Ninety miles north of Sydney, the Hunter Region or what is commonly known as Hunter Valley, is Australia’s answer to Sonoma and Napa.
More affectionately known as Wine Country, Hunter Valley is a two hour drive from Sydney through stunning countryside and is Australia’s oldest wine country dating back to the 1820s when it first started planting vineyards. Today, it has over 120 wineries and is home to Australia’s first class wines, beers, cheeses, olive oils and chocolate.
Those who visit Hunter Valley can experience the various traditional wines on offer that are produced from the rolling countryside such as Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Shiraz, Cabernet, Sauvignon and not forgetting Semillon.
Hunter Valley Wine Tastings
Since the 1820s, Hunter Valley has blossomed to become a first rate region known for its wines. Every day there are more than 120 cellar doors open to the public, providing the chance for visitors to taste the award winning wines that Hunter Valley is proud to produce.
Depending on your palette and the type of wine you are after you can drive into the winery that attracts you the most where you can sample the various types. If you are a first timer to Hunter Valley someone will be on hand to take you through the wine list, explaining the wines characteristics and the types of food that are best for your chosen wine.
If you see a wine that you particularly want you can buy these at the cellar door, but you will find that purchasing wines is typically cheaper when it’s bought in bulk.
Beer Tastings in Hunter Valley
Even though Hunter Valley is known for its vineyards, there are also premier breweries on site too. Those with a penchant for beer can taste the different kinds available from light German ale to stronger Chocolate Porter and Oyster Stout.
Food is served at the breweries and the Hunter Beer Co can be found in the Potters Resort. This is the only functioning brewery on site, making unique beers the Hunter Witbier and Hunter Kolsch, which you should certainly try.
Locally Made Produce to Satiate Your Appetite
Apart from the excellent wines and beers produced at Hunter Valley there are plenty of produce that has been locally made to pick from. Whether you fancy trying cheeses, the various kinds of olive oil or chocolate to satisfy your taste buds, there is something for everyone.
On site you will find a number of boutique businesses that are family owned which have orchards of olive trees where they make their own oils such as the River Flats Estate. Furthermore, while Broke’s Promise make fantastic wines, visitors will also be spoilt for choice when it comes to their Italian grown varieties of olives such as Corregiola and Paragon which are then produced into aromatic oils.
Some of Australia’s best and award winning oils feature extra virgin olive oil from the Pukara Estate.
For the sweet tooth among us the Hunter Valley Chocolate Factory can be found in the centre of the wine country. On offer is a diverse array of chocolates to sample and also to buy. Those who sample and buy these will find that they range from being homemade Belgian chocolates – some of the best in the world – to gourmet chocolate gifts.
When it comes to tasting wine it is natural to assume that tasting cheese at the same time is expected. And you won’t expect anything less at Hunter Valley. One place to stop at is the Hunter Valley Smelly Cheese Shop, which is the perfect location to try the different cheeses available that have been made locally.
Any cheese lovers should take advantage of visiting the Hunter Valley Cheese Company’s preserves room where you will have the chance to discover an array of cheeses and other decadent delights that will set your taste buds alight.
Accommodation at Hunter Valley
Of course, in order to make the most of your visit here there is plenty of accommodation available to take advantage of. The well-known region of Pokolbin hosts a number of accommodation options depending on your style and budget. One place to visit that is popular among visitors is Tower Lodge where visitors will experience a first rate visit.
The lodge has been constructed around a fountained courtyard which evokes images of ancient Rome, the airy rooms provide ample space which is evident with the 16-foot ceilings while the massive beds are a delight to sleep in after many hours travelling.
The rooms have white stucco walls with brick floors, the hanging copper chandeliers give the room even more grandeur while the rooms chairs have been created to give as much personality as possible. In many of the rooms the ceilings have straw panels complete with mahogany bordering them giving the design of the room a Malaysian feel.
The buildings in Hunter Valley are contemporary, but have been constructed in the colonial style that is familiar to Australia. For those who want to rent a house during their stay will see that many of the accommodation on offer has been transformed from old cottages and mansions and are typically rated between four and five stars.
As Pokolbin is located at the centre of Hunter Valley this is the perfect spot to explore the various wineries that are on offer.
It’s Not Just About the Wine
While the main attraction to Hunter Valley may foremost be about tasting the wine, there are a host of activities to immerse yourself in such as enjoying a balloon ride at sunrise where you can enjoy some champagne as you take in the marvellous views or take a tour of Hunter Valley Gardens where you can have tea at the historical town of Wollombi.
If you fancy taking to the skies, why not take a hot air balloon ride or enjoy a romantic luncheon helicopter tour where you’ll be taken over the Sydney Harbour, past Australia’s coastline before landing in the middle of Hunter Valley’s vineyards.
However, if you prefer to enjoy a bit of quiet time then Barrington Tops National Park is the ideal choice to make where you can take in the flora and fauna. Or if you want to learn some history then you can’t go wrong by immersing yourself in the architecture of the town where you’ll be able to spend hours enjoying the museum exhibits along with the fascinating articles on display.
Whatever it is you want to do while visiting Hunter Valley there is plenty on offer making this a great day out for the family to enjoy. It’s also the perfect chance to establish a property finder for those interested in purchasing real estate in this region.