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It’s Hot and Happening - It’s The Hunter Valley!

For many of us, Winter is a favourite time of the year, bringing with it a welcome reprieve from the Summer heat. The Hunter Valley is a wonderful and welcoming place to visit at any time of the year. But Winter in the Hunter Valley has that special magical something – with its charming collection of quaint boutique accommodation, mountain and vineyard landscapes complete with hues of brown and red, cooler days and nights enjoyed sitting around open fires, cosy restaurants and cafes serving up heartwarming dishes and of course welcoming cellar doors with award-winning wines.

In June, the Hunter Valley Wine and Food Festival rolls into the second Act of its packed two-month schedule, with plenty of events encouraging locals and tourists alike to explore the region’s bountiful offering of premium wine and fine food.

The festival is a feast for all the senses, with opportunities to explore and taste all the Hunter has to offer, see the region’s master chefs in action and hear from the winemakers explain the process of taking wine from the grape to the glass.

Celebrate Smokey Sundays at Matilda Bay Brewhouse every Sunday in June and discover what they call Hunter Smokehouse Cuisine. Roll up Your sleeves and tuck into good old-fashioned comfort food as the chef serves up Asian herbs, bastes and sauces with the best of slow-cooked Texan Barbecue. And yes, there will be matching brews.

Rug up, grab a picnic blanket and some friends and head out to Stonehurst Cedar Creek on Wollombi Road on Saturday, June 8 for Music in the Woods. Enjoy a day in the fabulous Wollombi Valley with fine wine as you dance the afternoon away with three incredible live bands set amongst 100 poplar trees or relax beside the fire pit in the woods as you sip from a range of Stonehurst award-winning wines, with mulled wine on pour.

Those keen to soak up more of a festival vibe should check out the Hunter Valley Wine Festival on Saturday, June 29. This is the seventh year the family-friendly event will take over the picturesque grounds of the Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, with an extensive array of wine, food, beer and cider on offer for the adults and a host of entertainment and activities for the kids including train rides, a jumping castle, face painting and the carousel.

A series of tempting tasting events will be on offer in the marquee as singer and performer Jarrod Sherman entertains you along with David D’Souza on guitars playing every song – old and new, with feeling and rhythm.

Enhance your wine knowledge with a visit to Margan Winery’s Annual Barrell Hall Sale held from Saturday 8 to Monday, 10 June. Grab a glass and taste your way through a selection of over 100 wines, meet the team for structured tastings, wine education and cellaring advice. And if you have never had a meal at Margan Restaurant – perhaps now is the time.

Wine and cheese are old friends, with a strong affinity going back thousands of years and considered to be two of life’s true pleasures – especially when it involves a glass of the Hunter Valleys most iconic wines – Lovedale Semillon and Maurice Shiraz accompanied by quality produce from the Australian Cheese Room from Manly.

Each day in June, Mount Pleasant Wines are inviting wine and cheese lovers to enjoy three vintage vertical tastings of each wine served in premium Riedel glassware paired with some of the world’s finest cheeses.

But the party doesn’t end once night falls on June 29, with several other special events capping off the final weekend of the Hunter Valley Wine and Food Festival.

Make your way to Glandore Estate for one of the most hotly anticipated moments of the two-month festival – the traditional Burning of the Barrel.

Combining a massive bonfire with fantastic wines, cheese, food, live music and a fireworks display not to be missed, gates open at 3pm with the bonfire going up in flames at 6pm. A perfect winter night event!

For more information about what's hot and happening in the Hunter Valley this winter, including maps and guides, visit

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