As the parents have arrived for an 8 week holiday we decided that we’d all need some vino-time. We rented a car and took the 2 hour (or so – mostly trying to find our way out of the city) drive to the Hunter Valley wine region. We stayed at the Crowne Plaza and they gave us the Hunter Valley Visitors Guide – a really great book which has a fantastic map and some detail about the wineries, restaurants and accommodation. Armed with the map I sent us first to the Hunter Valley Chocolate Company. Well what’s wine without chocolate?
Our second port (!!) of call was Peterson House which mostly sells sparkling wine of the pink variety – literally – everything is pink! This plot of land also houses another Hunter Valley Chocolate Company. Peterson House sells gift packs with bottles of rosé with bubble bath (yes, I bought one), mini-bottles with carriers, beach towels, sparkly pens… They also have a restaurant and oyster bar on-site.
Next we visited the mahoosive Tempus Two Cellar Door. They have the Hunter Valley Smelly Cheese Shop on-site. This sell breads, olive oils (which you can taste – they’d a great lime oil) and ice-cream. Tempus Two also houses Oishii – a Japanese and Thai restaurant. The wine-tasting room is a large and pretty dark contemporary room. The staff here seemed very knowledgeable – great if you have a clue what you’re talking about – I just know I like white! All the sommeliers ask for descriptive terms so go prepared!
Then onto Tamburlaine Wines; a pretty small organic outfit which isn’t actually in the guide-book. Bought some wine here too after a few tastings. They also sell bits and pieces to go with your wine – honeycomb, crackers and the like.
Final stop of the day was Lindeman’s Wines (we’ve all seen those bottles in the off licence). Pretty large winery here obviously. They did tell us they outgrew their Hunter Valley outfit way back so they now have a large vineyard down in Victoria.
After a hearty breakfast at the hotel we headed off to Tyrrell’s Wines for a winery tour ($5). Wine-man Scott took us on a tour for an hour and a half and showed us the vineyards, the vats, the oak barrels ($16K each apparently!!). He also showed us some Tyrrell’s – including an unmarried one! Really enjoyable tour 🙂