The Hunter Valley wine region in the state of New South Wales, Australia, is known across the world for its many award winning wines. It is also a very popular holiday destination and offers excellent Hunter Valley nsw accommodation and many interesting things to see and do. It is one and a half hour’s drive from the city of Sydney.
In 1797, the Hunter River was discovered accidentally by European settlers. A Lieutenant by the name of John Shortland was searching the area for escaped convicts. The region fast became a major source of timber and coal for ships that provided transport to Sydney. By 1823, 20 acres of vineyards had been established on the river banks in what is now called the Dalwood/Gresford area.
Following this, the valley began to flourish as many families turned to wine-making. These included the Wilkinson, Tyrrell and Drayton families, as well as the illustrious Dr Henry Lindeman. Still today, Lindemans wines are known all over the world. Each year they win national and international awards. The intriguing history of this early era can be seen at a number of historical villages and museums in the valley.
The winter months of April to October are the best times to visit Hunter Valley. The days are clear, sunny and cool, while the nights are chilly and crisp. After a busy day of sight-seeing, relax in a hot spa. Then enjoy a drink next to a roaring fire before dining by candlelight with a bottle, or two, of fine local wine.
Naturally, the most popular activity is visiting the various wineries. This area is particularly known for its outstanding Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Semillon wines. Some major estates include Lindemans, Farrell’s Wines, Wyndham Estate, Rosemount Estate, Pepper’s Creek, Lake’s Folly and Tyrrell’s Vineyards. During a tour, you can meet the winemakers and taste wines direct from the cellars.
The valley has an abundance of other superb locally grown foods. In addition to making wines, the Tinkler family grows the most wonderful seasonal produce which includes nectarines, peaches, table grapes, citrus, figs and avocados. These are all picked when naturally ripe so that they retain their delicious flavors. There is a shop on site where visitors can buy this produce as well as a variety of home-made relishes, pickles, marmalades and jams.
A horse-drawn carriage tour is the ideal way to take in the beauty of the valley. Relax in a comfortable carriage and spend the day sampling wines other locally produced delicacies like olives, chocolates and cheeses. If you prefer a bit more action, join a horse-back riding tour and experience the great outdoors in true Australian style. There are many other Hunter Valley tours to choose from. Details can be obtained from the local tourism office.
It’s not just wine that takes center stage in Hunter Valley. This area is also home to a world renowned brewery, namely the Hunter Beer Company. It produces award winning boutique beers and has won 24 awards at the last three Australian International Annual Beer Awards. You can pop in at any time for beer-tasting, meet the brewers, or have a Brasserie lunch in the onsite beer garden.