Early days at Catherine Vale saw customers saying “your whites are lovely but where are your reds?” This led to our decision in 1998 to plant red varieties but we sought a point of difference to research the alternative Italian varieties Dolcetto and Barbera. These have proved welcome additions to our range.
Dolcetto know as “Little sweet one” is a variety from the Piedmont region of Italy and produces a light style of dry red wine somewhat akin to a light Pinot Noir. Catherine Vale is the only grower of this variety in the Hunter and as the vines age our product is going from strength to strength.
Barbera similarly originates in Piedmont and produces a bigger more full bodied red and is now making significant advances in the Australian market. Our product was equal first to come out of the Hunter and has received significant accolades from wine shows and wine writers.
Verdelho also joined our range at this time and is the variety from the Portuguese island of Madeira historically made as a fortified wine. Australian winemakers have popularized the variety as a dry table wine and our product possesses wonderful tropical fruit flavours and is exceptionally food friendly.
Arneis is our newest addition to our range and our 2010 first vintage came about after a trip to Piedmont in 2006. We discovered the variety while visiting vineyards to compare our Barbera and Dolcetto and determined to add it to our portfolio. We are the first to grow this variety in the Hunter and it gives us a genuine competitor in the fragrant aromatic styles so popular with many wine drinkers. Try our Arneis and you will never drink NZ Sauvignon Blanc again!