter Valley this spring, we’d love to see you at one of our favourite events, Hunter Valley Uncorked Balmoral. Join us on the shores of beautiful Balmoral Beach for a fantastic day of premium Hunter Valley wines, dishes from some of our leading restaurants, and fresh and flavoursome treats from our producers. See the News pages and What’s On for more details, or go to huntervalleyuncorked.com.au Enjoy!

Andrew Margan, President Hunter Valley Wine Industry Association

WINE SHOW

Thank you to all the exhibitors and congratulations to the medal and trophy winners. Full results available on our web site hunterwineshow.com.au The 2012 Clear Image Hunter Valley Wine Show supported by the following:

National Liquor News • Plasdene Glass-Pak • Global Packaging Pty Ltd • Harris Transport • Jennings Print • Jurd’s Real Estate • Kirkwood Produce Company • Newcastle Herald • O’Connor Harvesting Company • Rover Wine Country Coaches • Vinkem Packaging Pty Ltd • Drayton’s Family Wines • Elliott Family • Meerea Park Wines • Robyn Drayton Wines • Tulloch Wines • Tyrrell’s Vineyards


De Iuliis wines is one of the Hunter Valley’s top producers. The secret to our success is our attention to detail and small batch approach, which has seen a vast array of awards and great reviews bestowed on us over the last few years.

Regionality and a modern approach to winemaking ensure unique yet highly identifiable wines with a sense of time and place. One of the hardest names to say in the Australian wine industry, but also one of the best!

1616 BROke ROAD, POkOlBIn nSW 2320 P 02 4993 8000 E SALES@DEWINE.COM.AU SAleS@DeWIne.cOm.Au

DEWINE.COM.AU DeWIne.cOm.Au

keeping it simple

Taste @ The Small Winemakers Centre & Hunter Resort

T/F 02 6574 7371 E sales@thomaswines.com.au sales@thomaswines.com.au W thomaswines.com.au thomaswines.com.au


NEWs

Simply Semillon Saturday 6 & Sunday 7 October 2012 oakvalewines.com.au

in the Hunter Valley

Hunter Valley Uncorked Balmoral Sunday 4 November 2012 huntervalleyuncorked.com.au

Keep up-to-date on what’s been happening

Diary Dates

Spirit of the Vine Saturday 20 & Sunday 21 October 2012 spiritofthevine.com.au

PICTURED Hunter Valley Legends Brian McGuigan, Jay Tulloch, Karl Stockhausen & Fay McGuigan

HERITAGE CAIRN UNVEILING The Hunter Valley Wine Industry recently celebrated its history with the unveiling of a Heritage Cairn, acknowledging the Ben Ean Distillery, at Lindeman’s Winery, a 2011 Hunter Valley Heritage Award recipient. The Hunter Valley Heritage Award was introduced in 2009 to acknowledge landmarks or items of historical importance, which have influenced the course of, or made a significant contribution to, the Hunter Valley Wine Industry. The cairn, sculpted from local sandstone and sponsored by Brian and Fay McGuigan, was unveiled by Karl Stockhausen. The Ben Ean Distillery was built by John McDonald in 1907 and operated until 1963 to produce Brandy spirit, which, in turn, was used to produce fortified wine. When Karl Stockhausen first arrived at Ben Ean in 1955, there were large stores of Brandy from the Still. Karl recalls being appointed Winemaker and Manager of Lindeman’s in 1959, and using the Still to recover losses from grapes leftover after pressing, through distillation. The labour-intensive process was fraught with losses, and by the early 1960s, Karl had convinced his directors to retire the Still. By 1964, the Still was no longer in use and Karl directed his efforts into making Hunter River Riesling (Semillon).

NEW APPOINTMENTS Scott Comyns has joined Briar Ridge Vineyard as Chief Winemaker. Scott was the previous Head Winemaker at Tempus Two and has worked in many of Australia’s leading wine regions. He has also completed several vintages overseas, including in Southern Rhône. Sean Byrne has been appointed General Manager of Tower Lodge and Peppers CoNvent in the Hunter Valley. Byrne joins Executive Chef, George Francisco, with whom he worked at Jonah’s Whale Beach for four years.

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NEWS TOURISM AWARDS

PICTURED Scott Comyns, Aaron Mercer & Sarah Crowe (Chair of the HVWIA Winemaking Subcommittee)

ALASDAIR SUTHERLAND SCHOLARSHIP Aaron Mercer of Brokenwood Wines has been awarded the 2012 Alasdair Sutherland Scholarship. Awarded by the Hunter Valley Wine Industry Association, the scholarship is aimed at fostering the talent of new and aspiring young Hunter Valley wine judges. It assists in the development of sensory analysis capabilities, and the vocabulary of Australian wine industry personnel at an elite level, through attendance at the Australian Wine Research Institute’s Advanced Wine Course. Aaron says the course “will aid in the development of my career and allow me to better contribute to the Hunter Valley wine industry in the future.” He also has the opportunity to be an Associate Judge at the 2013 Royal Sydney Wine Show. Aaron has gained invaluable winemaking experience whilst working for Hunter Valley wineries Scarborough Wine Company, Tyrrell’s Wines and Brokenwood Wines, and has completed vintages in McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills, Beechworth, Ontario, Gaillac and Mosel.

Keeping up with the

Hunter Valley

We’d love you to join us. Our winemakers and local wine families will be tweeting and updating on a regular basis.

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BREATHE spring 2012

Hunter Valley wine country restaurants, accommodation houses and venues have excelled at the 2012 Hunter Valley and Central Coast Awards of Excellence. Congratulations to these Hunter Valley gold award winners: Wyndham Estate - Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Boutique Breweries; Margan Restaurant - Tourism Restaurants & Catering Services; Stays in the Vines Tourism Marketing; Somewhere Unique - Unique Accommodation; Sharon Paterson, Front Office Supervisor, Spicers Vineyard Estate - Excellence in Customer Service; Sophie Hedges, Tourism Trainee, Hunter Valley Hotel Academy - Tourism and Hospitality Apprentice or Trainee of the Year; Belinda Stapleton, Managing Director, Spicers Vineyard Estate - Young Achiever in Tourism; Philip Hele, General Manager, Hunter Resort - Outstanding Contribution to Tourism by an Individual. The Hunter Valley Gardens Christmas Light Spectacular was inducted into the Tourism “Hall of Fame”. Silver medals were won by Brand Hunter Valley, Wyndham Estate, and Bimbadgen. Hunter Valley restaurants also dominated the 2012 Savour Australia Restaurant and Catering Hostplus Regional Awards of Excellence. Muse Restaurant and Café was named Hunter/Central Coast Restaurant of the Year, and Esca Bimbadgen won Northern NSW Tourism Restaurant. Other Hunter Valley winners include: Nine, Tower Lodge - Restaurant in a Winery; Restaurant Botanica - Restaurant in a Hotel/Motel/Resort; 221 Restaurant & Bar - New Restaurant; Hunter Valley Gardens - Function/Convention Centre Caterer; Restaurant Cuvée - Restaurant Wedding Caterer; Restaurant Sanctuary - Fine Dining Restaurant; and Gold Fish Hunter Valley - Small Bar Honourable Mention.

Twitter.com/hvbreathe Twitter.com/_hunterwine Facebook.com/pages/Hunter-ValleyWine-Industry-Assocation


NEWS Winning Hunter Valley Wines Hunter Valley wine companies have won eight trophies at the 2012 New South Wales Small Winemakers Show, making it the most successful region of the show. Chairman of Judges, Andrew Thomas, says he was delighted with the overall quality of the entries, despite the recent challenging vintages across the state’s wine regions. “Whilst some of these wines are not widely available, I encourage consumers to seek out the awardwinning wines from this show, and discover the sheer quality and variety of styles that New South Wales small producers have on offer,” he said. Hunter Valley trophy winners include: First Creek 2011 Winemakers Reserve Chardonnay - Best White Wine & Best Young Chardonnay 2012/11; Leogate Estate 2011 Western Slopes Shiraz - Best Red Wine & Best Young Shiraz 2010/11; Hart & Hunter 2011 Oakey Creek Semillon - Best Semillon 2012/11; Gartelmann 2009 Benjamin Semillon - Best Semillon 2010 & older; Two Rivers 2011 Rocky Crossing Cabernet Sauvignon - Best Cabernet Sauvignon; David Hook 2011 Barbera - Best Spanish or Italian Variety or Blend. Meanwhile, Hunter Valley Semillons have continued to shine, with McGuigan’s 2005 Select Vineyard Hunter Valley Semillon taking out the Trophy for Best Semillon and Best Dry White Table Wine at the 2012 Cowra Wine Show; the 2011 McWilliam’s Mount Pleasant Lovedale Semillon winning Gold in the One Year Old Dry White Wine category at the 2012 Royal Queensland Wine Show; and the 2009 Gartelmann Benjamin Semillon winning the Best Semillon Trophy at the 2012 Winewise Small Vigneron Awards.

PICTURED Jessica, Bob & Maryanne McLeish

SEMILLON WINS INTERNATIONAL WINE CHALLENGE Bob, Maryanne and Jessica McLeish of McLeish Wines are celebrating the success of their 2007 McLeish Estate Hunter Valley Semillon. The wine has taken out a gold medal and the Trophy for the Best Varietal Semillon at the 2012 International Wine Challenge (IWC). Made under contract by Winemaker, Andrew Thomas, the wine is now in the running to be named the IWC’s Best White Wine, to be announced later this year in London. More than 10,000 entries from 50 countries vied for this year’s International Wine Challenge awards. Meanwhile, Neil McGuigan is a finalist in the IWC White Winemaker of the Year. McGuigan was named International Winemaker of the Year for 2009 and 2011, and Australian Producer of the Year for 2011 by the International Wine and Spirit Competition, also held annually in London.

WENDY LAWSON RECEIVES ORDER OF AUSTRALIA MEDAL Congratulations to Wendy Lawson (pictured) of Catherine Vale Wines for being awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours. Wendy received the OAM for “service to the community of the Hunter Valley region, through a range of roles with environmental and tourism organisations, and viticulture.”

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WINE

2012 CLEAR IMAGE Hunter Valley Wine Show IMAGES BY CHRIS ELFES

... The best wines demonstrated purity, perfume and elegance as only the Hunter Valley can achieve.

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BREATHE spring 2012


Tyrrell’s, Meerea Park and De Iuliis dominated the show, and the wines speak for themselves. Congratulations to all winners.

T

he Hunter Valley’s top wines have been unveiled at the 2012 Clear Image Hunter Valley Wine Show, with small, family-owned producers, Meerea Park and De Iuliis taking out top honours. 2006 Meerea Park Terracotta Semillon was awarded the Petrie-Drinan Trophy for Best Dry White Wine of the Show, and 2011 De Iuliis Steven Vineyard Shiraz took out the Doug Seabrook Memorial Trophy for Best Dry Red Wine of the Show. Although the little guys took out the two big gongs, trophies were nicely shared amongst makers large and small. Tyrrell’s Vineyards received the new accolade for ‘Wines of Provenance’, the inaugural award named in honour of Iain Riggs. As one of the region’s most prominent winemakers and former Chair of Judges, this is a tribute to Riggs’ commitment to the region and dedication to developing wines of provenance. Tyrrell’s also took home the Trophy for Most Successful Exhibitor of Young Wines, bringing their trophy tally to five. Winning Best Dry White of Show, Meerea Park, owned and operated by Rhys and Garth Eather, has made a splash in the Australian winemaking scene over the past decade. With their wines often quoted as ‘punching above their weight’, Meerea Park’s win pays homage to the Hunter Valley’s rich viticultural history, and to the pair’s greatgreat-grandfather, Alexander Munro, who was a pioneer in the region during the 1850s.

