Emerging summer whites

Forget Semillon for a moment. Hunter winemakers have a reservoir of fresh crisp alternatives on offer this summer writes wine expert Kasia Sobiesiak.

The almost tropical climate of the Valley and continually warming weather patterns globally call for varieties that are well-adapted to similar conditions in regions around the world. These grapes are not afraid of extensive heat or drought, and they continue to ripen happily with no loss to their natural high acidity. They are also resistant to diseases induced by rain and proximity to the ocean or sea.

Sounds perfect for the Hunter but where in the world is it mirrored?
First, think of warm regions like the Mediterranean basin, the south of France, central and southern Italy and the Iberian Peninsula with its Atlantic shores. Now, consider the Hunter Valley. It’s hot and humid, with summer daytime temperatures regularly exceeding 30°C with some cooling (and moist) ocean breezes.

So what are the varieties? The answer lies in Pecorino, Albariño, Verdelho, Fiano and Picpoul Blanc. And while the classic whites of the region grow well in their environment, it’s both a pressing time for planting other varieties with a view to the future and an exciting time to be tasting the delicious wines they produce.

Lucky, you don’t need to spend $3000 on a return ticket to Montpellier or Rome to try any of these, Hunter winemakers got you covered for two zeros less and right at your doorstep.

Kasia Sobiesiak is a wine writer, a contributor to The Wine Front, a wine judge, an educator and a former sommelier. She holds a WSET Diploma in Wine and a Master of Environmental Engineering degree. Australian and Eastern European wines are her love.

Learn more about emerging summer whites in the Summer Edition of Hunter & Coastal Lifestyle Magazine or subscribe here.