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Brokenwood Wines
31 March 2023 | Cellar Door, Wine Pairing | Brokenwood Wines

5 Wine Favourites: Discover What the Brokenwood Team is Drinking

Brokenwood Chardonnay and cheese plate

What’s your favourite wine? Tricky question, we know. We may, in fact, know better than anyone how difficult this is to answer. When we sat down with a few key figures from the expert Brokenwood Wines team, the magnitude of this question was certainly made known.

The disbelieving double take of ‘My favourite wine?’ was quickly followed by the denial-induced ‘I can only choose one?’ Safe to say, we felt a little guilty by posing this hard to answer question. It was like asking a film buff (or anyone alive in the twenty-first century, for that matter) what their favourite film was. The possibilities are always endless.

Despite the grapples our team encountered in the face of this most gruelling query, each of them managed to deliver one or two top tier vintages that had truly captured their hearts, minds and senses.

If you’ve ever wanted to know what a Hunter Valley winery team’s favourite wines are, and exactly what they’re drinking right now, you’ve come to the right place. Here we dissect six exceptional Brokenwood wine favourites, from the Hunter Valley’s own award-winning Semillon to our impressive Cab Sav harvested from the Margaret River region. 

Candice Crawford, General Manager: Semillon

Our discussions start with Brokenwood General Manager Candice Crawford. Candice came to Brokenwood from a career in accounting in pursuit of her passion for both business and the exquisite Hunter region.

After a few banterful pleasantries, Candice cracks open a bottle of 2022 Hunter Valley Semillon for us to share.

‘This Semillon is my go-to,’ Candice says, pouring each of us a glass of vibrant liquid gold. ‘I enjoy all of our wines, of course, but our homegrown Hunter Semillon is the first choice for me. It’s so flavourful, and so approachable for our Cellar Door visitors. Definitely a great first taste of what Brokenwood is all about.’

Coming in at a close second for Candice is the 2018 Tallawanta Vineyard Semillon. ‘This one is obviously a little different,’ Candice says, admiring the pale yellow and luminous green tints of the beautifully aged white wine. This vintage was harvested from the acclaimed Tallawanta Vineyard, a local favourite and source of the quintessential Semillon profile that the Hunter Valley region is so famous for.

Located behind Harrigan’s Hotel just down the road from our own Cellar Door in Pokolbin, the Tallawanta Vineyard Semillon block was planted in the mid 1990s. It proves an intriguing exception from the usual rule of the finest Sem vineyards being planted on flat surfaces, and boasts an impressive west facing slope that has now seen its third harvest of impeccable Brokenwood Semillons.

Carlee Watson, Marketing Manager: Chardonnay

Our next integral Brokenwood team member is Carlee Watson, Marketing Manager and expert on all things Brokenwood Wines recommendations. 

‘My favourite wine here at Brokenwood, which has been for some time, is the 2021 Indigo Vineyard Chardonnay,’ Carlee says without a beat of hesitation. ‘Anything from that Beechworth vineyard I love.’

Our Beechworth vineyard resides in the north-east region of Victoria. After the terrible bushfires of 2020, the vineyard took a bit of a hit and harvesting was scarce. Now back in prime condition, Beechworth is truly one of the best places in Australia for Chardonnay, and our Indigo property is no exception.

‘The flavours that come from the vineyard are amazing,’ gushes Carlee. ‘I’ve visited that vineyard. It’s probably the only one that I’ve been to outside of the Hunter. I love our local vineyards, so I was a bit sceptical, but I absolutely fell in love with Beechworth.’

We completely understand. After witnessing the perfect green tinted colour and pineapple/citrus aromas of this uniquely textured Chardonnay, our minds were in sync with Carlee’s. If you’re a white wine aficionado, or a Brokenwood fan in general, this is one delicious wine you’ll want to sink your senses into.

Brokenwood Wildwood Road Cabernet Sauvignon

Sean Townsend, Brokenwood Head Chef: Shiraz

If any wine recommendation can sway our audience, it’s that of our expert Head Chef, Sean Townsend. Hailing from an impressive professional background with the Hunter Valley’s Muse Dining and Melbourne’s acclaimed Comme restaurant, Sean is no stranger to pairing sumptuous French-inspired dishes with equally exquisite vintages.

‘The 2019 Graveyard Shiraz is a no-brainer,’ says Sean with a smile. ‘It’s such a beautifully aged red, and the palate is so supple. It really complements a slow roasted lamb or really any tender meat dish. This vintage is pretty unbeatable.’

While Sean may have that notion, we happen to believe that the soon-to-be-released 2021 Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz may top even Sean’s glowing first place wine. We can’t reveal any details yet, but this decades-long aged vintage is sure to dazzle every red wine buff upon its launch later this year.

Martelle Malhotra, Cellar Door Supervisor: Shiraz and Cab Sav 

Finally, we turned to one of our long time veterans and Cellar Door aficionados, Martelle (affectionately known as Marty). Renowned for her knowledgeable insights and keen palate preference picks, Marty is our Cellar Door Supervisor for a reason: she knows her Brokenwood wine, and she understands the needs of our guests.

‘First, I have to go with our 2019 Verona Vineyard Shiraz,’ says Marty, reaching for a nearby bottle. ‘It’s a classic Hunter Shiraz, medium-bodied, with these beautiful violet red fruits. The structure is quite persistent, but it’s still so elegant and delicate.’

Though we don’t taste this one, it’s clear from the depth of colour and purple tints that this Shiraz is a winner. Harvested from our own Verona Vineyard, which sits just across the road from our Graveyard site, the ripe fruits create soft sweet plum notes that are complemented by a subtle background of French oak.

Next on the list for Marty is the 2019 Wildwood Road Cabernet Sauvignon. ‘The fruit is sourced from the Margaret River,’ explains Martelle, ‘and alongside our Hunter vineyards here, I believe this is one of the best places in Australia to get Cabernet from.’

The Wildwood is a bold and herbaceous full-bodied Cab Sav. On the nose is a unique green capsicum, which leads to beautiful cinnamon and clove notes. The long finish leaves a delicious lingering taste on the palate, and it’s no wonder Marty is enraptured with this impeccable wine.

Clinking Brokenwood glasses

Buy Brokenwood’s Top Wine Picks

Suddenly craving a 2018 Tallawanta Vineyard Semillon, or perhaps that delectable sounding 2019 Wildwood Road Cab Sav? We’ve got you covered.

Purchase each of these Brokenwood Wines recommendations directly from our website now. Better still, why not sign up to one of our acclaimed wine clubs and enjoy some extra-tasty discounts? We’ll cheers to that.


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