Another of the Hunter’s dark horses yet most colourful winemaking personalities, Mike De Iuliis, has once again gone above and beyond expectations. His award, trophy for Best Dry Red of the Show for the 2011 De Iuliis Steven Vineyard Shiraz, is an apt tribute to his commitment to the New South Wales wine industry. With a focus on single vineyard winemaking and an innovative marketing approach, De Iuliis is certainly one to watch. Other trophy winners include Thomas Wines, Audrey Wilkinson, Tempus Two, McGuigan Wines, Drayton’s Family Wines, and First Creek Wines. A team of respected wine show judges, led by Jim Chatto in his inaugural year as Chair of Judges, immersed themselves in 780 Hunter Valley wines from 85 producers to choose the winners.

Judges included Mike Bennie, Jane Faulkner and Nick Stock, three of Australia’s leading wine journalists; winemakers, Tom Carson and Corinna Wright; and international wine show judge, critic and Master of Wine, Lisa Perrotti-Brown. “We awarded 64 Gold, 61 Silver and 197 Bronze medals, and 20 Trophies that were shared among only eight wineries, with all bar one trophy being for Semillon or Shiraz. Tyrrell’s, Meerea Park and De Iuliis dominated the show, and the wines speak for themselves. Congratulations to all winners,” Chair of Judges, Jim Chatto, said. International Judge, Lisa PerrottiBrown MW, said, “Having judged a number of Australian wine shows by now, I have to say that, in my experience, the Hunter Valley Wine Show 2012 ranks amongst the best organised and judged. But a show can’t be great without great wines, so I’d like to particularly thank the Hunter Valley producers for making some very impressive wines in recent years. The unique styles of Shirazes, Semillons and Chardonnays have especially been a pleasure to judge, and, believe me, I don’t say that at every show. The best wines demonstrated purity, perfume and elegance as only the Hunter Valley can achieve.” The Clear Image Hunter Valley Wine Show this year celebrated its 38th year and is widely regarded as the country’s leading regional show. It has a strict regional focus, and is exclusively for wines made with grapes grown in the Hunter Valley. Trophies were officially presented at the 2012 Clear Image Hunter Valley Wine Show Celebrations Luncheon, held at Lindeman’s Winery on Friday 17 August 2012, with an audience of 400 local wine industry colleagues.


WINE 2012 Clear Image

Hunter Valley Wine Show Trophy Winners Current Vintage Semillon Tyrrell’s Vineyards 2012 Chalkboard Semillon Current Vintage Chardonnay No Trophy Awarded J.Y. (Jay) Tulloch Trophy Current Vintage Verdelho No Trophy Awarded Current Vintage Dry White Wine Other White Varietals & Blends No Trophy Awarded Henry John Lindeman Memorial Trophy Current Vintage Dry White Wine Tyrrell’s Vineyards 2012 Chalkboard Semillon Alexander Munro Memorial Trophy One-Year-Old Dry Red Wine De Iuliis Wines 2011 Steven Vineyard Shiraz Bill Ryan Memorial Trophy Most Successful Exhibitor of Young Wines Current Vintage Dry White Wines & One-Year-Old Dry Red Wines Tyrrell’s Vineyards

Trevor Drayton Memorial Trophy Premium Vintage Fortified Wine Drayton’s Family Wines Liqueur Verdelho Heritage Vines John Lewis Newcastle Herald Trophy Museum Vintage Dry Red Wine McGuigan Wines 2000 Personal Reserve Shiraz Graham Gregory Memorial Trophy Museum Vintage Dry White Wine Tempus Two Wines 2003 Copper Zenith Semillon Hector Tulloch Memorial Trophy Dry Red Wine - Currently Available De Iuliis Wine 2011 Steven Vineyard Shiraz Maurice O’Shea Memorial Trophy Dry White Wine - Currently Available Meerea Park 2006 Terracotta Semillon Murray Tyrrell Chardonnay Trophy Best Chardonnay - Any Vintage First Creek Wines 2011 Winemakers Reserve Chardonnay

Ed Jouault Memorial Trophy One-Year-Old Dry White Wine Tempus Two Wines 2011 Pewter Semillon

Drayton Family Trophy Best Named Vineyard Dry Red Wine De Iuliis Wine 2011 Steven Vineyard Shiraz

Elliott Family Trophy Two-Year-Old Dry Red Wine Thomas Wines 2010 Sweetwater Shiraz

Tyrrell Family Trophy Best Named Vineyard Dry White Wine Meerea Park 2006 Terracotta Semillon

James Busby Memorial Trophy Premium Vintage Dry Red Wine Tyrrell’s Vineyards 2009 Vat 8 Shiraz

Len Evans Trophy Best Named Vineyard Wine Meerea Park 2006 Terracotta Semillon

George Wyndham Memorial Trophy Premium Vintage Dry White Wine Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard 2006 Museum Reserve Semillon Doug Galbraith Memorial Trophy Premium Vintage Sweet White Wine No Trophy Awarded Premium Vintage Sparkling Wine No Trophy Awarded

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Petrie-Drinan Trophy Best Dry White Wine of the Show Meerea Park 2006 Terracotta Semillon Doug Seabrook Memorial Trophy Best Dry Red Wine of the Show De Iuliis Wine 2011 Steven Vineyard Shiraz Iain Riggs Wine of Provenance Provenance White Tyrrell’s Vineyards Vat 1 Semillon - 1999, 2006, 2009 Red Tyrrell’s Vineyards Vat 9 Shiraz - 1996, 2006, 2009 For full results go to hunterwineshow.com.au

PICTURED TOP ROW Andrew Pengilly Tyrrell’s Wines, Andrew Thomas - Thomas Wines, Peter Hall - Australian Vintage Limited, Chris Tyrrell Tyrrell’s Wines MIDDLE ROW James Agnew - Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard, Andrew Leembruggen - Drayton’s Family Wines, Cathy Phillips De Iuliis Wines, Liz Jackson - First Creek Wines BOTTOM ROW Rhys Eather Meerea Park, Garth Eather - Meera Park, Mike De Iuliis De Iuliis Wines, Bruce Tyrrell Tyrrell’s Wines


wine school

Take a sensory journey around the world, all without leaving the Hunter Valley. The World in a Glass Wine School is an enjoyable, two-and-a-half hour wine workshop pitting the key Hunter Valley varietals against their counterparts from other major wine regions in Australia and France. Bookings: 02 4998 2992 or firstcreekwines.com.au firstcreekwines.com.au 600 McDonalds Road, Pokolbin.

Every Saturday and Sunday 10:30am-1:00pm FiRSt CREEk WinES • PokolBin • HuntER VAllEy

Heritage Vineyard Shiraz and Semillon Tasting Visit McWilliam’s Mount Pleasant and taste some of our most iconic wines from original vineyards. They are impeccable expressions of their unique terroir, having established themselves amongst the most revered and acclaimed wines in the Hunter Valley. The Heritage Vineyard Shiraz and Semillon Tasting is available throughout the months of Spring in a private tasting room for $25 per person (minimum 2 people) and redeemable on purchases over $250.

Wines to taste include a vertical tasting of 2003, 2007 and 2011 Lovedale Semillon. All three were great vintages and are fine examples of single vineyard Semillon. We will also be looking at the current release High Paddock Shiraz, the Rosehill Shiraz, the Mount Henry Shiraz Pinot Noir and the Old Paddock and Old Hill Shiraz. Bookings are essential. Phone Mount Pleasant Cellar Door on 4998 7505 or email mtpleasant@mcwilliamswines.com.au mtpleasant@mcwilliamswines.com.au


2012 Clear Image hunter valley wine show judging IMAGES BY CHRIS ELFES

PICTURED TOP ROW LEFT TO RIGHT Jim Chatto, Lisa Perrotti-Brown SECOND ROW LEFT TO RIGHT The bottles, Sarah Crowe, Jane Faulkner THIRD ROW LEFT TO RIGHT Judging sheet, Nick Stock, Jeff Byrne BOTTOM ROW LEFT TO RIGHT Stuart Hordern, Mike Bennie


PICTURED TOP FROM LEFT TO RIGHT Guests, Andy Wright, Tracy-Anne Ganzer, Matt Polin, Regan Drew, Usher Tinkler, Ebony Dunnage, Andrew Leembruggen PICTURED SECOND ROW FROM LEFT TO RIGHT Hamish McGowan, Andrew Marsh, Lisa Perrotti- Brown, Phil Ryan, Tim Murray, Karen Evans, Holly Marsh & Lisa Margan.

2012 Clear Image HUNTER VALLEY wine show luncheon IMAGES BY CHRIS ELFES

PICTURED TOP FROM LEFT TO RIGHT Iain Riggs, Jim Chatto, Louise Maher, Gus Maher, John Lewis, Rick Allen BOTTOM ROW FROM LEFT TO RIGHT Stephen George, Jason Thomas, Christina Tulloch, Sarah Williams, Brad Russ, Fay McGuigan, Will Creedon, Merralea Scarborough.


WINE

The award is designed to recognise and celebrate vineyards of exceptional provenance, reflecting consistency of style and quality over time.

EXCEPTIONAL WINES OF provenance WORDS BY PATRICK HADDOCK & IMAGES BY CHRIS ELFES

“The two provenance classes were pure joy to judge, wines that got my heart pounding. As sets of wines, they all sang at once, telling of the greatness of the region.” Lisa Perotti-Brown, Master of Wines (MW) 16

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T

he French word terroir is often misused, not to mention misconstrued. It’s an all-encompassing word which catalogues the myriad factors that contribute to a wine’s unique DNA, or ‘sense of place’. In the Hunter Valley, this sense of somewhere is indisputably unique, as exhibited by our world-class Semillon and Shiraz. In 2012, the Hunter Valley Wine Show has developed a new award to honour the uniqueness of the region and its prized plots of land: the inaugural Exceptional Wines of Provenance trophy. Provenance, from the French provenir (‘to come from’), refers to the chronology of ownership or location of a historical object. This word is very apt when you consider some of the winemaking families that have been producing the same wines for 40 or more vintages. The Hunter Valley boasts vineyards that are part of the nation’s heritage. We can thank James Busby for having the foresight to bring some of the first clippings to the region. As a consequence, some of our vineyards are not only some of the oldest in Australia, but in the world. A century or more of grape growing and winemaking brings with it certain kudos - so it was only a matter of time before some of our vinous genetic material was to be honoured. The new award makes sense to incoming Chairman of Judges, Jim Chatto, as it is a natural extension of the named vineyard trophy initiated by the late Len Evans and championed by outgoing Chairman, Iain Riggs. The award is also named in honour of Iain Riggs, as The Iain Riggs Wine of Provenance, after all his tireless work as Chairman of the Show over the last decade.

