Yolo Solo Travel

HOW TO ENJOY WINE AND MORE IN THE HUNTER VALLEY, AUSTRALIA

I never miss an opportunity to do a wine tour or visit a new wine region!  The Hunter Valley wine region is very well known and just a few hours drive north of Sydney.  You will find a wide variety of wine here but their champion wines include Shiraz, Semillon, Chardonnay and Verdelho.  There are always plenty of events going on including concerts and festivals.  This is a very happening place!Hunter Valley WineIt is a nice drive from Sydney out to the Hunter Valley wine region.  However, there are also options to get here using public transport or you can book a day tour out of Sydney.  I would recommend spending a weekend if you have the time.  I used public transport, leaving Sydney on a Friday and returning on Sunday afternoon.  It is a bit of a mission but it was great to make a few stops along the way.  It was definitely the cheapest option, about AU$15 return.  I arrived in Cessnock and pre-booked into the YHA Hostel just out of town.  Someone from the hostel will pick you up from the bus as the walk is a few kms.  Talk about service!  This hostel is a great place to stay, awesome service and facilities.  And a short stroll down the road is the Potters Brewery where you will find a great social atmosphere and good pub meals.Hunter Valley WineAfter some advice from the hostel I decided to book a tour with iHop Hunter Valley who offer two tours.  The Central Pokolbin which operates Thursday – Monday and Boutique Lovedale, which operates on Saturdays.  Because I had booked last minute the Lovedale Tour was the only option so I went with that.  There are eleven stops to choose from and you can fit in up to seven stops in a day.  The driver is awesome at recommending which stops you will most enjoy.  Each stop is forty-five minutes but you can stay another forty-five minutes if you want more time in one place.  The tour only cost AU$49 which I think is a bargain!  The driver will store anything you purchase on the day and has cooler bins for any items you need kept chilled.Hunter Valley WineOur first stop was De Bortoli Wines which includes Peterson Sparkling House.  Starting the day with bubbles is a great idea!  There was a chocolate shop to try a few sweet treats and because it was Saturday there were also markets to explore.  There was a lot to fit in in forty-five minutes!  As I was on my own it didn’t take me long to make friends on the tour so I didn’t really spend much time alone and found some great company to enjoy the day with.Hunter Valley WineSome of us wanted to try beer so we stopped at the Lovedale Brewery to try some brews.  The tasting here was not free but for AU$10 you could choose four beers to try.  It was worth it!  By this time I had tried a lot of wine and beer so it was time to eat or I was not going to make it through the day!  We stopped at the Lovedale Smokehouse for lunch.  They have the most amazing platters that you can mix up from a number of options that included meats, seafood, cheeses, olives, breads and more.  I ended up sharing a platter with two others as they are huge!  If you like cheese this is a stop you must do.  We spent an hour and a half here.  Will full bellies we were ready to get back on the road.Hunter Valley WineThe afternoon included more awesome stops, plenty more wine tasting and even some olive oil tasting.   The landscape in this area is great and it was lush green the weekend I was here as there had been recent rain.  Calais Estate and Moorebank Vineyard were probably my favourite stops of the afternoon, both were located at the same place but it was possible to do them both in the forty-five minutes we had.Hunter Valley WineThe driver dropped me back to the hostel about 5pm after an absolutely fabulous day!  This is such a great way to do a wine tour of the region and I would definitely love to go back and do the other route with iHop Hunter Valley.  This is a place you could keep going back to again and again as there are 150 wineries and always something going on.  If you are after a few days out of Sydney and enjoy good wine I would highly recommend the Hunter Valley wine region.

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Never forget You Only Live Once, Karllie 🙂

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4 comments

  1. yolosolo - Reply

    Sorry Tamara I can’t help you with that one, can’t say I have taken to a Semillon. Being a kiwi gal I can’t find a white that beats a good NZ Sav 🙂

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