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A Backyard Full of Wine and Food Experiences

Image Credit: Destination NSW.

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


Located just two hours from Sydney and a mere 45 minutes from Newcastle, for generations, people from all over Australia and the world have travelled to the Hunter Valley to experience the region's exceptional food and wine experiences - its greatest asset.

With a range and quality of produce that is second to none, combined with a rich history going back to the 1830s, the Hunter Valley has become not just Australia's oldest wine region but a leader in wine and food tourism. Combined with its relatively mild climate, the Hunter Valley's food and wine experiences lead us outside to enjoy some of the world's finest flavours against a backdrop of stunning beauty.

Stepping inside the restaurants, renowned for their exciting food, warm hospitality, and magnificent locations, is a chance to experience the culinary creativity of some of the best chefs in the country. Visiting a cellar door, too, is quite extraordinary, and you are likely to find yourself chatting to the winemaker and several family members, often second or third-generation vignerons.

Image Credit: Cessnock City Council.

More than 150 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 you can sample a wide range of world-class wines from varietals that include Chardonnay, Semillon and Verdelho amongst the whites and Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot among the reds. Wine lovers will also be thrilled to find a fast-growing range of Mediterranean varieties, including Fiano, Viognier, Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris, and the red varieties of Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Barbera, Tempranillo, Malbec, and Petit Verdot.

Adding to the mystique of the Hunter Valley is that the wine region comprises different localities or sub-regions – each with its own secrets to reveal and subtle nuances in wine characteristics.

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 available in the Hunter Valley. Visitors have their choice of a handful of highly acclaimed boutique wineries that seem to appear out of nowhere - all providing a relaxed and idyllic wine-tasting experience and welcoming hospitality.

Often referred to as the ''Heart of the Hunter,'' Lovedale is located just east of Pokolbin and is renowned for its award winning boutique wineries, restaurants and the famous annual Lovedale Long Lunch. With 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.

The rural locality of Pokolbin is considered the ''hub'' of the Hunter Valley wine region and where the largest collection of wineries, restaurants, providores, shops and some of the best-known names in Australian wine can be found. This is where you can sample vintages from old vines and new varietals at some of the country's oldest and most historic vineyards.

Image Credit: MJK Creative.

With well over 50 cellar doors, an equal number of restaurants and cafés, and a growing number of distilleries and breweries, visitors are spoilt for choice when it comes to things to do, see and taste.

If you want some time away from wine tasting, explore the world-famous Hunter Valley Gardens or browse the shops at Hunter Valley Gardens Shopping Village.

With so much to see, taste, and do, you will surely leave the Wine Country planning your return.

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