PICTURED STANDING Winemakers Andrew Spinaze, Chris Tyrrell, Mark Richardson PICTURED SEATED Bruce Tyrrell

Before judging, Chatto revealed that the award is “designed to recognise and celebrate vineyards of exceptional provenance, reflecting consistency of style and quality over time.” “An entry constitutes a ‘set’ of three different vintages of the same named vineyard wine, covering a minimum spread of 10 years ( for example, 2000, 2005 and 2009).

All three vintages will be judged by our esteemed Panel Chairs, resulting in one set being awarded the Exceptional Wine of Provenance trophy for that year.” The award has been wholeheartedly supported by producers. At the time of speaking with Chatto, at least 13 wineries had submitted their Wines of Provenance for judging. But why has the award been introduced this year, and what does Chatto think it will achieve? “Ultimately, I hope it will encourage more producers to make wines that speak clearly of where they are from and who has crafted them. I firmly believe that this sort of individuality is the key to securing our region’s future. More and more, people are seeking out these types of wines and the unique experience they offer.” As a new category, the award may have an appeal beyond the Hunter Valley. Chatto believes that the exposure to fellow interstate judges is a crucial and contextual reminder of one of Australia’s oldest wine regions and of what these vineyard-specific sites say over the course of a decade, distilled in a glass: “It adds another dimension to our story, celebrating our greatest strengths: quality, coupled with individuality and longevity. These traits carry tremendous gravitas in the world of wine. The Provenance award is a vehicle to encourage, explore and communicate everything that is great about our wines.” In a timely coincidence, an up-to-date geological survey of the Hunter Valley is finally being produced. With geologist John Davis at the helm and ably supported by winemakers Ultimately, I hope it will Sarah Crowe encourage more producers and Jeff Byrne, to make wines that speak the survey will see the region’s clearly of where they are from best sites and who has crafted them. mapped, and this will provide useful data to winemakers. Outgoing Chairman, Iain Riggs, describes why he thinks Provenance is an important category: “It is new to the Hunter Valley, but Adelaide has had a similar class for some time. It is a very good way of representing a unique vineyard site. The interesting point for the Hunter Valley Show is that it can be a style - that is, the Brokenwood ILR Reserve Semillon can be entered. History, longevity, and cellar style can all be judged.” From a judging point of view, what factors are considered across all the wines entered? Riggs explains: “Definitely consistency, and identification of a winery style. The wines should also represent the region - say, for reds: medium-bodied, supple tannins, and low oak. For the whites (say, Semillon): low alcohol, talc and citrus when young, then beeswax and toast/honey with age.” For the inaugural winner, this is a chance to make noise about this prestigious award. As consumers are drawn more and more to wines with personality that tell a narrative,

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WINE

I believe the award rewards those wines that show a sense of place and have the ability to live and improve with real age - something not all wine regions can achieve.

this award encourages us to understand factors like vine age, cellar longevity, site-specific wines, and regional terroir of the highest order. Bruce Tyrrell likes the idea of the Provenance award, especially as the named vineyard award and this category will now represent a large part of the Show. He uses the analogy that the Show can now be broken down into Burgundy (single plots) and Bordeaux (grand estates, sourcing from different vineyards). The chance for Tyrrell’s VINEYARDS to enter their Vat 1 and Vat 9 was too good an opportunity to miss, and it would be extra special for Tyrrell’s if Vat 1 were to win, this being its fiftieth vintage.

PICTURED ABOVE The Exceptional Wine of Provenance Red Wine Awarded to Tyrrell’s Vat 9 Shiraz 1996, 2006, 2009; The Exceptional Wine of Provenance White Wine Award Tyrrell’s Vat 1 Semillon 1999, 2006, 2009

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After judging, Twitter was ablaze with the senior Judges’ comments. Winemaker Tom Carson described the Provenance category as a “highlight of the show”, while wine writer Nick Stock announced “it was a thrill to judge, highlighting profound terroir and vision.” But the final description of judging the new category must go to Incoming Chairman, Jim Chatto, who said it was a “pleasure to taste, highlighting the individual personalities and super longevity of BREATHE spring 2012

our best wines. The top sets appeared like triplets: all a little different, but singing clearly of their unique stock.” Chatto was surprised at how easily the results formed during the judging process: “It was just the chairs, myself and visiting international judge, Lisa Perotti-Brown. We did not know how it would pan out exactly. There was lots of conversation and the results fell out really simply. We all absolutely 100 per cent agreed on the top, second and third sets in the whites. Even in the reds, we all agreed unanimously on the top set, but there was a bit of argy-bargy on the merits of the other sets.” According to Chatto, Perotti-Brown and the Panel Chairs (who had judged similar awards in other shows) had never seen such complete sets of red wines from differing vintages. “It was an eye-opener for those who had not yet seen what the region is capable of. Both the top reds and whites spoke of where they were from, with that same essence of provenance, I expected big things, but I was overwhelmed by how good it was to judge.” Ironically, a week after Bruce Tyrrell relayed his hope to clinch the title, the last award of the day was affirmation of all the hard work this quintessentially Hunter Valley family has put in. Tyrrell summed it up simply: “I would have given up every other medal and trophy to be the first to be awarded these Wines of Provenance. I believe the award rewards those wines that show a sense of place and have the ability to live and improve with real age something not all wine regions can achieve.” While Tyrrell’s may have been the recipient of the inaugural Wine of Provenance trophy, perhaps the real winner is the Hunter Valley region and its rich bounty of varied vineyard sites.


Recreating History Bring back the tradition that made the Hunter Valley famous

WYNWOOD ESTATE 310 OAKEY CREEK RD POKOLBIN NSW 2320

www.wynwoodestate.com.au www.wynwoodestate.com.au


WINE PROFILE

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Chris tyrrell rising star of the year WORDS BY MELINDA KELLY & IMAGES BY CHRIS ELFES

T

he 2012 Hunter Valley Rising Star of the Year, Chris Tyrrell, is a hard bloke to nail down.

Along with his sister Jane and brother John, Chris is the fifth generation of the Tyrrell winemaking family dynasty. The 29 year-old splits his time between creating premium Hunter Valley wines and promoting the region throughout Australia, Europe and Asia. Since 2005, Chris has been the Assistant Winemaker at Tyrrell’s Wines, working with two of the great modern day Hunter Valley Winemakers: Chief Winemaker, Andrew Spinaze, and Red Winemaker, Mark Richardson. Chris is also an active judge in the Australian wine show circuit, runs the Hunter Valley Young Winemakers Group, and is currently completing the Australian Wine Industry Future Leaders Programme, which focuses on developing the next generation of Australian wine industry leaders. Melinda Kelly interrupted a local Pokolbin Reds Rugby Union training session to have a quick chat with this busy young Hunter Valley winemaker.

PICTURED OPPOSITE PAGE Chris and John Tyrrell PICTURED THIS PAGE Chris Tyrrell

You were recently named 2012 Hunter Valley Rising Star of the Year - how was that? A wonderful honour. The night of the awards, I was actually at the London International Wine Trade Fair, pouring our wines and spruiking the virtues of the Hunter Valley. I think my brother Johnny is a much better man for giving a speech, so it worked out very well for him. It was a shame that I missed the night, and the after-party at Usher Tinkler’s house sounded great.

What is it like being a member of one of Australia’s oldest leading winemaking families? It’s a great responsibility and presents great opportunities. Working in a family company has many advantages that big corporates don’t enjoy. Family companies are able to think quickly and not be tied to shareholders’ dividends. Sometimes our methods may cost more and be more time-consuming, but the wines we make are so much better for it. Most importantly, the wealth of experience in a company like Tyrrell’s from longterm staff makes my development so much easier, and has helped me tremendously along the way. The family companies are the future for re-telling the correct story of Australian wine, which is a huge strength of the Hunter Valley wine region, as there isn’t much of a big company presence here.

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WINE PROFILE

PICTURED Chris Tyrrell, Andrew Spinaze and Mark Richardson

Did you choose winemaking, or did it choose you? Or is that a silly question? I always wanted to work in the family business, but wasn’t sure which side of the business best suited me. In between vintages, I worked in sales, marketing and export before returning to the winery full-time as part of the winemaking team in 2006. Now, I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. It’s the part of the business I have always felt most comfortable in. I love that every year is a new year and presents itself with new challenges. My first vintage, I worked with Winemaker, Nick Paterson, and hung out with Andrew Marsh at the pub. As an 18 year-old, it was guys like them and Tyrrell’s winemakers Andrew Spinaze and Mark Richardson, who really sucked me into winemaking. I was always studying and researching, and that’s where it all began really. Have you ever been tempted to work in another wine region? Nup. I am currently happily serving my life sentence in the Hunter Valley, and it is here I will stay. However, in another life, I wouldn’t mind having a crack over in Margaret River; they seem to have a great vintage every year. Who or what has influenced you most, professionally? Andrew Spinaze, Mark Richardson, Cliff Currie and Dad (Bruce Tyrrell) obviously have all been great mentors. The local fraternity in the Hunter Valley, like Andrew Thomas, PJ Charteris, Rhys Eather, Jim Chatto and Iain Riggs, have always been more than happy to help with anything I have ever asked them. Drinking wonderful old Hunter Valley and Australian wines and understanding our history has been a huge factor in the decisions we make here on a daily basis. Personally, having an understanding of where we have come from with an eye towards the future is what motivates me. What are the best bits about living and working in the Hunter Valley? There is such a great sense of camaraderie here amongst the wineries. The generosity of the older generation is amazing; they are always keen to help out younger turks like myself and teach us about great wines. And we are close to Sydney, whilst being just far enough away. 22

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What do you see as the future for the Hunter Valley wine industry? The direction that most wineries are now taking in regards to super premium wines, and also single vineyard wines, is a good one. As a region, we need to keep pushing and not become complacent. We know for the consumers we aren’t exactly a trendy region, so we need to keep working our butts off to help people discover what great wine is. What has been your best experience? Winning 14 Trophies at the 2008 Hunter Valley Wine Show was such an amazing night. Four years earlier, we had made a decision to completely change the way we made red wine, and that night was validation that we had done the right thing. What has been your worst experience? I hate reading and hearing from the general wine media that big companies cannot produce great wine. Sometimes there is a push from wine writers that great wine can only come from small boutique wineries, which is absolute horseshit. Great wines come from great wineries and great winemakers, which can be from companies of all shapes and sizes. Everyone has a favourite Hunter Valley hideout what’s your favourite place in the Hunter Valley? A sneaky beer at Thomas Wines, which is across the road from my house, is always a safe bet. Muse Kitchen and Restaurant Botanica are always great places to be. My getaway spot is The Vintage golf course on my own on a Sunday afternoon. To date, what has been your best ever wine and food experience? Last year, I was invited to a casual barbeque at Ken Bignill’s house, then realised that I was about to drink some of the best wines I had ever tasted. We sat on the balcony having a casual dinner, drinking the likes of 1900 Brane Cantenac, 1947 Ch. Rouget, and a lineup of 1920s Dr Barolet Burgundies. It was a night I will never forget. Ken said he “thought they might need drinking soon, and I should probably drink them with someone who needed to learn a few things about old wine.” Awesome!


