Hunter Wine Services founders Rex D’Aquino and John Hordern have 60 years of winemaking experience between them, and over 200 years of winemaking history. Rex is a 3rd generation winemaker from the D’Aquino family business whose roots stem back to early 1900’s in Sicily, Italy. John is a 5th generation winemaker from the Anthony Hordern retail business of the early 1850’s in Australia.


Established in July 2000, Hunter Wine Services (Australia) Pty Ltd is a relatively new business specialising in the production of premium regional wines.

The Winery

The D’Aquino winery crushes 5,000 tonnes of grapes each year, blending and bottling batches of wine from 20 different regions of Eastern Australia, resulting in individually styled batches of wine with consistent high quality.

The winery has its own dual level maturation cellars below ground (ideal for wine).

The old Oak Milk facility

The winery itself has its own history, being the old Oak Milk facility situated ideally in Muswellbrook in the Upper Hunter Valley on 10.5 hectares of land, leaving plenty of room for expansion in years to come. It was built originally in 1950 to process fresh and powdered milk products and is a large ‘art deco’ brick building.

Contract winemaking

Founders Rex D’Aquino & John Hordern saw the need to establish a contract wine making facility to produce individual batch, high quality wines for the burgeoning population of small vignerons of South Eastern Australia, who although were growing premium grapes did not have the means or opportunity to make the wine from those grapes. The first commercial vintage in 2001 saw the winery crush approximately 2000 tonnes of grapes from numerous vineyards in South Eastern Australia.

Hunter Wine Services provides consulting services for grape growing, winemaking and marketing specific to the clients own needs and can help you plan your vintage grape crush to suit your winemaking requirements to include:

  • Musting, juicing, chilling, rotary drum vacuum filtration and centrifuge;
  • Red & white grape ferments with delivery ex the press and gross lees;
  • Post vintage tank & barrel storage;
  • Post vintage winemaking, malo lactic fermentation, cold & heat stabilization, filtration, blending and barrel management;
  • Preparation for bottling, and full bottling via two modern packaging lines;
  • Dispatch to bulk tanker or shipping container

With our own in-house laboratories and tasting rooms, we’re able to afford a comprehensive range of tests and analyses to regularly monitor the maturation of wine in the cellar..

We can obtain the NATA tests and arrange your VI-1 and continuing export approvals when you are ready to export your wine.

The list of options of our laboratory services are:

  • Grape maturity sample preparation and analysis;
  • Complete wine testing and analysis;
  • Stability testing;
  • Fining trials;
  • Trade sample preparation and dispatch;
  • Show sample preparation and dispatch;
  • NATA testing, VI-1 and export approvals arranged;
  • Blending trials;
  • Alcohol by distillation or alcolyser;
  • Gas chromatography;
  • Tasting room.

Contract storage of packaged wine and maturation of bulk wine is done by sourcing the grapes from the wine region or vineyard of your choice, making the wine to your specification and storage in either stainless steel tanks or wood maturation (after confirmation of quoted costs) and post vintage winemaking through to bottling. We can manage bottling and/or shipping in bulk to anywhere in the world.


The winery crushes 5,000 tonnes of grapes per year, 5,000 cases per day and has storage facilities of ten million litres. There is a large program that involves blending and bottling of batches of wine from 20 different regions of Eastern Australia. This results in individually styled batches of wine with consistent high quality.


Hunter Wine Services has two modern bottling lines producing up to 1200 cases per day (one for boutique small batch runs of 2500 bottles per hours, the second a volume line for large batches of 6000 bottles per hour).

The 10 litre bag-in-box (cask) wines are produced in quantities of up to 10 pallets per day.

The customer can request their own finishing from metal to coloured PVC caps or stelvins. Hunter Wine Services is HACCP approved and has strict quality controls in place with hourly checks on the line.

For further information on our
Contract Winemaking Services
please contact:

John Hordern
CEO / Chief Winemaker
Lot 1, Hunter Street
(PO Box 310)
Muswellbrook NSW 2333
Tel: +61 (02) 6541 3512

For information on our
Branded Wines

Please contact our Head Office
Tel: +61 (02) 6391 5100