Destination Spotlight: Hunter Valley
Just a couple of hours north of Sydney lies a food and wine lovers paradise, the Hunter Valley wine region. Since its beginnings from the early pioneering era, the Hunter Valley has produced many world-renowned fine wines and has grown to boast over 150 wineries. From visiting the larger, high volume and well-known vineyards to the more intimate boutique cellar door experiences, a day spent wine-tasting in the Hunter Valley is guaranteed to be a day well spent.
Most people love the idea of visiting somewhere like the Hunter Valley, but usually come to realise that the costs exceed the time spent. When you travel to the Hunter Valley on an AAT Kings Day Tour, you will be picked up in the morning, taken to three of the region’s best wineries, and dropped safely back home to your hotel door in the heart of the city. No need to pay for expensive accommodation or worry about driving when you are being tempted by award winning wines. For Sydney-siders, this is the ultimate mid-week escape, as we operate tours to the Hunter Valley on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays! Cheers to that!
If you find a wine you like along the way (how could you not!), or a selection of gourmet delights, there is no shortage of storage room on the spacious coach, so don’t be shy if you want to stock up.
The drive through Sydney’s Northern Suburbs and Central Coast and then into the lush countryside of the Hunter region provides some truly stunning scenery. For Sydneysiders, we think there is nothing better than escaping to the countryside and appreciating the rolling hills and wildlife that can be spotted along the way.
First stop on the Hunter Valley Harvest Wine Experience is Leogate Estate Wines, an established vineyard with its champion grapes being Shiraz, Tempranillo, Chardonnay, Semillon and Verdelho. The imposing cast iron steel gates topped with a grand lion statue greet you on your way in to the opulent surrounds of the estate located at the foot of the Brokenback Range. Stop here for an hour as you join a behind the scenes tour and learn about the wine-making process from within the factory. After the tour, it is of course time for your first wine tasting with an incredible view.
Next its time to walk amongst the vines of Hunter Valley Resort, the perfect photo opportunity!
Hunter Valley Resort’s cellar door showcases 30 wines from seven local producers – nowhere in the region can you try so many wines under the one roof! With an always evolving wine list, you can be certain you will find something to your liking here. Once you have sampled as many wines as you please, it is time to enjoy a delicious lunch made with local produce as you get to know your fellow travellers and appreciate the stunning scenery.
Did you know that since ancient times, olives and vines have been planted together as they enjoy the same growing conditions? Olives and wine, a match made in heaven it seems! Nestled amongst the lush vines is the last winery of the day, Tintilla Estate, a family run vineyard and olive grove that appeals to both wine and food lovers alike. You will take a seat on the deck that overlooks the vineyard, setting the scene for a Europeanesque day of leisure. During your wine tasting, you will also sample the delicious olives that are handpicked, debittered and fermented by the family. You will have plenty of time to browse the selection of olive oils, vinegar and conserves for sale, get ready to empty your wallet!
If you feel like you’ve still got room in your tote bag for a few more gourmet delights, we are way ahead of you! Last stop is Roche Estate, home to the iconic Smelly Cheese Shop, Tempus Two Wines Cellar Door, and shops offering coffee, gelato and craft beer to finish the day on a high.
Visiting the Hunter Valley region is an absolute must for both food and wine lovers alike. Book today on the Hunter Valley Harvest Wine Experience Day Tour.