Ivanhoe Wines
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Ivanhoe Wines

Ahhh Ivanhoe, I tend to have a bit of a love hate relationship with this winery. I first visited the place a few years back when we went on a wine tasting tour for my birthday. On that first day we all liked the Semillon and Shiraz so much that I signed up for a membership on the spot. This, quite obviously is the love part of the relationship.

On the flip side representing the hate part of the relationship are the terms of the membership agreement which go something like this. In addition to the special treatment and free coffee you get when popping in for a visit to the cellar door, the membership deal involves them giving you a 30% discount on their wine in return for you agreeing to buy a minimum of half mixed case home delivered every three months. Overall, not a bad deal except that you don’t get to choose which wine comes in the box each month.

Ivanhoe Wines
Cheese plate for a members tasting

I tend to love the Shiraz and Semillon that comes out of the Hunter Valley but the other varieties are generally not quite so good. As there is no guarantee that they are going to send any bottles of the two varieties that I like, I’m often left feeling a bit disappointed when on opening the box I find it’s full of some other variety.

So, why don’t I just cancel the membership? Well, I have to admit that I’m sorely tempted and keep on telling myself that I must do it. However, every time I go up to the winery for a visit and see the difference in price between the normal and members columns on the price list my determination to cancel seems to ebb away.

Don’t get me wrong here; the wine in the box is always very drinkable. It’s just that I know what I like and would prefer to guarantee that I get it. Putting all that aside, Ivanhoe is generally a lovely spot. Its location on the side of a hill allows for good views over the surrounding country as well as out over the vineyard that produces the grapes used in the winemaking process.

The cellar door
Members tasting area

The cellar door tasting room is a fairly standard with a U shaped tasting counter in the middle of the room surrounded by the obligatory shelves around the outside showing an assortment of the usual gourmet and boutique products. As a matter of interest, they have actually just renovated the tasting room recently giving it a more modern feel. This goes for the staff uniforms too; they used to be bright orange and stood out like a sore thumb. Now they have been replaced with a much more elegant black uniform that just fits in a whole lot better.

So, as I mentioned earlier I tend to think that the Semillon and Shiraz from Ivanhoe are truly outstanding. While I think that they are the best, they are by no means the only good wine to be found here. As with most wineries to be found in the Hunter they make a full range of wine ranging from the very sweet to the dry. Overall, I’d say that they are all generally good. I don’t think I have the wine speak skills to properly describe them so if you want more details on them you can look at their website, there is a link below.

Ivanhoe wines

So, in closing I think I'd have to say that this is one of my favourite wineries in the Hunter and is definitely in the top three. If you’re nearby it’s definitely worth a visit, especially as you won’t find their wine anywhere else. It’s such a small producer that Cellar Door and mail order are the only ways to get it.

Ivanhoe Wines

Address: 527 Marrowbone Road, Pokolbin, NSW, 2320
Phone: 02 4998 7325
Web: www.ivanhoewines.com.au

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