Established in 1969, Huntington Estate is one of the oldest and most celebrated vineyards and wineries in the beautiful country New South Wales town of Mudgee.
Huntington's philosophy is that what’s on the inside counts. The quality of the wine is everything, so they invest in grape growing and winemaking, not packaging or marketing. They have barely changed their labels since 1973. They focus on the wine - we think it speaks for itself.
Time is the true test of a wine
Great wine evolves as it ages, growing in complexity and elegance, softening naturally with time. Huntington don’t strip or sugar up their wine to get it soft enough to drink young, but release their reds at 4 to 5 years of age, when the acids and tannins have thrown a crust in the bottle.
Old vines make great wines
Old vines produce lower yields of higher quality fruit, with smaller berries for perfect tannins and more intense fruit flavours. Huntington take extra care of their 50+ year old, thick gnarly vines, and are planting now to ensure the old vines of the future.
Estate grown, made & bottled
Year after year, Huntington tend the same blocks of dirt, nurture the same vines and craft their wines. They strive for perfection at every step, and that’s what makes the difference between good and great wine.
Mudgee’s climate is perfectly suited to the cultivation of wine grapes – very cold winters give way to warm days and cool nights ideal for the development of elegant fruit flavours and super-fine tannins.
There are 24 separate varietal blocks within the 40 hectares of the Huntington Estate vineyard. Most soils are predominantly sandy loam sitting above well drained, permeable clay, although quality and type varies dramatically from block to block.
Many areas are quite gravelly thanks to some ancient river beds. The soil is not overly fertile, particularly the eastern half of the vineyard which is much leaner and on undulating slopes.
Most vines are now almost 50 years of age and hitting their prime in terms of quality. The clay sub-layer holds the key to the vines' performance. Good winter and spring rain usually fill up this layer. The vine roots are well embedded in the clay and during the dry summer and autumn period, they draw water from this zone.
Managing the vineyard is a balancing act. Grape vines need to be challenged, and stressed to ripen a crop full of flavour, but not pushed over the edge. In addition to long term health considerations; in every season, canopy retention and keeping the vines operating is critical for ripening.
One of the keys to success at Huntington Estate is low yields. The vineyard is deliberately managed for yields of below 3 tonnes/hectare (well below industry norms), enabling vines to focus their energies on ripening a smaller crop of fruit.
The cost of production is high, but the result is superior fruit. The entire vineyard is subject to irrigation, although it's used sparingly to supplement rainfall.
There are two large areas of nature reserve in the vineyards to encourage bio-diversity, and to house the resident mob of about 80 kangaroos, and all the wrens, parrots, kookaburras, rodents, reptiles, Boobook owls and the odd wombat.