News and Events


Spring Newsletter 2017

It’s Budburst once again and that means time to release your Spring “Cast Off” Pack.

The first 3 wines in your Spring Pack come from the 2017 vintage. Hot dry conditions prevailed throughout the growing season. All fruit was harvested in excellent condition, ripe and with great flavours. The 2017 Old Vines Semillon displays all the typical characters of a potentially great Belford Semillon. Lemon and citrus fruit dominating both the nose and palate, with racy acid to finish. Enjoy while young, but remember cellaring will result in great rewards! The 2017 vintage meant we picked our Pinot Grigio slightly earlier than recent years. The resulting wine is a little more “Grigio” in style, slightly lower in alcohol, a little crisper on the palate, with more granny smith apple and nashi pear.

We have included our Mosto in this Spring Pack after you missing it for the last couple of years. Once again dry conditions allowed us to harvest fruit fully ripe for this year’s wine. The juice was concentrated before fermentation to enhance the fruit and acidity. Bottled early to retain its natural spritz, this is a great Summer wine served cold over crushed ice or a chilled accompaniment with fresh fruit desserts.

The 2016 Reserve Chardonnay comes from grapes grown on the sandy loams soils of our Pothana Vineyard. Picked slightly earlier than the Old Vines, and cool fermented, the resulting wine is a refreshing modern Australian style Chardonnay to be enjoyed while it is young and lively.

The remaining 2 wines come from our Central Ranges Vineyards at Orange. The 2016 Vermentino is only our second release of this wine. This year’s wine is more refined, however, still full-flavoured with the characteristic salinity and slight almond bitterness. We are constantly intrigued by this variety and believe it has great potential.

The last wine in your pack is the 2014 De Novo Bianco. A blend of varieties from Orange. We have held this wine back for release so the wine has time to mature and the layers of fruit have had time to integrate. This is an intriguing wine with its complex aromas and taste. A wonderful food wine – a match for all hearty dishes which play with richness and spice.

We have enjoyed a mild Autumn and dry Winter in the past months. The Hunter continues to thrive as a popular destination and a relaxing tasting at our cellar seems to be just the antidote needed for time out from busy schedules.

We have just released a three aged wines online

2011 Old Vines Shiraz

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2011 Old Vines Semillon

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The 2011 Orange Barbera 

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and the much anticipated 2014 Molly Morgan single vineyard plus our 2012 Old Vines Semillon (97 points 2018 James Halliday Top Semillons) will also be available very soon.


We have experienced a mild Autumn and dry Winter and our cellar team have enjoyed seeing many of you in the past months. The Hunter continues to thrive as a popular destination and a relaxing tasting at the cellar cellar seems to be just the antidote needed for time out from busy schedules.

If you are heading to the Hunter please call ahead to book a tasting and remember there is no tasting charge for you or your guests. We love showing you our range and discussing our new releases.

Many visitors to our cellar often drop by on your recommendation and we do appreciate that so many of you are happy to spread the word.

Budburst and Spring are not far away and there is a buzz about as we commence the new season, so we hope to see you at our cellar soon to renew acquaintances and suggest some wines to top up your cellar.

Enjoy your Spring Cast Off Pack.

Happy Drinking

David Hook

2017 Autumn "Cast Off" Newsletter

We are very excited to present our Autumn "Cast Off" packs to our members, inclusive of which are five delicious reds from our 2015 vintage and our new 2016 Sparkling Rose.

Well that was a hot Vintage in the Hunter Valley… really unlike anything we have experience in the past few years and we are so incredibly excited that the results will be in the form of some of our best wines yet!

While the warmer days are still lingering, we encourage you to enjoy the first of the wines we offer in our Autumn “Cast Off” pack, our 2016 Sparkling Rose.

the last two years thin wine has proven to be wildly popular and even to have sold out. The 2016 vintage grapes were handpicked on the 31st of January and were whole bunch pressed. This sparkling is a deep salmon pink colour and boasts a delicate effervescence. Made from Sangiovese and Pinot Noir the nose delivers fresh strawberry and red currant perfume with a citrus blossom on the finish.

The second addition to the “Cast Off” pack is our 2015 Sangiovese, these grapes were grown in Orange, NSW from vines that are over a quarter of a century old. Wines made in this Italian variety are traditionally elegant and forceful and this particular wine is no different. It releases aromas of fresh cherry typical of the variety and the palate is balanced with a clean acid followed by a light tannin finish.

