Explore the Hunter Valley: Drury Lane Estate

A few years ago, Angus and Alexandra Scott decided to buy a vineyard in the Hunter Valley.

The duo from Sydney had always dreamed of starting up their own winery, so when the beautiful and well-established Hermitage Heights vineyard came up for sale, it was the perfect opportunity for them.

“They say every cloud has a silver lining, and ours was that in the middle of covid, the company I worked for closed our Sydney offices and globally adopted a ‘work from anywhere’ policy,” says Alexandra.

“Angus and I sold up in Sydney and moved to the Hunter.”

Alexandra and Angus Scott of Drury Lane Estate

Words by Jess Verrender, Photography by Josef Nalevansky.

And so Drury Lane Estate was established, an online wine-producing business that has flourished, thanks to a brave and creative vision implemented by the husband-and-wife team. Working alongside talented winemaker Richard Done, their ethos is based around sustainable farming, authenticity and challenging the status quo by crafting wines that taste delicious, while proudly representing a carefully considered brand.

“In 2022 we produced three varietals of wine: shiraz nouveau, rosé and semillon,” says Alexandra.

“Our hero product this year is our Rosé All Day, which is a 1.5-litre magnum of our rosé wine. It is perfect for gifts, girls’ getaways and parties.

“A shiraz nouveau is a shiraz that has been harvested and bottled in the same year – it is young, fresh and sexy.

“This year we sold all our chardonnay grapes but in 2023 we will be bottling these and adding a modern tasting chardonnay to our line-up, along with a sparkling varietal – plus a traditional shiraz, which will be our 2022 picked shiraz that has been aged in oak for 18 months.

“We just won our first ever medal with our 2022 semillon, which scored 91 points and took out the silver spot in the Semillon 2022 Vintage category at the NSW Small Winemakers Wine Show among some tough competition.”

Featuring a very distinctive whippet on their label, the logo pays homage to Alexandra’s family roots, with the same dog appearing on the Drury family crest. Alexandra was always drawn to the Hunter.

“Much of my youth was spent visiting the area, attending wineries and restaurants, playing golf and enjoying music festivals. Angus and I even got married in Wollombi,” she says.

Alongside winemaking, the couple are raising four children, aged between five and 15. Alexandra was most recently the vice president for Australia and New Zealand at a US cyber security tech firm and now runs sales and marketing for the estate. Angus, a fourth-generation cattle and cropping farmer from Cootamundra and former pro rugby player, leads the sustainable agriculture and wine growing efforts.

In addition to co-founding Drury Lane Estate, Angus is also the principal of ScottBuilt, a full-service residential builder servicing the Central Coast, Newcastle and Hunter Valley.

Building up Drury Lane Estate was Alexandra’s planned transition out of corporate life.

“I could never retire because I can’t sit still, but the estate presented the opportunity to combine my sales, marketing and leadership skills with my passion for wine, to make a living out of doing what I love,” she says.

“I couldn’t have made the move without my husband by my side. He is our vigneron, which translates in French to a person who cultivates grapes for winemaking. He is a jack of all trades around the property and does anything and everything from managing the vineyard, fencing and herding cattle to renovating the homestead and building our cellar door. He works very closely with our viticulturist, Liz Riley of Vitibit, to make sure that the vines and crop is the best it can be. He is slowly teaching me to be more hands on in the vineyard… I have learned how to spray the vines and my next lesson is how to drive a tractor.”

Set in the heart of Pokolbin on limestone foundations, the vineyard features a mixture of red clay, sandy loam and silty soils. With vines planted onsite more than 25 years ago from iconic clones in the area, Drury Lane Estate has had an abundant past, and now looks forward to a big future.

“We are currently planning to create our own Drury Lane Estate cellar door onsite and hope to open in early 2023. Our Wine Club, Whippet, is on its way, too. Members will receive benefits such as wine club discounts, member events, Drury Lane Estate merchandise, and virtual tastings,” Alexandra says.

“In the interim our focus is on building out our online sales and working hard to find stockists and partners who share our brand values.”

To order wines from Drury Lane Estate or enquire about becoming a stockist, see drurylane.com.au