BROKENWOOD
Hunter Valley
A benchmark Australian winery founded in 1970 by Sydney trio Tony Albert, John Beeston and Australia's leading wine critic, James Halliday, Brokenwood evolved from a weekend venture for these self-professed hobby winemakers into one of Australia's most reputable wine labels. Today, Brokenwood is known for producing some of Australia's most long-lived Semillons, and one of the nation's most iconic single vineyard wines, the Graveyard Shiraz.

"Brokenwood has established a reputation as one of the Hunter Valley's most respected estates."
Robert Parker's The Wine Advocate (2005)
  • Founded: 1970
  • Winemaker: Iain Riggs
  • Size: 35.5 acres in the Hunter Valley
  • Climate: Warm to hot, summer-dominant rainfall
  • Key Varieties: Shiraz, Semillon

Winemaking

Iain Riggs, Managing Director, Chief Winemaker and part owner of Brokenwood, has helped transition this estate from a small, hobby winery into an international icon in the 30 years he has been with the company. Graduating from Roseworthy College in 1975 with honors, Riggs went on to become an inaugural Winemakers Federation of Australia board member, Chairman of the Cowra, McLaren and Hunter Valley Wine Shows, and Nominee for Gourmet Traveller WINE Magazine’s 2001 Winemaker of the Year. Not surprisingly, quality is paramount for this icon label.

Low yields, hands-off processing and top quality French oak are the norm. In producing these regional benchmarks, the winemaking team adheres to tradition while remaining innovative in their approach, keeping a watchful eye on alcohol levels, tannin and oak to ensure these wines are balanced, yet structured for longevity. These are modern classics that exhibit a true sense of place.

Viticulture

In a region considered relatively warm and subtropical, the presence of summer dominant rainfall, afternoon cloud cover and weak sea breezes temper what could otherwise be a challenging climate for the production of quality table wine. In spite of this, the Hunter Valley has an impressive grape-growing history, with the first vineyards being planted in 1825 by one of pioneers of the Australian wine industry, James Busby. The jewel in Brokenwood’s crown is a vineyard planted a century later: the Graveyard Vineyard. Responsible for the flagship red, its heavy clay soils produce low yields and intense flavors in the Shiraz planted. Riggs’ passion for exploring premium regions to produce single vineyard wines has also seen fruit sourced from outside the Hunter Valley. This fruit complements the Hunter’s Shiraz and Semillon with aromatic complexity and style diversity, namely Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir.

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