Hunter Valley New Wave Wineries

Best of the New Wave Wineries

Comyns & Co.

Scott Comyns worked for some of the Hunter’s top makers (including under Jim Chatto at Pepper Tree Wines before taking on the Chief Winemaker’s role) before launching his own label with his wife, Missy. Scott now crafts wines both familiar and unfamiliar, working with shiraz, semillon and chardonnay, as well as making an off-dry riesling, fiano, tempranillo and even a sparkling grüner veltliner. Missy runs the charming cellar door operation, one of the region’s best small facilities.

A: 1946 Broke Rd, Pokolbin NSW 2320
Ph: (02) 4998 7493
W: comynsandco.com.au

Dirt Candy

Launched in 2017, Daniel Payne’s Dirt Candy is an outsider brand – a rare thing in the Hunter. Although equipped with a deep respect for the traditions of the region, Payne didn’t want to tread a familiar path. His are wines that ¬– respectfully ¬¬– tilt the norms. He blends classic Hunter varieties with Iberian ones, gives gewürztraminer extended skin contact and makes a varietal vermentino. Hardly Hunter classics. In fact, it has taken him until the 2020 vintage to make a varietal semillon, though it was fermented with indigenous yeasts and bottled un-fined and unfiltered.

Ph: 0412 510 594
W: dirtcandy.com.au


Richie Harkham’s heritage in wine is not a local one, rather his family were pioneers of grape growing and winemaking in Israel in the 50s. In 2005, the family bought the old Windarra Estate and Richie has built the Harkham brand on the principles of making wine as naturally as possible. The vineyards are farmed organically, and the winemaking process eschews any additions. As they say its “100% naturally fermented grape juice”. The wines focus on classic Hunter varieties and are pure, vibrant and utterly unique expressions of the region. Harkham also has excellent boutique accommodation and a well-regarded restaurant that features a “Latino street food pop up” every Friday night, accompanied by live music and plenty of natural wine, of course.

A: 266 De Beyers Rd, Pokolbin NSW 2320
Ph: (02) 4998 7648
W: harkhamwine.com.au

Silkman Wines

Shaun and Liz Silkman launched their own label from the 2013 harvest while they also held down major jobs at Shaun’s father’s business, First Creek Wines. Liz is still the Chief Winemaker and Shaun the Chief Operating Officer, producing the estate wines as well as running the sizable contract business. And though they sound busy enough day jobs, the duo have built Silkman Wines into one of the Hunter’s most dynamic. With a rare insight into the mosaic of Hunter vineyards, the pair focus on working with distinguished sites of great character. The regional classics take the stage, with shiraz, semillon and chardonnay leading the way, and a pinot noir and shiraz blend, a tribute to Maurice O’Shea, gets the reserve treatment.

A: 426 McDonalds Road, Pokolbin NSW 2320
Ph: (02) 4998 7668
W: silkmanwines.com.au

Thomas Wines

Andrew Thomas is an interloper of sorts, a McLaren Vale lad who has made the Hunter home. Thomas fell into vintage work at Tyrrell’s while studying winemaking at Roseworthy. He was no stranger to the processes, with his father, Wayne Thomas, a distinguished McLaren Vale maker, and he duly impressed Murray Tyrrell at the time. An assistant winemaking role followed in 1987, as did 13 years there. His eponymous label was born in 1997, and he has focused primarily on distinguished sites and subtly evolving the Hunter style. His wines are arguably the benchmark for the modern Hunter maker.

A: Hermitage Rd & Mistletoe Ln, Pokolbin NSW 2320
Ph: (02) 4998 7134
W: thomaswines.com.au

Vinden Wines

Angus Vinden is the youthful Winemaker and General Manager of his family estate, which was first planted by his father in 1990. Vinden is an innovative maker who also works hand in glove with tradition. He believes those two seeming opposites are actually closely aligned. Vinden works his vineyards using organic principles, much as the older generations would have. He uses minimal intervention methods and minimal new oak, much as they would have, too. And he has made a significant push into planting a panoply of varieties, much as the Hunter had back in the 19th century. Vinden makes classic expressions under the estate label, while he pushes boundaries under his Headcase imprint.

A: 138 Gillards Rd, Pokolbin NSW 2320
Ph: 0488 777 493
W: vindenwines.com.au

More of the Best Wineries
  • Adina Vineyard
  • Allandale Winery
  • Audrey Wilkinson
  • Bimbadgen Winery
  • Bonvilla Estate
  • Briar Ridge Vineyard
  • Chateau Francois
  • Cockfighter’s Ghost & Poole’s Rock Wines
  • Dalwood Wines
  • David Hook Wines
  • De Bortoli Wines
  • De Iuliis wines
  • Drayton’s Family Wines
  • First Creek Wines
  • Gartelmann wines
  • Glandore Estate
  • Grandis
  • Gundog Estate
  • Hope Estate
  • Hungerford Hill Wines
  • Keith Tulloch Wine
  • Krinklewood Vineyard
  • Leogate Estate Wines
  • M&J Becker Wines
  • Macquariedale
  • Organic Wines
  • Margan Wines
  • Meerea Park
  • Mount View Estate
  • Oakvale
  • Pepper Tree Wines
  • Peter Drayton Wines
  • Pokolbin Estate Vineyard
  • Scarborough Wine Co.
  • Sweetwater Wines
  • Talits Estate
  • Tamburlaine Organic Wines
  • Tatler wines
  • Thomas Allen Wines
  • Tinklers
  • Tower Estate
  • Wandin Estate

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