A Boutique Family Vineyard with a Sparkling Reputation for Bubbles
Located in Branxton (quicker to get to now than Central Pokolbin), and being apart from the popular Pokolbin area, has kept this long time cellar door a hidden gem.
From the personalised tasting experience run by the owner himself to the breadth of sparkling varieties available from a boutique vineyard and the quality of the wines - Pierre’s Wines is worth the special trip.
We pulled into Pierre’s Wines to be greeted by the owner himself, Peter Went. This is a small family run business and Peter wears many hats. With his family’s help, he is the owner, the head winemaker, and the cellar doorsman! He welcomes us into the cellar door which is a quaint building with beautiful large old wooden doors inviting you into the intimate space.
Sitting down with Peter hosting the wine tasting was quite special and all part of the appeal of Pierre’s Wines. His passion for his craft is evident, we certainly learnt a thing or two about wines... and the wines were remarkable!
Pierre’s Wines specialise in sparkling wine, which we are big fans of! They have 6 sparkling wines on their tasting list ranging from a dry to a semi-sweet dessert style sparkling.
We tasted the 2017 Methode Traditionelle Chardonnay / Pinot Noir ($45 a bottle) which was classically styled and easy to drink. We also tasted the sweeter style sparkling, Methode Traditionelle Semillon ($45 a bottle) which was equally as delicious and we just had to take home...we may have spent our wage for the week on wine that day!
The Methode Traditionelle describes their bottling process which is true to the traditional French way - so is this the closest we will get to an Australian Champagne?!
This effort to replicate the French way of bottling is not a random one. The process is all part of ensuring quality. It involves carefully selecting the best grapes and a gentle pressing process that results in a softness of the wine. This also means minimal additives can be used in Pierre’s Wines and sugars are limited as well. Think, less of a chance of that headache that can often come with drinking wine. Winning!
There is also a strong familial link to France. Peter’s wife Anne, who is also involved in the winemaking process, comes from a long line of French wine makers. Anne’s father Charles was the first of the family to immigrate from France to Australia after meeting Australian soldiers as a POW in WW2. He continued the family’s passion for winemaking, working for some of the first Hunter Vineyards in the 1950s.
These days, Peter and Anne’s son makes for the 12th generation of winemakers - the love of wine is strong in this family.
There is also something for the red wine lovers too. There are four reds on the tasting list, our personal favourite on the day was the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon ($40 a bottle).
With grapes sourced from the renowned red wine region of Mudgee it was an enjoyably smooth red to taste. According to Peter, it is a wine that could handle cellaring if you prefer a more robust depth of flavour. Personally our bottle won’t last that long... it is too good not to drink.
Pierre’s Wines have been operating in the Hunter Valley since 1986 and with 80% of their sales being to previous customers, it’s a clear sign that we are onto something good.
So book in a tasting with Peter and his family to experience the wines from this little vineyard for yourself.