What’s Old in New South Wales?


New South Wales can claim to be the oldest wine area in Australia.  With the First Fleet came vines (from South Africa) that were planted in Sydney in 1788, they didn’t last long.  There were a few other attempts until 1831, when James Busby went to France and Spain and brought back 547 “varieties of vines”.   Some of these vines are very likely the “mother vines” of some of Austalia’s best shiraz.

New South Wales encompasses quite a few viticultural areas, the most famous amoung them would probably be the Hunter Valley.  We have several wines from the Hunter including two fantastic Semillons, one from Brokenwood (founded by James Halliday and 2 friends) and one from Margan a 2006 example that shows how well these wines can age (yeah I said it, aged white wine!!).  I also have a few bottles of Brokenwood Shiraz, one of the better Shiraz I have tasted, very complete, it actually has a beginning, middle and ending, something that lacks in many, many great wines.

Included in New South Wales wine area’s is the Canberrra District of which we have just one right now, but, it is THE one from Canberra, Clonakilla Shiraz-Viognier, and one of the TOP wines of Australia.  This wine is built for the long haul and typically takes a few years to settle into a groove, but, when it does, it is a Giant Slayer.

Robert Oatley made his mark on the world with coffee in the 1960’s, exporting them around the world.  He then set his sights on wine and in 1969 founded Rosemount Estates, the wine that brought Australia to the world.  Robert sold the winery and after a while apparently got a bit bored and decided to get back into the wine business with Robert Oatley Vinyards.  The winery is located in Mudgee, just south of the Hunter.

We have a very good Cabernet-Merlot from them, nice structure from the Cab and good fruitiness from the Merlot combine to make this wine very drinkable and pleasing, fantastic for every day.

There are many, many more wines to explore from Australia’s oldest wine region, please let me know what your favorites are.

We have the following wineries from New South Wales

  • Brokenwood
  • Margan
  • Clonakilla
  • Robert Oatley

Author: Jeffrey Hall – Aussie Buyer