4 londons road, lovedale hunter valley nsw 2325 www.capercailliewine.com.au


WINE

Rhiannon Stevens steps back in Hunter Valley history to the time of Maurice O’Shea.

The Maurice O’Shea labels WORDS BY Rhiannon Stevens & IMAGES BY CHRIS ELFES

T

he Hunter Valley Heritage Award acknowledges Maurice O’Shea founded his vineyard, a landmark of historical importance that has Mount Pleasant, in 1921 and, during influenced or significantly contributed to the the Depression, forged an enduring Hunter Valley Wine Industry. Previous recipients relationship with the McWilliam have included historical landmarks of physical heritage. family. Whilst 2012 marks Mount Now, the importance of printed works to the evolvement Pleasant’s 90th vintage, it also honours of the Hunter Valley region have also been acknowledged. the 135th anniversary of winemaking The Maurice O’Shea Mount Pleasant labels are classic for the McWilliam family. collateral heritage endemic to Maurice O’Shea’s the Hunter Valley, and symbolise Maurice O’Shea did leadership was our fine winemaking reputation instrumental in something special. He had and identity. The labels were positioning the recognised as the recipient of something really outstanding Hunter Valley the 2011 Hunter Valley Heritage as a premium in his capacity to recognise wine region. Award. At the unveiling of the Heritage Brian McGuigan the certain traits of grapes Cairn in March 2012, Hunter remarked, and wines. Valley Legend and sponsor of “Maurice O’Shea did something the Cairn, Brian McGuigan, special. He had something really explained that “the Cairn project is designed to recognise the people, places or objects that have nurtured and been outstanding in his capacity to recognise crucial to the development and stature of the district, so it the certain traits of grapes and wines.” is fitting that we salute Maurice O’Shea and McWilliam’s.” 24

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PICTURED THIS PAGE The Mount Pleasant Prince Henry label PICTURED OPPOSITE PAGE The Mount Pleasant Claret label


A pioneer of early Australian winemaking, Maurice O’Shea literally changed his field. Produced in an era where fortified wines were regarded as standard, the Hunter Valley’s flagship styles of Shiraz and Semillon were created without electricity, machine-driven cooling systems, or any of the modern winemaking equipment used today. Maurice O’Shea’s wines were a testament to his vision and skill as a viticulturist and winemaker. Experimental blending, styles developed for the market, and sophisticated wines with prudent alcohol levels were O’Shea’s specialties. The mastery of his craft is evident with the refined intensity and longevity of his wines - many of O’Shea’s wines outlived the man. O’Shea’s table wines showed creative artistry, and have left a lasting impression on the world as icons of the Hunter Valley, setting the standard for Australian wines at their best. The Hunter Valley Wine Industry Association has formed valuable links with the University of Newcastle to collect and share historical narratives of our region’s winemaking past. Dr Julie McIntyre, from the University of Newcastle, offers the notion that “wine is a creative field in which art and science combine. As O’Shea blended his wines, he blended together the idea of wine and its place in history.” Her representation of Maurice O’Shea provides much insight into his daily work. Describing him as one of the true romantics of wine, Dr McIntyre quotes from an exerpt from a letter penned by O’Shea on 15 February 1924:

There seems to be some trouble in securing grape pickers this year. It is really unaccountable, as many pits [mines] are idle, and there should be more children than ever.”

The wine that comes from here - its style and its quality - has separated us from our peers in this country and abroad.

The letter demonstrates the hardships and tribulations that we no longer face with the aid of modern machinery and vineyard practices - although, wet harvests are still a challenge, and mechanical harvesters have replaced child labour! It seems Maurice O’Shea’s romantic side didn’t stop with his passion for wine. His diaries and letters also provide a personal account of his affections for Marcia Fuller, whom he later married. Maurice O’Shea, on all accounts, was a true romantic, shown by his signoff from the same letter: “My dearest - I hope everything at home is quite satisfactory and that you are keeping your promise of looking after your dear little self so that I shall have lovely rosy cheeks and sweet red lips to kiss… Loving you more than ever - love always, Your Maurice.”

“History has made the Hunter Valley so important internationally,” said Hunter Valley Legend, Brian McGuigan. “The wine that comes from here - its style and its quality - has separated us from our peers in this “We expect to start the grape country and abroad.” Maurice picking on O’Shea produced remarkable Wednesday next, and memorable wines though at this My dearest - I hope everything during his lifetime, inspiring many in his moment, it seems at home is quite satisfactory and industry. It is reassuring to note that many hardly possible for us to be ready in time… that you are keeping your promise generations of the McWilliams followed in O’Shea’s footsteps. Don McWilliam, We are having some of looking after your dear little fourth generation in the McWilliams family heavy downpours of rain just now, and it self so that I shall have lovely rosy and patron for the Maurice O’Shea Mount seems that we are to cheeks and sweet red lips to kiss… Pleasant labels, joined O’Shea to learn the craft during the 1954 vintage. Sadly, expect a wet vintage. Loving you more than ever - love O’Shea passed away shortly afterwards, in This is a nightmare 1956. Today, Scott McWilliam is Senior to look forward to, as always, Your Maurice. Winemaker at Mount Pleasant, representing the ground is so soddy the sixth generation of this pioneering wine family. and heavy that the loaded carts often get bogged, or even overturned, and the horses constantly lose their foothold; Here’s to the next century of winemaking at Mount besides, it is heavy work for the animals and knocks them Pleasant. up terribly. BREATHE spring 2012

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www.ridgeview.com.au

SATURDAY 20 & SUNDAY 21 OCTOBER 10AM - 4PM Discover the great wines and rural charms of the Broke Fordwich Wine Region. Start your journey in the village of Broke with a souvenir wine glass and map. Follow the banners to each of the ten participating venues where you can taste, enjoy, eat, learn, meet and discover why the wines of the region are so unique. Experience some delicious wine and food matching combinations at many of the quiet and uncrowded cellar doors.

Visit spiritofthevine.com.au for full details or call 0419 244 785 for all enquiries.


MEET THE LOCALS WORDS BY GRANT RADFORD

Gwyneth Olsen

Senior Winemaker, McWilliam’s Mount Pleasant, New Zealand and Hanwood Gwyneth studied Winemaking at the University of Adelaide before heading off for a six-year stint at Villa Maria Estate in New Zealand. She returned home two years ago to take up a great career opportunity with McWilliam’s Wines. What is the best part of your job? The varied nature, and the opportunity to work with great people, premium vineyards and fantastic fruit. What is the worst part of your job? Feeling like I’m being pulled in five different directions! It doesn’t last long, though. A typical day includes… A wide variety of tasks. Lees stirring, topping and tasting barrels, preparing and signing off wines for bottling in Sydney, or putting together blends in New Zealand. What is your most memorable bottle ever tasted? An 1863 Madeira - not the best wine I have ever had, but the most memorable for how remarkably fresh it looked for its age. What are you currently drinking at home? Hunter Valley Semillon, loads of great Chardonnay, with a few Pinots thrown in. How do you relax after a hard day’s work? Cooking a delicious meal with glass in hand, or catching up with friends for a good laugh.

THE CELLAR RESTAURANT Awarded

• One Glass Rating (Recommended) 2008, 2009, 2010 & 2011 Fine Wine Partners Wine List of the Year Awards • One Glass Rating 2010, 2011 & 2012 Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide

Chef/Owner Andrew Wright is passionate about sourcing the freshest and best quality local ingredients. His ever-changing menu showcases his talent for combining contemporary Australian fare with the influence of European traditions, presented in a simple and uncomplicated manner.

What is your most embarrassing moment? Falling off the back of a tractor and landing squarely in a cow pat! What is your favourite food and wine match? Chardonnay and cassoulet, or Shiraz with steak tartare. Your fantasy dinner party guests would be… Stephen Fry, Harper Lee, Marie Curie, Julia Child, Dave Hughes, Heston Blumenthal, and my sister, Kim. What would your last meal and drinks be? Decadent! Champagne and oysters, Riesling with whitebait, duck breast with cherries and Pinot Noir, slowcooked pork belly with Viognier, roast lamb with Hunter Valley Shiraz, lots of Epoisses cheeses, foie gras and sauternes, finishing with dark chocolate fondant with Rutherglen Muscat! It’s not cool, but I love… Vegemite and strawberry jam together on toast. If you weren’t you, who would you like to be? Batman! What is your favourite product on offer at the moment? Mount Pleasant 2011 Mount Henry Shiraz/Pinot Noir - a new take on one of Maurice O’Shea’s original blends. What is your favourite holiday destination (outside the Hunter, of course)? St Emillion in France. But, as I can’t get there all the time, I generally head to the nearest beach.

Open for lunch and dinner bookings recommended • Indoor and outdoor dining • Various menu options including fixed price, à la carte and degustation • Air-conditioned in summer • Open fire in winter • Fully licensed

“Such good food in such unpretentious surroundings is worthy of rural France.” THE LONDON SUNDAY TIMES

The Cellar is a hot spot for locals and a must for new visitors to the region. Hunter Valley Gardens Village Broke Road, Pokolbin. Tel: 4998 7584 www.the-cellar-restaurant.com.au www.the-cellar-restaurant.com.au


MEET THE LOCALS Donna Hollis

Executive Chef, Ridgeview Restaurant Donna has cooked around the Hunter Valley for over 15 years. For the last six months, she has been overseeing the kitchen at Ridgeview Restaurant on Sweetwater Road. Following stints over the years at Casuarina and Il Cacciatore, Donna is loving currently working with a Greek-influenced style of cuisine. Donna is passionate and self-driven, constantly setting new goals and ensuring that her customers get the best quality and freshest produce she can source. What is the best part of your job? Taking new and exciting culinary ideas and being able to express them in my own unique style. I love feedback from customers, and sharing their experiences. A typical day includes… Harvesting fresh, organic produce from our garden, prepping for service, and neverending emails. What is your most memorable bottle ever tasted? St Hallets Old Block Shiraz, and a gorgeous old Hunter Valley Red from the early ‘90s. What are you currently drinking at home? I’m on a mission to taste every wine from the Hunter Valley ha, ha! And a reliable Bundy and Coke at the end of the day. How do you relax after a hard day’s work? Food, wine, Foxtel and family! The best customer is one who… Never says never, and enjoys the dining experience to its full potential. What is your favourite food and wine match? Thick rib eye on the bone and Hunter Valley Shiraz.

Wine Tasting L’s

Your fantasy dinner party guests would be… The Ab Fab team of Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders with Dawn French. What would your last meal and drinks be? It would have to be a selection of mezze, with matching wines. It’s not cool, but I love… Disco! If you weren’t a chef, what would you like to be? A V8 Supercar driver, or professional surfer. What is your favourite product on offer at the moment? One word: mezze! What is your favourite holiday destination (outside the Hunter, of course)? North Haven, near Port Macquarie, for relaxation and great beaches.

