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Patrick Haddock
5 September 2013 | Patrick Haddock

Hunter Valley Shiraz: the History.

Shiraz has a long and proud history in the Hunter Valley. It is the definitive red grape of the region. In fact if you were to ask some of Australia’s pre-eminent wine judges and journalists to list their favourite wines of the last fifty years we can guarantee that there will be some historic bottles from the Hunter Valley.

Planted way back when, by James Busby with some original cuttings garnered from his trips to Europe. Today the region is able to boast some of the oldest vines in the world, with six cuttings of Syrah hailing from Hermitage hill in the Rhône.


You can’t really write a piece on Hunter Shiraz without a nod to the past pioneers, names like Maurice O’Shea and Karl Stockhausen who worked hard to blend wines that were indicative of the land and often employed parcels of Pinot Noir into these wines to make wines that were often referred to as Hermitage or Hunter River Burgundy. These wines have stood the test of time and still to this day offer expressions of Shiraz with immense stature and freshness even after fifty years in the bottle.

It is the natural acidity of the region that lends these reds such longevity and many wine critics and commentators have been mesmerised by their ability to age without masking fruit freshness. The pioneers of yesteryear have left their imprint on the Hunter Valley ensuring a new generation of winemakers look to the past for inspiration but with a modern sensibility.

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Hunter Valley Shiraz: the History.