For anyone who is a fan of wines, or even in the path of becoming one, Hunter valley is a must visit places in Australia. Located at about 2 hrs drive from Sydney, this can be a great weekend getaway spot!
Driving to hunter valley is the easiest and most ideal way, as you can stay in cottages further from the main area, which is a bit cheaper and yet still make it to most of the cellar doors. There are public transport options as well. You can read bout it here.
Hunter valley is a quite famous tourist destination. So make sure you make a booking well in advance. The price range of the hotels and cottages range from 120-500+ AUD. We stayed in a 2 bedroom cottage in “Twin Tree Country Cottages“. The rooms very pretty decent. However a bit pricey compared to other accommodations we have stayed at. 2 bedroom cottage cost us 460 AUD per night, which was 115 AUD per person/night. They had a basic breakfast included, with some cereals and coffee and canned fruits.
Things to do:
The main attraction here are the unlimited cellar doors! I will lit few of the ones we visited and really recommend these places.
“The Pepper Tree” – We stayed about 800 mts from this winery. So it was an obvious first choice of cellar door we visited. Its a beautiful cellar, with a decent seating area for the tasting by the bar counter. You don’t need pay any charges for the wine tasting here for the basic wines. You get a total of 4 wines you can taste. There is also a 5 dollar charge , if you want to do the premium wine tastings. They have a really good range of Shiraz, bet you will take few bottles home. Make sure to try their dessert wine and the fortified wine!
“Tamburlaine Organic Wines” – We were not very sure on how these wines would be. But after the tasting, we had a really different lookout on Organic wines. This is a beautiful little cellar door, with a variety of wines. They too have a free wine tasting and the people are really informative of the wines they serve. Again, do try the fortified wine they have. We did bring back a bottle 🙂
“Lamloch Estate” – This is a premium wine tasting doors. They have a charge of 5 dollars for the tasting, however if you buy a bottle, the 5 dollars is waived of. You taste upto 4 wines. Their speciality is the “Moscato Wine”, which looks like a Rosè, but has a crisp texture to it. Good collection of other varieties of wine as well 🙂
“Tulloch Wines” – This winery, we actually did a wine experiences, i.e the Chocolate and Wine tasting. Its costs about 20 dollars per person. So you will be provided with 5 different kinds of Wines, and 5 different kinds of chocolate. So the first section, you taste the wine an chocolate in the series as mentioned by the host (or the information sheet). For the next section, you can do a mix and match to find your favorite combination.
“Roche Estate” – Here you have 2 cellar doors right next to each other.
- Tempus Two Wines – This is a beautiful cellar which is quite huge! You do have a free tasting here. They have a really good range of desert wines and Shiraz. This is one of the cellars which is open to public quite early in the morning. So after you checkout of the accommodation, its a great one to start off your day.
- Meerea Park Wines – This is a small little cellar, which offers a tasting of premium wines. My partner did the tasting here, and was really impressed with the range and taste. The host is quite knowledgeable of wines and really proud of it. The wines on the other hand have a really weird naming. One of them was named the “The Hell Hole“, merely because, the time when the grapes were picked from the vineyards, it was a scorching summer which was related to how a hell hole would be.
Overall, there are lot of wineries you can visit . There are few hop on hop off tour, which can be opted in case you don’t intent to drive.