The No.1 magazine for visitors to Hunter Valley Wine Country | MARCH-APRIL 2020 | ISSUE #176
Estate-Grown, Estate-Made Ethos at
MARGAN FAMILY WINES WALK ABOUT IN WOLLOMBI
EASTER IN WINE COUNTRY
KURRI KURRI NOSTALGIA FESTIVAL
WILD WEST ACTION â€“ UPPER HUNTER
“WE ARE FAMILY” NOW G! TASTIN ng Sparkli 19 0 2 é Ros
MISTLETOE is a small, family owned and run, vineyard and winery that was established by the current owners in 1989. Now in its 31st year, Mistletoe’s “no-compromise” approach to producing small quan��es of “true to origin” premium quality wine has seen it rewarded with many, many hundreds of awards and accolades. With three genera�ons of the founding family now ac�vely engaged in running the business on a day to day basis, Mistletoe is a truly unique family winery. With over 20 diﬀerent wines, including Sparkling, Whites, Reds, Rosés, For�fed and Dessert styles on tas�ng, Mistletoe has one of the most comprehensive ranges of wines seen in the Hunter. • All wines are made in our onsite winery • Working vineyard on site • Mistletoe Wines are only available for purchase from the Winery Cellar Door • Knowledgeable and friendly staﬀ to make you welcome • “Simply the Best” – No-obliga�on to purchase Wine Club. With Pokolbin Fine Art Gallery and Mistletoe Sculpture Garden located on site it makes Mistletoe a must see, a very special place to visit, a place that Hunter wine country visitors return to time and time again. To learn more about our area go to www.aroundhermitage.com.au We look forward to welcoming you, The Mistletoe Family. Our mo�o – “QUALITY WITHOUT COMPROMISE” Rated by James Halliday as a 5 Red Star winery 2007 to 2020.
Open 10am until 6pm daily | 771 Hermitage Road, Pokolbin PH 1800 055 080 | E firstname.lastname@example.org | www.mistletoewines.com.au
IS PROUD TO PARTNER WITH...
A WORD FROM THE EDITORS
MAR-APR PUBLISHED BY: WCP Media ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES: PH +61 2 4943 2888 www.yourhuntervalley.com.au email@example.com WCP MEDIA Level 1, 216 Pacific Hwy, Charlestown, NSW 2290
Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn! Autumn is a time of transformation in the Hunter Valley, and a welcome one after the record-breaking Summer that we have just experienced. The rains have transformed our vistas from monochrome to a vibrant green, and the long rows of vines will soon change from deep emerald to shades of red, orange and purple before the leaves fall for the Winter months. The days are getting shorter, the temperatures are starting to chill out and we’re all enjoying magnificent sunny days with cooler nights. Autumn truly is a beautiful time in the Valley and the wines that come with this particular season are as varied as the colours of the falling leaves. This month we uncover six very different signature wines that are truly outstanding examples of the unique winemaking styles that have become synonymous with the Hunter region. Take a taste on page 34. With the busy Vintage period over, March is a more relaxed time in Wine Country and the perfect time to get out and enjoy everything Wine Country has to offer. This month we visit Margan Family Wines, which, over the past 24 years, has evolved into the leading
MAR-APR 2020 Copyright © 2020 WCP Media Published monthly by WCP Media All rights reserved. Permission to reprint or quote excerpt granted by written request only. While every attempt has been made, WCP Media cannot guarantee the legality, completeness or accuracy of the information presented and accepts no warranty or responsibility for such. SPECIAL OFFERS AVAILABLE From 16th March 2020 until the 15th April 2020 inclusive, or while stocks last.
winery in the Broke Fordwich sub-region. With a commitment to creating single-vineyard wines produced from grapes grown wholly and solely on their vineyards and a focus on produce that has been grown and made on-site, its no wonder that this family vineyard has been a three-time winner at the Australian Tourism Awards for Excellence in Food Tourism. This month we spoke to Lisa and Andrew Margan about their journey in the Hunter Valley and find out why this homegrown focus is one of the key elements that sets Margan apart within the market. Read more on page 20. This month we encourage readers to venture a little further out and share some love with the historic fireaffected township of Wollombi by completing a ‘Walk About in Wollombi.’ A popular stop on the walk will no doubt be the historic Wollombi Tavern (once known as the Wollombi Wine Saloon), which has been the focal point of social activities in the town since 1868. Don’t forget to try the (in)famous Dr Jurd’s Jungle Juice while you’re there. Enjoy!
What’s in this
What's on in March & April
Hot in the Hunter
Lovedale Long Lunch 2020 14 Wine Glass Gallery 16 Meet the Maker – Julie's Love
Estate-Grown, Estate-Made Ethos at Margan Family Wines 20 Newcastle Writers Festival Presents Tim Costello 24 A Little Bit of Italy in Broke
GET MOBILE! View this month’s issue of Your Hunter Valley Magazine on your iPhone, iPad, android tablet or android phone. Visit www.yourhuntervalley.com.au/read-online
Bespoke Items Created at Cosy Iron 26 Easter in the Valley
Signature Wines 34 Autumn Dining Guide Your Hunter Valley Map
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Events not to miss in the Hunter Valley Region FIND THE LATEST EVENTS ONLINE AT YOURHUNTERVALLEY.COM.AU
MARCH Locals Night Hunters Quarter
Markets Tower Estate Markets At Tower Estate MARCH 15
Slow Food Earth Market At The Levee, Maitland MARCH 19
Handmade in The Hunter Markets At Kevin Sobels Wines MARCH 21 + 28
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K BOO ! NOW
EVERY MONDAY NIGHT Monday nights are locals night at HQ. From 6pm enjoy an exclusive menu crafted by owner and Executive Chef, Brian Duncan. You don't need to be local or work within the industry to enjoy this fabulous offering! Enjoy 2 courses for $65, or 3 courses for $80 (BYO welcome). Full wine list also available. To book phone 4998 7776 or visit www.huntersquarter.com.au
The Ultimate Winery Tour! McGuigan Wines EVERYDAY Immerse yourself in the history of one of Australiaâ€™s most iconic wineries. Take an in-depth guided tour of the working winery, hosted by a member of the talented cellar door team. To complete your McGuigan experience, taste a selection of award-winning wines from their exclusive cellar door collection. These tours leave daily at midday. Fully enclosed shoes must be worn, no children under 16. For more information visit www.mcguiganwines.com.au and click on experiences.
Festival of Two Palettes Morpeth Gallery SAT 14 + SUN 15 MAR Immerse yourself in local talent as you wander through the Morpeth Gallery for the Festival of Two Palettes between 10am–2pm. One artist (Australian, Maegan Oberhardt) will be painting with fire and soot – this is something you definitely don't want to miss! For more information visit www.morpethgallery.com
Home Delivery Fri–Sun
Your always welcome at...
