Discovering the Hunter Valley wine region.
By now Mario has spent the second month in the distant Australian land. After a few weeks of guest orientation to the wonderful family he had met in a previous experience in the United States, the “Fifth Fifth” took off and went out exploring the Hunter Valley, the famous wine region together with his friend Paolo Ottone (who has been living in the land of kangaroos for about 3 years now).
Thanks to this on-the-other-side-of-world experience he is having the opportunity to touch a new winemaking reality, completely different from ours, but from which surely there is to learn. It’s interesting to observe and study how they face the climatic difficulties, how they work in the cellar and then approach the end customer.
Let’s leave the word to Mario:
“Starting from a naturalistic point of view the Hunter Valley is characterized by gentle hills, which never exceed 200 meters and flat areas, flanked by a “mountain range” called Broken Back. It reaches the maximum height of 446 meters so it is not definable as a real mountain, but given how it can influence the crops, it works as a real barrier for the area.
The climate is very arid all year long and being more than 100 km from the ocean the winemakers are equipped with drip irrigation systems in all the vineyards. The structures are perfectly studied so that the right quantity of water fall directly on the roots.
The Hunter Valley, which is about two hours drive from Sydney, is Australia’s oldest region when it comes to vines. The first vines (all imported from Europe) were planted in early 1830 along the Hunter stream. This land was not affected by phylloxera or other degenerative diseases and this is why there are clones dating back to 1800. Thanks to the grafting on the mother plants and their health it is easy to come across vineyards that are over 50 years old.
Another crucial characteristic is the soil which is very differentiated. There are sandy and gravelly soils, but also clay and volcanic areas. In this region the climate is very hot and the temperatures easily exceed 40 degrees during Summer.
Semillon and Shiraz and their core grape varieties produced by the 120 wineries present in the region. You will always find them on the wine lists usually with at least 3 different types of vinification.
In conclusion I’d like to anticipate a topic about which I will go more in detail in the next article. Australia is a country very attentive to the final consumer. The wine is made according to the taste of those who will drink it. The ideal customer is studied, and analyzed over his/her taste and preferences always keeping in mind the economical aspect. This guarantees a very wide variety of wines, both in terms of quality and price range that can vary from 20,00 AUD for a standard bottle to over 400,00 AUD for more prestigious wines.”
Follow us not to miss this wonderful journey in a faraway land that we have the opportunity to live through Mario’s point of view!
Among the wonderful experiences lived in these two months, Mario had the opportunity to attend a wonderful dinner in the vineyards … and given the temperatures (which exceed 30 degrees!) to enjoy it in t-shirt! Lucky him 🙂