Hunter Valley boast Dramatic landscapes, splendid gardens and vineyards, and rustic cellar doors. Scenic natural surrounds, luxurious accommodations, and romantic getaways. Mouthwatering handcrafted chocolates, homemade cheeses, and delightful courses for lunch or dinner. And of course, the wines! Plus vodkas, schnapps, liqueurs, and beers. The Hunter Valley, Australia’s oldest wine region, has it all.
Take a 120-kilometre drive from Sydney toward the east via the beautiful Wollombi Village through the Ku-ring-gai National Park and the Hawkesbury River, you will reach the rural locality of Pokolbin at the heart of the Hunter region. It is not so much of a driving challenge because the roads are good. Rather, it is more a challenge to the senses because the views are incredible. It feels like you’re navigating on the surface of an Australian country into the depths of its charm and allure.
The region has been into wine business since the early 1800s. As one of Australia’s major wine regions, Hunter Valley is known for its iconic Semillon. But there are also other varieties including Shiraz, Chardonnay, Verdelho, and the traditional Cabernet Sauvignon.
Upon arriving at Pokolbin, head straight to the Hunter Valley Gardens & Village. Guests are welcomed with amazing floral displays showcasing different ornamental plant varieties. Hunter Valley Gardens is a 60-acre estate of gardens planted with shrubs and plants that provide the valley sensational hues and fragrances.
From the gardens, the next ideal stop is the Hunter Valley Cheese Co. Their cheeses are homemade, handcrafted to perfection. Or you may also have to drop by the Hunter Valley Chocolate Company for their toothsome chocolate selections. Indulge your senses and try to resist their tempting sweet relishes and goodies.
Don’t worry about food. Hunter Valley is a foodie getaway. Most restaurants serve local cuisine sourced from local gourmet farms. They offer a wide selection of food on their menu. You can choose a set of delectable course paired with a selection of the region’s finest wines.
Since you are in a well-known wine territory, the main attractions are vineyards, wineries, and cellar doors.
Pepper Tree Wines was the 2011 Hunter Valley Cellar Door of the Year. They offer a unique and relaxing wine experience with a great selection of elegant wines. And speaking of elegance, Tempus Two is another winery to visit. Founded by Lisa McGuigan, a fourth generation Australian winemaker, Tempus Two is known for stylish and elegant cellar door. It also hosts outdoor concerts in the valley.
One elegant boutique winery is Moorebank which is renowned for its unique art and technique of winemaking. Yes, they do have handcrafted Chardonnay, Merlot, Semillon, and Gewurztraminer that you can sample a glass or two.
One of the region’s oldest wineries is Oakvale. It is a quaint cellar door located in the foothills of the Brokenback Range. There’s a museum there in a slab cottage built in 1893. You can have a short tour of the museum to understand the winemaking history of Hunter Valley.
You could also check out another one of the oldest and the most impressive winery – Audrey Wilkinson. Their Semillon, Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay, and Shiraz are all standouts.
There’s so much more to explore in Hunter Valley. Check out Hunter Distillery. Taste their vodkas, schnapps, and liqueurs. Guaranteed to give a nice kick at the right spot.
If it’s not too late for another drink, then a stop at Blue Tongue Brewery would be a great conclusion to your Hunter Valley adventure. You are promised with a unique brewing experience choosing from a wide range of beer selection. Try their Ginger Beer as the highlight of your trip.
This tour is not suitable for folks under 18 years old.