The Sparkling Wine Production Process in the Hunter Valley

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sparkling wine s4x3The Hunter Valley is well-known for its wide selection of wineries that promise an authentic taste of Australia. Throughout the region, there are numerous vineyards that produce and sell their tipple all over the world.


And the wine in this part of Australia comes in all flavours and colours, with sparkling wine proving to be a popular production choice.


The majority of sparkling wine produce in the Hunter Valley is made using Chardonnay or Pinot Noir grapes, but there is also a unique specialty that is made using Shiraz grapes to create a red sparkling wine.


It’s hard to believe, because we tend to pop a bottle of it at every celebration, that sparkling wine was originally a winemaking accident. It would come about when the winemaker would bottle and seal the wine, thinking the process was done and dusted, but the fermentation wasn’t complete.


sparkling shirazAt this point, there would still be sugar in the bottle along with a number of living yeast cells, which would cause a second round of fermentation. The carbon dioxide in the bottle would be trapped, so when it was finally opened the wine would be bubbling (as well as cloudy from the yeast residue).


The bubbliness was never a problem, but drinkers tended to dislike the cloudiness, which is why winemakers in the Hunter Valley manage the process to eliminate this feature.


How Sparkling Wine is Made in the Hunter Valley
The most popular way that sparkling wine is produced in the Hunter Valley is via the methode traditionelle, which is the same process French Champagne goes through. Cheaper sparkling wines are created using a variety of other methods not dissimilar to the process used to make soda water.


Sparking WineThe methode traditionelle is when the secondary fermentation of the wine takes place in the bottle. The wine itself is matured on yeast lees before the bottles are hand-turned to make sure the lees settles in the neck.


Wines created using the methode traditionelle get their flavour not only from the grapes used, but also from the yeast that is matured and hand-turned inside the bottle. And, the longer the yeast is in the wine, the more intense the flavour is.


What to Pair Your Sparkling Wine With
The difficulty comes when deciding what to pair your bottle of sparkling wine with. In actual fact, it pretty much goes with anything, but pairing it with seafood, tapas, and hors d’oeuvres is the preferred way (particularly if you’re looking to get the party started!).

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The Wines and Winemakers of Wynwood Estate

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wynwood estateThe Hunter Valley is one of Australia’s prime winemaking regions and boasts numerous vineyards that produce some of the world’s best-loved wines. One of the newest editions to the Valley’s family is the Wynwood Estate. This new project has snapped up one of the oldest vineyards in the region and is dedicated to creating wines that imbue both the fascinating history of the Hunter Valley and the traditional winemaking ways.

Set in a stunning location, the on-site cellar door provides visitors with the chance to sample some delicious flavours as well as enjoy the spectacular views across the Valley and beyond.

Wynwood Estate’s Chief Winemaker

Chief winemaker Peter Lane boasts more than 20 years’ experience in the Hunter Valley wine industry and has worked alongside some of the top people in the Valley over the years.

Wynwood Estate 2Lane decided at a young age that he wanted to go into winemaking after growing up with a keen interest in science, viticulture, and agriculture. He then went on to land his first job in the industry at Mount Pleasure as a trainee chemist, which is where he developed his love for Hunter Shiraz and Semillon. Afterwards, it was onto Southcorp where he worked at Tulloch Wines for the best part of the 1990s. Here, he learned a different side to winemaking before he was taken on by Tyrrells as an assistant winemaker.

Lane’s extensive experience and love of winemaking means he has the knowledge, skill, and passion to create some of the Valley’s best wines at the Wynwood Estate.

The Wines of Wynwood Estate

Wynwood produces a range of delicious wines, from fortified varieties, to blossoms and everything in between.

The Grey Gum Limited Release Range

Wynwood Estate 1Perhaps the most popular line of wines from Wynwood is the Grey Gum Limited Release Range. These bottles of red are made exclusively with fruit from Barossa, bringing a unique array of flavours to the wine. They boast full flavours and can be enjoyed at the estate right now.

Grey Gum Range

The original Grey Gum Range also proves to be a popular collection at the Wynwood Estate. These wines can be enjoyed alongside a range of different cuisines and boast a light, zesty flavour that’s imbued with lots of fruit.

Other wines produced at Wynwood include sparkling blossoms in rose and white, and fortified wines that bring a sense of tradition to the table.

