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HUNTER VALLEY BLOG

With more than 150 wineries and cellar doors, 65 restaurants and 180 comfy accommodation places to stay, where do you start?

Follow our insider tips by the people who know best… the locals. We ask talented winemakers, chefs, farmers, brewers and journalists to blog about their favourite places and experiences in this fertile wine region.

Three generations make Scarborough Wines a family affair

Not only are three generations of the Scarborough family actively involved, but the tasting room is in the old family homestead on Gillards Road in Pokolbin.

The recently renovated facility is set up for groups large and small and you'll almost certainly meet a Scarborough, whether that be founders Ian and Merralea Scarborough, winemaker son Jerome or his sister, marketing manager Sally Scarborough 

For a real family wine tasting experience, head for Scarborough Wines in the Hunter Valley.

There is also a point of difference here. While most Hunter producers are best known for their semillons and shirazes, the Scarborough family is probably most famous for its range of stellar chardonnays.

Visitors to the cellar door also get the chance to try "The Obsessive" range, named after Ian Scarborough, who is known for his attention to detail in both the vineyards and the winery. This range comprises a semillon, a chardonnay, and a shiraz ($30-$60).

The family are prime movers in the Hunter Valley Wine & Food Festival to be held throughout June and share their recipe cards with cellar door visitors, from Ian Scarborough's favourite pasta dish to cellar door manager Merralea's pate.

Ian and Merralea Scarborough are long-time Hunter residents, having moved from South Australia in the 1970s, where Ian (below) worked with the legendary Peter Lehmann at Saltrams. He then worked at Tyrrell's before he purchased the Gillards Road property at the end of the decade.


Their decision to make chardonnay their flagship coincided with the variety's boom - and the first vintage was made in 1987 in the garage of the house where the cellar door stands today.

Jerome (below) worked in various roles and from 1996-2000, he was Lindemans Hunter vineyard manager, before joining Scarborough Wine as general manager. In 2005, Jerome assumed the winemaking role under Ian's guidance.


Keeping matters in the family, Jerome is married to viticulturist Liz Riley, who consults to several producers across the region.

Liz and Jeremy have two children, Callum and Hannah, both of whom are learning the family business.

In addition to the family's home vineyard, they are also own the 100-acre Sunshine vineyard, part of the Lindemans property with fine, deep sandy soils that suit semillon vines. 

There are a range of paid tasting experiences available at cellar door (Thursdays to Mondays), very helpful staff and some great views. It pays to book for curated tastings, which can be matched with a cheese platter. Phone 1300 888 545. Nice people. Excellent experience.

# Matriarch Merralea Scarborough was inducted into the Hall of Fame with the Hunter Valley Tourism Industry 2021 Living Legend Award this week and Scarborough Wine Co. was also named Wine Selectors Cellar Door of the Year along with receiving the Hunter Valley Innovation of the Year award for a unique approach to tastings introduced during Covid-19. Liz Riley, Scarborough's viticulturalist, was also awarded the Hunter Valley Award for Excellence.

Scarborough Wine Company, 179 Gillards Road, Pokolbin, NSW.

www.scarboroughwine.com.au

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