Start your day with a beginners course to provide you with all the basic skills to maximize the enjoyment and educational experience of tasting wine. The session will include information on how to make and assess wines. The perfect way to commence your tasting journey around the Hunter Valley. 10.30am everyday • Cost $10 • Bookings essential 4998 7402 Corner Broke & McDonalds Roads, Pokolbin • 02 4998 7402 • hunter@mcguiganwines.com.au hunter@mcguiganwines.com.au


MEET THE LOCALS GUY VINDEN

How do you relax after a hard day’s work? When I am not cooking, I enjoy a good read. Increased power bills as a result of the carbon tax are not an issue for my wife and I, as we seem to be going to bed earlier and earlier.

Chef, Bistro Vinden, Winemaker, Vinden Estate Wines Guy is a self-taught part-time chef and winemaker, in addition to continuing to work as a solicitor in Sydney. Guy and his family have now lived in the Hunter Valley for over 20 years. With 15 vintages under their belt, the family has now elected to branch out into cooking, with Bistro Vinden, which has received great accolades.

The best customer is one who… Arrives with no preconceived ideas of the Hunter Valley, falls in love with at least two of our wines, buys cases of it, and then stays for lunch at Bistro Vinden.

What is the best part of your job? Dealing with people in a relaxing environment and beautiful location. At the same time, they are tasting beautiful wines and enjoying great food. What is the worst part of your job? The long hours we work, and not getting out often ourselves to enjoy the Hunter Valley. A typical day includes… Maintaining the gardens and vineyard, but from Friday to Sunday it is pretty full-on, buying fresh ingredients at market, preparing food, running the Cellar Door and of course, cleaning up at the end. What is your most memorable bottle ever tasted? Many years ago, when our first-born son arrived, we purchased a 1990 bottle of Grange to drink on his 21st birthday. In fact, we bought two (one still remains), and as a family we enjoyed it together. What are you currently drinking at home? Any aged Hunter Valley Semillon, an aged Eden or Clare Valley Riesling, or a good Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir. We are pretty eclectic, and in recent years we have also been enjoying many European wines, including aged Spanish Tempranillo in particular.

What is your favourite food and wine match? Quail accompanied by a great Pinot Noir, followed by Beef Wellington with an aged Hunter Valley Shiraz. I am definitely not a vegetarian! Your fantasy dinner party guests would be… Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher, Harry S. Truman, Nelson Mandela, and Mao Tse Tung should provoke some interesting dinner party conversation. What would your last meal and drinks be? A long degustation lunch prepared by somebody other than myself! Sydney’s best chef, Peter Gilmore of Quay, would have to be a good choice, with personally chosen wines accompanying each dish. It’s not cool, but I love… Regularly wearing some of my favourite old clothes (a bit worn, admittedly) - much to my Sandra’s social dismay. If you weren’t you, who would you like to be? Bill Gates. There is a nerd who is making a real difference with his money! I would love to give away $67 billion. What is your favourite product on offer at the moment? It would have to be Vinden Estate Sparkling Alicante Bouschet. What is your favourite holiday destination (outside the Hunter, of course)? Anywhere in the French countryside, but probably - in a photo finish - Provence, sipping a great French Rosé with my wife, Sandra.

Your invitation to dine at Restaurant Botanica ...

The Hunter Valley’s freshest regional dining experience Dinner reservations Wed to Sun Evenings from 6pm • Private Degustation Lunches available by request Wed to Sun A passionate hospitality team led by owner/operators Mark and Belinda Stapleton Multi award winning wine list • Stunning rural vineyard and mountain views • Relaxed and comfortable dining ambience Abundant kitchen garden with rare and organic heirloom vegetables, fruits and herbs picked daily for our menu

p. 02

6574 7229 a. Located at Spicers Vineyards Estate 555 Hermitage Rd, Pokolbin 2320


FROM THE CELLAR WORDS BY LUKE CAMPBELL & IMAGES BY CHRIS ELFES

As with winemaking, the cellaring, storage and serving of wine is based on a combination of science and art. Here, Luke Campbell of Vinified answers all your wine storage and service questions.

W

Absolutely, Pinot Noir is worth Yes, it can be expensive, due to it keeping in your cellar - this is one of being one of the hardest grapes to the world’s most age-worthy grape grow and vinify. It only likes the best varieties. Whether it’s Hunter Valley oak, it is susceptible to disease, and Pinot Noir, like Mount Pleasant it is very particular about its growing Mothervine, Tyrrell’s Wines Vat 6, environment. All these conditions or Tintilla Estate Four Marys, or come at a cost, which is eventually the Mac Forbes Woori Yallock Pinot passed on to us, the consumer. If we from the Yarra Valley, or one of the take one step Pinot Noir can great red Burgundies of the world, further and be expensive. Is it ... within the industry Pinot Noir belongs in your cellar. You look at the really worthwhile can even create further depth in your homeland of and among wine putting it in your cellar by purchasing differing styles Pinot Noir; cellar? enthusiasts, it [Pinot from some of the great Pinot regions Burgundy, Marissa Combs, Noir] is considered to be of the world: Martinborough, New France - this Noosa, Qld Zealand; Pipers River, Tasmania; is some of the holy grail of wine. Luke Campbell: Yarra Valley, Victoria; and, of course, the most When I first started cellaring wine, Burgundy, France. expensive wine real estate I really wasn’t sure about Pinot anywhere in the world. I would Noir. To my inexperienced palate, It is also one of the most absolutely urge ... this is one of it seemed thin and lacked flavour. complicated wine regions you to keep a However, within the industry to understand. Many the world’s most few good quality and among wine enthusiasts, it is wine lovers claim that age-worthy grape Pinots in your (or considered to be the holy grail of Pinots from Burgundy anyone’s) cellar. wine. It is often described as ‘the end varieties. are the greatest red Heaven knows, I game’, meaning: when many people wines in the world, while should have. first start tasting wine, they start out others insist that Bordeaux wines Send your cellaring questions to tasting something sweet, such as hold that claim. I can attest that luke@vinified.com.au. Port or Lambrusco. As their tastes nothing quite compares in aroma mature and palates change, most and concentration to a great red end up appreciating Pinot. Burgundy. ith extensive experience in the wine industry and a great passion for wine, Luke is a qualified sommelier, a Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET) diploma student, and has completed numerous vintages in Australia.

Vinified provides individual and commercial wine enthusiasts a personal cellar management service that includes advice on appraisal, valuation, cellaring, liquidation and optimum drinking conditions. www.vinified.com.au p 03 9867 1375

Australia’s most exclusive cellar management service


WINE REVIEWS

2012 Oakvale Apple Cider

RRP $18

Pokolbins’ first Cider. Made on-site from 100% Australian apples obtained directly from premium orchards this hand-picked and basket pressed sparkling alcoholic Cider delivers luscious, natural sweetness balanced with an elegant off dry finish. Food Match - Perfect alone and outstanding with pork belly, spicy Asian dishes and camembert cheese. P 02 4998 7088 E info@oakvalewines.com.au Cellar Door Open 7 days 10am - 5pm 1596 Broke Road POKOLBIN oakvalewines.com.au

2012 Bimbadgen Estate Semillon

RRP $22

This new release Semillon shows lively aromas of Granny Smith apples and lemongrass. Vibrant lime juice and lemon pith citrus fruit flavours fill the palate with some undertones of freshly cut grass and racy, mineral like acidity. Can be carefully cellared for three to five years, however drinks well young and fresh. Food Match - Match this Semillon to a range of fresh seafood or canapĂŠs. P 02 4998 4650 E cellardoor@bimbadgen.com.au Cellar Door Open Monday to Thursday 10am - 5pm Friday and Saturday 10am - 7pm 790 McDonalds Road POKOLBIN bimbadgen.com.au

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WINE REVIEWS

2012 Wyndham Estate Shepherd’s White Semillon

RRP $35

Fruit for the Shepherd’s White Semillon was handpicked from our single vineyard on Mistletoe Lane. The wine is brilliant pale green, very delicate with classic varietal flavours of lemon, lime and snow pea. Its structure and vibrancy can be enjoyed now or cellared to flourish into a classic aged Hunter Valley Semillon over five to 10 years. Food Match - Any seafood, especially freshly shucked oysters. P 02 4938 3444 E wecellardoor@wyndhamestate.com Cellar Door Open 7 days 9:30am - 4:30pm (except Good Friday, Christmas Day & ticketed events) 700 Dalwood Road DALWOOD (via Branxton) wyndhamestate.com 32

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2007 RidgeView Generations Reserve Semillon

RRP $35

A limited aged release displaying a brilliant light gold colour with subtle green tinges and a bouquet dominated by fresh citrus and subtle honeysuckle. The palate is dominated by zesty palate lemon and lime with fresh honey undertones. A long, crisp and clean finish with well- balanced acid. Despite its years it’s still quite refreshing with the potential to live for many years. Gold medal 2011 Australian Small Winemakers Show and 94 points 2013 James Halliday Wine Companion. Food Match - Perfect accompaniment to fresh seafood. P o2 6574 7332 E drink@ridgeview.com.au Cellar Door Open Wednesday to Sunday 10am - 5pm 272 Sweetwater Road POKOLBIN ridgeview.com.au


2006 Brokenwood Maxwell Vineyard Semillon

RRP $45

Released October 2012. Winning Gold at the 2012 Sydney Royal Wine Show, this impressive Semillon is from a year that will reward right now or with further bottle age. Excellent luminous green/yellow colour at six years of age. Even at six years of age (on release) the aromas are not yet fully developed although some honey/toasty character are evident. With further age the lanolin/vanillin richness will build further on the back palate. Food Match - Pairs perfectly with Asian food or any seafood, especially fresh shucked oysters. P 02 4998 7559 E sales@brokenwood.com.au Cellar Door Open Monday to Saturday 9.30am - 5pm Sunday 10am - 5pm

2012 Adina Vineyard Pinot Grigio

RRP $25

From some of the oldest Pinot Grigio vines in Australia this wine is exclusively from our vineyard. The wine was made by Daniel Binet in the Italian style and it has a gorgeous Riesling middle palate and very clean finish. If you like the style you can’t help but be impressed. Food Match - Goes beautifully with salads, seafood and seafood based pasta & rice dishes. P 02 4930 7473 E info@adinavineyard.com.au Cellar Door Open 7 Days 10am - 4pm 492 Lovedale Road LOVEDALE adinavineyard.com.au

401-427 McDonalds Road POKOLBIN brokenwood.com.au BREATHE spring 2012

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WINE REVIEWS

2011 Hungerford Hill Hunter Valley Verdelho

RRP $25

Pale straw with a green hue the nose is intense and shows freshly cut grass with hints of orange blossom and spice. These characters carry onto the palate which is generous and full with great balance. Strong citrus and herbaceous flavours along with natural fruit acidity give this wine a fresh lively finish. Food Match - Muse Restaurant & Café’s cured Atlantic salmon tartare. P 02 4998 7666 E wines@hungerfordhill.com.au Cellar Door Open Sunday to Thursday 10am - 5pm Friday & Saturday 10am - 6pm 2450 Broke Road POKOLBIN hungerfordhill.com.au

2009 Wombat Crossing Vineyard Malloch’s Block Single Vineyard RRP $28 Chardonnay Less by the dozen Can Pokolbin’s smallest winegrower make great wines? Don’t expect this wine to be a traditional big Chardonnay with loads of oak. Pale straw with green hues in colour, it has stone fruit aromas with a hint of nutmeg and spice from its short stay in French oak. The palate shows rock melon and stone fruit flavours, a rich mid-palate and lingering finish. With three years of bottle age the flavours have melded nicely. Food Match - Goat cheese tart, poached chicken and veal. P 02 6574 7357 E wines@wombatcrossing.net Cellar Door Open Saturday 11am - 5pm Most Sundays 10.30am - 2.30pm Please call for appointment 530 Hermitage Road POKOLBIN wombatcrossing.net

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2011 Tulloch Cellar Door Release Viognier RRP $20 Cellar Door $16 Wine Club Members The fruit for this wine is sourced from a premium parcel of Viognier at our landmark vineyard in the Upper Hunter. This wine exhibits complex aromas of stone fruits with hints of apricot and orange blossom on the palate and well integrated creamy oak characters. Enjoy while young and fresh or cellar medium term for increase complexity. Food Match - Marinated fetta stuffed chicken breast wrapped in prosciutto, served with a pear, parmesan and rocket salad.

