Renee Burton is bringing a fresh perspective to Hunter Valley winemaking and the cellar door experience with Wild Ren Wines.
Known as Ren to her friends, Burton (above) has spent 20 years in the wine and tourism industries. She is the name and face – as well as wine producer and business force – behind Wild Ren Wines in Pokolbin, which launched quietly in late 2021 at the tail end of COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions.
Since its launch Wild Ren has gained attention for its distinctive and striking wines, which include classic Hunter styles such as Shiraz, Chardonnay, Semillon and Pinot Gris in small batch production as well as alternative varieties and blends made from carefully sourced premium parcels of fruit from other NSW regions.
“We always approach each vintage with anticipation, particularly during difficult growing seasons,” Burton said.
“While we have a wish list going into each vintage, we take it as it comes. It’s about showcasing what’s best produced each vintage and creating a style that compliments the fruit.”
The Wild Red Wines cellar door at Peppers Creek Village in Pokolbin has an intimate wine bar feel. A display of the full Wild Ren wine range showcases the label’s distinctive artwork, inspired by the birds in the business name.
A variety of guided wine-tasting options are on offer at the cellar door to showcase the small-batch wines including a unique wine and chocolate pairing with chocolate truffles from popular Hunter Valley patisserie Gigi & Chix Bonbon. There are also options for catered small group events including corporate wine sessions and private tastings.
The Wild Ren portfolio includes a premium gin that showcases Australian botanicals including lemon myrtle, aniseed myrtle and Tasmanian pepper berry with a hint of sweetness from cinnamon and strawberry gum.
“I’ve always had a love for gin,” Burton said. “After 27 trials experimenting with botanicals, I nailed the recipe. I wanted the gin to be classic with the right amount of citrus, spice and sweetness.”
Later this year, Wild Ren will release a Tempranillo and Sparkling Rose, which will be available in limited release, initially to Wild Ren wine club members.