Our third offering is a wine that really whets my interest in your “Cast Off” pack, our 2015 De Novo Rosso. This wine is a blend of Barbera, Sangiovese and Nebbiolo, with the Nebbiolo providing slightly greater proportion of the blend. Bright cerise in colour, it’s fresh fragrant cherry aromas accompanies a medium bodied palate with a pleasant touch of acidity and a clean finish. Equally enjoyable at room temperature or slightly chilled on a warmer Autumn’s afternoon.

Your fourth wine is a GOLD medallist in the NSW Small Winemakers Show and a SILVER in the AAVWS (Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show), our always popular 2015 Barbera. Grown in the cool climate of the Central Ranges (Specifically on Mount Canobolis in Orange) our Barbera was harvested in mid March 2015. Deep in crimson colour with fragrant cherry and prune aromas, it is coupled with savoury flavours that dominate a medium bodied palate, finishing with a firm acidity followed by fine soft tannins, which is very characteristic of this variety. This is truly one of our benchmark wines and such a versatile wine with almost any style of meal.

Our 2015 Pinot Noir was grown in red loam soils over limestone on a steep north facing slope of Mount Canobolas at an elevation of 1000m. This cool temperature site has produced a wine of elegance structure and is your fifth wine in the “Cast Off” pack. For this wine we layered whole and crushed fruit into traditional open vats for fermentation. After fermentation this wine was stored in French barrels for 12 months and then lightly fined and filtered before bottling. What eventuated is a wine that is cherry red in colour with purple hues. It has a spicy aroma with delicious forest floor overtones. The palate has fresh cherry flavour, an earthy background, light tannins and easy acids finish, leading in this to be a very approachable wine to drink now or even cellar for two – four years.

The 2015 Hunter Valley Shiraz is the final wine in your pack,  this Shiraz is a medium bodied wine showing red berries, spicy fruit and soft mild tannins. This wines has the ability to age more than its constitution might suggest. This wine is deep red in colour with purple tinges, it’s aroma is subjugated by sweet berry and spice. The medium bodied palate showing fruit richness with peppery undertones. The finish is long soft supported by fine tannins. While you can enjoy this Shiraz now, should you have solid cellaring conditions holding this wine back for a few years will prove a good investment in time.

So there you have it, your Autumn "Cast Off’. We feel these six are a perfect balance to bid goodbye to Summer while we head, glass in hand, into our cooler months.

Happy Drinking.

David Hook

Wine Maker

spring-bottles2016 Spring "Cast Off" Newsletter

We are very excited to present the 2016 Spring "Cast Off" packs to our members.

Solid Winter rain has filled our dams and soil profiles meaning vines are set for a great start to the new season. The valley looks fantastic at the moment with fat cattle in paddocks and grass up to their bellies and the number of kangaroos seems to double on a weekly basis. So with a Spring in our step we are looking forward to the coming vintage.

Every vintage throws up its own set of challenges.

The 2016 Hunter vintage was one of two parts, a wet January with record rainfall followed by an exceptionally dry autumn. Many vineyards in the Hunter were damaged by hail in early storms and combined with the rain resulted in the loss of the crop. We were lucky not to receive any hail and were able to pick our white grapes in good condition in early January, while the reds came through the rain well and ripened in perfect autumn conditions. The end result was some very good whites,  and some bright flavoursome reds for next year.

spring-workAccolades and Wine Show Results

In recent months were have received many favourable reviews and successful show results, most notably James Halliday’s 2017 Wine Companion with 7 of our current wines rated 90+ points. The most highly rated wine was our aged release 2011 Old Vines Semillon 97 points which featured in the 5 best wines varietal Semillons for 2017.Here is what James had to say about this wine:

“This is dazzlingly fresh and vibrant, its lemon/lemongrass/crispy/crunchy acidity dancing wildly around the mouth, egged on by a faint touch of spritz. It will slowly develop over the next 10+ years without losing its mojo, and will excite you whenever you crack a bottle.”

Followed closely by the 2014 Old Vines Shiraz 96 points:

“Very good colour; an expressive and complex bouquet with black fruits, spice and sweet polished leather, the medium-bodied palate picking up where the bouquet leaves off, perfectly proportioned and balanced, black fruits and spices in abundance. Oh that I should live so long to enjoy these wines as they move towards maturity 20+ years hence. Their future is guaranteed by their inherent elegance and balance.”                    

Both these wines are still available, however stocks are diminishing rapidly, so I encourage you to secure your requirements quickly to afford disappointment as the say ...

