Original planting at Catherine Vale in 1993 were the traditional Hunter varieties of Semillon and Chardonnay.
Semillon was one of the original plantings in the Hunter and may have come with early settlers from stock picked up in South Africa en route to Sydney Cove. Early growers knew the variety as Shepherds Riesling and this later became Hunter Riesling before it’s true varietal name of Semillon was used.
Chardonnay in the Hunter came to prominence after Hunter legend Murray Tyrrell “purloined” cuttings from Mudgee in the 70’s and began to make the wine which brought this variety to the immense popularity it enjoyed for many years. Some market problems which have beset the variety in recent years are slowly being overcome and chardonnay is enjoying a well deserved comeback . It is after all the most planted white variety in the Hunter and indeed in the nation.
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