A visit to one of Australia’s most historic wine regions will reward both wine lovers and fun lovers alike, says Tyson Stelzer. Read his Hunter Valley travel guide here.
Hunter Valley: Six of the best wineries to visit
☆ Tyrrell’s Wines
Home to Vat 1, the Hunter’s most long lived and consistent multi-vineyard Semillon, and Vat 47, Australia’s first Chardonnay, Tyrrell’s offers an all-encompassing tasting, with wines to suit all palates and budgets. Don’t miss the historic winery tour at 1.30pm daily.
☆ Brokenwood Wines
Brokenwood’s Graveyard Vineyard gives the Hunter’s most distinctive, age worthy Shiraz. View the vines from the 11th fairway of the Cypress Lakes Resort golf course and taste the wines during a cellar door visit, Sunday barrel tasting or vineyard and winery tour.
☆ Small Winemakers Centre
Don’t miss the wines of some of the Hunter’s most influential and talented winemakers: Andrew Thomas, Keith Tulloch and Andrew Margan, three of the six here. Then try other gold- and trophy winners in the Icon Lounge.
☆ First Creek Wines
Under head winemaker Liz Jackson, First Creek makes some of the most finely crafted, value-for-money wines in the Hunter. Free winery tours leave at10.30am daily, buy from the cellar door or enjoy the wines on the veranda.
☆ Lake’s Folly
There’s no Semillon or Shiraz at this tiny, historic estate, just the Hunter’s best Cabernet and Chardonnay. They never last long after their March release, and tastings are over when they run out, so time your visit carefully.
☆ McWilliam’s Mount Pleasant Estate
Climb the hill behind the Mount Pleasant cellar door and see a 120-year-oldShiraz vine – the sacred turf of winemaking legend Maurice O’Shea. Enjoy lunch at Elizabeth’s restaurant and don’t miss Lovedale, the world’s finest single-vineyard dry Semillon.