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Wine Tasting in the Hunter Valley, Australia

by Dean Wickham on March 18, 2013

in Australia, Destinations, Featured, Food and Drinks, Oceania

The Hunter Valley is a beautiful area inland from Newcastle on the central coast of New South Wales. The area is one of Australia’s premier wine growing regions, and since we just happened to be travelling through the Hunter Valley on our Great Australian Road Trip, we kind of had to stop to do some wine tasting. I mean we couldn’t really just pass through such a famous wine growing region without sampling a few, could we? It just wouldn’t be proper.

We had camped for the night at Lake Liddel just south of Muswellbrook, so it was only a short drive to the main wine growing area around Cessnock. The big sign saying “Wineries” on the New England highway made it pretty easy to find, and sure enough, every road that we went down in the area was lined with vineyards. Too excited by the prospect of wine tasting, we basically pulled into the first winery that we found was open.

Welcome to Wine Country sign in the Hunter Valley, Australia

Welcome to Wine Country. This could be dangerous.

Vineyard in the Hunter Valley, Australia

A vineyard in the Hunter Valley

The winery, Ironbark Hill, proved to be a fantastic choice. We sampled several nice reds including some peppery Shiraz, but it was their award winning Merlot that really touched our taste buds, and we of course walked away with a bottle for later.

We stopped in at several different wineries and sampled all kinds of wines, but made sure to keep our purchases down to only a few bottles. James Estate turned out to be another good choice, leaving with a bottle of citrusy Semillon and a Cabernet Sauvignon. We left Oakvale with a lovely bottle of Pinot Noir.

Keith Tulloch Winery in the Hunter Valley, Australia

Keith Tulloch Winery

Wine tasting at James Estate Winery in the Hunter Valley, Australia

Wine tasting at James Estate

Really, we could have gone all day or even a whole week with all of the wineries around, so we had to skip most of them, but still enjoyed the drive through this wonderful wine region.

Panorama of Lindemans Winery in the Hunter Valley, Australia

Panorama of Lindeman’s Winery

After stopping for lunch at a picnic spot overlooking the large and popular Lindeman’s Winery, we drove through Cessnock to continue on to find our next camping spot, where I was looking forward to opening one of our new bottles of wine. The rest of the day turned into a much longer adventure than expected, and that bottle of wine had to wait, but that is a story for another day.

Bottles of wine from the Hunter Valley, Australia

Our collection of wines from the Hunter Valley

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Vinnie March 19, 2013 at 7:41 pm

Beautiful and serene! these are the two words which can describe this winery. I would love to spend some days in quiet here, if permitted.

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Sean March 28, 2013 at 7:28 am

Would love to get up to the Hunter Valley to try some wine! We often head to the vineyards on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria. They have some really great Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Be sure to try Ten Minutes By Tractor’s wine if you ever get down these ways.

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Dean Wickham March 30, 2013 at 5:05 pm

Hi Sean, thanks for the recommendation! I never made it to the Mornington Peninsula but when I do I will definitely try out some wines. I do like a good Pinot Noir.

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