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The 5 Best Markets in the Hunter Valley

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hunter valley marketsThe Hunter Valley is famed for its extensive collection of wineries. Here, you can get stuck into the cultural highlights of the region by tasting some of the local tipple, tucking into the seasonal cuisine, and visiting the many markets that scatter the Valley.


Here are some of the best markets to visit.
1. Maitland Markets
On the first Sunday of every month, the Maitland Markets come to town. Having been a part of the Valley for more than 25 years, this market is a firm favourite with locals and visitors. There are stalls both indoors and outdoors, where you can browse artisan goodies and seasonal treats.


2. Handmade in the Hunter Markets
For the arty minded, head to the Handmade in Hunter Markets which take place on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of every month. While there, you can wander amongst stalls piled high with handmade goods, including paintings and plenty of arts and crafts. The best part is you can meet the makers who tend to their stalls, so you can find out the backstory of your souvenirs and learn more about the hand-making process.


hunter valley markets III3. Laguna Markets
On the 3rd Sunday of every month, the Laguna Market takes place. This fresh food extravaganza brings you delicious veggies, eggs, and herbs from local farms, as well as wool, jewellery, vintage linen and other homeware goods. Every once in a while, you might stumble across a rare treasure or a uniquely crafted souvenir to take home with you.


4. Singleton Farmers & Craft Markets
The Singleton Farmers & Craft Markets come to the Hunter Valley on the 4th Saturday of every month. Located on the picturesque expanse of the Singleton showground, it serves up a selection of locally-made gifts and produce. Tuck into tasty treats, unearth vintage treasures, and soak up the local art while you’re there.


hunter valley markets II5. Wollombi Village Markets
If you find yourself in the Hunter Valley over a holiday weekend, make sure you venture to the Wollombi Village Market on the Monday. Boasting more than 100 stalls, you can pick up everything from local produce, handmade art and crafts, vintage clothes and more.


Markets are an important part of Hunter Valley life. They let locals show off and sell their wares, ranging from handmade art to seasonal produce and everything in between. They’re well worth a visit if you want to dig deeper into the cultural highlights that the Valley has to offer.

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Staying in the Hunter Valley: Cypress Lakes Resort

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Cypress Lakes Resort IThe Hunter Valley provides the perfect escape from the city, promising visitors a relaxing break with wine, delicious food, and stunning scenery. In the heart of the hinterland, you’ll find Cypress Lakes Resort, a golf getaway that embodies everything the Valley has to offer.


Perfect for a romantic escape or a laidback cultural jaunt, Cypress Lakes Resort is not only set in beautiful surroundings, but it also has a packed roster of activities you can get stuck into while you’re there. Spread over 25 acres, there is the chance to play golf until your heart is content, explore the wild surroundings, and sample some of the local wines that have made the area famous around the world.


The luxury accommodation and on-site restaurant only add to the charm.


Cypress Lakes Resort IIAccommodation at Cypress Lakes Resort
The accommodation at the resort is made up of a collection of self-contained villas. You can stay in a one, two, three, or four-bedroom villa, many of which boast incredible bush land views of the valley. Rooms are neutral and serene, promising a relaxing stay in the Australian countryside.


The Restaurant at Cypress Lakes Resort
When you get peckish, you can head to the on-site Bodega Restaurant and Bar. Open daily, this welcoming hangout serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. While you tuck into local, seasonal flavours and sample some of the renowned Hunter Valley wines, you can admire the sprawling views of the surrounding golf course, lake, and swimming pool.


Things to Do While You’re at Cypress Lakes Resort
Play Golf
The resort is made for golfers, with an expansive course that’s surrounded by picturesque scenery. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, there’s somewhere on the green for you.


Cypress Lakes Resort IIIHot Air Balloon Ride
Hit the skies and see the Valley from a different perspective in a hot air balloon. All around the valley, you can jump in a basket and discover the views at a slower pace.


Cycle or Walk
The scenery surrounding Cypress Lakes Resort is beautiful, boasting eggshell-smooth lakes and lush greenery. Take a stroll around the trails and out into the valley, or hire a bike and use pedal-power to make your way around.


Wine Tasting
The Hunter Valley is renowned for its extensive wine tasting opportunities. Try some of the wines on-site, or head out to the local wineries to learn more about the wine making process in the valley.

