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Take a scenic drive 120 kilometres east of Sydney to reach the picturesque town of Pokolbin. Pokolbin is in the heart of the Hunter Valley, Australia’s premier wine region. It is also where most of the region’s wineries are located.
The splendid vineyards and rustic cellar doors give Hunter Valley the identity as the wine capital of New South Wales. Wine and tourism are major drivers of the region’s economy.
Semillon is Hunter Valley’s famous wine variety. It has become iconic.
Aside from wine, Hunter Valley is also a known foodie getaway. Most of the restaurants serve locally produced food sourced from local farms. The region’s cuisine paired with the best wine attracts visitors from all over Australia.
Hunter Valley’s has a humble beginning in the early 19th century. James Busby first planted vine cutting in the region from Europe in 1832. Little was known back then that Hunter Valley would what it is today.
There are over 120 cellar doors across the region, and it would take time to run through all of them. Let me present to you the ones on my list which are mostly the popular ones.
Pepper Tree Wines
The first that comes to mind is Pepper Tree Wines which won the 2011 Hunter Valley Cellar Door of the Year. They have a wide range of elegant wines. Their cellar door showcases a unique and relaxing wine experience.
Try their famous Tallawanta Grand Reserve Shiraz or their Tallavera Shiraz. Pair a glass of wine with some of their exquisite food platters. Then combined your food and wine with impressive views of the Hunter Valley.
Tempus Two
Then there’s Tempus Two, another cellar door. Well, not just another winery. It is a stylish and elegant cellar door founded by Lisa McGuigan, a fourth-generation Australian winemaker.
Tempus Two is renowned for their distinct and unique wine varieties. Need a proof? Try their Copper Series. They’re unmatched. Their Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre and Wilde Chardonnay are also outstanding.
Moorebank Vineyard
Moorebank Vineyard is a boutique winery known for its technique of winemaking which is distinct and unique. Sample a glass or two of their handcrafted Semillon, Gewurztraminer, Chardonnay, and Merlot. Your visit to this rustic cellar door is guaranteed to be fun and sensational.
Oakvale Wines
And what about one of the region’s oldest wineries?
A picturesque and rustic cellar door in the foothills of the Brokenback Range, Oakvale Wines is one of Australia’s oldest wineries. It houses a slab cottage built in 1893 and turned into a museum. Learn about the region’s wine history and gain some insights into its unique identity.
Swirl a glass of wine while figuring out the emergence of Hunter Valley as a premier wine region.
Audrey Wilkinson
Another winery established in the early years of winemaking in Hunter Valley is Audrey Wilkinson. It is arguably the most impressive, elegant, and classy winery in the region and a big name in the industry.
First planted the vineyard in 1866, all their wines are standouts. They have a wide range of wine varieties from Semillon and Shiraz to Chardonnay and Gewurztraminer.
Bimbadgen Winery
Bimbadgen Winery has the advantage of having great views of the region. Enjoy the picturesque vistas of Brokenback Range and the Barrington Tops over a bottle of Shiraz Viognier.
This rustic cellar door is proud of its Semillon, Shiraz, Verdelho, and Chardonnay. There are more varieties to choose from once you get into this quaint winery.
Gartelmann Wines
Check out Gartelmann Wines, a known producer of Shiraz and Semillon. Well, they also produce a range of wine variety including Petit Verdot, Chardonnay, and Merlot.
Also, their elegant small but elegant cellar door displays some gourmet products. You may try the gourmet food on the menu paired with a selection of fine wines.
Krinklewood Biodynamic Vineyard
For a fancier name yet with quality wines, try Krinklewood Biodynamic Vineyard. In this cellar door, you can experience a bit of France in their winemaking.
With beautiful gardens and a rustic cellar door, their Rosé is one of the best in the region. But you can’t also miss their Semillon and Shiraz.
Their unique way of growing their vines to produce quality wines is quite impressive.
Scarborough Wine
Scarborough Wine’s homely and welcoming cellar door has a perfect view of the valley. It sits on top of a hill overlooking the vineyards and quaint landscapes of the Hunter Region.
Swill a glass or two of their Pinot Noir Rosé or Vermentino. They also have some traditional varieties including Chardonnay and Shiraz. Get some complimentary cheese when you sample their wines.
Hunter Distillery
Here’s a bonus. Let’s move on from winery to cellar door for spirits.
Hunter Distillery is one heck of an alcoholic beverage maker. Their selection of vodkas, schnapps, and liqueurs would leave no stone unturned.
They are one of their kind in New South Wales — an approved organic distillery. Check out their award-winning Copperware Gin or Jail House Gin.
They also have different vodka blends to choose from.
Matilda Bay Brewhouse
Another bonus is a brewery house. From spirits, we move on to the beers.
Matilda Bay Brewhouse offers a unique and memorable brewing experience. They do have a wide range of beers you can try. Highly recommended is their Ginger Beer. It makes a great accent to your trip to the Hunter Valley.
Well, there’s a lot of cellar doors to choose from in Hunter Valley. So, why not plan your visit to the region with Autopia Tours? For $149 you can have a chance to visit two boutique wineries, a distillery, a brewhouse, and a chocolate factory.
In our Hunter Valley Scenic Wine & Dine tour package, you can experience the region’s unique food and wine culture.