By James Atkinson
Hunter Valley winery, Hungerford Hill, is expanding its production of emerging wine varieties such as Vermentino, Gewurztraminer and Tempranillo, according to winemaker Adrian Lockhart (pictured below).
Formerly of McLaren Vale-based wineries Boars Rock and Hardys, Lockhart joined Hungerford Hill in December last year.
He told TheShout that Hungerford Hill sourced its 2013 Vermentino and Gewurztraminer from other Hunter growers, but has since replanted part of its own estate with those varieties.
"They're certainly two white varieties that we believe are very well suited to the Hunter Valley," Lockhart said.
"I've always been quite excited by Vermentino – number one, because of its ability to grow well in warmer climates," he said.
"Plus, there's been a lot of interest and growth in what they’re calling the ‘textural whites’ – alternative white varieties that have a different mouth feel about them rather than another sort of aromatic white that might be within the realms of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc."
Lockhart's comments came as Hunter Valley Wine Show chair of judges Jim Chatto last week called on the region to explore more emerging wine varieties.
The Hungerford Hill winemaker believes Gewurztraminer is also very well suited to the Hunter, despite its traditional association with colder climates such as that of Alsace.
"It's always had an ability to flavour ripen very early in the piece," he said.
As of 2014, Lockart said Hungerford Hill will also have its own Tempranillo fruit coming online, sourced from its main grower in Tumbarumba, after having previously sourced Tempranillo from the Hunter.
"It's a variety that suits both cooler and warmer climates," he said.
All these releases will be trialled first with Hungerford Hill's wine club, before being expanded to other channels.
Hungerford Hill's Hunter Valley winery and cellar door