Oishii Japanese Thai Restaurant
There is nothing quite like a fes�ve sushi pla�er to impress your guests. It tastes healthy, light and delicious. A favourite dining experience for locals and visitors alike. Always fresh... Always vibrant
Maitland Taste Festival The Levee, Maitland SAT 14 + SUN 15 Returning for another big year, Maitland Taste sees local makers and producers set market stalls up along the Levee, bringing the community together to ‘Grow, Create and Taste’. Spread across 2 days enjoy a host of entertainment and activities for all ages including cooking demonstrations featuring celebrated Hunter chefs and Celebrity Chef Adam Liaw. Indulge in the sparkling and seafood lane, and don't miss the cheese and beer tastings on offer. Enjoy the soothing music of live performers as you wander through the many markets stalls and take in the surroundings of beautiful Maitland. Entry to the festival is free, for more information visit www.maitlandtaste.com.au
J A P A N E S E T H A I C U I S I N E
Open 7 days for lunch and dinner. Takeaway available every day. Roche Estate, Hunter Valley Corner of Broke Rd & Mcdonald Rd’s Pokolbin, NSW 2320 PH 02 4998 7051 www.oishii.com.au
Much more than a Vineyard.
Our Matilda range is made up of easy drinking styles that are produced for your enjoyment.
Come Waltzing with Matilda... 205 Gillards Road, Pokolbin • PH 4998 7887 www.constableestate.com.au
Wine Machine Roche Estate, Pokolbin SAT 14 MAR Wine Machine is a full-bodied day of wine, food and live music, showcasing both the splendour of our nation’s most picturesque wine regions and the spectacular music artists borne from Australian soil. The Hunter Valley is welcoming back Wine Machine for the fourth year and is sure to include a firey lineup – details yet to be announced, so stay tuned! Tickets are from $79, with return buses running from Newcastle, Gosford and Sydney at an extra cost. For more information visit www.wine-machine.com
DON’T WASTE TIME GETTING LOST! The MAP is the most comprehensive map of Wine Country and the ONLY Map listing ALL Cellar Doors, Restaurants and Providores divided into handy to use Wine Trails. It’s your expert tour guide!
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Robertson Brothers 60’s Variety TV Show
O L N! O H SC AY F20U20 ID PRIL HOL10 – 26 A
Cessnock Performing Arts Centre
DINO MIGHT S PE RFOR 11:30AM MING AT & 1:30 DAILY PM
SAT 14 MAR Relive the good old days with Australia’s very own multi-award-winning harmony duo the Robertson Brothers, with special guest Simon Brook McLachlan – from the original cast of the hit musical Jersey Boys! Hits by The Seekers, The Everly Brothers, Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, Bee Gees and Neil Sedaka will be heard on stages across the country as these leading music talents join
forces for a national tour like no other. In an incredible interactive Variety TV style show, be led through the glorious melodies of well-known 60’s icons that have been carefully and meticulously re-created. For tickets visit the Cessnock Performing Arts Centre website.
Walking with Llamas Ben Ean, Pokolbin
! A R E TA K IN G O V E R
ND WEEK E PENING IONS PLUS, OER CELEBR AT EAST
SAT 15 MAR Have you ever wanted to meet a llama? Well this is your chance! The Llama Collective is running Walking With Llamas at Ben Ean – where you’ll first get acquainted, then get to enjoy a one hour stroll through the winery with your very own walking companion. Don’t forget your camera! Bookings are essential and spots will fill quickly. If you miss out this time there are more dates in the future.
The cost is $80, 2 people per llama $120, 3 people $140 and maximum 4 people is $160. To book visit www.thellamacollective.com.au
JOIN THE FUN THESE SCHOOL HOLIDAYS! Come and see amazing creatures, including our new flying Pterosaur, Woolly Mammoth and giant Brachiosaurus. Plus, all your favourites like T-Rex, Triceratops, Dragons, Amazing Rides* and more! DA ILY ACT IV IT IE S IN C LU D E D IN GARDEN E N T RY
02 4998 4000 - Broke Rd Pokolbin - hvg.com.au Admission charges apply. Program subject to change. Some activities may not open in adverse weather conditions and for unscheduled maintenance. Terms and conditions of entry apply. *Rides are user pay and height restrictions apply. Easter Celebrations on 10 - 13 April only.
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St Patrick’s Day Harrigan's Hunter Valley TUES 17 MAR It’s March and that can only mean one thing… ST PATRICK’S DAY! Join in on all the festivities at Harrigan’s Hunter Valley, from live Irish bands kicking off at 12pm, Irish dancers, an Irish pipe band, drink specials
plus huge prizes to win all day– they have it covered! So, celebrate St Patrick’s Day in style this year with drinks, music and dancing in the heart of Wine Country. For more information visit www.harriganshuntervalley. com.au
Hunter Valley Kombi Festival Saltire Estate SAT 21 MAR Feel all the retro vibes! Join in the classic veedub fun and cruise over to Saltire Estate in beautiful Lovedale for the Hunter Valley Kombi Festival. From 10am–3pm there will be market stalls, activities for the kids including free mini putt putt golf and a jumping castle, the coolest food trucks, premium wine and a whole lot of cars on display, all backed by retro tunes performed by the Wine Country Music Association. Award categories include Best Beetle, Best Bay, Best Split and Best Rat. For more information visit www.hvkombifest.com.au
High Cheese Two Fat Blokes, Pokolbin
Tintilla Estate Long Lunch Tintilla Estate, Pokolbin SAT 28 MAR Tintilla Estate's Long Lunches are very popular – it's the ultimate gourmet food and wine experience! Due to popular demand, the French Provincial Long Lunch is on again this March, with a 4-course meal and wines to match. Why not get a group together and celebrate the start of Autumn in the beautiful grounds of Tintilla Estate. Bookings are essential as numbers are limited. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 6574 7093 to book. For more information visit www.tintilla.com.au
EVERY SUNDAY It’s the High Tea of your cheesy dreams! Two Fat Blokes has created the ultimate foodies experience every Sunday at 2pm featuring four courses of cheesy goodness with bottomless bubbles! Your four incredible courses may include some of the following – triple cream brie in filo pastry served with quince paste and grissini; poached pear with duetto and walnuts topped with honeycomb; beetroot and goats cheese terrine; crispy mac n' cheese balls; mushroom and halloumi sliders with relish on a pumpkin and poppyseed bun; apple strudel parfait; Portuguese tart with creamy ricotta and orange custard; whiskey and marmalade labna cheese cake. Tickets are $75 pp, including bubbles. Visit twofatblokes.rezdy.com to book.
Wine Country’s Native Wildlife Sanctury Lovedale’s Hill Top Farm Stay Spectacular Valley Views • Riding over 300 acres Trail Rides for Adults and Children, for Beginners and Experienced Riders Personalised Rides • Marriage Proposals • Weddings on Horseback Pony Rides • Pony Parties • Family Rides • Sunset Rides Picnic Rides • BBQ • Tractor Hay Rides to Feed the Farm Animals Peddle Go Karts for Ages 5 – 99 Years Ask About our ATV Tours to the Top of the Range Accomodation and horse riding is available this Easter and School Holidays!
