Hungerford Hill’s first wines were released in 1971, and Australia’s first wine tourism complex incorporating a modern winery, underground cellar, motel and restaurant were constructed in 1972. The brand gained a fine reputation for the two varieties the Hunter region does best: Semillon and Shiraz.
Over the ensuing years Hungerford Hill extended its influence to South Australia’s Coonawarra region, and more recently to other New South Wales regions like Orange, Cowra, Young (Hilltops) and Tumbarumba. Varieties such as Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling and Pinot Noir emerged from the brand.
During the 1990s the Australian wine industry gained international recognition, but changes in ownership and the sale of the winery complex as well as the Coonawarra and Hunter vineyards left Hungerford Hill struggling for recognition.
In March 2002 Hungerford Hill was acquired by the James Kirby family, well known for their involvement in the refrigeration and engineering industries.
In March 2003 the Kirby family purchased a new home for Hungerford Hill – a stunning new complex at the gateway to the Hunter Valley, incorporating an underground winery, a tasting room, ‘Terroir Restaurant and Wine Bar’ and 11 acres of Shiraz and Cabernet vineyard. With its new home as a graphic symbol of its new direction, Hungerford Hill has now been reinvented as a Hunter Valley Ic