Wine Country Eat, See, Drink & Do Top 20

Wine Country Eat, See, Drink & Do Top 20

 

Who doesn’t love a long weekend?  That little bonus day, a mirage in the working week.  And, so you don’t have to spend your extra day off planning what to do, we’ve curated the Wine Country Eat, See, Drink & Do Top 20 just for you. It’s all part of how Tulloch creates better lives of Wine, Food, Family & Friends by putting you at the heart of everything we do.  So pack your bags and start breathing that clean country air.

  1. History – Over 180 years young, the Hunter Valley is arguably the birthplace of Australian wine and one of Australia’s most revered wine regions. But it’s no museum piece, it’s a sophisticated, interesting and dynamic place with ‘real’ people characterised by a special tenacity, passion and wisdom that comes from a rich history. The Hunter Valley produces less than 2% of Australia’s wine, yet lays claim to some of the industry’s oldest and most well-known wine making families and consistently produces an impressive, award-winning array of varieties and styles.
  2. The Stunning Scenery – the Brokenback Mountain range, the backdrop of the best the Hunter Valley has to offer.  Many  of the old famous Hunter names (think Lindemans, McWilliams, Tulloch and Tyrrell) are located at the fertile  foothills of the mighty Brokenback, which has long been considered the best land for viticulture.  If you can see it, you’re in wine country now.
  3. The Cellar Restaurant.  Country ambience, honest food and something for everyone.  Consistent and satisfying every single time.  Please do book ahead.
  4. Embrace Country Life – Immerse yourself  into country life with a bespoke picnic created by Mojos Picnic Company.  Breathe the fresh air and enjoy delicious house-made morsels prepared just for you.  Adjust to wine country time against the backdrop of rolling green hills and vineyards.
  5.  The Best Cellar Door – it’s time to get wine tasting and of course Tulloch Wines is the destination (no bias here).  Tulloch has been crafting wines and experiences that reach beyond the bottle for over 120 years and lies at the true heart of the Hunter Valley. At Tulloch you don’t just do a wine tasting, you have a wine experience. Our fun and friendly team make sure that all of our guests have a great experience, every time. That’s why we are the only Cellar Door to have won the Cellar Door of the Year Award twice!
  6. A helicopter ride – because if you think the Hunter is beautiful from the ground, you’ll really love it from the sky.  No words will do this experience justice, just get up there and be blown away.
  7.  Wine & Salumi – just down the road from Tulloch is a relatively new addition to the Hunter in the form of Usher Tinkler Wines.  While Tinkler is a very old Hunter Valley name and they are housed in the quaint ‘old church’, there cellar door has just opened with next generation Usher Tinkler producing wines under his own label for the first time.  They are also famous for their salumi cut to order on a giant meat slicer imported from Italy.
  8.  Hunter Valley Gardens – is big and the gardens are IMPRESSIVE!  Even if you aren’t into gardens, the grandeur and scale of these display gardens will amaze you. I mean we’re talking, “Spanning over 60 acres, be amazed by the sensational sights, colours, and fragrances of the ten stunning feature garden…… Along the eight kilometres of walking paths are more than six thousand trees, one million ground covers and six hundred thousand shrubs.”
  9. For the love of food! –  Botanica Restaurant  is run by a well-credentialed husband and wife team, Mark and Belinda Stapleton who know their stuff, both in the kitchen, on the floor, in the garden and whatever the name of the place is that you cure your own meats. With a firm eye on the paddock to plate philosophy,  enjoy house-made yoghurt, house cured prosciutto (I do believe it even came from one of their own pigs…), and house baked bread, where do they get the time?  The good news is their labour of love is your reward.  Love this place.
  10. Ubika Spa – day spa action, we all want it and this one has something for everyone (and a golf course onsite if that’s more your thing). A full spa menu designed to  hydrate, nourish, restore and regenerate so you can flourish.  Yes please.
  11. More Wine Tasting – this time at the Scarborough Wine Company on Gillards Road.  A structured tasting with amazing views and the best Chardy in town.  The team at Scarborough know all about hospitality and making you feel invited.
  12. Binnorie Dairy – for the best cheese.  Pick up supplies for a relaxing night in.  Do not go past the marinated fetta or the labna.
  13. Hot Air Ballooning – it’s a pretty cool thing to do and imagine the pics you’ll have to show your friends.  It does require an early start, but it is a once in a lifetime thing and a pretty spectacular experience.
  14. A real country village – Wollombi is the real deal, cute, quaint and a wee bit hippie. About 25 minutes drive from Pokolbin proper, but well worth a visit for it’s charm, bygone era vibe and the infamous Dr Jurds Jungle Juice.  A really beautiful country drive to boot.
  15. Bistro Molines – A Hunter institution brimming with joi de vivre and rustic charm.  The creative couple behind this hillside foodie haven,  Sally and Robert Molines have been well established in the Hunter for over 30 years in a number of different guises, but their current home on the hill in Mount View is a perfect reflection of them and their attitude to dining out.  Impeccable, but friendly service, rustic French fare, fresh eggs from their own chooks and views that make you think you are in Provence.  Locals flock here for Robert’s pate which is as famous now as it was 30 years ago.  This is a must visit.
  16. Hart & Hunter – the Hunter is a diverse mix of big, small and boutique wineries and this is one of the best boutique producers.  Their wines are amazing, their philosophy is authentic and their lean is a little bit left of centre, just the way I like it.  Think interesting, experiential and the chance to take something home that your friends won’t have seen anywhere else. Be sure to check out the Theory 1 pHat dog Chardonnay.
  17. Those views – Pokolbin Mountain lookout is just a really stunning vista (not to mention it is where my husband proposed to me, so a special place).  It is hard not to fall in love with this view and feel a little bit country meandering your way up a steep mountain side on a dirt road with blind corners and one lane, but it is worth it. Any local can point you in the right direction.
  18. A Dessert Bar – if you are sweet tooth inclined then this is the place for you.  The vision of a Portuguese / Brazilian couple with over 50 desserts on the menu…. need I say more?
  19. Nightlife – not a huge array of options, but Goldfish Bar & Kitchen is centrally located, serves a mean cocktail, good pizzas, decent wine list, they’re open late and there is always music of some kind, usually a DJ.
  20. One last wine tasting – at Brokenwood Wines there motto is “Enjoy great wine and have fun” and they work really hard at bringing this motto to life. Established in 1970, Brokenwood Wines evolved from a weekend venture for self-professed hobby winemakers into one of Australia’s most reputable wine labels, they have a fancy new cellar door in the pipeline but I kind of like the no frills down home feel of the current one.
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