2012 Krinklewood Vineyard Francesca RosĂŠ

RRP $24

Made from 100% Mourvedre, the fruit was picked early and the wine made using only the free run juice. This vintage is the palest salmon pink and displays an attractive aroma of Turkish Delight, strawberry and citrus. Rose petals and Turkish Delight carry through to the palate, which is crisp and fruit driven with a dry, clean finish. Food Match - The perfect accompaniment with antipasto & wood fired gourmet pizza. P 02 6579 1322 E info@krinklewood.com

P 02 4998 7580 E cellardoor@tullochwines.com

Cellar Door Open Saturday & Sunday 10am - 5pm.

Cellar Door Open 7 days 10am - 5pm

712 Wollombi Road BROKE krinklewood.com

638 DeBeyers Road POKOLBIN tullochwines.com

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WINE REVIEWS

2011 Tempus Two Copper Series Hunter Valley Shiraz RRP $30 Cellar Door only Fruit for this Cellar Door exclusive Shiraz was sourced from the Vanessa Vale Vineyard on Hermitage Road in Pokolbin. The cool 2011 vintage, resulted in a wine with incredible fruit depth yet delicate structure. Aromas of spiced red berries and a palate of rich concentrated blackberry and cherry are evident in this medium bodied wine.

2010 Ernest Hill William Henry Shiraz

RRP $40

This wine is full and rich, displaying ripe berry flavours, subtle spice and a hint of those traditional Hunter Valley earthy and savoury characteristics. Smooth tannins are enhanced by the toasty vanilla flavours from 12 months maturation in French oak barrels. Top Gold 2011 Hunter Valley Wine Show. Five Star rating Winestate Magazine 2012.

Food Match - Perfect with slow cooked red meat dishes.

Food Match - Try seared rump of kangaroo or baked saddle of hare.

P 02 4993 3999 E cellardoor@tempustwo.com.au

P 02 4991 4418 E wines@ernesthillwines.com.au

Cellar Door Open 7 days 10am- 5pm

Cellar Door Open 7 days 10am- 5pm

Corner of Broke & McDonalds Road POKOLBIN tempustwo.com.au

307 Wine Country Drive NULKABA ernesthillwines.com.au

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2010 Margan Shiraz

RRP $22

Vibrant purple in colour, displaying a complex bouquet of dark red fruits, spice, and hints of coffee bean. The wine is well structured showing classic Hunter Valley tannins, great palate length, balance and finesse. Although approachable now with careful cellaring this medium bodied wine should continue to develop more complex savoury characters over the next decade.

2010 Tintilla Estate Justine Merlot

RRP $30

Tintilla ‘Justine’ Merlot shows truly regional characters with the softness and finesse that reflects the Hunter Valley terroir. Coming from low yielding vines, it is handcrafted, aged in French oak, to produce an elegant wine with firm black/red current fruit and notes of cedar and sweet leather, with a long silky finish.

Food Match - Twice-cooked pork belly, crackling, garden peas, cauliflower, pistachio and poached prunes.

Food Match - Roast venison, slow roasted lamb shoulder.

P 02 6579 1372 E cellardoor@margan.com.au

Cellar Door Open 7 days 10:30am - 6pm

Cellar Door Open 7 days 10am-5pm 1238 Milbrodale Road BROKE margan.com.au

P 02 6574 7093 E info@tintilla.com.au

725 Hermitage Road POKOLBIN tintilla.com.au

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Muse Kitchen boasts a more personal approach to food, wine and service delivering European inspired food that is season and produce driven. Muse Kitchen, located at the new Keith Tulloch Winery on Hermitage Road Pokolbin, is the newest venture for huband and wife team Troy and Megan Rhoades-Brown of Muse Restaurant and CafĂŠ. Lunch: Wed - Sun: 12noon - 3pm Available for private functions by request. Keith Tulloch Wines Lot 17 Hermitage Rd, Pokolbin T: 02 4998 7899 E: muse@musedining.com.au muse@musedining.com.au

www.musedining.com.au www.musedining.com.au

www.emersonsatpokolbin.com

mail@emersonspokolbin.com


In celebration of the Spirit of the Vine, Whispering Brook is holding their Burning of the Canes Luncheons on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 October. Embark on a new wine and olive discovery experience, then indulge in sumptuous slow cooked food prepared on a fire pit infused with the aroma of vineyard canes. Sit back and enjoy live music and the stunning views. Call for bookings and further information. Rodd Street, Broke. P 02 9818 4126 or 02 6579 1386 E info@whispering-brook.com W whispering-brook.com

Pukara Estate has just released a new range of Australian salt flakes in a variety of tasty and tempting flavours. The salts are smoked using olive wood and recycled oak wine barrels and include Charcoal and Olive Smoked, Pepper and Olive Smoked, Oak Smoked, Chilli Smoked and Original. They are easy to use and are perfect to lift any dish from ho-hum to delicious. You can taste this new range at a Pukara Estate Tasting Room or simply go to the website to order online. 2347 Broke Road, Pokolbin & 1440 Denman Road, Muswellbrook. P 02 6547 1055 W pukaraestate.com.au

EXTRA, EXTRA!

Read all about it ... what’s new in the Hunter Valley Whispering Brook has introduced some delicious new organic pizzas to their weekend offerings. With spectacular views of the estate’s vineyards, olive groves and sweeping mountain views, it’s a great location for a casual lunch. You can experience a tutored tour of the vineyards, olive groves and winery followed by a tasting of artisan wines and olive oil, and then relax with a shared gourmet antipasto and cheese platter or a mouth-watering organic pizza. Open on weekends with a twilight tasting at 4pm Friday. The winery tour & tastings are by appointment only. Rodd Street, Broke. P 02 9818 4126 or 02 6579 1386 W whispering-brook.com

BBreathe designers Sally Sneddon and Tegan Brideson at SSGD now offer websites on their list of graphic design services. Delivering design solutions including logos, wine labels, newsletters, brochures, e- blasts, stationery and advertisements, you can now employ SSGD to bring your business vision to a wider web audience. Contact SSGD for your next creative and professional design solutions. 4 Alfred Close, East Maitland. P 02 4934 4781 W ssgd.com.au

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FOOD You simply cannot beat home-grown fruit, vegetables and produce for freshness, flavour and wholesome goodness. Here in the Hunter Valley, some of the region’s leading restaurants have been working hard in their gardens to ensure your plates are filled with fresh, mouth-watering dishes made from the best quality ingredients. Inspired by the fertile and picturesque land which surrounds their restaurants, Restaurant Botanica, Margan Restaurant and RidgeView Restaurant have established stunning organic gardens, which supply their kitchens all year round and ensure they have access to a wide range of fresh, tasty and exciting produce. Restaurant Botanica, located at Spicers Vineyard Estate, is owned and operated by Mark and Belinda Stapleton. Along with a vineyard it has a quarter-acre restaurant garden and a two-acre block, which is home to three Black Berkshire pigs. Plantings are currently underway for an extensive fruit orchard. “It feels only natural, in a regional area with lots of space, to want to grow our own produce and control the quality of it. The comments from guests on how fresh everything tastes is testament enough that the huge financial and physical outlay is well worth it,” says Belinda. As Executive Chef, Mark is responsible for the planting and harvesting of the garden, with assistance from his kitchen team and the property groundsman. Mark plants by the moon calendar - so, along with being organic, the garden is also biodynamic. “We use no pesticides or chemicals in the garden and plant only heirloom organic seeds and seedlings. This provides fresh, uncontaminated and ecologically-friendly vegetables and herbs for both our restaurant guests and our family. You simply cannot compare the flavour difference between organic and chemically-managed produce - and the health and environmental benefits are obvious,” says Mark. “We only feed our 18 month-old little girl organic vegetables from our own garden. She loves eating the fresh peas and strawberries faster than I can pick them!” Mark and Belinda love to experiment with unusual and interesting produce, like white beetroot and extremely rare white strawberries, which Mark says taste - amazingly - almost like sherbet. He sources the seeds from suppliers such as Diggers, Seedsavers and Eden Seeds. Adding to the diversity of the garden, the property’s resident pigs, Chop Chop, Salami II and Crackle, are without a doubt the best-fed pigs in the region. Dining on the kitchen scraps from an organic garden is not a bad life. “It might seem harsh, but all three will eventually become fantastic salamis and cured meats for the restaurant. And yes, we did have a Salami I; she is now being thoroughly enjoyed on special menu items,” explains Belinda. 40

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At RidgeView Estate on Sweetwater Road, you can hear the contented clucking of chickens even before you see them. During the day, over 30 chickens and their three duck friends peck freely over the property before returning to the safety of their purpose-built coop at night. The property You simply cannot compare is owned and the flavour difference between operated by organic and chemicallyDarren and Tracey Scott managed produce - and the and their family. health and environmental Their son, benefits are obvious. Brendan, holds the title of Head Gardener. When he’s not at studying at university in Sydney, he dedicates his time to the garden and chickens. “Each one is named, and all come running back from the bush when I call them,” says Brendan. “The flock will be increased to around 50 hens in the next few months. The vegie scraps from RidgeView Restaurant are fed to the girls, and they in turn provide us with fresh eggs for the restaurant. We sell the excess at Cellar Door.” According to Brendan, the garden is organic with a strong focus on companion planting. He says that by avoiding the use of insecticides, he is able to create a balanced eco-system, ensuring natural and fresh produce. The 20 separate garden beds and two pumpkin patches are home to a variety of herbs, including oregano, thyme, sage, dill, mint, peppermint and parsley, along with a selection of vegetables such as snow peas, celery, carrots, rocket and broccoli. Also adding to the mix is an orchard containing tahitian limes, kaffir limes, navel oranges, eureka lemons, meyer lemons, imperial mandarins, fig trees and olive trees. “It is hard work, but growing and serving home-grown produce to our guests and family is extremely rewarding and a real sense of achievement,” Brendan says.

