How region influences wine style

Saddlers Creek Vineyard

How region influences wine style

Saddlers Creek Winemakers

Nestled in the breathtaking landscapes of New South Wales, Australia, the Hunter Valley stands as a beacon of excellence in the world of winemaking. Renowned for its distinct terroir and diverse grape varieties, this iconic wine region is well know for producing world class Semillon, Chardonnay and Shiraz .

These varieties thrive in the Hunter Valley due to the profound influence of the region’s terroir.

Semillon: The Signature White

One of Hunter Valley’s most celebrated varietals, Semillon, takes center stage with its crisp acidity, vibrant citrus notes, and remarkable ageability. The region’s warm climate, coupled with the sandy loam, provides the perfect conditions for Semillon to thrive, resulting in wines of exceptional quality and aging potential. Whether enjoyed in its youth with its zesty freshness or aged to perfection, Hunter Valley Semillon captivates with its versatility and distinct sense of place.

Chardonnay: Elegance Personified

Hunter Valley’s Chardonnay produces full favoured wines of elegance and sophistication, reflecting the region’s unique microclimate. With its balanced acidity, luscious texture, and complex flavor profile, Hunter Valley Chardonnay showcases the interplay between fruit purity and judicious oak influence. Showing vibrant tropical fruit, melon and stone fruit characters, Hunter Valley Chardonnay is bright as sunshine.

Shiraz: Bold and Expressive

No exploration of Hunter Valley wines would be complete without a nod to Shiraz. Rich, expressive, and full of character, Hunter Valley Shiraz is medium bodied with bright red fruit, spicy undertones, and velvety tannins. The best Shiraz of the region is often planted in volcanic-rich soil. The wines show intensity and depth, with great cellaring potential. Whether enjoyed as a youthful expression of fruit-forward exuberance or cellared to reveal layers of complexity, Hunter Valley Shiraz never fails to leave a lasting impression.

The Influence of Terroir

At the heart of Hunter Valley’s winemaking philosophy lies the concept of terroir—the unique combination of soil, climate, and topography that shapes the character of each wine. From the volcanic soils of Pokolbin to the alluvial plains of Lovedale, each subregion within the Hunter Valley imparts its distinctive stamp on the wines it produces. Whether it’s the mineral-driven elegance of wines from the Upper Hunter or the rich, opulent flavors of those from the Lower Hunter, there’s a sense of place in every glass—a testament to the region’s rich viticultural heritage.

When you journey through the vineyards of the Hunter Valley, it’s clear that this iconic wine region is more than just a destination—it’s a treasure trove of flavours, experiences, and discoveries waiting to be savoured. Whether you’re drawn to the crisp, refreshing allure of Semillon, the refined elegance of Chardonnay, or the bold, expressive nature of Shiraz, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in the wines of Hunter Valley. So, pour yourself a glass, raise it to the sun-kissed vines that line the valley’s rolling hills, and toast to the timeless magic of Hunter Valley wines

Experience the best of the Hunter Valley in these two food and wine pairing experiences.

Winemaker’s Table Lunch – Saturday 9th March
Ryan’s Reserve Tasting Flight – Daily throughout February

Winemaker's Table Lunch - Saturday 9th March

Saddler’s Creek Wines’ annual Winemaker’s Table Lunch showcases the Hunter Valley’s regional varieties. This year, our special guest winemaker Phil Ryan features the last of the Ryan’s Reserve wines and marks the end of an era for this collection. 

Enjoy a four-course lunch prepared by renowned Hunter Valley Chef Matt Dillow. Set in our winery, enjoy fabulous food, wine, and winemaking stories from a true Hunter Valley Living Legend.


