Chateau Francois

New South Wales | Hunter Valley

Our Review

I (James) knew former NSW Director of Fisheries Dr Don Francois for a very long time indeed. I remember his early fermentations of sundry substances other than grapes (none of which, I hasten to add, was the least bit illegal) in the copper bowl of an antiquated washing machine in his suburban laundry. He established Château Francois one year before Brokenwood, and our winemaking and fishing paths crossed many times. The semillon vines produced exceptional wine that sold for the proverbial song, year after year. Production ceased some years ago, but if you can get your hands on his 2014, ’15 and ’16 Semillons, I cannot emphasise enough just how good these wines are, given their price. Don laboured alone from dawn to dusk through much of his life and aphasia robbed him of the ability to speak and understand clearly. He also suffered a number of strokes over the years. He didn’t let this deter him, but ultimately broken vertebrae and cancer sadly led to his death on March 11, aged 88. -JAMES HALLIDAY


Winemaker Don Francois
Region Hunter Valley
Address 1744 Broke Road, Pokolbin, NSW 2321
Established 1969
Dozens 200
Opening Hours Not
Telephone (02) 4998 7548