June 20, 2019
As one of the nation’s most picturesque wine regions, the Hunter Valley is the perfect place for cellar door visits, whiffy cheese tastings and garden viewings. Or perhaps you’re up for something more adventurous, say a hot air balloon ride, a canter on a horse or a cruise on a Segway?
Here are some of the best experiences on offer in the Hunter Valley. Spicers would be delighted to assist in organising your weekend away.
Departing daily at 10.30am, and complimentary for Spicers guests, Tyrrell’s behind the scenes tour gives you an insight into 160 years of winemaking experience. See the old oak vats and historic red cellar door, still in full operation, and the original iron bark hut that Edward Tyrrell lived in. You’ll also visit the Short Flat Vineyard, home of Australia’s most awarded white wine, Vat 1 Semillon, with its vineyards first planted in 1923.
Established in 1970, Brokenwood is one of Australia’s most reputable premium wine labels. It’s home to the famous Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz, the acclaimed ILR Reserve Semillon and the popular Cricket Pitch Range. Visit the cellar door for a casual, private or group tasting. Cru Bar + Pantry is open for breakfast, lunch and snacks including homemade pies, wood-fired pizzas, toasties, cheese and charcuterie platters, and wine by the glass or bottle. Bliss!
Hunter Valley Smelly Cheese This is the place to stock up on local, Australian and imported artisan cheese, gourmet delights, gelato made on-site, cured meats and other eats. Hunter Valley Smelly Cheese also offers cheese and antipasto platters. Enjoy the view with a cup of coffee and a slice of house-made baked cheesecake. Cheese and olive tastings available.
If the weather is agreeable, then a hot air balloon ride is a fine way to appreciate the Hunter Valley from above. The smallest balloons carry just two passengers, including the pilot, while the largest can accommodate 24 people. These exhilarating flights generally last about an hour, and it’s best to arrive on site early to marvel at the balloons inflating. Packages include a champagne breakfast and digital photos.
Horse riding and Segway tour
At Hunter Valley Resort there are horse rides run daily. One-hour rides are available on the hour between 8am and 5pm. The trail rides suit everyone from the most timid beginner to the experienced rider. There are also half-hour, two-hour and full-day rides. If you prefer to be a little closer to terra firma, consider a Segway tour. Enjoy the natural beauty and spot roos and maybe the odd wombat as you explore this historic wine region along an old 1880s stock route.
Words by William Holmes