South Africa, 1822 - Semillon comprised 93% of total vineyard.
By 2004, less than 1% approx 1000ha.
Chile, Semillon important (1,800ha in 2004) but not as a varietal.
Semillon declining in Nth America 490ha in 2004.
Australia 2007 - Semillon 6,752ha (8.3% up on 2005).
Australia 2008 – Semillon 98,320t.
Australia 2007 - Sauvignon Blanc 5,545ha (19% up on 2005).
Australia 2008 – Sauvignon Blanc 66,880t.
New Zealand, Sauvignon – 7,000ha in 2006.
NZ- 2007 Sauvignon represented 59% of white varieties.
South Africa, Sauvignon – 6,500ha in 2002 and increasing.
Nth America, California Sauvignon – 9,500ha in 2004.
On the back of ‘Fume Blanc’.
THE GRAPEVINE AND THE COLONY
First Fleet – cuttings and seeds.
John Macarthur’s tour and collection of 1815/16.
France, Switzerland, Maderia and South Africa as sources.
James Busby’s tour and collection of 1832.
The Australian Agricultural Company, 1825 imported Maderia (Verdelho).
1840 the importation of cuttings into South Australia from the Cape of Good Hope.
Nurserymen became in demand – Thomas Shepherd at Rushcutter Bay.
Semillon imported as ‘Green Grape’ or ‘Wyndruif’ – wine grape.
Sauvignon Blanc mentioned by William Macarthur as a mid season ripener.
THE HUNTER VALLEY
1828-1830 George Wyndham.
1824 Busby Hunter Valley land grant finally planted by brother-in-law William. Kelman in 1832 at Kirkton.
Busby collection split between Sydney Botanical Gardens, Kirkton and Macarthur’s Camden Park.
Rapid expansion of the Hunter vine plantings from 1840s up to 80+ha.
1850s – 200ha. Still most on Hunter River alluvial plain.
Semillon grown as Shepherds Riesling very successfully.
Why? Reasonably tolerant of poor weather, good flavour at low sugar and large juice yield.
Fluctuating fortunes of the wine industry, total Hunter area under vine in 1956 down to 466ha.
Semillon comprised 243ha and Shiraz 145ha (83% of total).
No mention of sauvignon blanc?
Why? Early clones poor yield and not tolerant of bad weather.
AUSTRALIA 2008 66,880 98,320 TOTAL AUSTRALIA 21,520 24,200 Inland Irrigated-balance 5,000 44,050 Riverina 1,570 140 Yarra Valley 1,200 6 Tasmania 5,840 6,136 Margaret River 2,255 116 King Valley 160 4,270 Hunter Valley 825 46 Coonawarra 165 845 Clare Valley 1,490 6,150 Barossa Valley Sauvignon Blanc (tonnes) Semillon (tonnes) Region
REGIONAL CHARACTERISTICS – SEMILLON HUNTER VALLEY
Consistent style – low alcohol 9.5% to 11.5%, no oak (initially in big vats), long aging potential.
More suited to Margaret River (Mediterranean/ maritime).
“… Chardonnay got away first, then married with oak and conquered the world. Sauvignon Blanc was seen as a lighter and fresher alternative – and of lower value because no one had ever tasted a great one. Nor did it gain with age. ….A new wine idiom had arrived. It could recruit drinkers who had scarcely noticed wine before, and it has.” HUGH JOHNSON
1998 Tyrrell’s Vat 1 Semillon, Hunter Valley
1999 Brokenwood ILR Reserve Semillon, Hunter Valley
2002 Peter Lehmann Margaret Reserve Semillon, Barossa Valley
2003 Tempus Two Zenith Semillon, Hunter Valley
2005 Vasse Felix Semillon, Margaret River
2006 McWilliam’s Lovedale Semillon, Hunter Valley
2008 Thomas Braemore Semillon, Hunter Valley
2008 Shaw and Smith Sauvignon Blanc, Adelaide Hills