For Bookings Phone Margaret on 4930 7111 or 0417 233 008 Stay & Play at Hilltop 288 Talga Road, Lovedale So close to all of Wine Country’s attractions, yet you feel a million miles away..
Located at Gartelmann Wines. The Deck Café Lovedale provides a diverse and delightful menu complemented by Gartelmann Wines and Piazza Doro Coﬀee. Open 7 Days for Breakfast and Lunch. Mon to Fri 8.30am till 3pm, Sat and Sun 8am till 3.30pm.
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APRIL Cessnock Stomp Festival
Vincent St, Cessnock
Broke Village Market At McNamara Park APRIL 5
Kurri Kurri Community Markets At Rotary Park, Kurri Kurri APRIL 11
Singleton Sunday Markets At Townhead Park, Singleton APRIL 12
Handmade in The Hunter Markets At Kevin Sobels Wines APRIL 4, 11 & 12 + 18
Beergustation Dinner Hope Estate, Pokolbin SAT 4 APR Following up on the success of February's Beergustation Dinner, the event is back again for one night only! Enjoy a mouthwatering degustation dinner by acclaimed chef Nichol Papandreou, paired perfectly with Hope’s own beers. Gain exclusive insight into their brewing process and see behind the scenes of one of the Hunter’s favourite breweries. Give your taste buds something to remember! Gluten-Free and Vegetarian options are available. For more information visit www.hopeestate.com.au
SUN 5 APR The Hunter Valley’s biggest street party is back this year in the heart of Cessnock! Stomp is a free event, inviting you to explore 600m worth of wine, food, local shops, beer, cider, entertainment and of course the main event – the Big Grape Stomp. Tickets into the Big Grape Stomp are already sold out, however you can still head down to watch one of 4 Stomp events happening on the hour from 10.30am–2.30pm. Grab your essential souvenir Stomp wine glass ($5 online or at the event) to try and buy from over 30 wineries (some may have a tasting cost). A High Tea will also be happening during the day – for more information or to buy tickets visit www.cessnockstomp.com
OPEN FOR TASTINGS AND SALES
7 Days, 10am - 5pm 1686 Broke Road, Pokolbin Hunter Valley PH (02) 4998 6737 • email@example.com www.hunterdistillery.com.au yhv 8 | MAR-APR 2020
CHOMP at STOMP 2020 Burgerfiend, Cooper St Cessnock SUN 5 APR Chomp at Stomp is back at Burgerfiend this year, inviting all those with big appetites to compete for bigger prizes and bigger glory. This test
of speed and appetite involves two categories – Hulk (2kg) and Banner (1.6kg). This high-calorie competition has cash prizes on offer, with 1st place in Hulk being $500, and Banner $150! Limited registrations are available – visit the event page on facebook, or email through your interest to firstname.lastname@example.org
Mitchell Coombes – Psychic Medium Cessnock Performing Arts Centre, Cessnock FRI 17 APR Women’s Day & The Morning Show’s psychic medium Mitchell Coombes will be heading our way in April, bringing with him his ability to connect to the spirit world. Engage with him as he connects with his audience and gives spontaneous readings, bringing insight and healing from family and friends on the other side. His compassionate, caring and uplifting nature makes him one of Australia’s favourite and
most loved psychic mediums. To get tickets for this amazing experience visit the Cessnock Performing Arts Centre website.
The Sunday Muster Artisan Market Mortels, Thornton SUN 19 APR The Sunday Muster is a roundup of creative people; artists, crafts persons, and designers, in a boutique artisan market held on the grounds at Mortels Sheepskin Factory in Thornton. Come and meet the maker or designer and pick up a wonderful gift for yourself or someone else, choose from handmade and locally made products and artisan foods. Enjoy live music, indoor and outdoor cafe dining, a sausage sizzle and the convenience of off street parking. For more information, check out www.mortels.com.au or facebook.com/thesundaymuster
Hunter Valley Resort Corner Hermitage Road & Mistletoe Lane, Pokolbin (02) 49987777 sales@HunterResort.com.au www.HunterResort.com.au
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Burton Automotive Hunter Valley Steamfest Maitland
Experience ‘a little bit of Italy in Broke’ and enjoy a weekend of all things Italian while exploring the magnificent wines of Broke Fordwich. Friday 1st May, Evening Saturday 2nd & Sunday 3rd May, 10am – 5pm Start the weekend with La Grande Fiesta at Margan Wines, or visit Mount Broke Wines for Pizza A La Carte. Experience an Italian Feast at Catherine Vale. Take a Pizza masterclass at Tinonee Vineyard Estate. Tour the vineyards & olive groves at Whispering Brook. Pair wine and cheese at Ascella and Greenway Wines. Enjoy A La Carte dining at Nightingale Wines and Somerville Friday and Saturday nights. Visit the brand new cellar doors at Winmark Wines and Talits Estate. Join a Tuscany-inspired long table and live music at Krinklewood.
SAT 18-SUN 19 APR Steamfest is a celebration of the Hunter’s industrial heritage, hosting an impressive collection of antique machinery, cars and of course the main show – steam trains. An exciting array of activities is on the program this year, all family friendly. Maitland Station is the centre of the event with merchandise, kids rides and the main stage – it’s also the best vantage point to see all the vintage steam and diesel trains pull into the station. Nearby Church Street is where you will find all the markets, with a collection of over 100 stalls. For more information visit www.steamfest.com.au
The Gum Ball Dashville FRI 24-SUN 26 APR If you like your festivals easy, comfortable, inspiring and cost effective, then we’re pretty confident we’ve got your best option – the 15th annual Gum Ball! It’s one of those pristine moments where you can escape to a bushland oasis, connect with like-minded people, great music and essential art. Soak up a bit of fresh air, kick back, relax and re-jig. There is always something for everyone (for both music and entertainment), with a focus on providing the ultimate all-age adventure. For tickets visit www.dashville.com.au/ gumball
For all that is on offer visit www.italyinbroke.com.au
Daily Factory Tours Mon–Fri 11am – No bookings required
Located 2.5km from the end of the M1 1 Weakleys Drive, Thornton. Open 7 Days Visit www.mortels.com.au for more information
Home of the Big UGG Boots · Factory Tours · Shop · Café · Museum
olives, olives, olives Come visit us for a range of Estate Grown Olives, Tapenade and local olive oils or a Cheese platter on the deck with a glass of wine
725 Hermitage Road, Pokolbin Hunter Valley www.tintilla.com.au #tintillaestate yhv 10 | MAR-APR 2020
Wild West Action at Upper Hunter Show THE 2020 BENGALLA UPPER HUNTER SHOW will be packed with entertainment, exciting rides and sideshow alley action for the entire family when it hits the Muswellbrook Showgrounds over the weekend of 20–21 March. Live music, fireworks, Bulls Broncs and Barrels, tug-of-war, Upper Hunter Showgirl and Teen Showgirl, young farmer challenge, wife carrying competition, tent pegging, whip cracking, coal shovelling race, mechanical bull ride and demolition derby are just some of a few events on offer throughout the weekend. Headlining the show will be the wild-west arena spectacular – The Rooftop Express. After its runaway success around Australia, the show is bringing the heroes of the outback to Muswellbrook with some highly refined and visually enchanting stunts and moments that will take horseplay and cattle mustering to a new level. The Rooftop Express Show is a first-class arena spectacular that features world-first stunts, true blue Australian comedy and awe-inspiring horsemanship. Its loveable bush characters and amusing storyline encourages crowd participation and family fun. It’s the perfect show for anyone who has ever wanted to put on a cowboy hat when the Rooftop team saddle up with an all-star line up of horses, dogs, cattle and their unmistakably blue IVECO trucks. Don’t miss it! The Young Farmer Challenge is designed to promote excellence in farming and showcase the involvement of youth in agriculture through a
display of the skills, equipment and techniques farmers use every day. Emphasis is placed on completing each challenge in the fastest time with the correct technique and safe work method. If you live in rural NSW and are you up for a challenge, then you’ll find the Young Farmer’s Challenge is the ultimate test, with some great prizes up for grabs. You can also visit the two-day cattle show, the Pavilion (chocker block full of arts, crafts and local produce displays), the poultry section, vintage machinery and the muscle power at the woodchop arena. There’s so much to see and do at the Upper Hunter Show, one day just isn’t enough! Make sure you purchase a two-day ticket to really get the most out of your Upper Hunter Show experience. For more information, visit www.upperhuntershow.com.au
V I NEYARD
Boutique Hunter Win es
A Trio of Whites Experience Indulgence at Esca Bimbadgen Nick Samaras, Esca Bimbadgen Executive Chef and his team have created a menu showcasing the abundance of local produce at our doorstep. You can also relax in our Tuscan inspired courtyard with Bimbadgen’s wood fired pizza – dine in or takeaway. Pizza Café 12pm–4pm Mon to Thurs; 12pm–8pm Fri to Sun. Esca 7 days from 12pm; Dinner Fri & Sat from 6pm. Bookings are recommended.