PICTURED Restaurant Botanica executive chef Mark Stapleton tends the restaurant garden


Home-Grown WORDS BY MELINDA KELLY & IMAGES Courtesy of Margan Restaurant, Restaurant Botanica & RidgeView Restaurant

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HUNTER VALLEY

FOOD

Cheese Factory At Margan Restaurant on Milbrodale Road, Broke, the abundant one-acre kitchen garden grows about 90 per cent of the fruit and vegetables needed by the restaurant. The menu is designed around what comes out of the garden each week. The restaurant is located within the Margan Family Vineyard and is owned by Lisa and Andrew Margan. “Our philosophy at Margan has always been to source as much fresh quality produce as possible. We like to say that our carbon footprint is 20 muddy footsteps from the garden to the back door of the kitchen,” Lisa says. “The sheer scale of our kitchen garden is quite unique. We take sustainability very seriously, and have a dedicated horticulturist on hand to manage it using organic principles, ensuring we steer clear of pesticides and herbicides whilst hand-weeding as much as possible. We also like to plant heirloom seeds, as these old-fashioned varieties are often superior in flavour, as well as having a retro and novelty effect.” With the winter frosts gone and plentiful spring sunshine at hand, Margan’s garden is in full production, harvesting potatoes, pumpkin, peas, baby turnips, parsnips, leeks, cavalo nero, beetroot, chillies, garlic, spring onions, shallots, baby carrots, asparagus, broccoli, silverbeet, spinach, cime di rappa, radish, fennel, lettuce, rocket, herbs, oranges and lemons. In keeping with their sustainability philosophy, they also grow olive trees for oil and table olives, farm bees for natural honey, keep a flock of blackfaced Suffolk sheep for lamb and, of course, chickens for free-range eggs.

PICTURED FROM TOP Josh Davidson from Margan Restaurant, Lisa Margan, RidgeView’s hens, RidgeView’s fresh vegetables.

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As restaurateur and chef, Lisa shares her tips for cooking home-grown fruit and vegetables: “Choose fresh, perfectly ripe produce and don’t overwork it; simply allow the produce to be the star!”

Artisan Regional Cheesemakers Hunter Valley Cheese Company have been producing handmade preservative free cheeses on site for over 15 years. • Factory Viewing and Tastings daily • Award Winning • Preservative Free • Made with Vegetarian Rennet • Complimentary Cheese Talk daily 11am & 3pm • Factory Outlet Sales and Discounts

“Blessed are the Cheesemakers” HUNTER VALLEY CHEESE FACTORY & SHOP McGuigan’s Complex, 447 McDonalds Road Pokolbin P: 4998 7744 E: huntervalleycheese@westnet.com.au W: www.huntervalleycheese.com.au

AUSTRALIAN REGIONAL

australian regional Food Store & food Café store and café

Sourced from state totastings state, lunch all day • produce city open to coast, inland to island, 7 days • 9am-5pm @ range of clean, taste our fantastic the small winemakers centre green Australian produce. 426 mcdonalds road pokolbin hunter valley

Breakfast to 12 noon p •9am 4998 6800 e • australianregionalfood@westnet.com.au Lunch 12noon to 4.30pm w • www.australianregionalfood.com.au & produce tastings

Open 7 days 9am to 5pm @ the small winemakers centre 426 McDonalds Road Pokolbin Hunter Valley

P: 4998 6800 E: australianregionalfood@westnet.com.au W: www.australianregionalfood.com.au


A true ‘local’ cheese tasting experience. We are providores of our own products as well as other local and imported cheeses, gourmet foods and home to the Hunter Valley Gelato Company. Purchase our products either to take home or sit and indulge in store with a glass of local wine or beer. Smelly’s Kitchen delivers fresh French-style bread, gourmet pizzas, stuffed baguettes, burgers and chips. VIP cheese tastings available $3 per person.

Purchases over $50 receive a 10% discount. All VIP tastings must be pre-booked.

STOP! No need to look any further. We stock all your local favourite cheeses as well - Smelly’s own, Binnorie Dairy, Hunter Belle plus other favourites from around the country and the globe. • A gourmand’s delight - you have to see it to believe it! Come on in, have a big snoop around. • Enjoy Merlo coffee with hand made Adora chocolate. • Hampers, Wedding Fromage Cakes and Gelato Cakes also can be ordered. Give us a call. • Conveniently open 7 days (closed Christmas Day).

info@smellycheese.net.au pvr@smellycheese.net.au

www.smellycheese.net.au

Rustic Mediterranean inspired cuisine in a spectacular outdoor setting. Views from every table of manicured vines, picturesque countryside and the winding Hunter River. Saturday lunch 12-3pm Sunday breakfast & lunch 10am-3pm Wyndham Estate Dalwood Rd, Dalwood via Branxton www.olivetreerestaurant.com.au

Ph 02 4938 1831

Restaurant

Cuvée PETERSON HOUSE

ltd

Open 7 days Breakfast 8.30am - 11.00am Lunch 12.00pm - 3.00pm Corner of Broke Road & Wine Country Drive Pokolbin NSW 2320 P 02 4998 7881 E cuvee@petersonhouse.com.au W www.petersonhouse.com.au Restaurant Cuvée is also the perfect venue for weddings, private dinners and corporate functions. For more information, please contact Naomi Pridue E naomi@petersonhouse.com.au


lifestyle art

As the

sparrow Drives WORDS & IMAGES BY VIRGINIA MITCHELL

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Linda has a profound love of the bush, and a special affinity with the bush around her hometown of Cessnock in the Hunter Valley. Since childhood, she has walked bush trails and picnicked off the beaten track. Her father had a deep love of the Australian landscape and ensured the whole family did, too. He especially loved the Yellow Rock that overlooks Broke, Mount View and Congewai, and the country around Cedar Creek.

went back to TAFE to better structure her time. She has been painting ever since, with a string of exhibitions to her name, including a group show in 2010 at Cessnock Regional Art Gallery. Linda’s new solo exhibition, As The Sparrow Drives, is currently on show at Maitland Regional Art Gallery. The title of the show is a tonguein-cheek reference to her constant driving from her home in Port Stephens to her job as Education Officer at Maitland Regional Art Gallery. She recalls her father’s use of bushman’s expressions, like ‘as the crow flies’ and ‘true north’ - they have become

W

hen you first stand before one of Linda Greedy’s fluid yet restrained abstract paintings, the last thing you expect is to experience such a strong sense of the bush that you can almost smell the eucalypts. You are not looking at a canvas streaked and textured with pale paint - you are standing among tall trunks, enveloped in the landscape.

The abstraction is about immersion in the landscape, submitting to the romance of the landscape.

Linda has always drawn and created. Along with her sister, Debra, she studied art at Cessnock High School before moving on to Art School in Newcastle. “It’s not something I planned or thought about - it was just a natural choice for me to follow my love of art,” she says. “I have been lucky that my passion has also become my career. It’s something I tell my children: follow what you love, and the opportunities will come.” It sounds like an easy choice, but Linda was probably also fortunate to have talent in the mix of her abilities that she brought to that decision - along with hard work and dedication to her craft. She taught Art at Mount View and Cessnock High Schools before studying Interior Design and working for several years in that industry. After rediscovering her passion for painting whilst at home with small children, in 2003 she

constants in her family’s vocabulary. Perhaps she sees herself as the sparrow, criss-crossing the country on a daily basis, though not in a perfectly straight line. Linda’s love of landscape is inherent in her art. “It was always about the landscape. The abstraction is about immersion in the landscape, submitting to the romance of the landscape. It’s about a love of surface - of paint, of bark, of leaves.” That is certainly the viewer’s experience of her work, from the paint surface of the artwork, to the landscape that inspired it. Linda is exhibiting new works on wood panel, a style she has developed since a happy accident in the studio in 2010. She loves the surface of the small wooden panels and the resistance they provide to the brush - “not springy and doughy like canvas.” These new works are less about abstraction and, instead, reference the bush and the sea that colour her life at Port Stephens. Linda’s work is on exhibition at Maitland Regional Art Gallery until 11 November, 2012. 230 High Street, Maitland. P (02) 4934 9859

Opposite page Boondabah Island This page From Top Pine & Berrigal - Shoaly, #85-Bills Shoaly

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WHAT’S ON OCTOBER MY EYES MY CULTURE MY SCHOOL October 3 to October 14, 2012 In conjunction with the Cessnock Community of Great Public Schools, Cessnock Regional Art Gallery presents an exhibition of a Photovoice project. Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander students, from Years 5 - 10 from 16 Public Schools in the Cessnock Local Government Area, capture images representing their culture. 16 Vincent St, Cessnock. W crag.net.au

SIMPLY SEMILLON Saturday October 6 & Sunday October 7, 2012 Explore a range of iconic Hunter Valley Semillon’s paired with perfect canapés at Oakvale Wines. Talk to the winemakers, indulge in succulent prawn buckets, enjoy a lazy picnic on the lawn, or just linger in the gardens and listen to some sultry jazz. Entry $20 pp including tasting glass and canapés. 1596 Broke Road, Pokolbin. P 02 4998 7088 W oakvalewines.com.au

OPERA IN THE VINEYARDS Saturday October 13, 2012 Celebrate the world’s greatest opera composer, Giacomo Puccini. Featuring the stunning voices of two sopranos and two tenors: Amelia Farrugia and Sharon Prero regarded as two of the best sopranos in the country; together with the gifted Italian tenor Carlo Barricelli and the brilliant Aldo Di Toro. Wyndham Estate, Dalwood. P 1800 677 366 W operainthevineyards.com.au

THE VERANDAH RESTAURANT LOCALS NIGHT Sunday October 14, 2012 It’s German Night at The Verandah Restaurant. 6.30pm start with complimentary canapés and bubbles followed by a five course tapas style degustation. $50pp. BYO & no corkage. Palmer’s Lane, Pokolbin. P 02 4998 7231 W verandahrestaurant.com.au

100 Mile Lunch Saturday October 20, 2012 As part of Crave International Sydney Food Festival the Restaurant Botanica team will celebrate all things local with produce sourced only from within 100 miles of the

restaurant. $95 pp for four courses and wines by Mistletoe Wines. 555 Hermitage Road, Pokolbin. P 02 6574 7229 W spicersvineyardestate.com.au

THE SPIRIT OF THE VINE Saturday October 20 & Sunday October 21, 2012 Discover the great wines and rural charm of the Broke Fordwich Wine Region. Start your journey in the village of Broke with a souvenir wine glass and map. Follow the banners to each of the 11 participating venues where you can taste, enjoy, eat, learn, meet and discover why the wines of the region are so unique. W spiritofthevine.com.au

BURNING OF THE CANES LUNCHEON Saturday October 20 & Sunday October 21, 2012 Taste the Spirit of the Vine at Whispering Brook with slow cooked food prepared on open BBQ pits infused with the aromas of vineyard canes. Burning of the Canes is accompanied by traditionally cooked meats and accompaniments. It marks the end of winter and pruning and welcomes in the start of the new season. Rodd Street, Broke. P 02 9818 4126 W whispering-brook.com

www.travertinewines.com.au

Picturesque Roman tiled buildings alongside mature European trees make the setting absolutely perfect for wine tasting, weddings or just a picnic stop. Travertine Wines is the new name for the vineyard formerly known as Centurion. Located just off Hermitage Road on Old North Road at Pokolbin, the newly named Travertine Wines takes up the limestone soils influence that has produced so many fine wines in previous years. Owner Graham Burns says “We want to identify more with the special characteristics that our range of varieties and this hilly location can offer. Travertine is just a unique offering and a must for any Hunter visitor.” Planted twenty years ago, the old vines including Verdelho, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Pinot Noir yield luscious fruit.

