ABOUT US

History 

A Scotsman by the name of Allan originally built the famous Pokolbin Estate Cottage in 1889, on a property adjoining the old ‘Kirkton’ Vineyard at Lower Belford. In 1978, the MacDougall brothers, then owners of Pokolbin Estate Vineyard, purchased the cottage, and commissioned a local stonemason to rebuild the Cottage on its present site, anxious to preserve such an historic part of the Hunters heritage.

In 1987, John Hindman and Richard Friend purchased Pokolbin Estate Vineyard. Since then, the grounds have been progressively landscaped, and the current wine range developed.

It is perhaps appropriate that a significant aspect of the Hunter’s early settlement is now located in the midst of one of Australia’s premium wine growing areas – the Pokolbin district in the Hunter Valley.

On the 21st August 2011, a devastating fire gutted Pokolbin Estates elegant sandstone cellar door and office. It is a new era for Pokolbin Estate now; the sandstone cellar door has been rebuilt to its former glory, with the exception of a sleek modern interior, state of the art technology and beautifully landscaped surrounds.

Viticulture

David and Margaret Ellsworth planted the current vineyard at McDonalds Road in 1970, with the aim of producing true varietal wines, which has continued to the present day. Original planting’s included Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Semillon, and Riesling. Of these, the Shiraz, Semillon and Riesling survive.

The soils vary from heavy red clay, which struggles to produce any form of plant life, to a more fertile brown alluvial soil on the lower part of the property along Middle Creek. Shiraz is planted on the clay, while Semillon and Riesling are planted on the alluvial soils.

In 1999, we planted our popular Mediterranean varieties including Tempranillo, Sangiovese and Nebbiolo on our Belebula Vineyard, located on Old North Road in Pokolbin. This is an elevated, exposed site and slopes away steeply towards the West at the base of the Brokenback Mountain Range.

The soils are light clay with a large amount of rocks over a shallow limestone base, which naturally provides excellent drainage. Fossilized seashells can be collected from the surface, with many examples of larger creatures also found.

Wine Varieties & Philosophy​

Pokolbin Estate originally concentrated on Semillon and Shiraz and these varieties have stood apart from others in their consistency, flavour and ability to age. We are the only vineyard in the Hunter Valley to grow the traditional Riesling variety, which on fully mature vines can produce world-class wine. Our Riesling vines are now close to 50 years old.

Our Belebula Vineyard is located on Old North Rd about 10 minutes from our cellar door. Here we produce our Mediterranean style reds including Sangiovese, Tempranillo & Nebbiolo. At the time of planting in 1999, there was little to no experience with these varieties elsewhere in Australia. Now, these styles are extremely popular due to their ability to complement many contemporary Australian & European foods and age exceptionally well.

Additionally, we produce numerous dessert and fortified wines including an Autumn Harvest Riesling, Riesling Solera, Muscat, fortified Shiraz and a 40-year-old Tawny.

The style of Pokolbin Estate Vineyard wines is of elegance yet are powerfully structured. These wines are capable of maturing, rather than just getting old. Our wines will not bludgeon your taste buds with high alcohol, short chain oak-derived tannin, port-like flavours or overt fruitiness as found in some. They are vinous, with carefully balanced acid, tannin and fruit. They will improve at least until they are five years old, and in most cases, far longer.

In the vineyard, we make a concerted effort to match the practice to the terroir. All vines are hand pruned; handpicked and carefully tended to ensure the best quality fruit is obtained. Yields are kept low, and irrigation, while installed, is used purely as a tool to ensure optimum quality.

Finally, we choose the finest winemakers in the Hunter Valley to craft our wines. The black art of making wine combines a high level of scientific skill, technical ability, sensory perception and most of all an indefinable quality that brings these traits together to make a drink that is more than the sum of its parts. Andrew Thomas made all of our current vintages up until 2015, with Jeff Byrne our current winemaker. We expect both gentlemen will be recognised among Australia’s finest winemakers.

Join our community​

We love seeing our community come together to appreciate fine wine and our serene landscape #PokolbinEstate.