NEW RELEASE! This complex late disgorged Blanc de Blancs spent almost 5 years on lees. The result is a fine bead and creamy textured palate with classic toasty characteristics. Taste it today!
790 McDonalds Road, Pokolbin. Phone 4998 4666 www.bimbadgen.com.au
2 Oakey Creek Road, Pokolbin Cellar Door open for tastings Thurs - Mon, 10am - 4pm www.kelmanvineyard.com.au Small groups welcome - call 02 4991 5456
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WHAT'S HOT IN THE
E X PE RI E N CE
E A ST E R
Calling all Chocoholics! Treat yourself to the extremely delicious chocolate from Hunter Valley Chocolate Company this Easter! Indulge in the ultimate chocolate experience, with a tantalising range of premium hand-made chocolates and over 30 flavours of freshly made fudge. If you are looking for something a little bit different to the traditional Easter egg this year, why not try Hunter Valley Chocolate Company’s sugar-coated Speckled Eggs available in various sizes! Pop into any of the three great locations to satisfy those cravings now. WHERE Three locations in Pokolbin: Twenty-3-Twenty –2320 Broke Road, Pokolbin; Peterson House – Cnr Broke Road & Wine Country Drive Hunter Valley Gardens Village – Shop 5, Broke Road, Pokolbin PH 4998 6999 www.hvchocolate.com.au
A NIGHT IN The Village
Highlight every second Wednesday in your diary, because it’s going to become your favourite night! Join The Cellar Restaurant and the Hunter’s newest chefs for the ultimate night of food, wine and fun that you’ll sure to remember! Enjoy their impressive new Autumn tasting menu and have the choice of 2 or 3 courses while sipping on award-winning wines! With a long-standing reputation for excellence, a visit to Wine Country is not complete without a dining experience at The Cellar Restaurant. (BYO encouraged; 2 courses $55, 3 courses $65) UPCOMING DATES - March 25 + April 8 & 22 WHERE Located at Hunter Valley Gardens Shopping Village, Broke Road, Pokolbin PH 4998 7584 www.the-cellar-restaurant.com.au
The Mill Restaurant Brokenback Bar
$20 DAILY SPECIAL + a glass of Thomas Wines or Murrays Craft Beer $5
Accommodation Events Weddings Conferences Cooking Schools Food Wine Takeaway
Casual Dining OPEN 7 DAYS Mon to Fri 11.30am till Late Weekends 11am till Late
4998 7288 www.estatetuscany.com.au
Something Special! THE BEST PL ACE IN WINE COUNTRY TO FIND
Experience a delightful day out at Hunter Valley Gardens Shopping Village. Sample local wines, treat yourself to sweets galore or a relaxing meal in our beautiful garden surrounds. Enjoy your next day out with great food and bespoke shops, by visiting us in the heart of the Hunter Valley! huntervalleygardensshopping.com.au Broke Rd Pokolbin -
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l l i M The ant Restaur
SIMPLE FOOD DONE WELL
Luncheon Special Friday, Saturday and Sunday $50.00 2 Course & $60.00 3 Course with a glass of Thomas Wines
T OP D RO P
Get into the Easter Spirit! Step your chocolate addiction up to the next level with Hunter Distillery’s Chocolate Vodka. This amazing blend of Hunter Distillery’s world renowned premium organic vodka combined with intense dark chocolate, creates a sensational aroma with a delicious taste that won’t disappoint! With the Easter long weekend approaching this is the perfect time to head to the Hunter Valley and taste test the exceptional range of vodkas, liqueurs, schnapps and award-winning Gins!
