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This story originally appeared in the Napa Valley Register.

The world of white wines offers hundreds of varieties and one variety that has caught my attention is semillon, specifically from the Hunter Valley in Australia.
Semillon is perhaps best known when harvested late with botrytis to produce Sauternes and Barsac, some of the world’s greatest dessert wines. As a young wine, it is commonly blended with sauvignon blanc for Bordeaux blends. But in the Hunter Valley, Australia’s oldest wine region, semillon is a wine to watch out for.
Chuck Hayward, founder of Vinroads and the former Australian and New Zealand Wine Buyer at JJ Buckley Fine Wines, is a big proponent of Australian wines. “My interest in Aussie wine started in the late ‘80s when the first ‘cheap and cheerful’ wines entered the US. They were just really good values, full of flavor and easy to like,” he explained. Hayward started Vinroads as a consulting outfit dedicated to marketing and education for Australian and New Zealand wines in the U.S.