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

NEWS

End 2 End Festival 2019

U2 show Elevation, Mamamia Abba tribute band, Live Baby Live INXS tribute band and the Ultimate Pink Show will all be performing at the End2End Festival in Pokolbin this spring. These timeless classics will take you back in time, while

Read More >

Around Hermitage 1st Release Wine Week

The Around Hermitage Wine and Food Trail is set in the north western side of Pokolbin Hunter Valley. It has some of most highly rated wines and restaurants in the Valley, with the scenic backdrop of the Brokenback Mountains. In

Read More >

Huon Hooke NSW Trophy

Newcastle Herald 07/12/2010: “The Pokolbin Estate Vineyard, continued its remarkable run of judging success last Friday when it won a gold medal and the trophy for the best Semillon at this years Australian Boutique Wine Awards

Read More >

WineWise Hunter Valley Shiraz Results

Pokolbin Estate recently entered our 2003, 2005, 2009, 2010 & 2011 Reserve Shiraz vintages into the Hunter Valley Shiraz Tasting, hosted by WineWise Australia. Here are the results… 2003 Pokolbin Estate Reserve Hunter Valley Shiraz: Strong colour. Classic Hunter bouquet

Read More >
pokolbin estate vineyard hunter valley

News Draft

Pokolbin Estate has won Best Semillon in Australia 5 times and Best Riesling in Australia in 2011. We also produce classic Hunter Shiraz and Mediterranean varieties like Sangiovese, Nebbiolo & Tempranillo. Pokolbin Estate Vineyard is a boutique style vineyard located just

Read More >

AWARDS & TROPHIES

Over the past ten years, both Pokolbin Estate and Belebula Vineyards have entered a number of wine shows.

Tragically when our cellar door burnt down in 2011, we lost a lot of our old trophies, articles and memorabilia. While we were able to salvage some items and have others remade, a large part of Pokolbin Estate’s rich history has been lost.

Since 1999, Pokolbin Estate Vineyard has been presented with over 100 Hunter Valley Boutique Wine, NSW Wine & National Wine awards across Semillon, Riesling, Shiraz, Sangiovese, Tempranillo, Nebbiolo and Fortified vintages.

The highlights were certainly winning Winestate Best Semillon in Australia a record five times since 2006. In three of the five vintages, we were also awarded the runner up in the respective category. This demonstrates Pokolbin Estate’s ability to consistently produce exceptional Semillon over a long period of time.

Additionally, winning Winestate Best Riesling in Australia in 2011 was a huge achievement. Being the only vineyard in The Hunter Valley to grow this traditional variety makes it even more impressive, beating the likes of Claire Valley & Eden Valley to the title.

When you consider all these accolades and awards, Pokolbin Estate Vineyard can be considered as one of the best boutique vineyards in Australia.

Full Ledger of medals and awards

 

Pokolbin Estate Winemaker Richard Friend joins Spitbucket to Review their Whites

REVIEWS

Belinda

Fab Fun

Popped in there on electric bikes – had a ball with Mitchell and his knowledge. Be sure to ask him how the wine ‘Neale’ came to be …

Great depth of knowledge shared in a fun chat.

Mitchell even boxed up our purchases so we could collect in the car after!

Olive centre had some great tastes too.

Matthew

New Knowledge

Great to learn about a quality wine that goes with which food group. A general Shiraz lover now watching for type of grape and fermentation.

Hux

Great to learn about a quality wine that goes with which food group. A general Shiraz lover now watching for type of grape and fermentation.

Lou

Lovely Experience

Great selection of wines to taste and purchase. But more importantly we were very well looked after by the friendly and knowledgeable owner!

Dianne

Great Winery full of history

Really enjoy this winery. The Cellar door is a family business and has been lovingly restored from the early 1800″s with original features inserted in the doors and windows. As you taste your wines you can walk around and read about the history. There is also an olive shop where you can have a tasting along with their award winning olive oils. You can also purchase local jams, honey chutneys lavender soaps and other goodies. A great place to visit.

Paul

Family Visit

Loved the visit. Graham managed to convert my wife to the pleasure of the red wine. Quality products and great personality..

Chris

Diverse and quality wines here

We stopped in on a mid-week visit and met Graham who gave us a wonderful tasting and educated us to the fine wines that they produce!

Alena

Wine tasting

Great cellar door, great wines, highly recommend it! Fantastic cellar door experience by team there.

Nicole

Go see Mitchell at the tasting room

I came to Hunter Valley on a bus tour. Most of the wineries we visited were mediocre, at best. Pokolbin was the highlight, and it was mostly due to our knowledgeable pourer Mitchell. He not only introduced us to new wines we had never tried, but he also encouraged us to explore new flavor profiles. I’m so happy we stopped here; make sure you visit Mitchell for your tasting and you won’t be disappointed.

Bonus: the olive shop next door gives you a full bag of bread to sample a multitude of olive oils, spreads, and sauces.

Cole

Best winery in the hunter valley

What an amazing experience! From the moment we walked in we were greeted with such joy and happiness from Graham! He educated, made us laugh and presented us with the best wine we have ever had. The Pokolbin estates has such a rich and interesting history. Truly a great place, we cannot wait to go back.