Hunter Hunter | Written by Kacey Johnston

That’s the message coming from a whole lot of passionate and hardworking Hunter Valley winemakers and vignerons about what was, by all accounts, a unique and challenging 2020 vintage.  One characterised by drought, bushfires and smoke taint.

But, as the old saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining and according to the Hunter Valley wine industry, there’re still plenty here to be found. 

We caught up with some of the region’s most well-known producers to discuss the unprecedented 2020 vintage and, most importantly, silver linings.

Andrew Margan

“It’s been tough, but we’re still here.”

Outside of the smoke, the vintage conditions here in Broke were outstanding – the warm, dry summer reducing yields and providing excellent concentration of flavour in the fruit.  So, the wines made from the vineyards that weren’t affected by the smoke are looking great.

This year at Margan, we produced a Rosé, Chardonnay, Albariño and Verdelho.  They’re all in bottle and drinking really well.  We won’t be producing any of our Reserve wines from 2020 and as yet, we’re still not sure about the reds.  We’re still looking at our options.

I guess the takeaway, certainly the message I got from speaking to the people that know is that yes, the Hunter Valley’s had a rough go of it the last six months.  But just as the Valley is renewing itself, so is the resilient winemaking community. 

And while you may have heard the term ‘smoke taint’ thrown around, it doesn’t mean that the 2020 Hunter vintage is a complete write-off. 

Our winemakers have worked hard for many years to establish the Hunter Valley as a premium wine producing area.  And because of that, they’re hell-bent on upholding the Hunter’s good reputation. 

They don’t want to sell you undrinkable, smoke tainted wines as much as you don’t want to drink them.   Our reputation was hard fought and quite frankly, it means too much.

So why not show this great wine region of ours your support.  Come back to the Hunter Valley soon and buy some wine.