A Guide to Hunter Valley Wine Tasting

One of life’s little luxuries is sipping on a mouth-watering glass of wine, and there is no greater place to do this than at Hunter Valley. Here you can escape from the city, disconnect and have a sublime weekend in the beautiful outdoors. It is undoubtedly one of Australia’s best wine regions, with a jigsaw of gleaming green, boutique wineries, and a throng of activity, Hunter Valley is where it’s at.

Established back when Europeans first settled in Sydney, the province has grown, now producing its own unique style of wine, with big hits being Chardonnay, Semillon, and Shiraz. But offers a variety of other choices which are bound to please to any palate. Don’t get sucked into staying at one winery for the day, as the region is home to a whopping hundred and fifty separate wineries to choose from.

The birth of Hunter Valley’s vineyards began in the 1820s. The crops started slow, but after the arrival of around 500 different vine cuttings taken from Europe, the vineyards grew. Quality increased, derivative from the superior European wines, and made Hunter Valley become one of the best wine regions in the country.

Therefore, you should travel to at least a couple, comparing the taste, texture, type of each vineyard’s glass. I visited the Iron Gate Estate, McGuigan Wines and Ernest Hill. Iron Gate estate is influenced by the grand province of the Mediterranean and feels as though you have stepped into a European vineyard after only a half an hour drive. McGuigan Wines is one of the most popular wineries within the region, using their original ancient recipe since opening in 1880. Ernest Hill sits on top of a hill and offers spectacular views to go with your wine. Being on the smaller size of the others, Ernest is the perfect place to a visit to escape the crowds. If you are interested in going on a tour (so no one has to drive) try out Sightseeing Tours Australia. Simply let your worries melt away as you are guided around the valley, relaxing with a glass of wine to marvel at the outstanding scenery. The tantalising taste of Hunter Valley’s wines has drawn thousands of people in from around the world for decades. The pristine landscape full of lush deep valleys, rocky mountains and a cool breeze from across the sea. This is the home place for some of Australian’s best wines, with over one hundred and fifty vineyards sprinkling the land. Certainly, wine lovers oasis with plenty of cellar doors, restaurants, and stunning views to last the whole weekend.

Different Wines to Choose from

Hunter Valley has a wide range of varieties to choose from, with something to suit all palates. The three main varieties of the valley are Chardonnay, Semillon, and Shiraz. With Hunter Valley being one of the first places in Australia to start producing the chardonnay grape. It became famous for its rich, oaky flavour, along with a light white fruity and acidic citrus taste. Semillon is noteworthy for being a crisp white, with the Valley winning many world championship awards for this drop. Lastly, Shiraz is most of the valley’s top red wine, with its savoury, gamy flavour, with a rich history of wine yards as old as 120 years. As there are more than a hundred and fifty wineries in the area, even if you aren’t a fan of the favourites you are sure to like at least one drop.

Wineries to stop into

Iron Gate Estate

This boutique winery was established by a chemical engineer who became a self-taught winemaker. The 40-acre area is home to twenty-five acres of vineyard and has five different grape varieties as well as Spanish olive tree’s surrounding the estate. With Mediterranean regions influencing both the wine, the architecture, and decorations, it’ll be like stepping straight into a grand Europe province without even taking a flight!

Ernest Hill

Try out Ernest Hill from a break from the foot traffic, with this small, family-owned winery hidden from large bus tours and big crowds. Despite its less popularity, its incredible and unique taste is well worth the visit. As well, the winery lets you enjoy a glass of wine with a spectacular view of the surrounding Broken Back Ranges and Lovedale, with the building sitting right on top a looming hill.

McGuigan Wines

Named International Winemaker of the Year at the International Wine and Spirits Competition in London, this winery has developed into one of the most popular wine producers in the entire Hunter Valley region. Focusing on the traditional style of winemaking methods, McGuigan produces a selection of labels that are well-loved all over the world.


Acting as both a pitstop and a gateway to the Mount View, the Savannah winery offers some of the best wine and the best views around. The family-owned winery is named after the owner’s granddaughter, complementing its sweet charm and friendly nature.

Waverley Estate

Waverley Estate is known for being the Aged wine Specialist in the entire Hunter Valley. The winery’s main goal is to create high quality and low quantity, producing only a small amount of absolutely phenomenal wine. The winery’s style has won them countless awards, with their Semillon, Chardonnay, Shiraz, and Cabernet Sauvignon all champions in the country. Visit this winery and hear from the experts the process and history of some of the region’s best-loved flavours.

Ivanhoe Wines

If you’re interested in a glass of delicious wine and lunch to go with it, the boutique Ivanhoe Wines offers a delicious selection of drops and an on-site restaurant. The restaurant uses only local produce, always everchanging their menu with the changing seasons and produce. All of this can be enjoyed against the beautiful backdrop that the winery is nestled within.

Other Things to Do

Hunter Valley Chocolate Factory

Indulge your sweet tooth when you visit the Hunter Valley Chocolate Factory. Here you can learn about the process of chocolate making first hand while munching on a wide selection of chocolate goodies.

Vodka and Beer House

If you are getting a bit sick of wine after wine, mix it up at either the Matilda Bay Brewhouse and the Hunter Valley Distillery. Here you can drink your weight in beer or cider, or sip on the endless amount of spirit flavours.

Places to Stay

Cypress Lakes Resort

Right in the heart of Pokolbin, the Cypress Lakes Resort is a heaven on earth for travellers looking for a relaxing vacation. With plenty of charming activities on offer, including an extensive golf course, five-star restaurant, lively bar, and relaxing pool, many guests will find it difficult to even leave the resort. A great place to stay when winery hopping your days away or to simply sit back and relax amidst the scenery, we guarantee your troubles will melt away when staying at the Cypress.

Language »