Visiting McGuigans Winery in Hunter Valley

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mcguiganwinesThe Hunter Valley is a prime location for wine tasting in Australia – in fact, it is one of the country’s best-loved spots for trying some tipple and exploring the unique and rich history of winemaking.


Throughout the valley, there are numerous wineries and vineyards that showcase the best flavours of the region and who have contributed to the lengthy world-famous heritage of winemaking in Australia.


Today, you can explore many of these wineries, including McGuigans Winery, one of the most popular hotspots in the valley. McGuigan is a name synonymous with winemaking in Australia, and the vineyard itself is imbued in the rich traditions of the Hunter Valley.


McGuigans have been creating wines across four generations, all of whom have ensured winemaking is their lifestyle and who demonstrate a dedication to producing innovation flavours.


McGuiganWhat to Do When Visiting McGuigans


Try the Wines
No trip to McGuigans is complete without trying some of the delicious flavours the winery is well-known for. You can take a guided tour of the winery itself, learning more about how the flavours are produced and how it has evolved over four generations of winemakers. There is a large main hall that’s designed especially for group tasting sessions, but you can also wander around the premises to soak up the charm and heritage of the place.


The Hunter Valley Cheese Company
While at McGuigans Winery, you can also visit the Hunter Valley Cheese Company, where you can experience the tasty delights of the region and enjoy a full cheesy experience – from sampling the delicious, homemade flavours, to learning more about how each cheese is handcrafted and matured to give it its best flavour.


McGuigansMcGuigans is a key example of the huge wine industry in Australia. It promises visitors the chance to explore the rich heritage of the region, as well as learn more about the entire wine world in the country.


Spanning four generations, the wine at McGuigans has gone from strength to strength, boasting unique flavours from the valley and showcasing innovating mixtures that are only found in this part of the world.


While at the winery, be sure to taste some of these unique flavours for yourself and, when you start to get peckish, try some samples of cheese from the Hunter Valley Cheese Company while soaking up the stunning views of the region and beyond.

Things to Do in the Hunter Valley Wine Region

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huntervalley1The rolling hills and vintage vineyards of the Hunter Valley make for the perfect day trip if you’re on the hunt for a hearty dose of culture and stunning views. The Valley sprawls out for miles, encompassing cute pockets of civilization, 100-year-old wineries, and plenty of opportunities to try the local gourmet fare.
If you find yourself in the area, here are some of the top things you can get stuck into.


1.    Wine Tasting
Wine makes up a big part of the Hunter Valley lifestyle, and it has retained its high status in the wine world for more than a century. Here, you’ll find numerous family-run vineyards that produce local flavours imbued with the distinct charm of the valley.


As well as touring the wineries and learning more about the winemaking process, you can sample some of the delicious flavours at the many cellar doors in the region – most of which promise incredible views across the valley.


huntervalley22.    Explore of two wheels
The Hunter Valley lends itself perfectly to outdoor exploration, and one of the best ways to see everything on offer is to hit the road on two wheels. Cycling is a hugely popular activity here, giving you the chance to whizz from one winery to the next, discovering beautiful scenery as you go.


3.    Hit the Skies
If you want more of an adrenalin rush, you can take to the skies in a hot air balloon and explore the valley from a different perspective. Soar high about the patchwork fields and old vineyards, looking out for quaint landmarks from above.


huntervalley34.    Get arty
The Hunter Valley isn’t just known for its wine. In fact, it boasts a rich art scene that can be explored through the numerous galleries and studios that are dotted around. As well as browsing temporary exhibitions, you can visit artist studios and learn more about the skill and inspiration behind their work. This is the perfect cultural accompaniment to a day of wine tasting and exploration.


5.    Taste the Local Produce
As well as wine, the Hunter Valley prides itself on its dedication to delicious foods. You’ll find plenty of restaurants and farm shops serving homegrown fare that brings the best flavours of the valley right onto your plate.


The Hunter Valley really is a must-see. Forming one of Australia’s most cultural hotspots, it brings visitors a collection of art, wine, and food set amongst a stunning backdrop.

Spirits and Something Special at the Hunter Valley Distillery

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hunter distilleryThe Hunter Valley is renowned for its extensive wine tasting opportunities and its cultural landscape filled with delicious eateries and centuries-old vineyards, but the Hunter Valley Distillery offers something a little bit different.

