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What is bud burst you may ask. Well it’s early September when the grape vines, all around the country – but particularly in the Hunter Valley – spring to life. 

Often it starts right on 1 September. The first day of spring.  But more often than not it takes a week or two into September for millions of little furRy buds on grapevines to start their cycle for the next vintage.

In the Hunter Valley the 2014 vintage was a cracker. Many, including all the major vineyards, are suggesting it could be the best vintage ever in the Hunter. Now that’s a big call. But that’s what’s being said.

Soft rich Shiraz IS ageing in barrels and Semillon is about to be bottled and sold.

Last Sunday (August 30th) I wandered through the small shiraz vineyard on Ray Kearsley’s Bimbadeen Estate, high up on the hills of Mount View overlooking the Hunter.

You can see the very light green shoots - or leaves - just beginning to unfold from their long winter slumber.

It’s a marvellous site, just watching these wonderful little shoots popping out randomly all over the vineyard. No particular order or patterns, just everywhere and anywhere.

I’ve always marvelled at how these tiny shoots mature into wonderful juicy bunches of grapes that all so often end up as marvellous bottles of Shiraz, or Semillon or Pinot.

As the weather starts to get a little warmer over coming weeks, more and more vines will spring into life. By the end of October, the Hunter will be covered in luscious green leaves, signalling the start of what could very well be another fantastic vintage for those vignerons who take such great care of the vineyards.

If you've never tasted a Hunter shiraz, you don’t know what you are missing. 

Get up there and get into a few.