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About Benwarin

The Benwarin vineyard is situated in Mistletoe Lane, Pokolbin, in the Hunter Valley.  It was established by Allan and Janneke Bagley in 1999.  The philosophy is to use the best viticulture techniques to produce the best possible fruit, and make good fruit-driven wines which are distinctive and interesting.  We also believe that wine should be accessible and part of everyday life.  Our wines are priced so that they offer a higher quality alternative to commercial wines for everyday drinking.


The site at Mistletoe Lane was chosen because of the soil, good drainage, a variety of aspects, and exposure to breezes. The vineyard was planned and established under the supervision of our viticulturalist, Jenny Bright.  This involved soil testing, selection of the best sites for each variety, soil improvement, putting in the best possible drip irrigation system, and selecting the best clones for the region.  The vineyard comprises approximately 19 hectares (47 acres) of vines.


The varieties grown are mainly the classic well-proven Hunter grapes: Shiraz, Semillon, Verdelho, and Chardonnay.  We also planted some Sangiovese, which is showing good potential in the Hunter, and Chambourcin, as it is well suited to the climate and makes a popular lighter style of red wine.


The vineyard is managed by our vineyard manager, Jim Barry with one objective - quality.  The yield is kept low at less than 2 tonnes per acre by meticulous hand-pruning and crop thinning.  Irrigation is controlled very precisely, using soil moisture probes to ensure that the vines are given exactly the water they need and no more. As we get close to harvest, all unripe and damaged bunches are removed by hand. The result is fruit that is fully and evenly ripe and intensely flavoured.


The wines are made by Jim Chatto, the chief winemaker at First Creek Winemaking Services.  Jim has 10 years of winemaking experience in Europe, Tasmania, and the Hunter.

Please enjoy our Wines, they are available here online, and through a few selected specialist wine retailers and restaurants. For more information and trade enquiries please email us on

The Hunter Valley Region

The Hunter Valley is the historical home of the Australian wine industry with the first vines being planted in the 1820’s.  Wine has always been a significant industry in the valley, never more so than at the present time.  Being only 2 hours from Sydney, the Hunter has become Australia’s best known wine tourism destination. 

The Hunter is the furthest north of the major wine districts in Australia, placing it at the warm end of the spectrum for quality wine.  Despite this many of the best wines in Australia are produced there.  The Pokolbin sub-district is close enough to the coast to be cooled by sea breezes and coastal cloud cover in the summer. Vineyards are typically low-yielding, producing around 5 tonnes per hectare. Many wine writers regard Hunter semillon as Australia’s most distinctive and possibly best wine.  Hunter shiraz is also very well regarded – the classic Hunter style is medium-bodied, complex, and well balanced, making it an excellent food wine.  Chardonnay was first grown in Australia in the Hunter in the 1960’s and some of best chardonnays in Australia are produced there.  Another variety well suited to the Hunter is verdelho, which has been grown in the Hunter since the 1830’s.  Verdelho is a Portuguese variety best known as the variety Madeira is made from.  In the Hunter it makes a delicious full bodied white table wine well suited to Asian food.


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