Happy birthday to me!! For my birthday this year, Andre took me to experience scenic vineyard life in Hunter Valley.
The Hunter Valley, just a 2.5 hour drive north west of Sydney, is one of Australia’s largest wine regions, with large and small wineries for you to choose from. The area is known for Shiraz and Semillion due to a very warm climate, though most cellar doors offer a wide range pulling from other wine regions in the country. The road was scenic, so consider the drive a part of the fun, especially as you get closer to the vineyards. Great expanses of fields have cows, horses, sheep, and kangaroos leisurely enjoying afternoons in shade or sun - their life seems calm and natural. Rows of vines fill many, but not all fields, giving a feeling of structure within a vast openness and igniting a desire to get out and be amongst it. I recommend staying in a hotel that is within proximity to walking trails, as morning strolls are a must.
I had a hard time researching vineyard’s to visit, not for lack of information, but due to an abundance of input without favoritism. I was looking for beauty in the land and in the wines, so that’s what I will report back to you. My top three favorite vineyards in the Hunter Valley (I went as far as Pokolbin) are below. Enjoy responsibly!
Tyrrell’s Wines - locals consider the Tyrrells one of the founding families in Australian wine. This is the vineyard not be missed, rich in history, scenery and authenticity. Known for simple high quality wine, the shiraz here was also my favorite, so I can stand with the Aussies on their pick of the bunch.
Audrey Wilkinson - perched atop a hill on the Brokenback Mountain Ranges, Audrey Wilkinson puts the vantage in advantage. The vista here is absolutely stunning. Choose a bottle from your tasting and add a cheese plate to picnic on the grass or veranda for an hour or two well spent soaking in sun and scenery.
Krinklewood Vineyard - This organic boutique vineyard is set among Provencal style gardens and was hands down the most beautiful vineyard of the trip. It’s a venue magical enough for a wedding and beautiful wines to match. You may even be lucky enough to meet the resident peacocks.