Wine has been called nectar of the gods, a potent elixir, and nature’s own medicine. For Michael Hope, a successful Sydney pharmacist turned wine grower, wine is all that and more. In 1994, Michael Hope moved his family out of Sydney and up to the Hunter Valley, with the hope of raising his family in a more rural environment. He purchased a pretty piece of vineyard land, and within a couple of years he acquired the adjacent long-shuttered Saxonvale Winery as well as all 200 acres of Saxonvale’s prime vineyard land. In 1997, Hope released his first wine. By 1999, with only two years of production under its belt, the Hope Estate had gained a reputation for fashioning some of the Hunter Valley’s most popular wines or as Hope himself is fond of saying, “nice, feel good, lifestyle wines that everyone can enjoy.”
Hope Estate is located two and half hours north of Sydney in Australia’s oldest wine producing region. The Hunter is Australia’s Catskills, a dreamy pastoral land of far off Blue Mountains and plenty of legends and lore. It is also a weekend retreat for Sydneyites in search of a small slice of the bush, excellent country food, and a hearty taste of the grape. Hope Estate offers visitors all that and more. With the opening of the winery’s highly touted Harvest Restaurant, Michael and Karen Hope now offer award winning cuisine to complement the estate’s fabulous wines.
Hope Estate wines are produced exclusively from Hunter Valley fruit, which oddly enough is a rarity in the Hunter, even though the Hunter is the oldest and most established of all Australian wine regions. Chardonnay and Shiraz are this winery’s flagship offerings, but excellent Merlot, Semillon, and Verdelho are also grown and made here under the watchful eyes of Michael Hope and the astute coterie he has assembled at the Hope Estate. With no pun intended, we sincerely hope to see a lot more of this estate’s wines in years to come.