If you’re interested in sampling some of the most distinctive wines available anywhere, you’ll want to visit the Hunter Valley in New South Wales (NSW), Australia. The Hunter Valley enjoys a prime location that’s about 200 kilometres to the northwest of Sydney and roughly a 65-kilometre distance from the metropolitan area of Newcastle.
The Hunter Valley region is one of the best places in Australia to take a wine tour. It’s also a fantastic place to go cellar door hopping.
Cellar door hopping? If you aren’t an Australian local, it’s possible that you might not be familiar with that buzzword phrase. Aussies tend to refer to wine tasting rooms as “cellar doors”.
This terminology had its start a long time ago, back when underground cellars were the only viable means of maintaining the ideal temperatures for wine. At the time, many winemakers maintained massive underground cellar areas to house their wine bottle racks and wooden barrels. Customers who wanted to buy wine would knock directly on these cellar doors to obtain service.
This tradition lingers on in Australia; but, nowadays, the cellar door experience has evolved substantially. It has also become big business. In the recent past, cellar door sales have been responsible for more direct-to-consumer wine sales than other outlets such as mail order purchases or wine club orders.
Boutique Wineries in the Hunter Valley Wine Country
The Hunter Valley is one of 65 wine regions in Australia. This unique district is home to 150 of the county’s nearly 2,500 wine producers. Most of the wineries in Australia are small, individual or family-owned businesses. However, there are also some larger commercial wine companies in operation.
One thing distinguishing the Hunter Valley from Australia’s other wine regions is that it is home to some of the finest, most well-established and best-known boutique wineries in Australia. It is also home to some outstanding newer wine-producing companies.
Best Wine Varieties to Savour in the Hunter Valley
Red grapes grow well in the Hunter Valley’s warm climate, and winemakers in the region are well known for transforming them into deliciously earthy red Shiraz wines. As far as white wines go, the oaked Chardonnays and the dry Semillon from the Hunter Valley tend to be most remarkable.
Top Hunter Valley Destinations
Cessnock is noteworthy for its location adjacent to one of the nation’s oldest, most prestigious and most historic wine-growing areas. Cessnock also offers visitors many interesting things to do aside from wine tastings, including shopping and strolling down the city’s lively Main street. Adventurous visitors might also want to try skydiving or hot air ballooning in the area.
The Hunter Valley Zoo is located in Nulkaba. It is within close driving distance of Cessnock. It is a family-friendly attraction where you and the kids in your group can enjoy animal encounters with fascinating creatures including lemurs, meerkats, tamarins and marmosets. Native Australian mammals in the zoo’s care include kangaroos, wombats, koalas and many others.
Pokolbin is a paradise for foodies, wine enthusiasts and honeymooners. If you’re in search of ideas for a romantic getaway, this is exactly the destination you’d want to consider. The area’s many vineyards provide a scenic backdrop for wining and dining.
Guided vineyard tours of this area are available. Epicureans will enjoy sampling the food & drinks at the local restaurants, as well as browsing in the area’s excellent chocolate shops for treats and souvenirs.
Werakata National Park is located in picturesque Lovedale. This park offers opportunities for mountain biking, birding, viewing wildlife and picnicking amidst nature’s splendour.
If you enjoy golfing, wine tasting, or luxury spa treatments, Rothbury is a Hunter Valley destination you’ll want to consider adding to your itinerary, as all these activities are available in the area. This idyllic small town is also a fantastic place to go horseback riding or mountain biking. Rothbury hosts an annual chocolate and cheese festival complete with chocolate tasting opportunities you won’t want to miss.
Private Guided Tours of Hunter Valley and the Surrounding Areas
The Road Trip Oz makes memorable Hunter Valley tours
, wine tours and sightseeing trips available. Feel free to give us a call at +61 3 8678 1866
or send us an email
if you’d like to discuss your ideal Australian holiday itinerary. We’d be delighted to help you customise a private Hunter Valley wine tour or a private tour that includes all the destinations your small group of 1-30 people would like to see when you visit Australia.