The wind whips my shirt as I step out of my car and survey the picturesque landscape before me. Endless rows of lush green vines stretch out into the distance as kangaroos hop along the perimeter of the vineyard. This is a defining moment in the Hunter Valley, where some of Australia’s most gorgeous wineries can be found. It’s here that I will immerse myself in one of the best wineries Hunter Valley has to offer.
Hunter Valley is Australia’s oldest wine region and continues to impress visitors with its world-famous wineries. It boasts over 150 wineries, with each one offering something unique. Trying to explore them all would be a daunting task, but my goal was to visit some of the best wineries Hunter Valley has to offer.
The first vineyard I stop by is a small, quaint place where the owner greets me like family. She shares with me a history of the vineyard and pours a glass of their signature Shiraz. The wine is divine and hints at the fruity and spicy richness of the soil in which it was grown.
I soon find myself at Audrey Wilkinson Winery, which is one of the most beautiful wineries in Hunter Valley. Situated atop a hill, the winery offers a sweeping view of the valley below. I’m amazed at how far I can see and how the hills seem to stretch on forever. The vines here are spaced far apart, and that gives the wildlife ample space to roam around.
As I stroll around the property, I sense the ambiance of a historic family-run winery. Audrey Wilkinson Winery has been around since 1866 and has won scores of awards for its unique blends. I sample a few of these blends and each one is a masterpiece, capturing the essence of the region. The Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot are my favorites.
Leogate Estate Winery is another Hunter Valley gem. The expansive grounds have a contemporary feel with a stylish interior where I feel at home. The winery is famous for its Chardonnay and Shiraz blends and I can see why. The Chardonnay is crisp and smooth, with a distinct nutty flavor. The Shiraz is bold and fruity with undertones of pepper.
The next stop at one of the best wineries Hunter Valley has to offer is a place that takes me back in time. I drive down a dusty road and soon see a sign that reads, “Tintilla Estate.” The estate has a colonial-style charm with a homely feel. The staff is friendly and welcomes me warmly. They offer a tasting, and I’m impressed by the variety of wines. The signature Shiraz and Semillon are both excellent. The fortified Tawny is perfect with some cheese as I sit on their verandah and take in the view.
As the sun starts to set, I make my way towards the final winery of the day – Hope Estate. It’s one of the largest wineries in the Hunter Valley, with a vast vineyard and an impressive amphitheater where world-famous artists perform. Walking through the vineyard, I feel a sense of awe at the sheer size of it all.
The winery is known for its Shiraz and CuvŽe blends, but it’s their beer that’s unexpected and delightful. I try their pilsner and ale, which are refreshing and easy to drink. The brewery has a casual vibe, which is perfect for relaxing with friends.
It is with a heavy heart that I leave Hope Estate behind. My tour of the Hunter Valley best wineries was a memorable experience. I learned about the history of winemaking in Hunter Valley and sampled some of the finest wines and beer that Australia has to offer.
I can say with confidence that each of the wineries I visited was unique, with its own character and charm. Hunter Valley is a must-visit destination for anyone that loves wine and breathtaking views.