The Hunter Valley Vineyards
The Hunter Valley is one of Australia’s oldest wine producing regions. It is also well known for its wonderful dining, galleries, cooking schools, the lovely health spa retreats and the huge golf courses. Here you may sample the wonderful local cheese, the brilliant hand-made chocolates, the dairy goods, the sourdough breads, charcuterie, and olive oil directly from the producers.
The first vines here in the famous Hunter Valley were planted in the 1820s, which makes the Hunter Valley, one of the oldest wine regions in all of Australia. The Hunter Valley semillon is considered by one and all as the most iconic wine of this region; however the Hunter also produces wines from a range of grapes like shiraz, cabernet and verdelho. You can also visit here the internationally-famous Wyndham Estate too which is another old vineyard of Australia and which hosts Opera each year.
What can you do here?
All around the year, the Hunter Wine Valley undergoes a diverse routine of food as well as wine events in the majestic wineries which include world class performances by some of the biggest names in jazz and blues. The wonderful Lovedale Long Lunch is hosted here which is an event of the progressive-style and which winds through the Hunter Valley wineries and it’s restaurants every year in the month of May. Come here and wander aimlessly through the yard’s colourful blooms at the colourful Festival of the Flowers which is held in September or sometimes during November.
The topography of Hunter Valley
Within Australia’s celebrated wine appellation system, the Hunter Valley zone of the Australian Geographical Indication almost covers the full catchment of Hunter and its tributaries. Within it, the Hunter wine valley region is really big which includes most wine-producing areas, apart from the metropolitan region of Newcastle and the coastal areas nearby and the national parks around. Here you have three major sub- regions namely; the Upper Hunter Valley, the Broke Fordwich and the Pokolbin sub-regions.
The Hunter Valley is easily one of the most popular and sought after destinations range the tourists and visitors outside Sydney where you may have a plenty of things to do and you can have a gala of a time enjoying yourself in the beautiful winery tours and the famous festivals, you can roam around the farmers markets and dine at some of these best restaurants of Australia here.
With way more cellar doors than the other wine regions in Australia, here you can have plenty of tour options. The Broken Back Range forms the most impressive backdrop to these picturesque Australian wine regions. You may rent a bicycle, or hop around in a fancy motorcycle to visit the wineries.
The Lower Hunter Valley cannot be vividly defined; however it includes in general the famous Pokolbin sub region, as well as the districts around Mount, Cessnock, Wollombi and Lovedale. A huge part of the history of Hunter Valley was played out here and it is the region which is generally referred to as the Hunter Valley wine country. A huge part of the Hunter Valley’s most famous, productive and prestigious vineyards are located on these southern valleys and the foothills of Brokenback Range . The topography of Hunter Valley now includes mostly the gently sloping hills with the modest gradients.
The Hunter Region covers maximum part of the Hunter Valley of Australia which is considered to be a transitional area between Paleozoic rock foundation of New England Fold Belt, located in the south and Early Permian and the Middle Triassic period rock formations of Sydney Basin to the south. In between the two geological areas lies the Hunter-Mooki Thrust fault. Long time ago this fault was geologically very active which gave rise to Brokenback range which features prominently around the Hunter region. Throughout the region, strips of basalt can be found which also suffice to the volcanic activity which has occurred in this region throughout history.
The soils here, at the Lower Hunter vary immensely from the sandy alluvial flat soils (often planted for the prestigious Semillon), to the deep friable loam soil (planted frequently with Shiraz) and the friable red duplex soil. The Upper Hunter, as well as the rivers and the creeks of this region contribute to this area’s black, silty loam soils which are often put on top of the alkaline clay soil. From the hills of Brokenback range you can find strips of the volcanic basalt which are prized by the growers for their tendency to restrict the vigour and concentrate the mineral flavours within the grapes.
The wonderful Hunter Valley Wine Country is about a two hours’ drive in the north of Sydney. You can find, in the heart of this remarkable area, the lovely beachside city of Newcastle, which also has an interesting and rich history, culture and some excellent dining and shopping provisions. You may chill out on the magnificent beaches of New South Wales Central Coast and stroll through the ancient rainforests in the wild national parks of Yengo and Wollombias well as the World Heritage-listed, serene Barrington Tops. You can fish or swim or sail at the Lake St Clair around Singleton or travel through the Hunter Valley region around the Pacific Coast Touring Route which extends from Sydney to the lovely city of Brisbane.
To sum it up
Playing golf in the vineyards is a very popular activity in the Hunter region. You may enjoy the game at the famous Greg Norman-designed course at The Vintage.
The Wine and the Food Festival in May and June in the Hunter Valley celebrates the area’s delicious wines and the fresh and healthy produce which includes fruits, olive oil, chocolate, cheese and beef.
A lot of things can be done in this beautiful valley apart from the ones already mentioned above. You can join the popular wine tasting master class here or can sample abroad selection of the best wines at one of over 150 cellar doors. You can also escape to the magnificent outdoors with an enthusiastic game of golf in one of its most scenic venues, can enjoy the hot-air balloon or the helicopter ride or might shop for the antiques and local artworks at the galleries of this beautiful valley. You may also tour the yards and sample several wines at the cellar doors which. You may savour the wines and the local produce in the quality restaurants and pamper yourself in the day spa, like Château Élan and you can stroll in the beautiful Hunter Valley Gardens and visit the children’s most favourite storybook garden which attracts tourists from all around the world.