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Going for Broke

By | Cellar Door, Dining, Vineyard, Wine | No Comments

In a sleepy little corner of the Hunter Valley, about 15 minutes westwards along Broke Road from the hustle and bustle of Pokolbin lives the quaint village of Broke – and the part of the Hunter Valley that we call home.

The village of Broke was founded when land grants were given to John Blaxland in 1824 and by the late 19th Century Broke was a thriving town with several hotels, a school, a post office, two churches, a butchery, bakery and a blacksmith.

Once the railways took the main trade away from the Great North Road between Singleton and Sydney, the town reverted to being the quiet village it had originally been and today is home to around 700 people and mixed industry of agriculture, mining, hospitality and tourism.

Obviously, no trip to Broke is complete without a visit to our unique cellar door, but what are our tips to get the most out of your visit to our little village?


There are a plethora of accommodation options within Broke and the surrounding area.

AirBnB has, at last count, over 30 properties available on any given weekend. One of our local favourites is the Winemaker’s Cottage, just two doors further along Milbrodale Road from Glenguin Estate. Featuring two bedrooms, a complete kitchen, and views across the Brokenback Range, this cottage will best suit a couple or small family.

Glen Eden Cottages is a property that’s made for bigger families and groups. The property boasts two cottages, Rosebower featuring 3 bedrooms and Lemonthyme with two and can be booked as a complete package of both cottages or singularly. With its location just five minutes south along Wollombi Road from Broke, it’s the perfect place to start your Broke Fordwich wine adventure.


During the week, food options in our village can be quite limited however by the time the weekend comes things a very different indeed.

Margan Restaurant is a full garden to plate experience featuring modern European cuisine and a strong emphasis on locally grown and reared produce. A one-acre kitchen garden is the highlight, but anything they cannot produce themselves they source locally, making for an exceptional agri-dining experience.

Mount Broke Restaurant have recently employed a new Italian chef and is the perfect place in Broke for al fresco dining and wood-fired pizzas. A share platter of salumi to die for and pizzas to delight every palate make Mount Broke a must-visit location. They are occasionally open on Friday nights as well, so make sure you call ahead if you’re heading to Broke for a long weekend.


Whilst Glenguin Estate should be the number one location on your list of cellar doors to visit, there are at least another ten more in the Broke Fordwich region.

Catherine Vale Wines is one of our other favourites, especially for lovers of Italian varieties. Being one of the few producers in the Hunter Valley of Barbera, and an Arnies that leaves you salivating, a trip to Broke would not be complete without visiting their cellar door.

Greenway Wines have probably the best Merlot in the region and a Gewurztraminer that Glenguin’s Cellar Door Manager Phil describes as ‘the single most aromatic wine I’ve experienced in the Valley’. High praise indeed. An architecturally designed cellar door completes the picture and makes Greenway a must stop on your Broke Fordwich wine tour.

The Village

Our village may be small, but we are immensely proud to call Broke Fordwich, and the wider Hunter Valley, home. The region can produce wines of stunning elegance, food experiences to die for, with accommodation fit for kings.

We are only two hours away from Sydney making the Broke Fordwich sub-region of the Hunter Valley the perfect escape for day-trippers, weekenders and more. We call it the ‘tranquil side’ of the Hunter Valley, and nothing could be more accurate.

Just Desserts

By | Cellar Door, Dining, Tasting Notes, Wine | No Comments

An old favourite will make a long awaited return to the Glenguin Estate cellar door this weekend as we launch our 2017 ‘The Sticky’ Botrytised Semillon as part of our Spring Semillon Release weekend.

Highly sought-after in the Sydney and Melbourne restaurant scene, our previous vintage (2014) sold out at the cellar door back at Christmas so it has been a long wait to get this wine back in. But it was very much worth the wait.

Following a similar vein to the 2014, we’ve eased back on the residual sugar to make the wine much more cleansing than your standard dessert wine – indeed, pair it with something like a lemon sorbet and it will clean, not cloy, your palate.

In 2014 we added a touch of viognier to add complexity and lift the wine with a touch of apricot on the back of the palate. This year, we’ve changed things up a little – adding some barrel aged Marsanne (5%) to compliment the rich, citrus backbone from the semillon and slight spice from the botrytis. A lifted pineapple flavour is the result, working perfectly with the citrus and honeysuckle flavours and giving the wine a bit of a deeper complexity.

