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  • Your Hunter Valley Magazine

Pioneers of the Hunter Since 1853

It has been over one hundred and sixty years since the first Drayton arrived in the Hunter Valley and decided to call it home. That Drayton was Joseph Drayton. Joseph was born in 1825 at Lincolnshire in England when at the age of twenty-seven set sail for Australia with his wife, Anna, and their two small boys. Tragically Joseph lost a son, a newborn daughter and his wife during the voyage.

In 1853 he and his son Frederick journeyed to Lochinvar and after several years decided to move to Pokolbin where Joseph acquired 80 acres of land and built the 'Bellevue' homestead. In the late 1850's, Joseph turned from growing grain to plant his first vines in the rich loam soil of Bellevue. Joseph went on to marry again and had another eight children.

Today, the family enterprise, originally started by Joseph more than 165 years ago is in the hands of Max Drayton and his two sons John, and Greg who embrace modern winemaking techniques and equipment to produce wines of great quality from the 55 hectares of vines. In particular, the Old Flat vineyards of Shiraz and Semillon which were both planted in the 1890's. These 55 hectares with Chardonnay, Semillon, Traminer, Verdelho, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Shiraz, produce 500 tonnes of fruit.

As one of just a few of the original pioneering wine companies that is still family-owned and operated, the Drayton family is very proud of its history over six generations and the part it has played in the development of the Hunter Valley wine industry and also as a tourist destination. Drayton’s Family Wines offer select styles for all palates, from the drink now styles in the Oakey Creek range, to New Generation wines of noble varieties and the unique and distinctive varieties comprising the Hunter Valley range. For the discerning palate, a classic representation of Hunter Valley terroir is found in the Drayton’s Vineyard Reserves and ultra-premium iconic Limited Releases.

Above all else, Drayton’s are renowned for their award-winning fortified wines. With the most extensive range in the Hunter Valley, their ports and liqueur wines are highly prized. In addition, the Heritage Vines range and iconic wines of Joseph Shiraz, William Shiraz and Susanne Semillon are notorious. Visit the Cellar Door, taste their award-winning wines and experience over 160 years of winemaking excellence.

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