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