With the bush fires and drought at the forefront of everybody's minds, supporting local is as important as ever. Hunter Valley Wine Country is always open for business – and being just a hop, skip and a jump from Newcastle and Lake Macquarie, it’s literally in our backyard. Check out the great range of activities designed to get you up the Hunter Expressway this month!
Are you or a friend getting married soon? Grab the girls for a day (or weekend) out and head to Dalwood Estate for Love Wedding Festival or Ben Ean’s Wedding Open Day both on February 2, or the Wedding and Wine Festival at Oaks Cypress Lakes Resort on February 23. These festivals will be packed with local and regional suppliers, all ready to help you plan the wedding of your dreams.
Love is in the air on Valentine’s Day (February 14), and there are many local restaurants guaranteed to impress your loved one! Visit Goldfish at Roche Estate for a shared platter (for 2), a special ‘Hearts & Arrows’ cocktail on arrival and live music for just $90 per couple. You could also indulge with a romantic 5-course degustation at Margan in Broke Fordwich, featuring produce grown in their one-acre kitchen garden for $120 pp (incl. a glass of wine).
If cheese and chocolate is your thing, Hunter Valley Cheese has a fun tasting experience on offer on Sunday, February 9 which includes four Hunter cheeses, chocolates and wines, plus tasting notes at a seated candlelit table. Simply purchase a ticket and turn up any time between 1pm and 4.30pm.
New Hunter hot spot, The Artisan Cheese Room, has the ultimate cheesy experiences ready for your tastebuds – cheese and wine; cheese and cocktails; gin and cheese; and for the boys… beer and cheese. Tastings range from $28–$33 pp and are available any time Friday to Monday 9am–5pm (Monday 4pm).
If you haven’t heard already, Two Fat Blokes have been holding their very well received High Cheese on Sundays – which include multiple courses of cheesy goodness, as well as bottomless bubbles for $75 pp. These guys have just moved, and it’s worth checking out their new intimate café and cellar door located at 691 Hermitage Road Pokolbin.
In an innovative and artfully designed fashion, Lisa McGuigan has re-created the wine tasting experience with her recently opened cellar door Vamp, located at 2198 Broke Road, Pokolbin. Life really is too short not to drink great wine – and we are sure you’ll find it here!
Speaking of new, M&J Becker Wines (located at Roche Estate) has something special for the spirit lovers with the release of the first Australian style Tequila. Made from blue Agave Tequiliana plants grown in Queensland, this Tequila style spirit named Pinché is a one-off production with a limited number of only 240 bottles. Of course, we can’t talk about spirits without recommending a visit to the Hunter Distillery. Check out the colour changing Mystery Gin which is currently a firm favourite at the intouch office (Friday afternoon of course!)
East Gresford winemakers Boydell’s, who also operate a boutique Luxury African Safari Tent accommodation, have taken their business to another level with the successful opening of their cellar door and restaurant located at 2 Green Street Morpeth. Open Wednesday to Sunday, there’s wine tasting from 10.30am, and a delectable locally-sourced menu available for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Morpeth is already one of a kind – this is yet another reason to visit!
In what has become an annual treat, Essential Theatre is returning to Calais Estate on February 22 for Shakespeare in the Vines. Let eight professional actors take you on the thrilling and dark journey that is Macbeth. Grab your tickets quick for this one!
Check our What’s On Highlights next month for more ‘Visit the Valley’ ideas.