With the striking stainless steel chain sculpture of two giant entwined hands outside its cellar door, Ivanhoe Wines is one of the Parish’s most distinctive destinations. But the sculpture isn’t what the winery is best known for – that would be its gutsy reds, delicious whites and signature hospitality.
The estate’s award-winning cellar door is a replica of the 1800's Ivanhoe Homestead, and has been owned and operated by Stephen and Tracy Drayton since 1996. It’s also one of the most picturesque and most photographed properties in the Hunter Valley.
Son of the late Reg and Pam Drayton, Stephen is the third branch of the family to be involved in winemaking in the Hunter Valley, and he has spent almost 25 years bringing his own particular style and passion into the making of his award-winning wines.
Stretching across the foothills of the Brokenback Mountains, the property has been called Ivanhoe for over 150 years. It was first planted with vines in 1855 and today is made up of 80 acres of which approximately 50 acres are under vine with varieties that include Shiraz and Semillon, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Verdelho, Chambourcin and Gewurtztraminer.
The vineyard, planted on the side of Brokenback Range is also one of the steepest vineyards in Pokolbin with rich, red volcanic soil and a limestone base – just perfect for producing great red wines. Further down the slope, the soil is made up of a sandy loam which is ideal for producing excellent whites.
For both Stephen and Tracy, one of the more important roles of owning a winery and cellar door is the customer service role – and that is why you will always see one or the other at the cellar door talking to the customers as they sample from the range of Ivanhoe Estate wines, sharing their passion for the winemaking process and wines they produce.
The genuine, warm Ivanhoe hospitality is evident from the moment you enter the cellar door; this is what keeps people coming back to this enchanted vineyard. When you visit the Ivanhoe, you will not only get a wine tasting; you get a complete wine experience.
Featuring a shady verandah overlooking the Brokenback Ranges, Ivanhoe Wines is also the perfect spot to sample the winery’s wares while admiring that stunning wine country view. If you are in the area for a wine tour, make sure to include Ivanhoe as part of your Hunter Valley cellar door experience. You’ll find Ivanhoe Estate at 525 Marrowbone Road, Pokolbin. www.ivanhoewines.com.au