Happy to be visiting Hunter Valley again, after an 8-year gap. Instead of a day-trip, this time round we would be staying here for a few days to relax and enjoy the wine region.
Having arrived on Xmas day meant that no cellar doors were open so we took time to rest & recharge. Headed out during evening time to try our luck on spotting kangaroos and I was excited to be able to see wild live kangaroos for the first time after half a dozen visits to Australia~
Also spotted some horses grazing near a lake by the roadside against the sweet pinkish sky.
The next morning, without hesitation our first cellar door on our list was Tempus Two. We enjoyed the wine bought from them during our previous visit. Other than loving the quality of their wine, I also liked the stylish bottles with the Pewter Series and Copper Series.
I was particularly excited to be able to finally see grapes on the vines! I’ve never visited a vineyard during Spring/Summer period. All I used to see were the brown twigs in winter during their dormancy phase.
Our second stop was Brokenwood Wines which had officially opened their brand new cellar door just 2 weeks ago.
The spacious cellar door has several circular pods for tasting. However they were all occupied and no one seems to be leaving anytime soon, so we headed over to their casual eatery for a lunch break instead.
Something on the special menu caught our attention – Nasi Goreng chicken, prawns, rice with fried egg, chilli jam & crispy onions. Even though it is priced at A$26, we still went ahead to order one.
There is also an enomatic self-service dispenser for guests to taste the wines by glass.
After lunch, we decided to move on to try another cellar door as this place doesn’t seem to strike a chord with us. Despite the brand new and large complex, it didn’t have the welcoming feel.
Another landmark cellar door around the vicinity was McGuigan Wines which has been recently named ‘Australian Winery of the Year‘ award at the New York International Wine Competition, adding on to their list of previous awards. Their cellar door setup is somewhat simple – almost felt like I’m tasting wine at some exhibition booth. But the wine was pretty good.
As it was Boxing day, not every cellar door was open – check out the Hunter Valley website for a comprehensive list of the opening hours. Nevertheless we drove around to take a look at some vineyards that supposedly offered nice views. We decided to check out Bimbadgen whose name stems from the local indigenous language meaning ‘Place of Good View’.
Though we didn’t had the chance to taste their wine, as it happened, we received a bottle of their wine when we checked into our hotel in Sydney a few days later. =)
Dinner was a simple affair as we could only grab some basic ingredients from a Thai grocery mart in Sydney which was opened on Xmas day.
One of the benefits of visiting during Spring/Summer was the long daylight. After our light dinner we even managed to head out to enjoy the beautiful sunset at Audrey Wilkinson Winery voted the most picturesque winery in the Hunter Valley. They are also one of the oldest wineries here where they planted the first vines in Pokolbin in 1866.
Located on a hilltop, we were treated to this breathtaking sight.
Other Photos Taken:
Visited the Hunter Valley Christmas Lights Spectacular.
Expansive park with many displays.
What a lovely sight.