Rediscover | Hunter Valley
OK Sydneysiders, ‘fess up!! Who else is guilty for taking the Hunter Valley for granted? We are certainly guilty of succumbing to the lure of cheap flights to places far off?
It took a trip to the Hunter with a group of other bloggers & media to make me realize that I have not done this region justice with my ‘breeze – breeze out once a year’ visits of the past few years. There is so much more to the Hunter than the obvious – wine (although there is plenty of that & some brilliant finds are just waiting for you).
For a start, why stick to four wheels when you could get around on just two. With the close proximity of the wineries & an abundance of gently rolling hills with some good bicycle paths,this region lends itself to getting around by bicycle. Particularly fun if you are with a group. Or if you are like me & feel safer with four wheels, there is always a horse drawn carriage.
If staying on the ground is not your style, you could take to the air & float, hover or fly. There are plenty of opportunities for appreciating the beauty of the valley from the air by balloon, helicopter & joy flights by air.
There is a seemingly endless list other activities available in the Hunter: golf, shopping, day spas, zoos, horse riding, museums & art galleries. One of the eye openers of this recent trip was the Hunter Valley Gardens. This is certainly a great spot to while away an afternoon. The extensive themed gardens are lovely with a different vista at every turn and there is plenty of space for kids to run around or for stealing that romantic moment. Just quietly, I am looking forward to going back there for the Christmas Light display, which I am sure will be magical.
Of course, you cannot go to the Hunter without enjoying a cellar door experience, or two. There are over a hundred cellar doors in the Hunter offering tastings & many can cater for groups as well. Whether it be a fun fizz, a zippy Hunter Semillon, an elegantly bodied red, or a full on luscious sweetie, I challenge anyone to leave the Hunter empty handed.
My list of must visit cellardoors are:
Petersen’s: A family winery offering a wide range of approachable wines & lovely views.
Briar Ridge: A picturesque winery with a fine range of wines & the Briar Grillade is just brilliant for brunch, lunch, snacks or dinner.
McWilliams at Mt Pleasant: One of the Hunter’s ‘First Families’ with an extensive range of wines, amongst them some of Australia’s classics.
Bimbadgen: A pretty cellar door with a stylish assortment of wines & restaurant.
Tyrrells: A must visit if you love Semillon & Hunter Shiraz.
Piggs Peake: Some very pretty whites, reds that will blow your socks off & some stickies that will delight. Make sure that you ask to taste the Werewolf – a truly scary red.
Krinklewood: A very pretty cellar door with some excellent Bio-dynamic wines that make the extra miles to Broke well worth it.
Glenguin Estate: Another Broke winery with a very personal touch. Make sure that you drop in to see Klaus & ladies should ask for a peek at his handmade jewellery.
Margan: A gorgeous place to stop for lunch or dinner & their wines are exciting too!
So this weekend …. don’t overlook what is on your doorstep!