More recently planted Shiraz, Tannat and Chambourcin reflect the vineyard’s direction towards distinctive reds. The 2011 Verdelho was a Hunter Show gold medal winner and in the Winestate Top 40 in 2011. Instantly recognisable are the rolling hillside gardens that surround the vineyard blocks. Picturesque Roman tiled buildings alongside mature European trees make the setting absolutely perfect for wine tasting, weddings or just a picnic stop. No trip to the Hunter is complete without a visit to Travertine – to see its gardens, taste its fine wines and meet the ever helpful Travertine team.

110 Old North Road, Pokolbin NSW (1km East of Hermitage Road) • 0421 289 905 • Cellar Door (Fri/Sat/Sun) 10am-4pm


WHAT’S ON WINE & SONG AT CATHERINE VALE Saturday October 20 & Sunday October 21, 2012 Boutique winery Catherine Vale Wines is celebrating The Spirit of the Vine with a wonderful weekend of wine & song on Saturday, and a special musical experience on Sunday. The musical experiences will be provided by opera professionals Ben and Cheryl Oxley. 656 Milbrodale Road, Fordwich. P 02 6579 1334 W catherinevale.com.au

NOVEMBER

HUNTER VALLEY UNCORKED BALMORAL Sunday November 4, 2012

SCULPTURE IN THE VINEYARDS November 3 to December 2, 2012

It’s the ultimate seaside wine & food experience. The 7th Hunter Valley Uncorked Balmoral rolls into Sydney on Sunday November 4 and Sydneysiders can once again immerse themselves in a premium Hunter Valley experience.

A celebration of art & wine featuring over 60 outdoor sculptures and boutique wines at five vineyards and cellar doors along the Wollombi Valley Wine Trail. Wollombi Valley Wine Trail. W sculptureinthevineyards.com.au

Held at The Esplanade, Balmoral Beach and showcasing over 20 premium Hunter Valley wineries, along with leading Hunter Valley restaurants, and producers, this popular wine & food extravaganza has all the ingredients for a terrific day out. Whether you’re a wine lover eager to savour one of the region’s acclaimed Semillons, or a wine novice waiting to discover what all of the fuss is about, there’s something for everyone. The Esplanade, Balmoral. P 02 4991 4533 W huntervalleyuncorked.com.au

at Tower Estate Take the time to wine and dine at Roberts – the Hunter Valley’s most celebrated restaurant. Executive Chef George Francisco takes diners on a culinary journey of contemporary Australian cuisine with an emphasis on exceptional produce and second to none service. Complement your meal with a premium selection of Australian and imported wines from our cellar - one of the best in the Hunter Valley. Indulge your senses with world class food and wine in the exquisite grounds of Tower Estate. Halls Road, Pokolbin. www.towerestate.com Bookings are essential: (02) 4998 7022 Open for Lunch on Saturday & Sunday or Dinner from Thursday to Monday


WHAT’S ON THE VERANDAH RESTAURANT LOCALS NIGHT Sunday November 4, 2012

DECEMBER

THE WORLD IN A GLASS Every Saturday & Sunday

It’s Spice Night at The Verandah Restaurant. 6.30pm start with complimentary canapés and bubbles followed by a five course tapas style degustation. $50pp. BYO & no corkage. Palmer’s Lane, Pokolbin. P 02 4998 7231 W verandahrestaurant.com.au

SPRING “IN SEASON” DINNER Friday November 9, 2012 Celebrate all that’s great about spring when RidgeView Head Chef Donna Hollis creates a sumptuous four course dinner using the best seasonal produce and vegies from Ridgeview’s organic garden. Complimentary bubbles and canapés. $65pp/$85pp with matching wines. BYO welcome & RidgeView wine at cellar door prices. 273 Sweetwater Road, Pokolbin. P 02 6574 7332 W ridegview.com.au

A DAY ON THE GREEN Saturday November 10, 2012 Hoodoo Gurus, The Angels with Dave Glesson, Baby Animals, James Reyne and Boom Crash Opera join forces for five mouthwatering hours of irresistible Oz rock classics at Bimbadgen Winery. 790 McDonalds Road, Pokolbin. P 136 100 W ticketmaster.com.au

HOME November 23 to December 21, 2012 An exhibition of new works by the winners of the Cessnock Regional Art Gallery Award at the 2011 Sculpture in the Vineyards. 16 Vincent St, Cessnock. W crag.net.au

EACH MONTH

GEORGE MICHAEL Saturday December 1, 2012 Don’t miss this unforgettable opportunity to see George Michael live at Hope Estate. He’s back in good health and fighting fit after a battle with pneumonia at the end of last year caused the cancellation of his “Symphonica” tour. Broke Road, Pokolbin. P 1800 777 444

THE VERANDAH RESTAURANT LOCALS NIGHT Sunday December 2 & Tuesday December 4, 2012

Fine tune your palate at First Creek Wines “The World In A Glass” wine school. Learn how wine is made, the key Hunter Valley varieties and how the region in which it was grown influences the taste. Along the way you’ll taste from around $600 worth of wine from the Hunter Valley, other Australian regions and France. 11am - 1pm. $50pp. Bookings essential. 600 McDonalds Road, Pokolbin. P 02 4998 2992 W firstcreekwines.com.au

WINE EDUCATION, TOUR & TASTING Last Friday of each month

Palmer’s Lane, Pokolbin.

Go on a guided tour of Hungerford Hill’s underground winery and sample wines till in the tank. Learn the characteristics of each wine while enjoying a range of canapés matched to enhance your tasting pleasure. Limited to 12 people. Bookings essential. 2450 Broke Road, Pokolbin. P 02 4998 7666 W hungerfordhill.com.au

P 02 4998 7231 W verandahrestaurant.com.au

GEMELLI HIGH TEA One Sunday each month

A DAY ON THE GREEN SIMPLE MINDS & DEVO Saturday December 8, 2012

On October 21, November 4, and December 9, you can experience an afternoon of indulgence with High Tea at Gemelli Estate. Start with a glass of wine, followed by sweet and savoury treats overlooking the estate’s vineyard. Palmers Lane, Pokolbin. P 02 4998 7910 W gemelliestate.com.au

Two nights of Christmas Treats at The Verandah Restaurant. 6:30pm start with complimentary canapés and bubbles followed by a five course tapas style degustation. $50pp. BYO & no corkage.

Simple Minds and Devo hit Bimbagen Winery for a concert not to be missed. Joining them and adding more highlights to savour will, be one of Australia’s finest, The Church, and eclectic 80’s popsters The Models, led by Sean Kelly. 790 McDonalds Road, Pokolbin. P 136 100 W ticketmaster.com.au

SUMMER BREATHE OUT DECEMBER 12

TALLAVERA GROVE VINEYARD TOUR Last Saturday of each month Take a guided walk through the beautiful vineyards of Tallavera Grove for some amazing photo opportunities and the chance to get an inside view on the life and times of a working vineyard. $5pp. Bookings highly recommended. 749 Mount View Road, Mount View. P 02 4990 7535 W tallaveragrove.com.au


Open for Lunch Friday, Saturday & Sunday 12pm - 3pm.

www.woodlandolives.com.au finewines@vindenestate.com.au www.vindenestate.com.au

www.woodlandolives.com.au

mark TRAINING

Training can be provided

to meet

YOUR needs

SERVICES

in

YOUR

workplace

for

YOUR staff

Mark has 20 years experience in the wine industry and is committed to providing specialist onsite training with quality outcomes.

Courses OFFERED

Confined Space Training RIIOHS202A - Enter and work in confined spaces Chemical Certification AHCCHM303A - Prepare and Apply Chemicals AHCPMG301A - Control Weeds AHCCHM304A - Transport, Handle and Store Chemicals

M 0422 331 995 E markpsmithtraining@gmail.com All training is delivered in partnership with and under the auspices of Allens Training PTY LTD RTO 90909

NEAR TO BROKE CELLAR DOORS AND RESTAURANTS

Fourteen modern self catering suites or cottages Pool, Spa, Kids Play Gym Orchard, Chicken Run, Alpaca Feeding BBQ at each cottage and at the Poolside Cabanas INHOUSE FUNCTION CENTRE Gift Shop with Starline yarn and handknit clothing

1100 Milbrodale Rd, BROKE

6579 1081

www.starlinealpacas.com.au


Top LEFT Pups in action - Pepper Tree Wines Pooch Picnic. TOP RIGHT Michael and Sharon Paterson with Liz Riley shared a laugh at the Vineyards for Variety’s One Night Only cocktail party fundraiser for Variety The Children’s Charity. BOTTOM RIGHT Ebonnie Newman of Esca Bimbadgen - Winner of the 2012 Hunter Valley Wine Show media famil Bacon & Egg Cook Off. BOTTOM LEFT Whip cracking at Simply Shiraz, Oakvale Wines.

OUT & ABOUT

in the Hunter Valley

TOP LEFT Christmas in July at RidgeView Restaurant. TOP RIGHT Christopher Barnes, Fay McGuigan, Jay Tulloch & Karl Stockhausen enjoy a chat & glass of wine – Ben Ean Distillery Heritage Cairn Unveiling. BOTTOM World in a Glass First Creek Wines class with winemaker Liz Jackson.

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“A Sneak Peak” 2012 Clear Image Hunter Valley Wine Show

CHRIS ELFES PHOTOGRAPHY POKOLBIN

|

NEWCASTLE

|

SYDNEY

www.chriselfesphotography.com | 0413 805 222 | elfesphoto@bigpond.com.au


behind every taste there’s a tale…

Discover over 150 years of winemaking experience with a trip to Tyrrell’s Hunter Valley winery. We are proud to share our rich heritage by taking you on a journey beyond the Cellar Door – explore our red and white winemaking facilities and see first hand the old oak vats and historic red cellar, still in full operation. Visit the original iron bark hut built by Edward Tyrrell and then let Andrew, Murray and the Cellar Door team guide you through as tasting of our award winning wines including the: • Vat 1 Semillon - Australia’s most awarded white wine. • Vat 9 Shiraz - our flagship shiraz and rated 97 Points in the 2012 James Halliday Australian Wine Companion. • Johnno’s Semillon – sourced from 102 year old vines and made using the original basket press. • Our range of Single Vineyard semillons, chardonnays and shiraz – all scoring over 93 Points in the 2012 James Halliday Australian Wine Companion VISIT US: 1838 Broke Road, Pokolbin NSW 2320 CONTACT US: Ph: (02) 4993 7000 Email: info@tyrrells.com.au info@tyrrells.com.au www.tyrrells.com.au www.tyrrells.com.au TyrrellsWines

CELLAR DOOR: Monday to Saturday, 9am - 5pm & Sunday, 10am - 4pm Winery tour daily 10.30pm, cost $5 per person, no bookings required Private group tour & tasting, cost $8 per person, min 15pp, bookings essential Wine tasting masterclass, Saturdays 11am - 12pm, cost $20 per person, bookings essential


Spring 2012 Hunter Valley Breathe Magazine  

Join us as we celebrate the trophy winning wines of the 2012 Clear Image Hunter Valley Wine Show; chat to Chris Tyrrell - 2012 Hunter Valley...

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