The Best Wineries to Visit in the Hunter Valley

The Best Wineries to Visit in the Hunter Valley

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 07/05/2018

Reading time: 6 mins

Discover some of the best wineries in New South Wales Wine Country!

Best Wineries in Hunter Valley
The Hunter Valley is one of Australia’s premier winemaking regions. Set against a backdrop of sprawling hills and traditional vineyards, it produces some of the best wines in the world.

The History of Hunter Valley

The story of the vineyards in Hunter Valley dates back to the early 1820s. The first wave of crops was unsuccessful, with winemakers disappointed with the grapes’ taste. However, when 500 different vine cuttings arrived from Europe, the crops began to produce delicious wine. The wine that was produced was similar to their sister crops back in Europe.

Soon Hunter Valley became known as the best wine region in all of Australia! The region was the first place to produce Chardonnay in the entire country, with its rich oak and acidic taste becoming a big hit for Australians. Semillon is another popular white wine produced here, winning many top wine awards worldwide. The biggest red in the valley is Shiraz, some of which dates back 120 years to the very first cuttings.

Best Wineries in Hunter Valley

For culture enthusiasts visiting the area, a trip to some of the resident wineries is a must! By visiting the vineyards, you can visit plenty of cellar doors and learn about the winemaking process.

Below are ten of the best wineries in the Hunter Valley.

1. McGuigan Wines

McGuigan Wines
McGuigan Wines holds the title of being one of the top winemakers in the entire Hunter Valley. The history of this family-owned winery dates all the way back to the late 1800s. Here, the winemakers focus on traditional production methods. They create a selection of labels that are loved all over the world.

2. Wynwood Estate
Wynwood Estate is one of the Hunter Valley’s newer wine labels. The winery combines modern flavours with traditional production methods. Focusing on creating a range of different tipples to tempt any tastebuds, the Wynwood Estate promises visitors incredible views across the valley. The peaceful ambience of this winery feels miles away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

3. Waverley Estate
Waverley Estate has the accolade of being one of the only Aged Wine Specialists in the Hunter Valley. The key aim of the winery is creating high-quality wines in small quantities – and so far, it’s worked. Waverley has award-winning varieties of Semillon, Chardonnay, Shiraz, and Cabernet Sauvignon. They also offer tasty bottles of sparkling wine and vintage port. This is the perfect place to learn about the winemaking history in the Hunter Valley while trying some of the region’s most-loved flavours.

4. Ivanhoe Wines
Ivanhoe Wines
Boasting jaw-dropping views out across the Hunter Valley, Ivanhoe Wines is a boutique vineyard. The winery promises a delicious selection of tipples to try. There is also an on-site restaurant that serves up local produce against the stunning backdrop of the rolling vineyard hills.

5. Peppertree Wines
If you’re a red wine drinker, Peppertree wines are for you! This winery is known for producing the ‘Tallawanta Grand Reserve Shiraz’, which is known as the King of Red in Hunter Valley. Try out this award-winning wine while enjoying the venue’s lux restaurant. The restaurant, named Circa 1876, is surrounded by lush outback, giving you an outstanding view of nearby frolicking kangaroos as you tuck into a mouth-watering dinner.

6. Gartelmann Wines
This boutique family-owned winery is renowned for its magpie symbol. Simply look out for the swinging magpie sign amongst the lush greenery and head up the road for an unforgettable experience. Here you will find hidden gems of Shiraz, Semillon, Chardonnay, and Merlot! The small cellar door promises you one on one talks with the winemaking masters of Gartelmann. On a tour of the winery, you will learn all the secrets of this amazing location.

7. Audrey Wilkinson Winery

Audrey Wilkinson Winery
For a picturesque winery visit, Audrey Wilkinson hits it out of the park. A country-style tasting room offers breathtaking views of the valley. You can soak up the splendid scenery while sipping on a glass of sparkling wine. There is also an on-site museum where you can learn about the winery’s rich history!

8. Bimbadgen Winery
The winery’s name ‘Bimbadgen’ directly translates to ‘place of good view’ in the local Aboriginal language. The name describes this place perfectly. It is made of large rooms with high ceilings. The winery is also surrounded by hundred-year-old fig trees and stunning views. Head here for lunch to enjoy a hot serving of locally produced food. Add a glass of the Verdelho, Shiraz or Shiraz Viognier for a full wine-tasting experience.

9. Harkham Wines
Harkham is renowned around the Valley as the best place to acquire natural wine. What is Natural wine you ask? Well, it essentially is a wine that is produced by minimal chemical and technological intervention. It is also free of the preservatives that are often added to wine. This is different from both organic and biodynamic wine, due to the variance in cellar practices.

Sydney is typically known as the best spot to get these wines. However, Harkham gives the city a run for its money with its delicious varieties. The winery also has accommodation attached to its venue. This means you can drink as much as you like without having to worry about driving home!

10. Brokenwood Wines
Chardonnay! Anyone who drinks wine will have tried and loved this variety, listed as one of the number one drops in the entire world. Brokenwood Wines is famous for its Chardonnay, which dates back to its opening in 1975. The tasting room offers both casual or private tastings, letting you and your small group have one on one time with the wine masters. You can join in on the Tour and Taste activity, which lets you explore both the area and the delicious wine.

Visiting the Hunter Valley is a must-do for wine lovers keen to get to the bottom of Australia’s rich wine history. There are plenty of wineries in the region that boast a lengthy history and premium tipples. This makes the Hunter Valley the perfect place to enjoy some delicious flavours and soak up the traditional production methods that still imbue the region today. All of this can be enjoyed against the beautiful backdrop of the timeless Hunter Valley.

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.