1998 - The story begins
John and Deirdre Colvin bought 150 acres of vacant land at Mitchells Road, Mount View in the Hunter Valley in January 1998. Having looked at dozens of properties over the previous decade, none had appealed until they saw Montvalley.
Prior to finalising the deal, the soil was tested for growing grapes as John’s dream for many years had been to build a vineyard. Jay Tulloch looked at the land and felt that it would be capable of generating high quality grapes. A good deal of scientific testing followed, which confirmed this view.
The name Montvalley is a derived name, and reflects the fact that the vineyard is nestled in a beautiful valley in the midst of the Brokenback Ranges. The name Colvin means valley (col) of the vines (vin). So the name Montvalley reflects the area and the origins of John’s family.
The first year at Montvalley was spent clearing the property of internal fences and cutting the natural kikuyu grass that had become very long.
Montvalley is set in a spectacularly beautiful mountain valley that is hidden away in one of the most southerly parts of Mount View.
The landscape is rural and was previously used for grazing. Here you can spot kangaroos foraging, bellbirds, aquatic wildlife and nocturnal animals such as wombats.
Click through the years below to continue reading about the Montvalley Vineyard
1999 - The planting of the vines
Over the next three years, nearly 15 acres of Semillon, Chardonnay and Shiraz vines are planted.
2002 - The first drop is bottled
The first drop of Semillon is bottled in February 2002.
John and Deirdre also embark on building the family home which will eventually welcome hundreds of guests who share in their love of good food and wine.
2003 - Award-winning winery
The 2003 Semillon vintage wins a bronze medal at the 2003 Hunter Valley Boutique Wine Show.
2004 - Dreams of golf
In addition to the first crop of Shiraz being bottled in May, 2004 also sees John design an 18 hole par three golf course, set amongst the picturesque vineyards and rolling hills of the property.
Another highlight includes the vineyard winning a gold medal at the 2004 Hunter Valley Boutique Wine Show for its 2004 Semillon vintage.
2005 - Time to tee off
After many hours spent preparing the ground and configuring the greens, John and Deirdre welcome 150 family and friends to attend the first Montvalley Golf Classic which they hope will become an inaugural event.
The first crop of Chardonnay is also bottled in November 2005.
2006 - Summer drinking
In response to the increasing desire for more refreshing and lighter wine styles, the first crop of Rosé is bottled in October 2006 from the Shiraz grapes.
2007 - The perfect work hideaway
After much entertaining and many informal conferences at the Montvalley home, John decides to build a dedicated conference centre adjacent to the house. This wall to wall glass venue is surrounded by picturesque gardens designed by the award winning landscape designer Andrew Pfeiffer. With stunning views of the golf course and vineyards this space is the perfect hideaway for small conference groups.
2008 - Record-breaking rains
Record-breaking rains across the Hunter Valley created major problems for the region's vineyard operators in 2008. Montvalley suffered too, with the summer rain and high humidity providing an ideal breeding ground for bunch rot and other diseases. As a result, the vineyard yielded no harvest in 2008.
2011 - A new vintage
A new chapter opens on the Montvalley story with the production of a Semillon Chardonnay - set to be crisp, fresh and lively in taste.
2011 has been a fantastic year for winemaking with the largest and best quality crop yielded to date across all varieties.
2013 – Daniel Binet joins Montvalley
2013 welcomes a new face with Montvalley hiring one of Australia’s rising winemaker stars, Daniel Binet. Lending his international and local expertise in wine production, Daniel provides advice on everything from grape care to the finished product.