The Foodie’s Guide To The Hunter Valley

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You would have to be living under a rock to have missed the foodie phenomenon that has swept Australia in the last decade. With reality TV shows such as Masterchef and My Kitchen Rules introducing us to new flavours and techniques that previously were only dreamt about by chefs, we all fancy ourselves to be a seeker of the finer things when it comes to dining and beverages.

If your “inner foodie” is keen to discover delicious local produce that promises unique flavours and warm hospitality from the very people who made it, then look no further than the Hunter Valley. The Hunter is a hotspot for food and wine travellers that are looking to expand their palate beyond what Sydney has to offer, as well as being a escape for anyone looking for romance.

Only two hours travel north of the concrete jungle lies picturesque rolling hills, fresh crisp air and rows of vines that stretch as far as the eye can see. Vines that represent over 100 years of wine making history, passed through the generations and re-imagined in the modern drops that have even James Halliday giving out more 5-star ratings than TripAdvisor on overload!

The Hunter is known for its Semillons and Verdelhos but lovers of a good wooded Chardonnay, Shiraz or Merlot need not fear disappointment. If you think you know your Semillons and Verdelhos and imagine them all to be the same, you are in for a treat in the Hunter.

If your palate craves a sweet but surprisingly complex style with a hint of spice then Kevin Sobel’s wines will not disappoint. The amazing flavour created by Kevin Sobels, the fifth generation descendant of German immigrant winemaker, Carl August Sobels, and official living legend of the Hunter Valley Wine Industry (awarded in 2014) is rivalled only by the man himself; one of the most open, humble and friendly faces of the Hunter Valley. A visit to Kevin Sobel’s wines is a real treat. Here, you can not only taste the passion infused into the wines, but often you can meet the family and even pat “Archie” their resident Saint Bernard who has inspired a number of their creations!

Suzanne (owner/operator) of Tastes Of The Hunter Wine Tours sums up the modern food and wine traveller in a nutshell. “People are looking for unique flavours, but they are also looking to meet the locals who made the produce and discover the stories behind the wines. What inspired the creation? Any sober driver can take you to the cellar doors but only a passionate local can take you on an inspiring food and wine journey that brings one of the most loved and awarded wine regions of Australia to life”.

Jumping onboard a small group wine tour is a way to experience the Hunter Valley wine region in a way that goes far beyond what you would ordinarily see at a simple tasting at the public cellar door. You can enjoy perfectly matched cheeses as your cellar door guide brings the story of the vintages to life while you sip crisp, aromatic wines next to the stills and barrels that only a few months earlier were home to the drop in your glass!

After all that wine you can also freshen your palate with a paddle of craft beers. The Hunter Valley is known for producing some of the most interesting craft beers whose names certainly don’t disappoint! Fancy a “Dirty Granny Cider”, or a “Red Back”, or  a“Ruby Tuesday”? Or instead, maybe a “Minimum Chips” or “Dogbolter”? From wheat beers, Australian 80s style beers to pale ales in the traditional North American style, the Matilda Bay Brewhouse in the Hunter Valley is a craft beer lover’s playground.

If travelling in stylish leather seats, enjoying great music, soaking up the sun and fresh air amongst the vines and meeting new friends in a relaxed, small group environment is your dream day out or weekend then the Hunter Valley won’t disappoint.

Wine tours in the Hunter Valley are the most popular on weekends (especially Saturdays), so joining a group tour is a must to avoid disappointment, as well as to get access to private tastings with cellar door experts who can really show you what everyone is raving about when it comes to Hunter Valley wines.

If you are looking for a food and wine experience that will impress even the most fussy food loving partner, then you need look no further than a day trip, or a romantic weekend getaway to the Hunter Valley.

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