• intouch Magazine

Time to Experience the Hunter Valley

If you could package up the best from the all 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 beautiful region has been built on 190 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. With the wide array of excellent accommodation, dining options and activities on offer, the Hunter is the perfect short break and romantic get-away.

In recent years, an explosion of wineries, wine tours, tasting rooms and restaurants specialising in wine country cuisine have added a jolt of grape-fuelled energy to the foothills of the Brokenback Mountains, where more than 140 wineries now produce a wide range of world-class wines from varietals that include Chardonnay, Semillon and Verdelho amongst the whites and Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot as well as an increasing number of Spanish and Italian varietals among the reds.

The Hunter Valley is a warm 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 boutique accommodation, mountain and vineyard landscapes, cooler days and nights enjoyed around open fires, cosy restaurants serving up heart-warming dishes and of course award-winning wines.

Each of the wine-producing areas that make up the Hunter Valley, namely Pokolbin, Lovedale, Mount View, Broke-Fordwich and Wollombi, are distinctively different in their own way with each oozing their own version of wine country chic and laid-back luxury, wine and food trails and an assortment of delightful accommodation to choose from.

Nestled amongst the breathtaking surrounds of the Brokenback Range, Mount View with its winding roads and panoramic views offers some of the most outstanding scenery in the Hunter. Here visitors have their choice of a handful of impressive and highly acclaimed boutique wineries that seem to appear out of nowhere – all providing a relaxed and idyllic wine tasting experience and superbly welcoming hospitality.

Continuing your wine country travels and an easy 15-minute drive from Pokolbin, the Broke Fordwich Wine Region is considered to be the more tranquil side of the Hunter Valley. The natural beauty of the region, coupled with fine Hunter wines, eateries and restaurants, local farm produce, great places to stay and cultural significance make Broke Fordwich well worth a visit and a good reason to return.

The rural locality of Pokolbin sits in the shadow of the Brokenback Range. It is considered to be the ''hub'' of the Hunter Valley wine region and where the largest collection of wineries, hotels and guesthouses, restaurants, gourmet food providers, shops and some of the best-known names in Australian wine can be found. This is where you get to sample vintages from old vines and new varietals at some of the oldest and most historic vineyards in the country.

Often referred to as the ''Heart of the Hunter'', Lovedale is located just east of Pokolbin and is renowned for its close-knit community, family-owned and operated cellar doors, quality boutique accommodation, fine restaurants, unique galleries and of course for the annual Lovedale Long Lunch.

With a vast selection of both small and large accommodation to choose from and a wine and food trail consisting of 12 cellar doors and 10 restaurants, Lovedale offers the perfect weekend away and the ideal opportunity to experience some of the best wine and food the Hunter has to offer.

Pictured Top: Broke Fordwich.

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