What Hunter Valley Wine & Food Festival events can I not miss?
Every year in June, wine lovers and foodies flock to the picturesque Hunter Valley to sample the region’s bounty. This year’s Wine & Food Festival program features activities to suit all tastes, from gourmet lunches and guided tastings to painting workshops and fireside gatherings. Here are the highlights.
It’s no surprise that some of the most anticipated events this year are all about wine tasting. Popular wine maker Hungerford Hill is hosting Epic Tasting sessions at its Pokolbin vineyard, featuring a mini degustation of its top drops paired with bite-sized dishes created by the two-hatted Muse Restaurant. Nearby, Bimbagden is throwing a Meet the Makers lunch, which includes arrival drinks, a behind-the-scenes winery tour and a five-course food menu paired with popular vintages and private releases. Meanwhile, at the in-depth Distinguished Dozen events by Thomas Wines, guests can taste 12 vintages of either semillon or shiraz, followed by a sit-down lunch.
Elsewhere, food and wine share top billing. The Scarborough Feast at the Scarborough Wine Co homestead features a banquet menu by Janet Wright of Pokolbin Catering Co cooked over hot coals, plus semillon, chardonnay and shiraz from the vineyard’s Obsessive range. At The Original 100m Meal, hosted by Margan Wines and Restaurant, everything on your plate and in your glass – from lamb and honey to cabernet sauvignon – has been produced within 100 metres of the table. And don’t miss the Long Table Luncheon at Whispering Brook estate, held alfresco among olive groves with spectacular views over the Broke Fordwich region.
For something different, consider joining the Still Life Paint & Sip Workshop hosted by Tulloch Wines. With host Lucy Isaacs of The Art Social, you’ll explore composition, balance and harmony by painting fresh flowers, fruit and – of course – bottles of wine. Cheese, charcuterie and wine are included to help fuel your creativity. Then, on the final Saturday night of the festival, head to the signature Burning of the Barrel celebration at Glandore Estate for fireworks, music, wine and a massive fire. (And yes, they do burn a barrel.)
In addition to these special one-off activities, there’s an abundance of recurring events to choose from. Try to squeeze in a visit to Wine House for Grange vs Hunter, a daily tasting showdown between Australia’s most iconic wine, Penfolds Grange, and three Hunter Valley contenders. Or develop your skills at Wine House’s fast-paced Saturday Winemaker Classes with Stuart Hordern from Brokenwood Wines.
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