Winemakers Mark Richardson of Tyrrell’s and Stuart Hordern of Brokenwood launched The Summer of Semillon series in a “face-off” at Crows Nest’s wine bar, Knird, alongside owner Andrew Day and a crowd of thirsty locals.

Day introduced the sparring partners in the laneway bar on the last day of spring – kicking of a programme designed to encourage locals to rediscover Hunter Valley Semillon, sometimes referred to as the forgotten grape.

World renowned wine writer Jancis Robinson lauded Hunter Valley Semillons as “one of Australia’s great gifts to the wine world”, and what better time than an Australian summer to reacquaint yourself with the varietal.

The night begin with an introduction from Andrew Day, followed by insights from Richardson and Hordern on the history of Tyrrell’s, Brokenwood and the featured Semillons. Guests enjoyed discussions on three pairs of outstanding wines, culminating in a Q&A session and an opportunity to revisit favourites.

“I have long had the desire to champion the magic of Hunter Valley Semillon in the Sydney market,” said Day.

“Semillon – be it young or old – drifts over far too few palates in our own backyard. Enjoying young Hunter Valley Semillon in the warmer months should be an absolute given – our climate almost demands it! The fresh, fragrant, citrus, floral and lemongrass characteristics of this wine means it should be in every ice-filled laundry sink, esky and Bunnings tub for those summer backyard BBQs.”

“Any avid wine drinker that loves their sauvignon blanc or Pinot Grigio would be blown away and disappointed – all at the same time – that it took them so long to discover the beauty, appeal and delights of this fresh white aromatic. Great aged Semillon would challenge any of the great white wines of the world and in most instances out run them.”