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Saturday 21 October 2023

Change of direction at historic Hunter estate

Mount Pleasant is one of the great names of the Hunter Valley; a historic estate under new ownership.

Chief winemaker Adrian Sparks (above) this week unveiled a new direction for Mount Pleasant - with a definite focus on quality. 

"Our strategy focuses on scaling back our offering and looking to the past for inspiration for the future," Sparks said in a letter to wine club members. 

"The last few years have seen some challenges, to say the least," he added. "But we have worked through where we see the future for Mount Pleasant and have built a solid strategy for moving forward.

"For a number of years Mount Pleasant pursued the model of being everything to everyone, trying to survive in a flooded market, and moving away from its core values. 

"We are blessed with some of the greatest vineyards and stories in Australia, and these are fundamentally who we are today.

"We have spent countless hours tending to vines that were planted because of the early 2000s wine export boom and were not part of our heritage. 

"These young vine blocks were worked too hard and had very little money spent on them. We have therefore decided to remove these vines, grown for quantity rather than quality, and vines that are now suffering.

"Our focus into the future will be one of celebrating our history and our nucleus. By making wines that reflect what Mount Pleasant is, and more importantly what has made Mount Pleasant great. Old Vine Shiraz, Lovedale Semillon, and reigniting the wonderful art of blending multiple varieties - all which make good wines, but combined will make great wines.

"We are excited to announce the release of the first of these blends; our Light Dry White and Light Dry Red, made in very small quantities in 2023 as we begin to understand the intricate art of blending these for the first time. 

"These are wines based on style, wines that evoke a sense of joy when drinking and a desire to learn more about the Hunter Valley and Mount Pleasant, something which [legendary winemaker] Maurice O’Shea excelled at.

"We will continue to redefine Mount Pleasant by focusing on the detail of grape growing and winemaking. 

"With reduced land under vine, this will allow us to take the time to home in on the one percent adjustments that are required to make wonderful wines. Wines that show the hallmarks of Mount Pleasant, which is balanced, beautiful drinking wines in their youth, and timeless expressions of site as they age."

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