You might have picked up by now that I like natural and organic wine. Living in Sydney, Hunter Valley is a short, two hour drive away and so I did the hard work for you to pick out the best Hunter Valley organic wineries.
I understand that wine tours are mainly about sinking vino while being driven around in a banter bus with your mates. However, if you’ve been there done that and are looking to learn a bit more about wine (be it natural, organic or otherwise) then I have the list of Hunter Valley organic wineries for you.
Having done my fair share of wine related “research” (that’s me justifying spanking money on decent wine all the time and drinking it all), I’ve pulled together my top Hunter Valley organic wineries for you to explore at your leisure.
In the order I visited them…
The Instagrammable, Biodynamic One: Krinklewood
I know you don’t go to wineries purley because they are Instagrammable but how good is it when the two align? Krinklewood is a little bit further out from the regular, beaten track of the Hunter, placed a little further west in the Broke region.
Complete with it’s own resident peacock, Krinklewood’s French inspired building is set against the Brokenback Range and it’s a pretty spectacular spot.
Certified biodynamic (read more on what that is), Krinklewood prides itself on farming in line with the lunar cycle in a sustainable way and has done since 2007.
Now with a 17 strong wine list ranging from classic whites to provincial style roses, beautiful reds and my favourite which was the minimal intervention white blend of Verdelho and Gewurztraminer.
Definitely add this one to your list and not just for the ‘gram.
The Cool, Full on Natural One: Harkham
Family owned and operated, Harkham farm sustainably, hand pick their fruit and add no chemicals, flavour adjustments, filtration or fining to their wines.
The history behind their natural approach to growing and making wine stems from Israel and the matriarch of their family, Aziza Harkham. She made wine using grapes she’d grown herself, fermented in cement pots placed underground and all with no electricity.
Now the Harkham’s crush around 20-25 tonnes a year, making small batches of high quality wine including Semillon, Shiraz and a chocolate liqeuer that’s made a name for itself from the Hunter to Sydney – a must try.
The Bigger Operation: Tamburlaine
OK another ‘grammable setting for your wine swigging pleasure. Tamburlaine is one of the biggest certified organic vineyards in the area with 300 hectares and counting.
It took three years to get the certification and now they produce award-winning organic, vegan-friendly, low sulphur and no added sulphur wines including, my fav, the Verdelho, Malbec and Merlot to name a few.
In addition to the organic certification, you can tell the good peeps at Tamburlaine are forward thinking and working hard to sustainably maintain their land with things like composting their winery outputs and spreading them in the vineyard.
Guaranteed, these guys seem a little more traditional and definitely more commercial but 100% worth a visit to work your way down the wine list in one of their spectacular tasting spaces.
The One That’ll Surprise You: M&J Becker
These ones are the quiet contenders that let the wine speak for them – and the wine speaks volumes. Made up of a husband and wife team, Meaghan and James make the wine and run their lush, new cellar door overlooking the Teatree Creek in Pokolbin.
Becker’s philosphy is to create wines that reflect the unique character of their chosen vineyards – wines that complement their sustainable vineyard practices with little manipulation in the cellar.
So that’s no fining agents or additives, sustainably grown wine in organic vineyards and wines from both Australia and California that are all beautifully balanced and not too nattie if that’s not your vibe.
They’ve got a strong wine list with favourites Chardonnay to Syrah and they even have a tequila on the menu so, you know, olé, salud, cheers and all that!
The Organic Champion: Macquariedale
Last but certainly not least is Macquariedale Organic wines. Tucked up in the hills of Rothbury, this is Hunter Valley’s first certified biodynamic vineyard and winery, certified in 2005.
Owners Ross and Derice have been on the plot for 21 years and they take the biodynamic title pretty seriously, making sure that improve the land as they farm it. This means that all products in the vineyard are natural and do not contain synthetic chemicals, herbicides, pesticides or systemic chemicals.
Not only do their run their land with organic practices in place but they also lease out other plots of organic land to other winemakers in the area.
In terms of wine, they have the full whack as well from Chardy to Rose, Shiraz to preservative free and also have a natural style semillon ‘gone wild’ which is up my cloudy wine loving street.