Australia’s oldest wine-growing region, the Hunter Valley, lays claim to being “the toast of NSW” and is only two hours’ drive from Sydney.
When it comes to things to do in Hunter Valley, there’s no shortage. But the wineries are an obvious standout.
Eleven Hunter Valley tourism operators have been acknowledged for their contribution to NSW Tourism by being named finalists and shortlisted for national recognition at the NSW Tourism Awards tomorrow and just to prove the strength of the Hunter Valley wine region when it comes to great wineries, prolific wine writer James Halliday has announced his Top 100 Wines for 2014, saying that of the 12 wines from NSW in his Top 100, 10 of the wines were from the Hunter Valley.
So, without further adieu, SCOTT PODMORE rolls out some of the top wineries in the Hunter Valley for road trippers
BIMBADGEN WINERY (pictured)
Tunes and a tipple or two – what better way to enjoy this venue which has played host to some fantastic outdoor concerts. Bimbadgen Estate is also a great venue for food and tastings in a beautiful venue. Be sure to sample the chards, semillon, verdelho and shiraz viognier and take the time to book in for a feast at Esca restaurant for either lunch or dinner.
Bob and Maryanne McLeish swapped the hustle and bustle of city life and headed bush for the wide open spaces of the Hunter back in 1985. They began by planting Semillon and Chardonnay on the 44 acre property and were onto a good thing. It’s led to their own established label, McLeish Estate Wines, and the award-winners have never looked back.
BIG4 VALLEY VINEYARD TOURIST PARK
Brokenwood, Lindemans, McGuigan, Drayton and Wyndham Estate are just some of the famous wineries nearby, so Valley Vineyard Tourist Park is a cork’s pop away from the action but, better than just a place to park your wheels and stay the night, it also features a harvest of its own. This park is an ideal place to set up camp and explore the region, and is close also to cheese factories, chocolate shops, galleries, Hunter Valley Gardens, restaurants and the historical villages of Wollombi and Morpeth. See valleyvineyard.com.au
Chat with those in the know and you’ll quickly realise there’s absolute no chance of you leaving this hotspot without a bottle or 12 of the Tallawanta Grand Reserve Shiraz. There’s plenty more varieties where that comes from, and remember to dine in for dinner at the incredible Roberts restaurant while observing the local wildlife hopping about in the vines outside.
Let’s face it, Tyrrells is a name synonymous with Australian wine, an Aussie family owned ripper that stands up against the industry giants. Steeped in history that goes back to the mid 19th century, the Vat series wines are particularly among some of the best you’ll ever taste, especially the shiraz and chardonnay. You’ll also be tempted by the port and sparklings, so don’t be shy.