On the Wine Show circuit, the 2016 Old Vines Semillon has won a silver medal at the Hunter Wine Show and NSW Small Winemakers Show, narrowly missing gold in both shows. While the 2016 Central Ranges Riesling was awarded a Silver Medal. Both these wines are included in the Spring pack


2015 CV-VermentinoNow to the pointy end - What's in your Spring Pack.

First the 2016 Old Vines Semillon. This wine is perhaps my favourite wine at the moment. Our Pothana Semillons are noteworthy for they generosity and the 2016 is no exception. Fresh vibrant and almost aromatic aromas it’s a great drink now and although Semillons from wetter years are generally not as long lived this could be a very much each way bet.

The grapes for the 2016 Pinot Grigio were harvested a few days earlier than usual due to approaching bad weather, but still with great flavour and in good condition. This has made a wine which is perhaps a touch more "Grigio" in style i.e. crunching apple and pear flavours but still with richness on the palate.

The third wine from the 2016 vintage is the Central Ranges Riesling. Unlike the Hunter the Central Ranges had a great season with exceptional fruit throughout. These grapes from old vines growing at almost 1000m above sea level consistently produce wines with an intensity of flavour and acidity, this wine being one of the best for a number of years and as mentioned already awarded a silver medal

The 2015 Central Ranges Vermentino is a new wine for us. Vermentino is widely planted throughout the Mediterranean, often along the shore lines of both coasts and islands, where it produces bright clean lively wines with classic sea spray and wild herb characters. However, it is in the mountains on the island of Sardinia where it is considered to produce some the best wines. Here the wines are richer but still with elegance and an ability to have earthy mineral spectrum. These wines provided the inspiration for our first Vermentino. Our 2016 wine with its full fruit flavour, salinity, slight phenolic bitterness and stony spectrum is a wonderful wine to match with dishes that play with rich herbs and spices, fresh sardines or bold fennel spiced sausages.

2013 provides the last two wines in our pack the Old Vines Chardonnay and the De novo Bianco, both wines are drinking beautifully at the moment, showing the benefit of three years in the cellar allowing the wines to develop and the flavours to integrate. These wines are close to being at their best although the Chardonnay has some years ahead of it if you enjoy a mature style. The 2013 Chardonnay has just been released. It’s bright light green straw colour, fresh stone fruit aromas, touch of wild yeast barrel ferment character and balanced palate all suggest a wine much younger in age. While the De Novo Bianco with its layers of flavour and textured palate evolves in the glass. I leave the last words to James Halliday who described the wine as such:

“Blend of Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. As you'd expect, it hardly lacks aroma. It's all floral and peachy with a burst of lime. The palate carries the same flavours but is more elegant and slender than you'd expect. A beaming smile but a slight body. Musk, bath salts, melon and lime. Pretty handy wine, especially for the lunch table.”                     

spring-sunsetI hope you enjoy the wines, we are excited to present them. We believe that these wines are not only wines of great interest but are exceptional value.

Don’t forget to contact us if any of your details have changed.

If you have any questions regarding our wines, please check our website.

Happy Drinking.


David Hook

Wine Maker


Platinum Catch May 2016 Newsletter

davidhookduck-full900Autumn is here, although you wouldn’t think so considering the warm dry weather we have been experiencing in the Hunter of late. However we are excited to remind you that with the change in seasons, your Platinum Catch pack order of 12 wines (six from our Old Vines range), is now due!

Listed below are the wines available for you as a valued member of our Platinum Catch Wine Club. Your May dozen, includes no cartage meaning that this is a perfect time to order additional wines for your cellar without the additional $13 postage.

David Hook Wines aims to send out all Platinum Catch packs by 13th of May 2016 should we not receive your specific requests prior we will send out a winemaker's selection for your enjoyment.

Read more: Platinum Catch May 2016

autumn-bottles-9002016 Autumn "Cast Off" Newsletter

We are very excited to present the 2016 Autumn "Cast Off" packs to our members, inclusive of five fantastic reds from the 2014 vintage and our new 2015 Sparkling Rose.

Over the last few years, I have been searching for grapes for our De Novo Rosso wine. Working with growers in the Hunter Valley and The Central ranges to improve the quality of fruit by reducing yields, crop thinning as well as identifying premium sites as these vineyards mature. Although De Novo Rosso remains our main focus, we have selected several parcels of excellent fruit that we have kept separate and released as straight varietal wines.

Read more: 2016 Autumn "Cast off" Newsletter

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