When looking to pair this wine with a dessert, we went through all the usual suspects – baked lemon cheesecake and even a simple cheese platter were the front-runners for a while, but in the end we couldn’t go past a rather decadent dish of honey-roasted pears with blue cheese and walnuts.

The sweet honey sauce works beautifully with the wine, flavours just complimenting each other and not one working to dominate. Add in the soft roasted pears, the rich creamy blue cheese and the crunch of the walnuts and you get simply the perfect dessert for the perfect wine. Sheer delight.


Honey Roasted Pears with Blue Cheese and Walnuts


  • 1 ripe Buerre Bosc pear per person
  • Good knob of unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup high quality honey
  • 1/4 cup high quality raw sugar
  •  1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 cup crubmled good quality blue cheese (we used a Saint Agur for a creamier note)


Preheat the oven to 190 degrees.

Slice pears in half, scoping out the seeds and core.

Add the melted butter into an oven pan, whisk in the honey and sugar. Place pears chopped side down into the honey mixture and bake until tender (roughly 30 minutes).

Lightly toast the walnuts in a dry frying pan, tossing occaisionally, for 4 – 5 mintes. Set aside to cool.

Remove the pears from the oven and gently flip them so that they are now sliced side up. Baste the pears with the honey sauce and place back in the oven for a further 10 minutes.

Once the pears are cooked remove from the oven, transfer to a plate then drizzle the honey sauce over the pears and the plate. Sprinkle the toasted walnuts and dot with blue cheese – the cheese will start to melt into the honey sauce.

Serve immediately.

Salmon for the ages

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In the second of our lead-in posts for our Spring Semillon Release at the Glenguin Estate cellar door on September 9/10, we feature our 2013 Aged Release Semillon and pair it with one of my favourite salmon dishes – which I cook fairly regularly.

Aged Hunter Valley Semillon is one of the Australian wine industry’s treasures. Unique on the world landscape, I’d go so far as to say there’s nothing like it anywhere else. Zippy and vibrant as a youngster, citrus to the fore, developing honeyed notes as it ages; eventually becoming lush and buttery.

It’s also true that very few people get the opportunity to taste semillon as it ages as, with a few notable exceptions, a lot of Hunter Valley Semillon is released within 6-12 months of vinification. With that in mind, it is a real joy to be able to release a Semillon that’s just starting to show signs of development and complexity.

The 2018 edition of the Halliday Wine Companion rated our 2013 Aged Release Glenguin Vineyard Semillon at 95 points, drinking to 2028. High praise from, arguably, Australia’s foremost wine critic. Of the wine, James called it, ‘A vinous example of having one’s cake and eating it, because youthful and mature flavours live happily together.’

I couldn’t have put it better.

The colour is a deep golden yellow, and the palate gives you a hint of what’s to come with little touches of honey backed by lime zest and crisp acidity, but the aroma is where we start to see deeper honey notes shine. Its still quite young at four years on, and its acidity indicates a fine life ahead of it. But the real joy in this wine is those little hints and glimpses, shining a light on what’s to come.

So when finding a perfect dish to pair this with, I wanted something with a bit of a deeper flavour that worked with both the younger lime flavours, and the deeper honey. Seafood, generally, is an obvious choice with Semillon. Given that this wine is beginning to develop more complex flavours, I went for salmon – something a bit deeper, a bit more flavoursome.

This dish has a history – about a decade ago I went on a ‘team building’ day at a local cooking school with other managers where I worked at the time (very much my pre-Glenguin days). A variation of this dish was what we were tasked with cooking on the day. Over the years, I’ve adapted it somewhat and made it my own but this dish just simply works when paired with aged Semillon.

So I hope you enjoy, and cheers!


Oven Roasted Salmon with a Garlic, Butter and Persian Feta crust.

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • Olive oil
  • 2 x 180 gram Atlantic salmon fillets, skin on, deboned.
  •  50 grams of butter, softened
  • A generous dollop of Persian feta
  • Fresh dill leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste



  1. Preheat fan-forced oven to 170 degrees
  2. In a bowl, combine Persian feta, dill, garlic, butter to form a paste. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. In an oven-proof dish, drizzle oil and place salmon skin-side down.
  4. Smear the paste over the top of the salmon.
  5. Place in the oven, bake for 20 minutes or until salmon is just cooked and slightly pink in the middle.
  6. Serve immediately on a warmed plate, with a side of hasselback potatoes and steamed asparagus and a glass of 2013 Aged Release Glenguin Vineyard Semillon.