As the only certified organic distillery in the entire Hunter Valley region, it offers visitors a change from the numerous wineries. Here, you can explore the distilling process and sample some local flavours of top shelf spirits, including vodkas, liqueurs, schnapps, and the distillery’s award-winning gin.

What to Do at the Hunter Valley Distilleryhunter distillery hunter valley 1

There are plenty of activities to get stuck into at the Hunter Valley Distillery, including the Cellar door and tastings.

The Cellar door is open every day. Whilst here, you can check out the distilling process, hear from some of the top distillers in the region, and sample some of the unique flavours that the distillery creates.

Tastings are an important part of visiting the distillery. As you learn more about the flavours on offer, you can try them as you go for a spirited taste of the Valley.

hunter distillery hunter valley 8History of the Hunter Valley Distillery

The Distillery originally started life producing a limited edition line of premium organic vodkas. It saw success very quickly after it began selling its award-winning Valli Vodka collection which went on to win the San Francisco World Spirits Competition and came second in the London International Wine and Spirit Competition.

Since then, it has remained a stalwart part of the valley and has employed a dedicated team of distillers who continue to create unique, delicious flavours from organic ingredients from around the Hunter Valley and the surrounding regions.

While on site, you can tuck into seasonal meals at the restaurant and enjoy the stunning views across the Hunter Valley from numerous vantage points. If you’re a culture-vulture with a soft spot for spirits, this is definitely the place to go – especially if you’re looking to take a break from the numerous wineries in the region.

Something Special

Perhaps the most unique thing about the Distillery is that visitors have the chance to create their own spirit. The team there provide the tools, help, and advice you need to launch your very own vodka brand, a range of corporate gifts, or just a special beverage to go alongside an upcoming event. You can choose from a range of vodkas, schnapps, and liqueurs to start you off, while the experienced and knowledgeable team works with you to create a flavour that suits the occasion and your taste buds.

Spirits and Liqueurs at the Hunter Distillery

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hunter distillery hunter valley 1The Hunter Valley is the go-to place for wine aficionados visiting Australia. Known around the world as one of the best wine-producing regions, it has remained a pivotal part of the country’s cultural scene for over a century.

Today, there are numerous old vineyards and family-run wineries dotted around the patchwork countryside of the Valley, providing visitors with a charming look into the winemaking process in the region. As well as wines, there is a delicious food scene in the Hunter Valley, promising seasonal flavours and local ingredients.

You can experience both the wine and the food of the Hunter Valley at the Hunter Distillery. The hot spot remains one of the only certified organic distilleries in the Hunter Valley region – no small feat for an area consumed by wineries.

The Distillery is locally owned and run, keeping the essence of the Hunter Valley deeply embedded in the philosophy and working life of the winery and its produce, which includes a world-famous range of spirits, like vodka, liqueurs, schnapps, and the Distillery’s award-winning Copperwave Gin.

hunter distilleryProducts of the Hunter Distillery

The ingredients used to make the produce at the Hunter Distillery are all organic. You can taste and buy products including Valli Vodka in a range of different flavours, like Apple, Lemon Myrtle, Vanilla, and Chilli, and Black Label Liqueurs and Schnapps, including strawberry, ginger, mango, and butterscotch flavours.

In addition, the on-site Master Distiller can create bespoke Private Label Spirits for special events, like weddings, corporate dos, and functions.

The Philosophy of the Hunter Distillery

hunter distillery hunter valley 8The Distillery prides itself on its philosophy, which has been a part of the winery’s life since it first began.

Only the best, organic ingredients are used to make the spirits and liqueurs, and the winemakers endeavour to solely use Hunter Valley rainwater to create their products.

Traditional, time-proven methods that have been used for decades remain in place, but are paired with the latest production and quality control measures to ensure every batch is as good as it can be.

To top it off, the distillery is a heavy ambassador for passion and hard work. All of the winemakers and Distillers have a deep love for creating delicious spirits and liqueurs that reflect the history and charm of the Hunter Valley.

If you’re in the area, the Hunter Distillery offers a spirit-laden break from the abundance of wineries in the Valley, bringing you new and exciting flavours every single day of the year.

