Catherine Vale Vineyard was set up in 1993 by Bill and Wendy Lawson after successful teaching careers in Sydney.Catherine Vales original plantings took place in October of that year with the help of friends. Semillon and Chardonnay grapes were planted on 3 different rootstocks. These 2 white varieties grow extremely well in the Hunter Valley.
Verdelho used for Madeira was grafted in 1998 and the Italian Red varieties Dolcetto and Barbera were also established in the same year. Verdelho used for the table wine was grafted onto Semillon vines in 2002.
A trip to the Piedmont region of Italy in 2006 gave us confidence in our Dolcetto and Barbera, and enabled us to research the regal white variety Arneis. Grafting of this variety onto some of our Chardonnay surplus to requirements took place in 2008, with the first crop in 2010. The 2011 Arneis wine is now available and is proving a sensational addition to our range.
Verdelho flourishes in this sub-region of the Hunter and has grown in popularity. The grape variety was originally used to make the fortified wine Madeira but Australian winemakers have pioneered it’s development as a dry white table wine. Catherine Vale produces both.
The Italian varieties were researched and established as a point of difference for their small vineyard and have proved a highly successful development.