Friday, February 26, 2010

Last Of The Summer Wine

Since 1830 when William Kelman picked the first wine grapes on John Busby's 'Kirkton' Estate, the Hunter Wine Region has been producing some of Australia's finest wines. Some of those wines, especially the Hunter Valley Semillons, have a lineage that can be traced back to the original vines that were first intoduced into Australia by John Busby from the Burgundy and Hermitage regions of France.

So once again this week I was back working in this beautiful region, picking up cartons of wine from some of Australia's leading cellar doors, including McGuigans, Oakvale, Lindemans, McWilliams and Tullochs. Also visiting some of the smaller 'boutique' producers, such as McLeish, Mt View and Irongate. The one thing that they all have in common, they sell some of the worlds best wine.    

This week also marks the end of our summer, so armed with my new go anywhere friend, the Sanyo S1275 I tried to capture the last week of  summer as it is played out in the Hunter Valley wine region. Although the vines are still green and lush, all the fruit has now been harvested and now the vines will soon go dormant as the cooler weather becomes more prevalent. The vigmerons all agree that this seasons crush should make the 2010 vintage a standout success and continue the great reputation of Hunter wines      

So it really doesn't matter what time of the year you visit the Hunter Wine Region, be it in the middle of winter or during the heat of an Australian summer, you will be able to not only photograph this magnificent region, but you can also taste it as well.

I wonder if  William Kelman realised 180 years ago as he sat on the verandah of Kirkton Estate, overlooking his new vineyards, that he was to be a pioneer in the Australian wine industry and his vines would become recognized as unique to the region.

Yes this week was the last of the summer wine, but a new vintage is just around the corner


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