Hunter Valley - Food and Wine
The beautiful Hunter Valley wine region is where exceptional heritage and exciting innovation create mouth-watering experiences. You’ll taste world-class wines in rolling vineyards, dine in acclaimed restaurants, savour gourmet treats and celebrate the deliciously finer things in life at fun festivals.
The Hunter region begins only two hours’ drive north of Sydney in Australia’s oldest wine region, which encompasses the vineyards and wineries of the Hunter Valley, the Upper Hunter and the Barrington Tops. More cellar doors are open to visitors than any other wine region in Australia.
Enjoy wine tasting in the pioneering family-owned wineries and in boutique, organic and biodynamic wineries. The region is internationally renowned for the Hunter Valley Semillon, the Hunter Valley Shiraz and new wines made from emerging grape varieties, including barbera and touriga nacional.
Good food complements the fine wine. There are many delightful cafes and restaurants in tranquil settings with vistas of vineyards and mountain ranges. The Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Food Guide awards chef hats – similar to Michelin stars – to the following restaurants in the region:
Another way to savour the scrumptiously fresh local produce is to visit the providores, cheesemakers and farmers markets in the region. The rich alluvial and volcanic soils support an abundant range of sustainably farmed produce, including stone fruit, olives, quail, duck, venison, beef and dairy.
In the heart of the Hunter Valley, browse the local delights at the Lovedale Smokehouse Gourmet Pantry in Lovedale and the Pokolbin Farm Shop in Pokolbin. Tasty cheesemakers in Pokolbin are Binnorie Dairy and the Hunter Valley Cheese Company, which offers cheese tasting boards.
In Muswellbrook is Hunter Belle Cheese, where handmade cheeses and elegant local wines are an enticing combination. Nearby, on the road to Denman’s cellar doors, is olive oil producer Pukara Estate. In the estate’s tasting room try and buy olive oils, balsamic vinegars and other condiments.
Colourful markets, including the Maitland Markets in Maitland, Dugong Market in Dungog and Gloucester Farmers Market in Gloucester, are part of a lively events calendar of festivals, vineyard concerts and country shows. The annual Hunter Valley Wine and Food Festival is in May and June.