Charming, romantic, picturesque are few of the words I can think of to describe Hunter Valley which is situated at the backdrop of stunning Brokenback Mountain Ranges.
What better way to spend a long weekend than to go for multiple wine tastings accompanied by some yummy boutique cheese while looking at amazing vista!!
It took us close to 4 hrs to reach from Sydney by car. If you are lucky to avoid the traffic than it is just 2 ½ hrs from Sydney.
One can book a vineyard tour. We did it on our own as it gave us the freedom to stop wherever we wanted and visit whichever winery took our fancy. There is a lot to do in Hunter Valley.
We stayed at beautiful Willow Tree Estate. I will write a separate review for it.
Of all the wineries we visited two stand out in my mind………
1) Ivanhoe Wines: It is in a beautiful building with one of the best views. It overlooks the vineyard which is on the mountain slopes. We did a private tasting here. We were seated on the wide verandah which overlooks the picturesque view of the vineyard. The tasting was accompanied with a cheese plate. The lady who served us was quite knowledgeable. The atmosphere is very relaxing. We were there for almost an hr. They have lovely wines. We bought Tawny Port which is delicious.
2) Draytons Family Wines : It is almost next door to Ivanhoe Wine. We were told they have one of the best collections of ports. Happy to say it was true. We picked up a few. Try the white port.
1) Hunter Distillery: It is Australia's only organic distillery. It is worth a visit. They make lovely Honey Vodka.
2) Blue Tongue Brewery Café: I am not much of a beer drinker but they have amazing Alcoholic Ginger beer. I would have loved to buy a whole lot of it but they sell it for consumption at their premises only.
3) Cheese Factory: We had gone with the expectation that we will see the process of cheese making but It’s like a specialty shop selling cheese. However, the tasting is worth it. They have some lovely stuff. We picked up Marinated Rileys Fromage Blanc. It is delicious.
4) Chocolate Factory: The name is misleading. Again it’s like a big speciality chocolate shop. Picked up some stuff but didn’t like it much.
5) Handmade Hunter Market: Worth a visit. Bought some lovely glass butterflies and woollen caps(had bought similar caps in Sydney for 25$, there got it for 15$)
Location: Kevin Sobels Wines, 5 Halls Road
Opening hours: 9am-3pm on weekends.
6) Hunter Valley Gardens Shopping Village: It is located on beautiful grounds. Ideal place for a lazy day with kids. It has boutique specialty shops, restaurants, pharmacy, essential services. It has Aqua golf which is quite a fun activity.
7) We did helicopter ride which is 60$ for 6 mins. The view from the air is amazing.
There are whole lot of other activities to do but I have shared the ones we did. Lovely place. Will love to go back again.
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