A clean sweep for Briar Ridge

By Halliday Promotion

4 Feb, 2021

The Hunter Valley winery continues a history of excellence with a host of recent awards for the 2018 Dairy Hill Semillon.

Semillon reigns supreme in New South Wales’s Hunter Valley. The region is well-known for its ability to produce some of the finest and most age-worthy examples of the variety in the country and few wineries do it better than Mount View’s Briar Ridge. The brand’s Dairy Hill Semillon has long been awarded – and the new 2018 release is no different. Briar Ridge winemaker Alex Beckett talks terroir and how he’s continuing a history of excellence.

briar_alexBriar Ridge winemaker, Alex Beckett.  

In 2016, Hunter Valley local and up-and-coming industry talent Alex Beckett joined the Briar Ridge team as Assistant Winemaker. Alex’s passion for wine began while working part-time in Hunter cellar doors and wineries, which led him to study viticulture and wine science at the university of Adelaide. After just two years at the Briar Ridge winery, his enthusiasm and dedication resulted in a promotion to Winemaker – now Alex is responsible for the brand’s unique portfolio of both classic and alternate varieties.

“It’s an absolute honour to work at Briar Ridge,” says Alex. “The fruit from our Mount View vineyards is unique and some of the best in the Valley – I love making wines that reflect this incredible site.” Lying at an altitude of 130–180 metres, the winery’s location sets it apart from other Hunter Valley sites. The shadow of the Mount View Ranges provides cooling breezes over the vineyards and allows varieties to be preferentially planted according to desired sunlight and heat levels. Combine this with microclimate and the team’s viticultural practices, and Briar Ridge has created the perfect environment to craft wines of elegance and unique flavour.

Briar_bodyThe Briar Ridge team celebrating the accolades of the 2018 Dairy Hill Semillon.

The 2018 Dairy Hill Semillon is the latest in the brand’s semillon range to achieve some serious industry acclaim. “2018 was the second in a trio of stellar vintages for the Hunter Valley, and certainly the best of the three from a white wine perspective,” says Alex. “Warm days and cool nights resulted in pristine fruit with naturally high acidity – this wine shows incredible fruit definition and a crystalline, refreshing acidity and detailed structure.” Since its release last year, the 2018 Dairy Hill has taken out a clean sweep at the 2020 New South Wales Wine Show, including Best Semillon, Best Dry White and Governor's Best Wine in Show – as well as receiving a 90 point rating in the 2021 Halliday Wine Companion.

2018 Briar Ridge Dairy Hill Hunter Valley Semillon
Pure Semillon fruit aromas of kaffir lime leaf and lemongrass. A crisp palate packed with citrus flavours, this elegant style is balanced with fine acidity and great length. Excellent drinking while young but will develop in bottle with careful cellaring.  RRP $35.

To shop the 2018 Briar Ridge Dairy Hill Semillon – and a range of stellar alternative and traditional varieties – click here.

This article was produced in partnership with the featured winery.