I often think the patchwork nature, small holdings, and landscape of the Pokolbin and Broke Fordwich wine subregions is similar to Burgundy. Indeed there is a move afoot to get Heritage recognition for some of the old vineyards that have survived and given that we are a phylloxera free area these vines are unique growing on their own roots. In Burgundy, they have defined “Climats” which are precisely defined vineyard parcels on the slopes of the Côte de Nuits and the Côte de Beaune that over time have come to be recognized by the fine wines they produce.
Now the term Terroir has been central to the marketing of French wines and in the recognition of the place and people from whence they derive. In a similar way in the Hunter has a unique terroir that determines our wine styles. Semillon is the classic example of a wine that reflects the soils, climate, weather and long term experience in adaption and production. Our medium-bodied reds similarly reflect and have unmistakable characteristics that we call Hunter.
Terroir and the climats of Burgundy also include and reflect the cultural nature of the people behind the wines. The towns of Beaune and Dijon and villages along the way all influence the ethical and societal background that helps create and market their wines and the tourism that comes to enjoy their area.
As we come to recognize the importance of wine-tourism in the Hunter, a $500 million PA industry, the definition of Heritage vineyards or perhaps Heritage areas can only help to advance the industry as a whole.
Recently I attended the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra’s Ayres and Graces concert at the Singleton Mercy Convent Chapel “Sacred Spaces”. Since 1995 the sisters have opened the grounds, gardens, cloisters, and chapel of this mid-nineteenth century Hu