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  • intouch Magazine

A DAY TRIP OR EXTENDED STAY... Hunter Valley Wine Country

If you could package up the best from all the major wine-growing regions of the world and put it in one place – it would be the Hunter Valley.

It’s Australia’s premier wine region, where the pleasures of eating and drinking are celebrated daily.

When you think of Australian wine, you think of the Hunter Valley. This exquisite region has been built on 185 years of passion and dedication to the craft, resulting in the production of many world-class wines. However, there is more to the Hunter Valley than wine (shock!), and with the wide array of great accommodation, dining options and activities on offer, the Hunter is the perfect short break and romantic get-away.

At this time of the year, the grape vines and local fresh produce are at their very best. This is the season to vigorously indulge in the unique gourmet food and wines that this unique part of the country is famous for.

The Hunter Valley, with its clean air, rich soils, pure water and warm summers is a natural sanctuary where people work closely with the land, and the fresh produce and wines are renowned for being amongst the best in Australia. Whether you are up for a peaceful encounter with nature, an outdoor adventure or a decadent food and wine tasting experience, there is something for everyone - and there is no better time than NOW when all the colours and flavours really come to life.

Walk, drive or cycle through sweeping natural landscapes in the countryside and quiet country lanes - while enjoying some of the local produce along the way. From premium wine tastings to local handmade cheeses, handmade cookies, olives, oils, apple ciders and chocolates and even boutique handcrafted beers, vodka and schnapps, the Hunter has so much to offer. And if you don’t want to drive, you can easily book a wine tour.

For those who like a gentle view of nature, there are numerous walking tracks and bush trails through national parks, or for something more stimulating, meander through 25 acres of Hunter Valley Gardens and enjoy the sensational sights, colours, and fragrances of the ten stunning feature gardens. If you are feeling more adventurous take an early morning or afternoon horse-ride through over 300 acres of natural bush-land with glorious views of the Watagans, Brokenback Range and even Barrington Tops. Alternatively, experience new heights with a breathtaking early morning view of the Hunter Valley from a hot air balloon and experience the Hunter Valley at its very best.

Today, the Hunter Valley is as much about food as it about wine. The region has a strong food and wine culture that is reflected in its world-class restaurants, abundant fresh regional produce and gourmet food products and a full range of wine styles and varietals - one to match every meal.

The tastes of the Hunter Valley are as diverse as they are delicious. If you still have room after sampling all the cheese, chocolate, olives and other gourmet goodies the local producers have to offer, why not settle down for a long, lazy lunch with a glass of locally grown wine. There is no shortage of dining options in Wine Country - with al fresco dining a popular option at this time of the year.

Boutique production craft beers, ciders, vodkas, gin and schnapps are also a must try. With traditional procedures and the finest quality ingredients, Hunter breweries and distilleries take the art of creating a fine drop to a completely new level.

To make the most of your time in the Hunter Valley, pop into the Visitor Information Centre on Wine Country Drive and let the friendly staff point you in the right direction.

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