The Different Types of Wines Produced in the Hunter Region

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Wine grapesThe Hunter Valley is well-known as one of Australia’s best wine regions. Amongst sweeping valleys and sprawling fields, historic vineyards continue to create delicious wine flavours that have characterised the region for more than a century.

The region itself has been an important part in the historic timeline of Australian wine, and was one of the very first wine regions to get planted back in the 19th century. Though there are plenty of grape varieties and wine flavours created throughout the Valley, including Shiraz, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Verdelho, the region’s Semillon is widely considered to be the most iconic.

Its close proximity to the bustling streets of Sydney has made the Hunter Valley so popular, and it has been fuelled by tight trade network links with the city.

The Most Popular Grape Varieties in the Hunter Valley

Today, the most common wine varieties are Chardonnay, Semillon, and Verdelho for the whites, and Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Merlot for the reds.wine chardonnay

About 70% of the area is planted with Chardonnay grapes, which are often blended with Semillon to get that unique Hunter Valley flavour. The Chardonnay is recognisable by its rich, oaky flavours that hang with high notes of peaches and cream.

Shiraz is another popular tipple. The Valley boasts some of the oldest rooted Shiraz vines in the world, with a number of vineyards hosting vines that are older than 120 years. Here, the Shiraz is characterised by its gamy flavour. When left to sit, it takes on a silky texture with earthy undertones.

vineyardThe Cabernet of the region is not too dissimilar from the Shiraz. It is commonly very earthy and is often cross-blended with a variety of wines from regions outside of the Hunter Valley.

Semillon is perhaps the most iconic wine of the Hunter Valley, though. It was originally planted in the region way back in 1830, and has since been labelled under various names like Hunter Valley Riesling, Shepherd’s Riesling, Rhine Gold, White Burgundy, and Chablis. When it is young, the Semillon of the Valley exudes lemon and grassy notes. In its more mature years, you can expect a richer flavour with heavy biscuit notes.

The Hunter Valley is a must-visit for any wine lover out there. As well as sampling some of the iconic flavours of the region, you can learn all about the winemaking process and why the Valley has played such an important role in Australia’s wine history.

The History and Attractions of Peterson House

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Petersons House 2At the edge of the Hunter Valley, the Peterson House acts as a gateway to the wine-loving region, opening out into the spectacular scenery and promising delicious wine and gourmet experiences to its guests.

Once inside, the Peterson House offers a unique experience, where bubbles float from the ceiling and fun music seeps out into the colourful space.

The History of the Peterson House

Founded by Ian Peterson, who celebrated each grandchild’s birth with a special wine, the Peterson House was first established as a place to make sparkling wine after Peterson discovered no one in New South Wales was commercially producing it in small volumes.

Peterson travelled to South Australia to create his sparkling wine in what would mark the start of his career making bubbles. Today, the Peterson House sits proud in an iconic building and is a specialist of sparkling wine.

The Cellar Door at the Peterson HousePetersons House 1

The Cellar Door is a firm favourite for visitors to the Hunter Valley. Here, guests can sample the latest sparkling wines and learn how the signature flavours are created. You can try Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinot Meunier, amongst red varieties like Shiraz, Cabernet, Merlot, and Chambourcin.

As well as traditional flavours, the Cellar Door also serves up a selection of sparkling whites, roses, and reds, dessert wine, and cider, so there is something for everyone.

Restaurant Cuvee

Found tucked in the heart of the Peterson House’s sandstone exterior, the Restaurant Cuvee boasts exposed timber beams and intricate ironwork, which gives every dining experience a cosy and rustic vibe. Chefs serve up delicious seasonal dishes, while guests can enjoy the mesmerising views out across the vineyards and the valley beyond.

The Peterson House Oyster Bar

Petersons House 3The latest addition to the Peterson House is the on-site Oyster Bar, which can be found on the deck at weekends. Here, guests can tuck into a sumptuous selection of oysters, cheese, antipasto, and sparkling wine, while soaking up the views all around them.

The Peterson House marks a pivotal point in the Hunter Valley wine experience as one of the only wineries in the vicinity that specialises in sparkling wines. As well as trying some of the signature flavours, guests can tuck into a sumptuous Australia meal cooked with fresh, local produce, and admire the stunning views of the valley beyond.