First course

Fresh prawns, blue swimmer crab, avocado salsa timbal 

2022 Ryan’s Reserve ‘Sylvia’ Semillon | 2022 Ryan’s Reserve ‘Stephanie’ Chardonnay 

Second course

Confit duck and wild mushroom risotto

2022 Ryan’s Reserve ‘Vanessa’ Shiraz | 2021 Ryan’s Reserve ‘Vanessa’ Shiraz

Third course

Lamp backstrap, kipfler, asparagus, fetta, sun-dried tomato salsa

2022 Ryan’s Reserve Cabernet Shiraz | 2018 Ryan’s Reserve Cabernet Shiraz

Fourth course

Chocolate muscat and almond fudge cake with salted caramel sauce

  • NV Saddler’s Muscat

Tickets: $155 / $145 Club Equus Members

Includes; Sparkling on arrival, Four Course lunch, Matching Saddler’s Creek wines

Don’t miss out on the final opportunity to secure the last of the Ryan’s Reserve Collection.

Ryan's Reserve Tasting Flight


Throughout February at Saddler’s Creek Wines, we honour a decade-long collaboration and mark the end of an era of the Ryan’s Reserve collection.

What your Tasting Flight includes:

Sparkling on arrival

Six wines from the Ryan’s Reserve Collection are presented across three brackets to compare and enjoy

Light morsels from local Hunter Valley producer to accompany each bracket and complement the wine


First Bracket
2022 Ryan’s Reserve ‘Sylvia’ Semillon paired with Binnorie Dairy Chevré & Dill
2022 Ryan’s Reserve ‘Stephanie’ Chardonnay paired with Binnorie Dairy Triple Cream Brie

Second Bracket
2022 Ryan’s Reserve ‘Vanessa’ Shiraz paired with Binnorie Dairy Grana Padano
2021 Ryan’s Reserve ‘Vanessa’ Shiraz paired with Binnorie Dairy Country Terrine

Third Bracket
2020 Ryan’s Reserve Cabernet Shiraz paired with Binnorie Dairy Vintage Cheddar
2021 Ryan’s Reserve Cabernet Shiraz paired with Binnorie Dairy Smoked Hungarian Salami

TICKETS: $15 Club Equus Member | $30 per person

DATE: Daily sessions throughout February 

SESSION TIME: 7 Days 10am – 3pm

Please allow minimum 1hr for this experience 

Ryan’s Reserve ‘Sylvia’

Phil Ryan has built a reputation for making trophy winning Semillon throughout his career. This outstanding Semillon was named after Phil’s wife Sylvia. His passion and skill for this varietal are displayed in this wine showing exceptional flavour and acid, a style that has become world-renowned.


Ryan’s Reserve ‘Stephanie’

An elegant and rich wine, expressing ripe melon and juicy peach flavours. Well balanced acidity with a creamy oak mouthfeel. Named after Phil’s youngest daughter Stephanie. Matured in French oak for 9 months lees stirring to give texture, finesse and complexity.


Ryan’s Reserve ‘Vanessa’

The last vintage of Shiraz, produced from the Ryan’s Estate in Pokolbin. 
Intensely rich with concentrated fruit flavours and lingering finish. A beautiful example of Hunter Valley Shiraz produced from an exceptional vintage. This wine will continue to evolve with cellaring.


Ryan’s Reserve ‘Vanessa’

This 2 acre, old vine block from the Ryan’s Estate produces Shiraz of incredibly concentrated fruit flavour. Planted in 1990 and named after Phil’s oldest daughter Vanessa.
The vibrant purple grapes produce an intensely rich yet elegant medium bodied Shiraz.


Ryan’s Reserve ‘Cellar Release’
Cabernet Shiraz

This classic Australian blend is for lovers of big gutsy reds. Produced from premium quality fruit sourced from the renowned growing region of Langhorne Creek in South Australia. Crafted for longevity, knowing this wine with time and patience will evolve and mature beautifully.


Ryan’s Reserve ‘Cellar Release’
Cabernet Shiraz

After being carefully cellared for six years, this wine is becoming increasingly complex and refined. The tannins are beginning to soften, making the wine richer yet smoother. These two noble varieties create perfect harmony and produce an opulent and richly flavoured wine.


March 14, 2024