by Hunter Valley Tourism Association
Looking for the promised land of Australian wine? Then the Hunter Valley is calling. Australia’s oldest continuous wine region has long been the preferred holiday spot for Sydneysiders and woos anyone who relishes breathtaking beauty, wow-factor wines, celebrated cuisine and laidback luxury.
You can follow in the footsteps of the early explorers and take the highway to heaven – it’s a stone’s throw from Sydney’s CBD, just a two-hour drive – or catch a flight from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Canberra and Auckland to Newcastle Airport.
Many winemakers say the older the vine, the better the wine… and we’re blessed to have vines that are older than those in France!
Grapevines were planted in the Hunter Valley by early settlers in the 1820s and in the late 1800s a root-sucking bug called phylloxera pretty much wiped out the vines in Europe. Not here though; we have 11 historic blocks of the original vines (all over 100 years old) still producing iconic wines today… and that makes us pretty unique.
Let’s face it, there aren’t many places where you can find centuries-old Shiraz, Semillon and Chardonnay vineyards and gawk at the gnarly old vines with kangaroos for company.
With a winegrowing heritage dating back 200 years, it’s no surprise we have a rich history of traditional winemaking methods, but we also have young winemakers spreading their wings with a bunch of new varieties and wine styles.
So, when you visit us you can sip and savour our flagship Semillon, Chardonnay, Shiraz and Verdelho, as well as a host of tasty European varieties from the Mediterranean including crisp whites like Vermentino, Savagnin and Fiano and easy-drinking reds including Tempranillo, Sangiovese and Barbera.
As far as idyllic rural retreats go, you can’t ask for much better. Nestled in the foothills of the majestic Brokenback Range, you’ll find dense eucalyptus forests flanking grassy pastures and terraced vineyards dotted with contented cows and kangaroos. We’re home to more than 120 wine producers and our winding country roads are lined with cellar doors and a dizzying number of wine varieties (close to 30 at last count).
We also have the perfect balance of fine dining and casual country cafes with 30 plus eateries, including four hatted restaurants where long lavish lunches come with incredible vineyard views and a relaxed country vibe. You can also treat yourself to a bevvy of paddock-to-plate produce, which celebrates our agricultural roots, bliss out at one of our hedonistic spa resorts, score a birdie or two on a championship golf course and bed down in a plush hotel where a warm welcome and country comfort is guaranteed.
We’re all hooked on our utopian lifestyle – long lunches that linger to dinner, sundowners with blazingly beautiful sunsets, divine wine and food on tap – and you will be too. Time to pack your bags, hit the road and come get a taste of the good life.
For more information visit: winecountry.com.au