CONTEMPORARY WINES FROM ORGANIC VINES
Open 7 Days | 9am - 5 pm 358 McDonalds Road Pokolbin, NSW 2320 www.Tamburlaine.com.au Or call us: 02 4998 2400
WHERE 1686 Broke Road, Pokolbin PH 4998 6737 www.hunterdistillery.com.au
TA ST E
New Autumn Menu! As Wine Country begins to transform from grassy greens to shades of yellow, red and brown, Hunters Quarter is similarly embracing the transitioning season with a wonderful new menu reflective of Autumn. Whether it's a casual lunch with friends or a stylish candle-lit dinner with panoramic views overlooking the vineyards – Hunters Quarter has you covered. Bookings are recommended. WHERE 576 De Beyers Road, Pokolbin PH 4998 7776 www.huntersquarter.com.au
U LT IM ATE P I T ST OP
Needing something sweet in your life? Pop into the Hunter’s sweet spot, Sabor Dessert Bar for the ultimate Easter dessert with a delicious twist! Sitting on a bed of chocolate soil is a giant honeycomb infused chocolate Easter egg shell filled with a dark chocolate and raspberry mousse infused with honeycomb choc chips, topped with a nest of toasted coconut and speckled candied eggs. And for the adults wash down that sweet taste with a glass of Peterson House Cuvee. So, what are you waiting for? WHERE 2342 Broke Road Pokolbin PH 1300 958 939 www.sabordessertbar.com.au
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Linger Longer at
Long Lunch 2020 Gather some friends and make the pilgrimage to Lovedale in May to indulge in the Hunter’s most popular progressive-style event, the Lovedale Long Lunch to be held 16 and 17 of May throughout various venues in Lovedale. Set in the grounds of seven of Lovedale’s most elegant and exciting cellar doors and vineyards, the iconic event serves up a weekend of premium wine tasting, accompanied by a mouth-watering menu put together by some of the finest chefs in the Hunter Valley. Live entertainment is also on offer at each venue, with music from some of the region’s most popular bands and solo acts guaranteed to keep the atmosphere upbeat for the thousands of visitors who flock to the annual event. Celebrating its 27th year, the Lovedale Long Lunch will be held across the following wineries: Allandale Winery, Emma’s Cottage Vineyard, Gartelmann Wines, Saltire Estate, Sandalyn Wilderness Estate, Tatler Wines and Wandin Estate. The fabulous restaurants joining the “Long Lunch” for 2020 are Tatler Tapas, Wandin Kitchen, The Deck Café, Amanda’s on the Edge, Yellow Billy, Restaurant Cuvee and Newy Burger. Event tickets can be purchased for either the Saturday or Sunday, or as a weekend package, and include entry to three wineries each day, vouchers for one, two or three main meals (depending on the ticket purchased), as well as a dessert or cheese plate and a souvenir wine tasting glass.
Sunday 17th May
For those of you that like your days tasting wine and food a bit quieter, then we recommend that you come to the Lovedale Long Lunch on Sunday. Grab your ticket, spend a relaxing day visiting your favourite Lovedale Long Lunch destinations, take advantage of the tasting tents, sample the extensive range of wonderful wines and sit back and enjoy a glass of wine with your friends. You’ll experience casual al fresco dining with food from the best restaurants the Hunter Valley has to offer and enjoy the music, reminiscent of days past of the Lovedale Long Lunch. An institution on the Hunter tourism calendar, tickets for the event always sell quickly, with some wineries/days selling out in previous years so make sure you secure yours early. A number of bus tour companies offer combined ticket and transport packages, while other visitors prefer to arrange their own private charter to allow them to select their preferred itinerary. For those who have never been to the Lovedale Long Lunch, the weekend offers a wine and food tasting experience not to be missed, with the Saturday known for its big, party vibe and the Sunday perfect for those looking for a more laidback affair.
Saturday 16th May
Saturday is the big day, lots of fun and enjoyment with many loyal long luncher’s – groups of family and friends, big and small. The weekend sees everything from themed attire to elegant daywear – such as the girls who come every year in a different coloured tutu, or the well-dressed lads in smart collared shirts and moleskins. There are the ladies who would not be out of place at the polo. No matter what you wear, or your style, we want you to look your best.
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For more information including live entertainment line-ups, menus and tickets visit www.lovedalelonglunch.com.au
16 & 17 May, 2020
Round up your friends. Come and join in the celebration that is The Hunterâ€™s BIGGEST Wine & Food Festival
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WORDS Di von Essen
For those who have visited this quaint little store in Hunter Valley Gardens Shopping Village, you will most likely recall being overwhelmed by choice! With over 3,000 gifts in one venue and an emphasis on colourful wine glasses and exciting home decorator items, we’re prepared to bet that you found that “something special” you’d been searching for at the Wine Glass Gallery. Owner, Mary Booth was just 15 years old when she started her first job working in a Sydney newsagency. More than 60 years later, the spritely business woman is still toiling away behind a shop counter, driven by her passion for people and her love of retailing. Almost half her working life has been spent running businesses of her own, including the past eight years as the owner of Pokolbin’s beautiful Wine Glass Gallery. To say that the Wine Glass Gallery is an institution in wine country is possibly an understatement. It’s a wine glass wonderland which boasts hundreds of beautiful crystal and colourful glassware, as well as comical wine glasses, coasters and magnets that will have you laughing out loud (yes really!). Sadly for us, although happily for Mary, retirement calls, and the veteran, national award-winning retailer, will lock up for the final time on 31 May 2020. Facing many challenges throughout her career, Mary’s dedication and determination have seen her overcome all obstacles and achieve more in retailing than she ever dreamed possible. Her passion and perseverance were also recognised Australia-wide when Mary received the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award (+30 years of service) at the 2018 National Retail Awards.
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“It felt amazing and was a great honour to earn a National Retail Lifetime Achievement Award; it gave me and my business credibility amongst my peers and family, also with my customers and suppliers,” Mary said. “I got a standing ovation for my speech, and all the young retailers kept coming up to me say what an inspiration I was; it was an amazing night.” Equally amazing is Mary’s retail career, which has taken her from the thriving tourist mecca of The Rocks to the world-renowned destination of the Hunter Valley vineyards. Mary said that she was looking forward to the next chapter in her life and career, which will involve spending more time with family and friends, a bit of travel and perhaps starting an on-line store (watch this space!) Whatever Mary gets up to, we’re sure that it will be approached with the same gusto and passion that she has shown at every stage of her career – a career which she says has been highlighted by the thousands of amazing, wonderful and interesting customers from all over the world that she has met along the way. “The biggest lesson I have learned is one must have a passion for whatever you choose to do. Retailing is no different. With passion, it’s not difficult to give more than you receive.” Until the 31st of May, visitors will not only find Mary’s cheerful face behind the counter, but they’ll also find some fantastic bargains in-store as Mary sells out her stock at up to 50% off marked prices. If you're looking for unique glass vases, bowls, platters and ornaments, you'll find them here, along with quirky collector teapots, exotic candles and infuses, Australian made hand creams, gorgeous silk flowers, souvenirs and so much more. There truly is a gift for everyone and you owe it to yourself to check out why this is a Hunter Valley experience not to miss (before it’s too late!) WHERE Wine Glass Gallery, Shop 3, Hunter Valley Gardens Shopping Village, Pokolbin OPEN 7 days 10am–5pm PH 4998 6888
Angela Hardy Photography
Kurri Kurri NOSTALGIA FESTIVAL Bringing back the good times! Polish your cars, shine your shoes and get out your best dresses, the Kurri Kurri Nostalgia Festival rock and rolls back into town on the last weekend in March. Bringing the 1950's to life in the streets of Kurri Kurri, it continues to be one of the Hunter’s most popular events. Kurri Kurri Nostalgia Festival celebrates all the great things from the 1950’s and 1960's – rock n roll music, dancing, classic cars, vintage clothing and good old fashioned fun. There’s something for everyone with free entertainment and activities throughout the weekend in Rotary Park Kurri Kurri. Free entertainment over the weekend includes Rachel Brady & the Moonshine Special, Louis King, Shelley Minson, the Rattlesnakes, Aaron Mansfield, Jumpin Jukebox and special performances by Chance2Dance, Teaki Hoops and the amazing Sydney Swing Katz. If you love classic cars and hot rods, Shannon’s Show and Shine is a real highlight, with an amazing display of hundreds of immaculate classic cars and hot rods.
