Insiders’ Secrets – Mike De Iuliis

15 February 2016

Mike De Luliis, Insider Secrets

Mike De Luliis, Insiders’ Secrets


The local drop: I love visiting local wineries and with an amazing 140 different wine outlets, there’s plenty of choice.

The long lunch: There’s nothing more enjoyable than catching up with friends or family over a long lunch surrounded by grape vines. We’re lucky to have so much choice here from the amazing Esca Bimbadgen and Muse to Cafe Enzo which serves delicious eggs and baked ricotta for breakfast.

Best views: You can see the Brokenback Range from our cellar door but a trip to the top offers fantastic views of this part of the Hunter. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can climb our observation tower for great views.

Great for the kids: The Hunter Valley Zoo is close by and is a great place to take the kids for an animal encounter with a meerkat or a marmoset.

Fragrant beauty: There’s always a seasonal garden in flower at Hunter Valley Gardens. I love walking around the lake or through the Rose Garden when it’s packed with hundreds and thousands of fragrant roses in bloom.

Stock up the larder: I like to a pack a picnic hamper with cheese and salami from our deli/cafe and head to a quiet shady spot. The deli is stocked with an amazing range of local, Australian and imported cheeses. We also have Kransky sausages from Mentges Master Meats in Taree and smoked trout from Arc-de-Ciel trout farm in Nundle.

Local drive: There are plenty of easy drives from here through pretty countryside but a favourite is the trip to Wollombi for a couple of beers at the Wollombi Tavern.

Get the inside story: Do a tour with the Two Fat Blokes tour company and you’ll find out everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Hunter Valley wine. They include a cheese and wine matching too or you can book in for a cheese and wine matching masterclass at our winery.

Meet the bluebloods: With more than 150 years of winemaking experience, Tyrrell’s Hunter Valley winery is on my must-do list for visitors. Visit the cellar door and taste some of their award-winning wines and then take a tour to see the old oak vats and historic red cellar still in full operation. The original iron bark hut that Edward Tyrrell lived in is still standing and the Short Flat Vineyard, home of Australia’s most awarded white wine, Vat 1 Semillon, with its vines first planted in 1923. It’s a true Hunter experience.