A day out in Pokolbin, the wine capital of the Hunter Valley

A day out in Pokolbin, the wine capital of the Hunter Valley

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 08/15/2023

Reading time: 4 mins

This rural Hunter Valley town has a great selection of wineries, beautiful gardens, and picturesque views, making it the perfect destination for a day out.

Pokolbin is one of the main towns you’ll need to visit when in the Hunter Valley. The time you start your day might vary if you’re already staying in Pokolbin or if you’re travelling from further out. Either way, we have put together an itinerary for the perfect day out in the wine capital of the Hunter Valley. Remember to enlist the help of a willing designated driver if you’re planning on visiting wineries, or book a guided tour and save everyone the hassle.

9:30am – Coffee at Cafe Enzo

There’s no better way to start the day than a warm cup of speciality coffee! If you haven’t eaten yet, Cafe Enzo also has a selection of cafe-style breakfast meals to fuel you through the big day ahead. Not the mention, the atmosphere of Cafe Enzo is guaranteed to put you in the right spirit for the day!

10:00am – Wine tasting at Charteris Wines

Your first winery of the day has to be at Charteris Wines. Charteris is the brainchild of New Zealand-born senior wine show judge PJ Charteris, and his partner Chrissi Pattison. Their wines embrace both Charteris’ beloved Central Otago, and his adoptive Hunter Valley home. The result is a selection of some of the best Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grown in Central Otago, with the Hunter Valley’s Semillon, Chardonnay and Shiraz painting the other half of the picture. We recommend you try The Trans-Tasman Experience, which will allow you to taste wines from both regions. This tasting goes for 45 minutes.

Wine tasting

11:00am – Explore Hunter Valley Gardens

Time to walk off those delicious vinos. The Hunter Valley Gardens is a family-friendly botanical garden, and the perfect spot to spend time appreciating nature. There’s a range of different smaller gardens you can see, as well as plenty of fun to be had for the whole family.

Depending on the time of year you visit, the Gardens hold activities like Snow Time and Christmas Lights Spectacular!

12:30pm – Lunch at The Cellar

After your walk, it’s time for lunch! Just a short stroll away from the Hunter Valley Gardens, The Cellar offers an extraordinary Pokolbin dining experience. Indulge in delectable meals with exquisite wines to pair. Trust us, The Cellar will make this day even more memorable!

2:30pm – A glass of rare vino at Brokenwood Wines

Next is a little after-lunch pick-me-up. Enjoy a glass of wine from Brokenwood Wines, a leading 5-star Hunter Valley winery. We recommend trying out their WineEmotion dispenser, which allows you to try rare wines that aren’t often available for tasting. Or you can book in for one of their many tasting experiences. With over 50 years of winemaking experience, Brokenwood Wines won’t disappoint!

3:00pm – Spirit and cocktail tasting at McGuigan Wines

It’s time to mix things up! Whether you’re a spirit and cocktail enthusiast or just want to try something new, this tasting experience is for you. Sample the best of McGuigan Wines’ new spirit selection and find your favourite flavour. Or if you’re not full from lunch, indulge in a delicious wine, cheese, and chocolate tasting. As part of this experience, McGuigan Wines pairs their best wines with cheese from the Hunter Valley Cheese Factory and handmade chocolate from Maître Pâtissier.

4:00pm – Finish at the Hunter Valley Chocolate Company

End the day on a sweet note and enjoy some delicious chocolate and a warm drink at the Hunter Valley Chocolate Company. The Chocolate Company has handmade scones, cake, gelato, and many more goodies to satiate your sweet tooth. For the curious, you are even able to view Peter the chocolatier and fudge maker preparing the range of chocolates and fudges for the store.

After you’ve had your fair share of delicious chocolates and other sweets, you can make your way back to your accommodation, ending a fun, food, and wine-filled day in Pokolbin. However, if you are staying in Pokolbin, we recommend you finish on a high and have dinner at  Blaxland Inn, EXP Restaurant, or Goldfish Hunter Valley Restaurant.

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.