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Thursday 8 November 2018

Hunter Gathering: Wine men with a mission

They call themselves the Hunter Gathering and they include some of the most familiar faces in the Hunter Valley wine industry. 

With the Hunter struggling to gain gatekeeper attention time in the face of "natural" wines and cool-climate offerings, our heroes are aiming to remind wine lovers of the charm of Hunter semillon and Hunter shiraz, two classic Australian wine styles. 

They also want to let the wine-loving public know that that Hunter Valley is no two-trick pony, with an impressive range of alternative varietals. 

The intrepid band, led by luminaries including Andrew Thomas, Andrew Margan and Mike de Iuliis, recently hosted tastings and lunches for somelliers and media in both Melbourne and Sydney. 

Discussions revolved around "two amazing vintages in a row" in 2017 and 2018,as well as what is new and exciting in the world of Hunter Valley winemaking.
The Hunter Gathering represent eight leading wineries from the region: Brokenwood (missing in Melbourne), Tyrrell's. Mount Pleasant, Audrey Wilkinson, David Hook, Thomas Wines, De Iuliis Wines and Margan. 
"A few of us sitting here decided we were sick of doing trade shows on our own, so we decided to get together and have some fun with like-minded people," said Andrew Margan, who like several other members was previously involved in the Hunter Next Gen group. 
"We haven't done a lot as a region, recently, so it was time to put that right." 

The Margan 2018 Albarino and David Hook 2018 Pinot Grigio were impressive wines made from varieties that are being pioneered in the Hunter (Hook was first in Australia with pinot grigio), while wines like the De Iuliis 2017 Shiraz Touriga underlined the future for red blends. 
Tempranillo, sangiovese, barbera, graciano and malbec also showed well, underlining the potential versatility of the Hunter as global warming gathers steam. 
The Hunter Gatherers are a pretty blokey bunch (although their PR is the definitely not blokey Kylie White from White Ink). Look out for these funsters - and follow them on Facebook.

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