And cut! Done. Another Hunter Valley vintage in the can. A pretty different feeling pervades the region this year, compared to last year.


Relief, mostly, tinged with a mindful dose of optimism and a deserved sense of satisfaction.


Coming off the back of four long years of drought capped by fires and smoke, and a global pandemic, rain fell at just the right time leading into vintage 2021, before La Nina kicked in proper, bringing more rain and the kind of cool days and nights not really seen since 2016.

Every year’s a battle for the winegrowers of Australia’s oldest wine region, but it’s a battle they more than often win. Freshness and elegance is the call for Hunter wines this year. Especially, the reds. Freshness. And elegance.


Alternate varietals, particularly those of Italian origin, continue to make their presence felt in the Hunter, impressing those winegrowers and makers who dare to dabble with such fruit.


Indeed, Andrew Margan of Margan Wines continues to lead from the front.


“Our Barbera looks outstanding, this year, I must say,” Margan says. “That’s my pick of the vintage. Because of the cooler weather and longer ripening times, the wine is showing some beautiful aromatics, lovely texture and fine balance. Same with the Tempranillo. It’s very aromatic this year and, I think, is well suited to the fresher, more medium bodied red wine styles we’ve made this year.”


While some producers now turn their attention to fruit from outside of the region, the Hunter Valley vintage 2021 is officially done. Fruitful and fragrant. Freshness and elegance. Will 2021 be another classic Hunter Valley vintage? I’m predicting, yes, but only time will tell.