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The Cottage Vineyard

This Hunter Valley vineyard, which we affectionately refer to as the Cottage Vineyard, is special because of the fine, deep, sandy soils that suit the vigorous-growing semillon vines. This 100-acre vineyard will allow us to experiment with new varieties in the future, including plantings for the Offshoot Chardonnay.

In this short video below, Jerome Scarborough and Liz Riley talk about some of the history of this unique Hunter Valley vineyard. Take a moment to listen and discover what makes this site so important in imparting specific flavours in our wines.

Key Facts:

Soil type: Traditional duplex soils with a pale fine sandy clay loam over a clay base

Size of vineyard: 40 acres, 4ha planted to vines

Elevation: 38m

Row/ Vine orientation: the vines run east to west

Varietals planted: Semillon, chardonnay, pinot noir

Scarborough wines produced:  Obsessive Semillon, Keepers of the Flame Chardonnay, Late Harvest Semillon

Fun fact you may not know: This vineyard does flood from time to time, so we get an alluvial top-up of nutrition in the soils. It’s also one of our favourite places to gather as a family on a hot summer’s day.


Get Down and Dirty: All you need to know about The Cottage Vineyard

We purchased our second vineyard, The Cottage Vineyard, in 1998. It was formerly part of the famed Lindeman’s Sunshine Vineyard, one of the original sites planted to semillon in the Hunter Valley. The Cottage Vineyard sits on Black Creek and has duplex soils with a pale, fine sandy clay loam over a clay base. This site cools off beautifully in the afternoons with the long shadows from the casuarinas and the creek line that bound the vineyard. It is simply beautiful.

White grape varietals love the fine, pale sandy loam soils here, which is why The Cottage Vineyard is perfect for growing classic Hunter Valley semillon and the source of The Obsessive Semillon. Fine, elegant flavours come from the sandy soils, which flow onto the semillon – think lovely citrus lime, beautiful acid, and white flower flavours. As Jerome often says, fine elegant soils equate to fine elegant wines.  

We’ve experimented with planting new chardonnay clones here over the past few years, and they proved perfectly suited to our vision for the 2020 and 2021 Keepers of the Flame Chardonnay. Here, we also have small plantings of pinot noir (for our Vintage Blend Pinot Noir) situated on the heavier soils away from Black Creek.

All the blocks on this property are vertically shoot positioned to optimise airflow and fruit quality. This site, however, is prone to occasional winter flooding, providing a natural influx of nutrients and organic matter from time to time.

We planted this vineyard in the 2000s with a vision of the style of wines we wanted to make. The great wines from McWilliam’s and Lindeman’s at the time were a great inspiration and showed us what was possible. With more than 20 years of vine age, we are now finding more consistency in the wines we are making from this exceptional site.

Learn more about our other vineyards. Have you explored Ogilvie’s View yet?


The Cottage Vineyard