The Retro Market Place brings together some of the biggest and best retro and vintage market stalls from across the country. You’ll find themed merchandise, retro goods, vintage clothing, rock n roll memorabilia, collectables and plenty for the car enthusiasts. Whether you remember the 1950's or are inspired by that era, getting dressed up is part of the fun of the weekend. So don your vintage or retro outfits and join us in Kurri Kurri, get your photo snapped, and you could even win a prize by entering a Best Dressed competition. The festival kicks off on Friday 27 March, with a Free Family Fun Night from 5pm in Rotary Park and runs throughout Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 March. It’s a great weekend for all the family at the Kurri Kurri Nostalgia Festival. For the full program, visit www.kurrikurrinostalgiafestival.com.au
Shop 3 · Hunter Valley Gardens Shopping Village · Broke Road, Pokolbin Wine Glasse s · Silk Flowers · Gif ts · Sou venirs · Scar ve s · Handbags & And Much More!
END OF LEASE SALE 50% OFF EVERYTHING MARCH . APRIL . MAY
GET IN EARLY GREAT BARGAINS E VE RYTH ING MUST G O ! ! OPEN 10am–5pm EVERY DAY 17 | MAR-APR 2020 yhv
Emma’s Cottage Vineyard Just that little bit different IT’S NO COINCIDENCE that Australian wineries are located among some of the country’s most picturesque regions, blending class and beauty with that quintessential country feel. We all love wine, and there is no better place to enjoy a glass or two than at a vineyard; better yet a romantic escape or wine tasting weekend at one of the most appealing vineyard settings in the Hunter Valley. Hidden from view on Wilderness Road in Lovedale is Emma’s Cottage Vineyard – a boutique vineyard with an art gallery, beautiful rose gardens and onsite accommodation available in the two, three and four-bedroom cottages. It is the perfect place to visit and enjoy a tasting of their boutique wines which are made from the seven different grape varieties grown on the estate from 30-year-old vines. Emma's Cottage Vineyard is also a participant in the Lovedale Long Lunch held each year in May and are now a popular fixture on the local food scene with the opening of Restaurant Trey. Offering a stylish dining experience, Restaurant Trey is under the steady hand of multi-talented head chef and owner Bryce Reynolds. Reynolds is well-known in wine country, having undertaken his apprenticeship with EXP and was also the head chef at Coquun in Maitland. His new solo venture is fast creating a loyal following of diners, with Bryce regularly foraging for wild Australian ingredients to add that special touch to the dishes he offers.
Priding himself on everything ‘boutique’, from the local food producers to the winemakers and beer brewers, on offer is everything from a two-course option through to a five-course degustation with complimentary house-made bread and the choice of matched wines produced by Emma's Cottage Vineyard. Reynolds' highly recommended dishes include the house-made black garlic and mushroom tortellini with a sage butter emulsion and his signature dessert dish of crème brulée vs crème caramel. Restaurant Trey is located inside Emma's Cottage Vineyard at 438 Wilderness Road, Lovedale and is open for lunch from Wednesday through to Sunday and dinner on Friday and Saturday. Great wines and great food, in a wonderfully tranquil setting – who could ask for more?
EMMA’S COTTAGE VINEYARD · CELLAR DOOR & GALLERY: Wed–Fri 11.30am–4pm, Sat & Sun 10am–5pm RESTAURANT TREY: Wed–Sat 11.30am–3pm, Fri & Sat 5.30pm–9pm, Sun 8am–2pm. Bookings: 8328 0503 438 Wilderness Road, Lovedale 2320 · Ph (02) 4998 7734 · www.emmascottage.com.au
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MEET THE MAKER
WORDS Michelle Meehan
Julie Mate’s gorgeous handcrafted greeting cards are made with love – but their initial inspiration came from a place of both suffering and hope. The Seaham woman was diagnosed with breast cancer five years ago, and during the first year of treatment, she developed a life-threatening allergic reaction to the chemotherapy she was receiving. Determined to keep her brain active throughout her recovery process, Julie channelled her energy into a passion for card making that she had dabbled in around ten years earlier with her daughter Bethany. “During this time, I was blessed with inspiration and as therapy, designed the cards as an expression of my love to give to others. Hence the name, ‘Julie’s Love’,” she said. “I feel that it is very important today that people are recognised and thought of with love, whether it be a birthday, special occasion or event, or special time of year. “I also have specific cards and ranges targeted for different occasions and situations. My inspiration for these cards comes from events that happen in people’s lives and my own. “All my cards and framed gifts are handmade, as well as being custom made, and I love that I can create a special memento that brings love and joy to others.” While Julie works part-time as a School Learning Support Officer for special needs children, she devotes the rest of her week to Julie’s Love, using paper and DMC embroidery thread to create her simple yet elegant range of customised cards, which feature embellished cartoon drawings of people on them. Aside from motivating her to get started with the card making, Julie’s battle with breast cancer has also inspired her latest range, ‘Inspirational YOU’, which she admits are her new favourites. “The range is inspired as a result of my personal battle with breast cancer and speak of affirmations, self-belief and positivity,” she said.
“The clothes and headscarves are a light pink glitter. They also feature three different head styles. One is bald, as bald is beautiful; another wears a headscarf and another has hair, as not all chemotherapy treatments mean you lose your hair, so I have tried to cater for a variety of circumstances. “The sixth card is being designed for those gentlemen who are also battling breast cancer. As we know, cancer does not discriminate between genders, and although it is not common, men also suffer from breast cancer. “My cards and frames are my passion, and I get great enjoyment out of designing and making them. “I hope to share my love through my cards and frames so that you too, can share your love with your loved ones.” You can check out Julie’s range at this month’s Handmade in the Hunter Markets, which will be held at Kevin Sobels Wines from 9am to 3pm on March 21 and 28; April 4, 11+12 and 18.
“Largest beer range
Massive Wine Sale at The Garden Cellars $50 cases and $144 cases
in the valley!”
Come in and visit the ‘Tunnel of Beer’. Stocked to the brim with delicious brews from around the world.
alley Hunter V nter u Wine, H odka V y r e Distill beer and craft able ail v a tastings ! y il a d
You will find us at Hunter Valley Gardens Shopping Village Broke Road, Pokolbin OPEN 7 DAYS 10am - 5.30pm | PH 4998 7466 www.gardencellars.com.au
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Estate-Grown, Estate-Made Ethos at
MARGAN FAMILY WINES WORDS Michelle Meehan When you put your name to a product, you need to be passionate about what you are creating. While that may be easier said than done for some, it’s certainly not a difficult task for Andrew and Lisa Margan, who live, breathe and proudly advocate the values behind their award-winning winery, vineyard, cellar door and restaurant. The experienced winemaker and the highly-trained chef set up their family-owned and operated business in Broke during 1996 after spending several years living in Bordeaux, France.
