Hunter Valley is just one of Australia’s 8 wine regions, but it is by far the most popular. As Hunter Valley stretches across what seems like an endless stunning landscape, I had no idea where to begin my wine tasting expedition. After all, Hunter Valley has over 100 wineries, so it was hard to pick which ones to visit (my liver could never handle visiting all of them!). That is when I started looking on Tours To Go, which has a variety of tour companies in Australia to choose from. It is basically a super cool tour search engine, that enabled me to select the option that I thought would fit my travel style the best. I ended up going with the Hunter Valley Adventure tour which runs through AAT Kings. This tour brings you to three different wineries and it included a wood-fired pizza lunch, which instantly appealed to me (you can take the girl out of New York….). Simply nothing beats pizza and wine!
The early afternoon started off at Drayton’s Winery, which has been family owned for over 150 years. The Drayton family played a huge role in helping develop Hunter Valley into the famous wine region that it is today. We spent the longest amount of time wine tasting here, trying 6 different wines, with a delicious white chocolate liquor, as the finale.
We had our next wine tasting on a deck upstairs in Hope Estates, overlooking the vineyards and kangaroos that were lounging outside. That is definitely what I imagine an ideal wine tasting experience in Australia to be like! When the tasting was finished, we headed downstairs for a family style pizza lunch, allowing you to eat as many slices your hungry heart desired. There were two pizza options, the first was a meat lovers dream, overflowing with sausage and pepperoni. The second was a vegetarian pie, oozing with ricotta cheese and stuffed with sun-dried tomatoes and mushrooms. Now, pair that scrumptious meal with a lovely glass of wine and you have yourself a winning lunch! If you are a beer lover, you can add to your meal by purchasing a flight of beer from their brewery, giving yourself the best of both worlds.
The final winery on our tour was the Savannah Estate. Savannah Estate was different than the previous two as it was a cozy, boutique winery. It had a lovely “homey” feel to it with its fireplace and patio-like setting, which is where we had our wine tasting. All the wines were delicious, but once I tasted their sparkling moscato, bursting with a sweet strawberry fruit flavor, I was sold. I foresee a chick flick and moscato girls night approaching!
The day still wasn’t over, with one last stop at the Hunter Valley Village. Time to take a break from wine tasting and do some shopping. Of course, I ended up in all of the food related stores… the chocolate shop, bakery and wine shop. The wine shop had a ton of sales, so if you are still looking to purchase wine, this is a great place to do it. Why not buy some more bottles of wine before heading back into the city? It’s not everyday that you are in Australia’s oldest wine region!