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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.

Reach for a Rosé today: the trending pink drink to beat the heat

We all want to know what's trending – right? Well unless you've been living under a rock you'll have heard about the Rosé Revolution overtaking the world.

Yep, that unpretentious wine that's not red or white – it's a pretty pink that's downright delish – is the mainstream drink for masses of Millennials. If you're craving a drink-now, chilled wine that's fun, fresh and full of flavour, Rosé is a hands-down winner.

The French thirst for Rosé is legendary – no get-together is complete without it in Provence, the birthplace of Rosé – but the Portuguese and Spanish have their versions called Rosado and in Italy it's Rosato.

They're all the same style of pink drink – made by either blending red and white wine together or using red grape skins to give a blush of colour (the longer the contact with the skin the darker the colour of the wine).

It can be made from any grape variety – Shiraz, Cabernet, Pinot Noir, Merlot, the traditional French Grenache and Mourvedre, the Italian Sangiovese and Nebbiolo and the Spanish Tempranillo to name some.

Rosés can be sweet, savoury, bone-dry, still, sparkling… but what they all have in common is they're food friendly and oh so easy to drink. They're also ideal for our warm Aussie climate.

Rosé every day? Yes-way!

Happily loads of Hunter winemakers think pink each year so you're spoilt for choice. Here are 10 tipples to quench your thirst. 


Owners Ken and Gwen Sloan say they made their first Rosé in 1998 "a long time ahead of the so-called Rosé Revolution". They experimented with different styles and grape varieties but now only use Hunter-grown Shiraz for their three Rosés, including this dry style. It's a vibrant red wine with dark cherry flavours, well suited to the robust flavours of Mediterranean cuisine.

​ Scarborough Wine Co was also way ahead of the Rosé bandwagon. "On a whim a long time ago (way before it was cool again) we decided to make a Rosé with some new Pinot Noir plantings we didn't want to use for our dry style of Pinot and it evolved from there," explains Sally Scarborough. Sally says the luscious strawberry and cream flavours of the Offshoot Pinot pair perfectly with ocean trout with crispy skin and she's shared the recipe with us! Click here for the recipe.

​ As Shiraz is the signature red in the Valley you'll find it used in many Rosés, including this blend of Hunter Shiraz and Merlot. It's ruby red in colour - easy drinking for those who love the taste of freshly picked strawberries and red berries.

​This blushing pale pink beauty swagged the Best Light Red trophy at the 2018 New South Wine Awards. Winemaker Mike De Iuliis says he chose Sangiovese as the dominant grape variety because it gives the wine a great savoury base and the Merlot adds some fruit and depth to the palate. It's a dry, savoury style that's refreshing on its own but great with food. Mike likes it with Italian food or a charcuterie board.

Winemaker James Lusby uses Sangiovese in his Rosato di Jupiter as it's the traditional variety used in the Tuscany region of Italy, where Sangiovese originates. It's a light pinky red with fresh fruit flavours of strawberry and cherry. A wine for any occasion with any summery snack.

​ Krinklewood has been making this Rosé since 2002, originally just using Mourvedre as the family fell in love with the pale, dry Rosés in France but when they needed to increase volume they found Merlot worked beautifully with the Mourvedre, so it now includes 40% Merlot. A refreshingly dry wine that complements many food styles.

Winemaker Richard Done likes using Tempranillo because "it has such beautifully lifted bright red fruits, which looks so gorgeously delicate in this variety. The higher juice to skin ratio allows for less tannin, so it's an approachable and pretty wine." A ruby red wine that smacks of red berries and musk candy. Serve with grilled salmon.

Made along the lines of Provencal-style Rosés, which are light in colour and lean dry, this new style of Rosé from First Creek offers a burst of strawberry flavours with a zesty finish. It's a blend of Merlot and Shiraz. Match with any Mediterranean foods.

Pokolbin Estate also wanted to create a dryer French style of Rosé and decided to use their Nebbiolo, a grape known for its traditional dry characteristics and beautiful fruit notes. Rose gold and salmon-coloured with a perfumed bouquet of strawberry, bubble-gum and watermelon, it suits grazing foods such as light salads, fruit and cheese platters.

A warm weather celebration often calls for bubbles and there's a well-chilled bottle of sparkling Rosé for every occasion. Peterson House makes two, including this pretty salmon-coloured fizz made with Semillon and Pinot Noir with a splash of Chambourcin. It's a great aperitif or good with canapés and seafood – oysters, smoked salmon or freshly peeled prawns.

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