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Andrew already had a long history in the Hunter wine industry, having spent 20 years learning the art of growing grapes and making wine under the late, great Murray Tyrrell. Coupled with two science degrees and his experiences overseas, Andrew was keen to apply his unique hands-on approach to producing his own range of wines. Lisa came from a background in teaching, with a Bachelor of Education and Applied Science. But after moving from Sydney to the Hunter when she and Andrew married, Lisa shifted her focus to food, re-training as a chef under the expert guidance of respected Hunter restauranteur Robert Molines (Bistro Molines). The couple’s years spent in France left a lasting impression on Lisa as well, who developed an appreciation for quality produce, technique and the unique appeal of dining in a premium wine region. After returning to the Hunter she completed a Master’s degree in Science and Nutrition, focusing on organic food production – a decision that would clearly flavour the direction of the food operations she would establish alongside Andrew’s winemaking brand. Lisa said the business was initially set up to complete contract winemaking, allowing them to slowly establish their own brand on the side, but it wasn’t long before their plan was turned on its head. “Andrew and I had been living and working overseas, mainly in Bordeaux France for a few years, and it was there that we conceived the rough plan of starting our own business,” she said.
Images by Dom Cherry
“The business started as a contract winemaking business with a tiny volume of our own wine label Margan, on the side. Within one year, this business plan was turned upside down, and we made more of Margan and less under contract for others. “Since then the wine brand has gone from strength to strength, and we now have 100 hectares of our own vineyards and produce around 25,000 cases of wine annually, which is sold domestically and to select export markets.” In the past 24 years, the couple has carefully evolved Margan into the leading winery in the Broke Fordwich sub-region, with a commitment to creating single-vineyard wines produced from grapes grown wholly and solely on their vineyards. Margan’s Fordwich Hill vineyards offer a mixture of old vines planted in the late 1960s and more traditional Hunter Valley varieties, as well as some newer alternative varieties and field blends, with Andrew pioneering the introduction of Barbera and Albarino into the Hunter Valley. Lisa believes this homegrown focus is one of the key elements that sets Margan apart within the market. “We are dedicated to producing only Hunter Valley wines made from our own vineyards and made on-site by us,” she said. “While other regions produce grapes that we would love to make into wine, like the cool climate varieties Pinot Noir and Riesling, we choose to stay loyal to our region and make the wines that grow best here. “Our ethos has always been ‘Estate Grown - Estate Made’, and we think people who love our wine have come to trust that.”
The estate-grown focus has certainly not placed any limits on Andrew’s winemaking process, however, with Margan offering five different ranges of wines that contain numerous varieties within each: Originals, Breaking Ground, White Label, Aged Release, and Margan’s ground-breaking ‘Field Blends’ of Shiraz Mourvedre and Tempranillo Graciano Shiraz. In 2007, Andrew and Lisa expanded their operations with the construction of a unique rammed earth cellar door and restaurant. “That launched the wine tourism part of our business, which allows us to better connect Margan wine and food with our guests,” Lisa said. “Wine, food and good company … it all just comes together nicely.” Unlike many wineries, which lease out their on-site restaurants to someone else, all Margan’s operations are 100 per cent estate-owned and operated, another factor Lisa believes sets them apart. “We entirely own and operate our wine tourism operations. I run the restaurant and cellar door, and Andrew runs winemaking and viticulture,” she said. “This presents an integrated wine and food experience for our guests, and we can control and curate this as we are across all operations.” Maintaining control of the restaurant has also allowed Lisa to apply that same ‘Estate Grown - Estate Made’ ethos to the food side of the business, which is widely regarded as ‘acclaimed agri-dining at its finest’, having pioneered the kitchen garden concept in the region.
As farmers, our first goal is to showcase the produce that we grow here and to build our menus around this in a true collaboration with the Hunter seasons.” “I was first inspired to do this when we lived in France decades ago and saw the absolute dedication of farmers towards quality produce. I also loved the regional pride that came with it and the unwavering allegiance to seasonality,” Lisa said. “I wanted to create a dining experience that tapped into that and respected the seasons, so we planted a very large vegetable garden and over the years have expanded this to include an orchard, free-range chickens, olive groves, estate-reared lambs and beehives. “This ‘hyper-local’ approach also supports our EMP (Environmental Management Plan) by keeping our carbon footprint low. Additional produce is sourced from local farm-gate suppliers and meats and seafood are sustainably produced and as local as possible.” (Continued next page) ►
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(Continued) This focus on sustainability sits at the heart of Margan’s operations, with Andrew using his second degree in Environmental Health to oversee the emergence of their Environmental Sustainability program. Margan is now the most accredited environmentally sustainable winery in the Hunter Valley. Lisa said their next goal was to become an organic operation - not a surprising direction given her own university studies. “As farmers, we always have been committed to looking after the land we are on so we can hand it over to the next generation in good condition. We have been doing this in some form for decades and are considered leaders in this area,” Lisa said. “In 2010 we decided to take this up a level and developed an EMP to reduce our impact across all business operations, which included calculating our carbon emissions. “In 2013 we became certified under the Winemakers Federation Australia Entwine Program, which benchmarked to the ISO14000 series for international best practice. We were the first in the Hunter to achieve this. “In 2019 this certification was updated to Sustainable Winegrowing Australia and Freshcare, which is certified via independent on-site audits of our EMP. “We have been heading towards carbon neutral for the last five years, which has involved reducing our emissions via the four basic pillars of sustainability: reduction of greenhouse gases; energy efficiency; waste reduction and water management. “Our ultimate goal is to become carbon neutral and to off-set the amount of emissions we can’t reduce any further. “This can be achieved quite simply through purchasing carbon offsets, which would see us carbon neutral almost immediately. However,
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Images by Dom Cherry
many of these companies are not Australian and the money goes to offshore projects, so we decided not to go down this easier path. “We want the carbon benefit to stay close, so our next project is regenerating our local riverbanks, planting native tree lots and converting our Broke property to organic. We will start this now in 2020, and it will be a big job!”
Thankfully, Andrew and Lisa have plenty of people around them to help Margan reach its lofty goals, with the original two-person business having grown to now incorporate a team of 30. Add to this support is their three grown children, who are now all at university themselves studying winemaking, marketing and business. While they still have so much more they want to do with the Margan brand, Lisa said it is amazing to look at how far their business has come since 1996 and how much they have achieved in that time. “Given we operate in three challenging industries of farming, the wine industry and restaurants we are actually pretty proud to still be in business almost 25 years down the track,” she said.
“We also have been awarded some accolades that we are very proud of, including wine trophies, cellar door of the year and the restaurant being recommended in leading guides and awarded its ‘hat’ in the National Good Food Guide.”
ADDRESS 2 Green St, Morpeth NSW 2321 PHONE (02) 4933 5862 OPEN Wed-Sun - Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
“On top of that, Andrew and I have built this business from the ground up, work pretty hard to keep it all going and are still married so that’s an achievement. We also had all three of our (now adult) children work this 2020 harvest in the winery, and it was great to see the whole family pulling together.” To find out more about Margan and what else is on offer at their picturesque Broke site, visit www.margan.com.au
ENJOY AN inviting and relaxed atmosphere Andanté Brasserie is a locally owned café and restaurant located in the heart of the Hunter Valley – a great spot for a quick catch up, long lunch with friends or family or a decadent 3 course dinner.
