David Hook Wines
Cnr Ekerts & Broke Rd, Pokolbin
02 4998 7121
When a winemaker has more than 50 successful vintages to his name, you know he’s doing something right. This couldn’t be truer of David Hook, the expert viticulturist and winemaker behind the eponymous winery.
David began his career as a winemaker with Tyrrell’s and Lakes Folly, before taking up a position as a flying winemaker, helping with vintages in France, Spain, Georgia and the US. However, it wasn’t until he returned to his family grazing property in Belford that David Hook Wines was born.
More than 30 years later, David Hook Wines is known and respected for its balance, ease of drinking and savoury characters. The winery specialises in traditional Hunter varieties, including semillon, chardonnay, pinot noir and shiraz, as well as pinot grigio and barbera.
Here, the vine to wine process is run using traditional techniques, ensuring the land and vines are always improving. The vines are nurtured with careful hand pruning, undergrowth and weeds are managed to increase organic matter in the soil and every process is kept as natural as possible, encouraging biodiversity. The result is disease-resistant fruit that displays complex and vibrant flavours.
The vineyard is planted on the Belford Dome, an ancient geological formation that creates two distinctive soil types: the deep, well drained sandy loams, and red clay soils over weathered limestone. Although considered a warm region, coastal cloud cover, relatively high humidity and summer rainfall moderate the Hunter’s summer heat. This unique combination of soil and climate results in one of the best white wines in the world – the Hunter Valley semillon – as well as a medium-bodied shiraz that displays distinctive regional characteristics.
You can see what all the fuss is about at the Cellar Door, located in nearby Pokolbin. The sandstone building is home to a cafe and tasting centre, allowing you to enjoy a full afternoon of indulgence. Pop by for a vino-themed culinary adventure, with three different ranges to choose from.
Open with the Old Vines selection. The bright lime green 2015 Old Vines Pothana Semillon boasts clean, crisp characters on the nose and a rich, citrus fruit flavour, while the 2012 Pothana Chardonnay features flavours of stonefruit and lemon zest.
Red lovers must try the signature drop – the 2014 David Hook Old Vines Shiraz. Born from one of the best vintages in modern times, it holds deeply perfumed red berry fruit and ripe cherry aromas and is medium-bodied, with beautiful ripe tannins.
David specialises in the production of emerging Italian varietals, so for something a little left of centre for the Hunter, try the pinot grigio. The 2015 product has a sweet aroma of melon and tangerines, with a touch of spice and flint, resulting in an excellent balance between fruitiness and acidity.
David Hook Wines goes above and beyond what’s expected, delivering the traditional Hunter Valley varietals as well as a few unexpected drops. With a boutique Cellar Door just a hop, skip and a jump away from Sydney, it’s well worth the trip.