How do you spend a half-day in Hunter Valley?
What comes to mind when you hear about the Hunter Valley? Any wine connoisseur will tell you (without batting an eyelash) that Hunter Valley is one of the best – if not the best – wine regions.
The food, wine, and cheese lovers will not let a season pass without visiting this iconic region two hours away from Sydney. It must be on your bucket list, next to swimming with the whale sharks in Ningaloo Reef off the northwest coast of Western Australia.
What is so special about the Hunter Valley? Why is it a favourite place to visit by the young and young at heart?
A wine tour is a great way to meet seasoned winemakers who will be happy to share the rich history of the wine-making process. Visitors can turn up and taste exquisite wines at the cellar doors for a small tasting fee. But it is advisable to book in advance if you travel in a large group.
Plan half-day wine tours around the Hunter Valley with family and friends. Head over to the cellar doors and taste some of the iconic flavours of the region.
Semillon, Shiraz, and Chardonnay make Hunter Valley buzzworthy. But people keep coming back for more because of the Instagram-worthy boutique wineries that flourished over the last century. Visitors not only satisfy their palates with delicious food and drinks. They create memories too.
You don’t have the luxury of time to wander around more than 150 vineyards in Hunter Valley, do you?
Plan your wine tours well so you will get the most out of your visit. Here are a few suggestions on the best wineries in the region. You may suggest 2-3 wineries to your local tour guide. Here are the top 8 boutique Hunter Valley wineries worth checking out.
1. Scarborough Wine Co.
Scarborough built its image as a family-oriented winery, dispelling the allegation that wine tasting is only for couples. Parents celebrate a toast to the good life with their children. Their signature wine, Scarborough 2013, The Obsessive Chardonnay, is a must-try.
Grape varieties like Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Verdelho, and Chardonnay are planted in the Boydells Estate in East Gresford, near Maitland. The cellar door is an old slab with wines alongside glorious food at Boydelle’s restaurant.
3. Hanging Tree Winery
Get a fresh feel of the countryside at Hanging Tree Wine’s cellar door. The pet-friendly cellar door is your gateway to award-winning chardonnays, shiraz, semillon, and cabernet sauvignon.
4. Winmark Wines
The 52-hectare property is home to 12 hectares of premium chardonnay vines, as well as accommodation and a picturesque art and sculpture walk. Winmark Wines is focused on delivering an elegant and balanced fruit with wines of distinction.
5. Tyrell’s Wines
It is one of Australia’s most distinguished family-owned wine companies, established in 1858, producing some of the most distinctive and refined wines in the world.
6. Brokenwood Wines
Brokenwood Wines is one of Australia’s most reputable wine labels and an absolute must stop on your visit through the Hunter Valley. It opened an $8 million cellar door and restaurant complex in 2018 and is famous for its Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz.
7. Audrey Wilkinson cellar door
Gaze at the views from the pretty cellar door while tasting superb wine. Audrey Wilkinson is most notable for their Semillon and in 2016, celebrated 150 years in the wine industry.
8. Wine House
Try to taste a range of local drops you will surely love at the Hunter Valley Wine House.
Most of the legendary wineries are in Polkobin, NSW. Ask your tour guide for the crème de la crème.
Of course, the primary activity of a wine tour is wine tasting. But there is more than meets the eye. A half-day tour may seem like crunching for fun activities, but at least you will enjoy the amenities in such a short period. Here are some suggestions on what to do to maximise your time at the valley.
- Grape Stomping
Stomp your feet in an oak barrel full of grapes and feel the crushed grapes beneath your feet.
It is how the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians made their wines before the invention of machines. Learn how to separate skins, seeds, and stems while having fun.
- Wine Barrel Rolling Race
Here’s good news for non-drinkers. You don’t have to drink to be merry. Joining a wine barrel rolling race will make you laugh till you cry! And you get to have a Tuscan experience too.
- A Chocolate and Fudge Factory
Who doesn’t have a sweet tooth? Sugary foods may make us cringe, but who can resist the creamiest and mouth-watering chocolate and fudge? The Hunter Valley Chocolate Factory is reminiscent of the famous children’s storybook, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It specialises in hand-made delectable chocolates.
- Spot a Kangaroo
The best time to spot kangaroos is at the break of dawn and dusk. They wander around bushes and venture into the vineyards. Spotting them makes you think that you are in Australia, indeed!
- Relax in the Hunter Valley Gardens
The stunning and well-manicured landscapes depicting different corners of the world are not your ordinary gardens. The award-winning Hunter Valley Gardens features a storybook garden wherein life-sized characters from children’s classic tales are made perfect through sculpture. Watch out for a unique rose that can only be in the Rose Garden.
- Horseback ride through the vineyard’s trails
Mount a horse and explore the vineyards in style. Wander around the vast Instagram-worthy vineyards at a casual pace.
Hunter Valley’s world-class wineries are available all year round. In winter, the weather is cool enough to let you roam around the vineyards riding a bike. You can enjoy a bonfire at night. Spring is a beautiful season for the first buds to bloom in the vine. Summer is when the flowers in the gardens bloom. The vineyards are ablaze in their autumnal glory between March and May.
Make every moment count. Create one-of-a-kind memories with your family and friends in the Hunter Valley, where we make wine tasting tours fun and exciting.