The Hunter Valley is a region in New South Wales, Australia, which is renowned for many delights that attract tourists from every corner of the globe. However, above all else, it is legendary for first-class wineries that produce some of the best wine in the world, and this is far from overselling it. Nowadays, Australian wine is lauded for its impeccable quality, and it even surpasses products from Mediterranean countries in many ways. If you find this hard to believe, embark on a journey through the Hunter Valley – Australia’s Top Wine Region.
A land of Sémillon and Shiraz
The Hunter Valley is one of the oldest wine regions in entire Australia, known for its suitable climate conditions and excellent results in grape cultivation since the early 19th century. The climate is humid and subtropical, and even though it is located a bit further inland, you can still feel the alluring scent of the Pacific Ocean, and maritime influences over the region are quite profound and noticeable – which is exactly why it is such a potent wine region. The Hunter Valley is proud home to over 120 wineries which are most prominent for Sémillon and Shiraz varieties; however, this is not where the range of choices ends. You’ll also get a chance to taste lovely Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, with a few sips of Verdelho here and there.
You should definitely rely on your car to get around
The typical way to access the Hunter Valley is via the M1 Pacific Motorway, a scenic drive for travelers that come from Sydney. It is a relatively breezy, two-hour-long drive from the Harbour City with some delightful backdrops sprinkled along here and there. Of course, the region itself is relatively modest in size – the wine region itself is mostly located between the towns of Cessnock and Braxton – but you’ll still need to use a car in order to get around and see all the best this patchwork of meadows and vineyards offer.
Tip: In order to ensure the smoothest possible ride, turn to a superb mechanic from the Hunter Valley that can give your four-wheeler a thorough checkup before you embark on the road.
In the valley of the Hunter River…
The zone is named after the eponymous Hunter River and it includes a lot of land its tributaries float through. With that in mind, the number of wineries that contribute to the stellar reputation of the Hunter Valley is hard to pinpoint without completely missing the mark.
Tip: If you are here for the wine tour of a lifetime, you should definitely stick to the southern portion of the valley, more specifically – the foothills of the Brokenback Range.
The wine trail is for true hedonists
One of the most beloved activities (and one that is highly recommended to all newcomers) is to follow a wine trail and embark on an in-depth tour that grants you an exclusive access behind the decadent ‘scenes’ of the wineries and into the complex chain of efforts that go into creating the most sublime end product achievable. It can really encourage you to appreciate the wine’s masterful balance of taste and texture even more. The towns of Cessnock, Pokolbin, Lovedale and Rothbury and their outskirts offer some of the best highlights for food and wine enthusiasts.
So many things to enjoy beyond wine tasting
Beyond that, you can enjoy a range of enticing activities that are not necessarily related to the wine tasting, but which can make the overall traveling experience even more memorable. You can visit the Barrington Tops National Park where you’ll get a chance to enjoy several rounds of golf with a friend or your better half, you can go on a charming horse-carriage ride and even hop into a hot air balloon for the most unforgettable and spectacular view of the valley you could have ever hoped for.
Every now and then, we all deserve to unwind. Thankfully, the world has become a well-connected place that keeps so many exquisite and decadent regions right within our grasp. Should you decide to visit the Hunter Valley, you’ll be treated to the ultimate escapade to a faraway location that offers everything a soul in need of nourishment requires – amazing food, incredible wine, gorgeous scenery and tranquil towns surrounded with quaint meadows.