As the gateway to the Hunter Valley, it is the perfect place to start your explorations of this vibrant and cultural part of Australia.

 

 

The Fascinating History of Drayton’s Family Wines

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DraytonsHunter Valley is renowned for its incredible selection of wineries, and the Drayton’s are one of the pioneering winemaking families of the region – their winery is one of the very few that are still run by a family team.

Drayton’s Family Wines spans back more than a century. Joseph Drayton left England at 27 and moved to Sydney with his wife, two sons, and a newborn daughter. Sadly, his wife, daughter, and one of his sons were lost during the journey. Arriving in Lochinvar and then moving to Pokolbin, Joseph acquired more than 80 acres of land. Here, he built the Bellevue homestead and, in the late 1850s, stopped growing grain and instead started to plant his first vines.

After he got married again, Joseph had eight more children, one of which – William – bought more land and started growing vines in the plot next to his father’s.

Eventually, William took over Bellevue from his father and, when he retired, split his assets between his ten children. Four of them, Harry, Walter, George, and Leonard, took over Bellevue. drayton-family-wines-

In 1947, W. Drayton and Sons became an official company and was passed down to the fourth generation Drayton sons.

Moving forward to 2008, Drayton Family Wines was part of a tragedy that saw a fire hit the winery and a resident winemaker die in the explosion.

Today, the winery is back in full swing more than 150 years after its initial inception. It’s run by Max Drayton and his two sons, John and Greg. Max is now one of the go-to people in Hunter Valley for wine advice, and he has helped numerous keen winemakers conceptualise and start their businesses in the region.

drayton-family-winesDrayton Family Wines for Visitors

For visitors, Drayton Family Wines promises an authentic look into the winemaking process that has thrived in the Hunter Valley for over a century. As well as learning more about the fascinating history of the Drayton family, you can also explore the numerous delicious wines the family has become so well-known for.

Daily cellar door tours and winemaking tours give guests an insight into the creative process that every vine goes through to become a fully-fledged bottle of sought-after wine that hits the shelves in the shops.

The scenery surrounding Drayton Family Wines is spectacular, too, so when you’re not busy learning about the family and their processes, you can explore and discover the rippling Hunter Valley.

Accommodation at the Hunter Valley YHA

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Hunter-Valley-YHA-BBQ-AreaThe Hunter Valley is best-known as a beautiful wine region just outside Sydney. Here, you can enjoy local flavours of wine, learn about the winemaking process, and soak up the stunning scenery that characterises the region.

At the Hunter Valley YHA hostel, you are placed right in the heart of the valley. The purpose built accommodation has recently been renovated, offering guests free WiFi, brand new bathrooms, and a stylish kitchen and lounge area. On top of that, you can relax in the sunshine in the outdoor area complete with pool, BBQ, hammocks, and a new café.

The central location means you’re just a short walk from the local pub which serves seasonal classics and has a lively nightlife.

Sustainability at Hunter Valley YHAHunter-Valley-YHA-Exterior

Sustainability is the name of the game at the Hunter Valley YHA. The hostel is committed to reducing its environmental footprint through a collection of community-based conservation practices, including things like utilising a solar hot water system, low-energy lighting, sensor activated lighting, and low energy electric heating.

Things to do at the Hunter Valley YHA

Because of its central location in the heart of the Hunter Valley, the YHA promises visitors access to numerous activities and adventures.

In the spectacular scenery, you can go horse riding, take a hot air balloon into the skies and see things from a different perspective, go bushwalking, or take a bike ride along the many winding trails.

You can also visit the local zoo and explore the sprawling national parks that surround it. For wine and beer lovers, there are plenty of wine tasting Hunter Valley Garden Villageopportunities, and Potters Brewery is just a 400m walk from the hostel, as well as a pub that boasts good food, pool tables, and daily entertainment.

From the hostel itself, you can hire bikes and do a self-guided tour through the nearby vineyards, stopping off to taste some of the local tipple along the way. You can also sign up for a half-day brewery tour, where you’ll visit three breweries and learn more about the beer-making process. If you’re more of a wine drinker, don’t miss the daily wine tour that departs from the hostel, which takes you to some of the best local wineries, and for animal lovers there’s a zoo trip, where you can pat koalas, feed the emus, and catch a glimpse of the elusive Tasmanian devils.