Specialising in Chardonnay but also producing other traditional premium Hunter varieties, Scarborough has established itself as a leading wine brand
Scarborough has been producing its unique style of wines since 1987. The estate continues to be one of the few companies to be based exclusively around Hunter Valley wines, and have been awarded a 5-star rating by James Halliday for being an outstanding winery capable of producing wines of the highest calibre. Ian Scarborough specialises in Chardonnay, from the full-flavoured Yellow Label to the light, crisp Blue Label style, this varietal has become synonymous with Scarborough!
Scarborough produced its first wine in the 1980s, which began with the purchase of a stunning 30-acre hillside property at Pokolbin in the Central Lower Hunter Valley. It was planted to Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and is one of the highest vineyards in the Hunter with various aspects. During the growing season the days are warm and the elevation provides cool sea breezes at night. The vineyard's terra rossa soil (deep friable red loam soil over a soft limestone base) is unique in the Hunter Valley.
Ian Scarborough recognised the importance of the unique terra rossa soil atop the hillside property in creating what would become the Scarborough flagship wine the Yellow Label Chardonnay. More recently, it is a barrel selection of wine sourced from this hillside property that is used to create the White Label Selection Chardonnay.
In 1998 Scarborough purchased an additional 100 acres of land. Formerly part of the famous Lindemans Sunshine Vineyard, it is 10 km north-east of the home vineyard. Scarborough has undertaken an extensive program of planting at Sunshine Vineyard to support their Blue Label Chardonnay and White Label Semillon. This property also provides the opportunity to experiment with new varieties. Sunshine Vineyard has sandy soils (hourglass fine and very deep in areas) that are similar to the sandy creeks flats that produce the original and still famous Hunter Valley Semillons and Chardonnays.
The Hunter Semillons are a unique wine style; nowhere else in the world does this variety express such purity of fruit and experience such longevity in bottle. Scarborough today are well known for delicious pinot noir, grown to a climate traditionally too warm for the varietal; proving mature vines, terroir, and a little perseverance delivers. The unique rosé is made from Pinot Noir grapes, a finely structured and vibrant summer wine. Shiraz shows the hallmark red berry earthy and spice flavours which characterise the Hunter Valley red wine style.
Within the family, Scarborough is often referred to as the third child of Ian and Merralea. Their real children, Jerome and Sally, carry on this passion. This shows in the very successful family working relationship, which will ensure a seamless transition when the next generation takes the reins of this vibrant and ever-growing business. Jerome has worked closely with Ian over the past four years as winemaker and also overseen the development of the Sunshine vineyard. Sally has recently expanded her role to oversee all aspects of national sales from the Cellar Door to the top end restaurants and retailers of Australia.
From the first release in 1987, the Scarborough philosophy was to provide the wine consumer with wine of international standing, classic character and style. Through perseverance and commitment to quality, Ian and Merralea grew the company. To this day, the Scarborough family manages all facets of the business from vineyard to distribution.