A vine change is about to blow through the Hunter Valley, and we can’t wait to see what’s in store. Sydney-based hotel owner and developer, Iris Capital, has taken over Hungerford Hill and Sweetwater Estate.
Hungerford Hill is an acclaimed New South Wales winery, first planted in 1967. It came under Iris Capital management in 2016 and has since been preparing for the transition towards producing superior premium wines that capitalise on the unique qualities of their Hunter Valley locale. Owner and hotelier, Sam Arnaout has appointed experienced winemaker, Bryan Currie at the helm of this new venture; and the pair has big plans for these beautiful viticultural destinations.
Sam has demonstrated a keen interest in the Hunter Valley area – his various estates in surrounding locales such as Hilltops and Tumbarumba mean that he is well represented in the area that boasts the title of Australia’s oldest and most acclaimed wine region.
With Bryan boasting more than 18 years of expertise in Australia’s wine industry, specifically throughout New South Wales, there is no doubt that his unrivalled understanding of the region’s character will reflect in the coming vintages.
Not only is Bryan covered with accolades from across Australia, such as being dubbed the Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine’s ‘Winemaker of the Year’ in 2012, but he is constantly keen to continue learning. These pivotal skills and superior knowledge foreshadow and exciting future for the Hungerford Hill and Sweetwater Estates in the coming years.
Hungerford Hill is known for its cool-climate wines and Bryan has been entrusted to take these characteristics to the next level. He is set to produce wines that complement the others within the wider brand, thus moving them further towards premium recognition throughout Australia and beyond.
You can see all of Bryan and Sam’s hard work in action at the Cellar Door, where a range of wine-based experiences awaits. In the barrel-shaped Tasting Room, allow a knowledgeable team member to lead you through a selection of Hungerford’s award-winning wines, before browsing the range of books, wine accessories, gifts and local produce on offer.
If you’re after something a little more detailed, opt for the Epic Tasting Experience, a mini degustation of Hungerford Hill wines matched to bite-sized dishes, prepared by on-site restaurant, Muse. However, if time is on your side, it’s worth sitting down for a meal – with multiple accolades under its belt, Muse continues to be one of the Hunter’s best culinary experiences.
With so much on offer, and the brightest of futures ahead, Hungerford Hill is one to keep an eye on. A visit delivers wonderful wine and fabulous fare – what else could you ask for?