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Upper Hunter Wine Region is World Class

our region

This month's breakfast was held at The Remington Motor Inn on Tuesday 4th August 2015. Our Guest Speakers were:

  • The Remington Motor Inn - Grant Gill
  • James Estate - Graeme Scott
  • Two Rivers - Brett Keeping

We asked these members to tell us about how they've managed to create innovation within their business and to expand whilst competing in a difficult business climate and this is what they had to say:

The Remington Motor Inn

The Remington have been open now for 12 months and it was really great to revisit them one year on. They've found over the past twelve months, there has been a change towards Corporate clients during the week and a dining opportunity to showcase to our local community the beautiful food and wine available. This is showcased through the following two initiatives:

  • Degustation menu - Friday and Saturday nights in addition to the normal dinner menu
  • Cocktail Evening - Friday nights
  • Remington on the Run - where you can ring ahead to get wholesome take away meals (available for breakfast, lunch and dinner)

James Estate

Winemaker Graham Scott is living the dream by combining two of his passions - winemaking and mountain biking and it's proving to be a great combination.

Not only are James Estate the most awarded winery in the Hunter Valley (this year out of 16 wines submitted for blind tasting, 15 were awarded) and an internationally awarded vineyard, but they're also in the top 8 bucket list mountain bike trails in Australia. They're also in the top 20 bucket list for Australia & New Zealand and for anybody who knows New Zealand for mountain biking - this is a huge achievement! Mountain Bike tourism combined with wine tourism has resulted in James Estate being a key contributor to putting the Upper Hunter back on the tourist's map.

With new owners from the Construction Industry, Graeme continued to expand and develop his 5 year plan to expand and improve the offering of James Estate.  

Two Rivers Estate

Brett & Linda Keeping have been at Two Rivers since 1988. From diverse backgrounds of film and aviation, they've managed to bring strategic and creative thinking to the overall vineyard over its lifetime.

They've seen the boom of the 1990's where Australian wine was considered the new international gold and where 10 year (and oftentimes lucrative contracts) inadvertently created a sense of stability which led to challenges with the quality of the grapes produced not to mention Coles and Woolworths controlling 80% of the Australian wine market making the ability of the average grape grower to have any control over the price they received difficult to say the least.

Both of these factors led the Keeping's to look at their vineyard in a new and enlightened way several years ago. They made a strategic decision to move away from being a grower of wine grapes to becoming a maker of wines which gave the flexibility and freedom to experiment and create the quality of wine from the grapes they produce. This has led to new methods of agriculture, and a high standard of quality being sought in the vineyard. If the quality isn't met, then the vines are changed either through new plantings or regrafting.

Similar to James Estate, they too have diversified their tourism offering by celebrating arts and culture. Most recently, they've had internationally renowned Sculptor Ben Dearnley in residence for the last 2 months. Remarkably, in that timeframe he chipped through 28 Tonnes of locally sourced Sandstone to create permanent sculptures!

2016 BUSINESS AWARDS Entries Close: 24th March 2017

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