Hope Estate was founded by Michael Hope, who describes himself as ‘just a country boy from Young’. A pharmacist by trade, he built up a prosperous chain of pharmacies in rural NSW and Sydney before deciding to move out of Sydney.
Hope Estate was established in 1994 when Michael gave up his pharmacy career to do something he loved – to make wine. Together with his wife Karen they purchased their first vineyard at Broke in the Hunter consisting of 30 acres of vines on a 250 acre property. The quality of fruit produced from these vineyards was exceptional and the potential of the area was further realized with more vines being planted. Being ideally suited to whites this was then followed up with a second purchase being 200 acres of the famed red basalt soil at Fordwich. This has since been planted with 100 acres of Shiraz and Merlot.
The winery, adjoining the new Fordwich vineyard, was purchased in 1996 and occupies the site of the former Saxonvale Winery which lay dormant for a number of years. Renamed the Hill of Hope, after years of standing as en empty shell, the winery once again became operational after having been refitted for his first vintage of Hope Estate in 1997.