The iconic Semillon of Hunter Valley

The Hunter Valley in New South Wales is Australia’s premier and the oldest wine region. It has been growing and producing wines since the early 1820s. Through the years, the region has developed a reputation for its excellent wines and has also become almost synonymous with Semillon.

Give your Hunter Valley tours a distinct taste and twist with the region’s iconic wine variety.

Semillon (semi’ʎuŋ) is a grape variety used to produce white wines. The grape has a golden thin skin that is prone to botrytis, a type of fungus that causes the fruit to rot. Winemakers considered this fungal fruit disease as a noble rot because it helps sweeten or adds flavour to the wine.

The ideal climate to which Semillon should be grown is warm sunny days with cool nights. When the climate is warm the grape slightly changes its colour to pink. The fruit is heavy, with oily texture but has low acidity.

The grape variety is a native to France’s Bordeaux region. But early in the 19th century Semillon arrived in the soils of Australia, notably in the Hunter Valley. Since then, it has found a new home where it is widely grown in the region acquiring an iconic status.

For a long time, Australia’s Semillon was mistakenly labelled “Hunter River Riesling,” but thanks to the realisation it was not so and regained its lost name.

The wine region produces many distinct types of Semillon which makes your Hunter Valley tours sensationally unique. Some would blend Semillon with Muscadelle, Sauvignon blanc or Chardonnay and others make a sweeter style wine mimicking the Sauternes. There are also those who do creative ways to make a complex flavourful type that lasts longer, and a few produce a uniquely high-quality dry style Semillon bottled for ageing.

A full-bodied white wine with a yellowish hue, having honey characteristics and a soft acidity, Hunter Valley’s Semillon exhibits a complex natural fruity and grassy flavour that includes herbs, citrus (grapefruit, lime, & lemon), mango, pear, peach, papaya, and green apple. Its aroma is complex as well – herb, flower, spice, hay, ginger, honey, earth, and lanolin.

Semillon is best served chilled at between 8 to 11 degrees C – the best pair to spicy seafood dishes, chicken, foie gras, salads, and cheese.

The original home of Semillon is France and its second home Australia. Semillon is also grown in South Africa, Argentina, Chile, and the United States.

In Australia, Hunter Valley is famous for growing Semillon vines that produced high-quality wines. But other regions also grow Semillon including Barossa Valley, Western Australia, Riverina, Mudgee, and Clare Valley.

Wildlife Tours Australia has designed some Sydney tours packages that includes a trip to the Hunter Valley. Check out our entertaining and informative 1-day Hunter Valley Wine, Vodka, and Chocolate Tour which lets you taste and slurp your way around Australia’s oldest wine region.

This Hunter Valley tour includes a visit to two wineries known for the quality of the product and excellent customer satisfaction, sampling some vodka at an organic distillery, chocolate and fudge tasting at a chocolaterie, and spending the good times with ales at a local brewery.

Explore the region’s food and wine culture and don’t miss its iconic wine variety.