Semillon and seafood

By | Cellar Door, Dining, Vintage report, Wine | No Comments

As part of our lead-in to our 2017 Spring Semillon Release at the cellar door on September 9th and 10th, we’re profiling each of our new release wines, including what we think is the perfect meal to accompany it. First up this week – the 2017 Glenguin Vineyard Semillon, alongside Cellar Door Manager Phil’s favourite seafood dish of scallops, black pudding and a mint pea puree.

First to the wine.

The 2017 vintage will be remembered as one dominated by heat with half the days in January reaching 35+ degrees, half of those again hitting over 40. Our semillon was picked on February 7, a bit later than normal but with wonderful ripe fruit flavours and high natural acidity.

The wine was vinified in that classic Hunter fashion – immediately pressed off skins, cold settled then fermented to dryness in stainless steel. It sat on lees for four months with a gentle filtering prior to bottling and no malolactic fermentation. Minimal sulphur added.

Pale yellow-green colour, augmented by aromas of orange blossom, candied mandarin and a hint of lime zest. These being supplemented on the palate with crisp acidity and flavours of Tahitian lime, ripe grapefruit and a racy, almost chalky finish. Immediately approachable as a young wine, but let this sit for a few years and you’ll be rewarded handsomely. It’s classic Hunter Valley Semillon – our best to date? Quite possibly.

So it’s no surprise then that when trying to find the perfect dish to pair with it, Phil wasted little time in recommending seafood and one of his favourite dishes.

As Phil recalls: “I first had this dish in a nondescript restaurant back in Canberra, where I’m from. The restaurant was attached to one of the many social clubs around the town – not altogether inspiring, aside from the fact that the chef moved to Canberra thanks to a spouse who had been working in the UK for the Australian Government – the chef himself having trained in London and worked in some high-profile, Michelin starred restaurants.

The dish blew me away the very first time I tried it, so it was a quick decision to see how it paired with the acidity and citrus flavours of the 2017 Glenguin Vineyard Semillon. I wasn’t disappointed.”

Pan-fried Scallops, black pudding and mint pea puree.


  • 200gm fresh or frozen peas
  • about 10 fresh mint leaves
  • 100ml good quality fish or vegetable stock
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, grated
  • 6 hand-dived scallops (as fresh as you can get), cleaned and roe removed – 3 per person
  • 1 high quality black pudding or blood sausage (UK-style tends to work best), sliced into 6 slices – 3 per person
  • 100gm butter
  • dash of white wine (preferably Hunter Valley Semillon)
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

For the Pea Puree:

  • Heat small amount of oil in a non-stick pan
  • Add garlic and shallots, cook until translucent
  • Add peas, mint, white wine, stock and season well. Cook until the liquid has almost evaporated and peas are mushy when pressed down.
  • Transfer to blender, blend until a thick puree forms. If puree is too thick, add water or stock until desired consistency is formed and keep warm.

For the  scallops and black pudding:

  • Heat small amount of oil in a non-stick frying pan.
  • Add slices of black pudding and cook for a minute on each side or until each side is crisp, maintaining a slight gooey consistency in the middle. Set aside and keep warm.
  • Generously season the scallops with salt and pepper.
  • Place scallops in the same pan, placing them at the edge of the pan in a clockwise fashion, starting at 12 o’clock.
  • Cook the scallops for thirty seconds, until a brown crust has formed.
  • Flip the scallops over and add the butter to the pan.
  • Whilst the other side of the scallops are cooking, baste the scallops in the melted butter.
  • Cook other side for thirty seconds, then remove from the pan and keep warm.

To serve:

  • Place a large spoonful of pea puree on the centre of a small plate then with the back spoon, press down and work a thin circle of puree.
  • Arrange three slices black pudding in a small triangle around the centre of the puree.
  • Place one scallop on each of the black pudding slices.
  • Garnish with fresh pea shoots (optional).

The 2017 Glenguin Vineyard Semillon will be available from the Cellar Door from September 9th. Member’s pricing will available for all purchases on the first weekend via the cellar door (Sept 9/10). The wine will be available for purchase online from September 14 for $27.50/bottle.