The vineyard and winery at Sanguine Estate were founded by the Hunter family in 1997 – but, much to their surprise, it seems that winemaking goes much further back in the family.
It was only after the estate’s first vintage had been bottled that Tony Hunter (father of current winemaker Mark) discovered a list of early Victorian vignerons in a book about the area’s winemaking history – and found the name of his great-great-grandfather Pietro D’Orsa registered as a vigneron in Maldon, just a short way from Sanguine’s Heathcote location.
At their own winery, the family worked hard to establish their initial 16 acres of vines, which eventually grew to 55 acres by 2002. The majority of land is given over to shiraz, with the rest (playfully called the ‘fruit salad block’) reserved for experimenting with other varieties including Merlot, Tempranillo, Viognier and the ‘mystery vine’ – grafted from an unknown vine found on Pietro’s vineyard to provide a fascinating (albeit mysterious) link to the family's past.
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