Sydney Times


Scarborough Wine Co-Hunter Valley

Written by Aksel Ritenis

Scarborough Wine Co-Hunter valley

*“There are those who probably think we are mad. Making wine in a fairly inhospitable region. Sometimes plagued by rain else extreme heat. It’s fair to say the Hunter Valley throws up its challenges. But we’d have it no other way. The Hunter is where the Scarborough story began. It’s an embodiment of family in more ways than one.”

*Quote from the Scarborough Publicity

The Hunter Valley has historically positioned itself as Australia’s first wine region with James Busby having delivered the first cuttings. Today there are vineyards that are over a century old and represent some of the world’s oldest vines. The region falls under a warm to hot and virtually subtropical climate and traditionally vignerons need to battle adverse conditions such as tropical rain during harvest,…or very dry summers and more recently bush fire generated smoke taint to produce the wines that are full of character and express a sense of place.

The most popular white grape in the Hunter would have to be Semillon – the jewel in the Hunter’s crown,… making a unique style that is revered the world over and perhaps the only variety that develops well with age. Chardonnay comes next, and it’s the grape variety that Scarborough has hung their reputation on, with unwavering conviction. The results and the accolades from wine judges and critics such as James Halliday confirm this.

Their  decision to specialize in Chardonnay has been vindicated and Ian Scarborough has “lead  from the front and shown what’s possible in the region.”

In the reds, it’s Pinot Noir and Shiraz that are the stalwart varieties offering up a savory suggestion of Hunter Valley terroir Scarborough. Hunter Shiraz is another case of a “unique thumbprint graph that exhibits the DNA of the region”. Pinot, though lesser-known in the region, has a rich history with the first clone (MV6) having originated in the Hunter… Pinot remains an important part of the Scarborough story.

According to James Halliday,..”Ian Scarborough honed his winemaking skills for many years as a consultant and has brought all those skills to his own label. He makes three different styles of Chardonnay: the Blue Label is a light, elegant, Chablis style for the export market; a richer barrel-fermented wine (Yellow Label) is primarily directed to the Australian market; the third is the White Label, a cellar door-only wine made in the best vintages.”
The Scarborough family also acquired a portion of the old Lindemans Sunshine Vineyard,..and planted it with Semillon and pinot noir.
On my last visit about a year ago,… I had the impression that this winery is “a bit of standout in terms of the tasting experience”,..”n addition to which the staff are incredibly friendly and knowledgeable.
The Tasting Flight experience was much appreciated,.. and the variety of wines with the paired cheeses was well presented and left me with a  good impression, and the recommendations I received proved warranted! One should note that there are a  variety of Tasting options available, as there are apparent differences between all the vintages on offer,..for the different varieties and wines but you will be guided by the winery consultants.

Wine Flight at Scarborough 

Scarborough Wine Co.


179 Gillards Rd, Pokolbin, Cessnock, New South Wales 2320 Australia

Toll-free:  1300 888 545

Fax:         (02) 4998 7786


Open Friday to Monday 10am – 5pm

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About the author

Aksel Ritenis

Publisher and Custodian of the Sydney Times

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