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These two varieties are planted as a Field Blend on the Saxonvale Vineyard. The entire Hunter has Shiraz vines, but we are not sure who had the foresight to plant the Mourvèdre back in the late 1960’s. However, we now have this vineyard and are glad they did. The original plantings were trained as ‘bush vines’ and the variety mix is about 85% Shiraz and 15% Mourvèdre. We first released this wine in 2005 and it is a consistent favourite with a real cult following.
Margan Barbera was the variety that established us as ‘pioneers of alternative varieties’. Andrew is a big fan of Italian varieties and we researched this grape to see if it would work here in the Hunter. Back in the late 1990’s the region mainly had the standard line up of iconic Hunters – Semillon, Shiraz and also Chardonnay- and we wanted to see what else would work. Barbera originates from the North West of Italy and we were the first to plant this red grape here in 1998. It’s a long story but the clone we have planted is an Italian original and produces wines of true varietal definition and Italian personality.
The Hunter Valley is mainly known for Shiraz, not so much for the other noble variety of France, Cabernet Sauvignon. Having said that, a handful of Hunter producers make excellent Cabernet when planted with the right clone to the right soils and we think we are one of them. Our old vines ensure yields are kept low which allows the fruit to achieve full ripeness at lower alcohols compared with cabernet grown in other warm climate regions