HILLTOPS ASSOCIATION NEWS

HILLTOPS ASSOCIATION NEWS

The Hilltops Vineyards Association AGM this week re-elected Brian Freeman, founder of FREEMAN Vineyards, as President. His report highlighted both the achievements and challenges of 2021 – characterful wines from the 2021 vintage, followed by an unusually wet autumn and winter impacting pruning work. New viticulture research was flagged as were plans for reinvigoration of regional Hilltops wine tourism when border and travel restrictions ease and Cellar Doors can again swing open wide.

Hilltops wines were featured recently in Gourmet Traveller and the Grapegrower & Winemaker – our region and its wines reaching more discerning wine lovers.

HILLTOPS HIGHLIGHTED

HILLTOPS HIGHLIGHTED

The Hilltops Region may constitute just 2% of NSW vineyards but according to sommelier Samantha Payne the region is nothing less than “small but mighty.” Punching enough weight to score a double-page spread in this month’s Australian Gourmet Traveller. Samantha’s Top 5 Picks include estate grown #FREEMANSecco2015 and #MoppityEscalierShiraz2014, and three wines crafted from Hilltops grapes by talented Canberra winemakers – Sam Leyshon Mallaluka Pet Nat, Nick Spencer Rosé and Bryan Martin’s Ravensworth Nebbiolo.

According to winemaker and viticulturist Brian Freeman, President of Hilltops Wine and founder of FREEMAN Vineyards, the key to the region’s special character is ‘an intensity of flavour’ found in all varieties.

Micro-climates also play a part. ‘The temperature and climate have very similar notes to Italy, making it perfect for slower ripening varieties like Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Rondinella and Corvina.’

For Canberra based Nick Spencer, ‘It’s the one NSW region you go to if you want something interesting.’ And more winemakers are doing just that, sourcing and making exciting go-to wines. Hey wine explorers, next stop Hilltops?

HILLTOPS TRIO IN AUSTRALIAN TOP WINERIES

HILLTOPS TRIO IN AUSTRALIAN TOP WINERIES

Loud clapping deserved for the three NSW Hilltops wine companies that made the top tier grade in the just announced prestigious 2021 Real Review AUSTRALIAN TOP WINERIES collection. They are FREEMAN Vineyards, specialising in Italian inspired wines, Grove Estate that also features Nebbiolo in its portfolio and Moppity Vineyards.

Another indicator that the Hilltops cool climate region quietly punches above its weight! Visit us soon! www.hilltopswine.com.au

HILLTOPS HIGHLIGHTED

HILLTOPS WEATHER REPORT

Fortunately the recent severe weather system largely skirted the NSW Hilltops Region. The white varieties had already been harvested, with vignerons reporting good quality and yields for pinot gris, chardonnay and prosecco. 

And the earlier ripening reds like tempranillo were also already in the tank. Other red grapes had been picked for making rosés.

According to Hilltops Association President, Brian Freeman, the impact on the traditional workhorse Hilltops red varieties – shiraz and cabernet is yet to be fully assessed. But most of the shiraz crop had already been harvested.

‘ The thicker. tougher skinned varieties like cabernet and the later ripeners, notably the Italian varietals like sangiovese and nebbiolo, are now hanging out to dry under sunny skies and should prove resilient.’

‘The weather cell hovered over the region for three days but fortunately the region is as named, hilly with 18-metre deep granite loam soils that soak up water like a sponge. Vineyards can typically be accessed within four hours of a downpour. We should be back to harvest action in a day or so,’ commented Brian Freeman, proprietor of FREEMAN Vineyards.

In fact, the total region rainfall over the three-day period was about 100mms and while it halted harvesting, the rainfall is not expected to seriously impact the overall vintage.

More information: Call Jane Adams M: 0417 733715