Open 7 Days For Breakfast and Lunch; Dinner Fri–Sun
Ph 4998 7932 Leisure Inn, 485 McDonalds Road, Pokolbin www.andantebrasserie.com.au 23 | MAR-APR 2020 yhv
RUNNING HORSE WINES The most unique cellar door in Broke... A must visit! Specialising in Aged Wines
NEWCASTLE WRITERS FESTIVAL
Presents Tim Costello
At Cessnock Performing Arts Centre – April 4 The Newcastle Writers Festival kicks into gear again from April 3 to 5, featuring 160 writers at venues throughout Newcastle and Cessnock.
Running Horse Wines cellar door provides a new look and experience to the Hunter wine region. We at Running Horse Wines have been ageing our entire range of wines and have amassed an impressive, unique and true age worthy wine list that will take you on an adventurous ride to an unprecedented tasting experience. The opportunity to taste and buy wines from 2005 to 2012, and also now just releasing the 2014 vintage, is very rare. Our classic aged range is comprising of the Hunter’s finest Shiraz, Semillon, Verdelho, Rosé and a Sparkling Rosé also being aged on lees for 6 years! Running Horse Wines is open every day from 10am to 6pm. From Monday to Thursday, please do not hesitate to call and confirm arrival as these hours can fluctuate.
1133 Milbrodale Road, Broke Fordwich PH David on 0474 156 786 www.runninghorsewines.com.au
Six international guests are also appearing – five New Zealand writers, including acclaimed poet Hera Lindsay Bird, and US-based Australian geneticist David Sinclair, author of the bestseller, Lifespan: Why we age and why we don’t have to. Other guests include Behrouz Boochani, Clare Bowditch, Tim Costello, Helen Garner and Archie Roach. Event Director, Rosemarie Milsom said this year’s program was influenced by the catastrophic bushfires that plagued NSW for six months. “I’m not alone in feeling as though we reached a tipping point this summer,” she said. “It’s during times like these that you wonder about the role that literature can play. I feel very strongly that it can have a profound impact on the way we engage with key issues and it can also shape the healing process.” This year’s festival program explores lessons in leadership, climate change, trust, tribalism, women’s rage, resilience, and the role of artists in a crisis. There will also be poetry, a discussion about the power of the ocean on the creative process, and music from Archie Roach and Clare Bowditch. This year’s program includes some of Australia’s most respected fiction and non-fiction writers, including award-winning journalists Kate McClymont, Adele Ferguson, Virginia Trioli and Paddy Manning, awardwinning authors Helen Garner, Tony Birch, Lucy Treloar, Charlotte Wood, Favel Parrett, and activist Tim Costello, who will speak about his memoir A Lot with a Little with broadcaster Paul Bevan at a special event at Cessnock Performing Arts Centre on April 4. The festival includes 90 free and ticketed events and features a literary trivia night fundraiser, panel discussions, readings, one-on-one interviews, and book launches. Tickets are available online via www.newcastlewritersfestival.org.au/about-tickets Free sessions do not require bookings. For more information, visit www.newcastlewritersfestval.org.au
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Sixteen Years of
A Little Bit of Italy in Broke The much-loved annual wine and food festival A Little Bit of Italy in Broke to be held over the weekend of 1–3 May, brings together boutique cellar doors, artisan food producers and live music to create a uniquely “Australian-Italian” vibe. Set in the picturesque region of Broke Fordwich, Hunter Valley, the festival operates at 12 different venues throughout the weekend, each offering a unique variation on the theme while combining great food and wine with a stunning location and relaxed atmosphere. The event begins on Friday evening when several local restaurants serve up an Italian-inspired dinner. Margan’s La Grande Fiesta in their courtyard piazza is a highlight every year. On Saturday, start your journey at the Fire Shed in Broke Village, where you can collect an event glass and program before heading off to your first venue. Or if you have a plan in mind, you can just head straight to any of the venues, who will all have event glasses for sale. Design your own experience by selecting from the many menu choices on offer. Enjoy the live music, free wine tasting and the unique attributes of each participating cellar door. The Saturday night offers more dinner choices, including Catherine Vale’s traditional Italian Feast by Matteo of Tuscany Untouched Tours. Sunday is a repeat of Saturday’s activities, giving visitors a chance to check out the venues they may have missed on Saturday. And with 12 venues in the festival, there’s a lot to see. During the weekend, there will also be ample opportunities to learn and experience through masterclasses, tours, workshops and demonstrations. Try your hand at cheese making or olive oil and preserving classes, wine and food matching classes, cooking classes and demonstrations, wine masterclasses or even a bit of Burlesque at a dancing workshop. There really is something for everybody!
the festival. However, on the Saturday of the festival, Rover Coaches also offer a hop-on, hop-off shuttle bus service. Buses will circulate from the Fire Shed base, all around the festival sites throughout the day. Rover also offers a transfer service from Pokolbin.
Many festival-goers arrange their own transport, using a nominated driver who can access free water stations and/or soft drinks throughout
Gather together friends and family and head to Broke for a great day out! Breathe in the fresh country air, relax and celebrate the good life at the 16th annual Little Bit of Italy in Broke wine and food festival. For more information and a full program of events visit www.italyinbroke.com.au
URRI KURRI -K -
I VA L 2 0 2
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Bespoke Items Lovingly Created at Cosy Iron WORDS Claire Bradshaw
When you order a handmade wrought-iron product from Cosy Iron Design, you’re not just getting a piece of metal. You’re getting a physical manifestation of an ageold artisanal craft, and the culmination of 50+ years of experience from artistic blacksmith René Rasmussen.
In fact, a drive around Wine Country is all that’s needed to reveal some beautiful bespoke pieces created by René, adding an elegant finishing touch to both wineries and restaurants alike. René and his wife Judith emigrated to Australia from Denmark 25 years ago. Back in their home country, René was carrying on the tradition of blacksmithing and iron artistry that had been passed through generations in his family since 1784. Following his grandfather and uncles into the craft in 1969, he served his apprenticeship repairing horse carts and shoeing draft horses for Carlsberg Breweries, then trained in orthopaedic horseshoeing and became a certified farrier. From there, it was on to the highest of heights: as well as taking over his old master’s contract with Carlsberg, René was appointed to the
HAND FORGED WROUGHT IRON • EXCLUSIVE DESIGNS UNCOMPROMISING QUALITY Since 1784
Specialising in artistic restoration and new works, Danish born René Rasmussen has the blacksmith’s skill to restore and recreate the style of yesteryear in many creative and varied forms.
~ Former blacksmith and farrier for the Queen of Denmark ~ Former blacksmith and farrier for Carlsberg breweries ~ Traditional Danish Family Blacksmiths since 1784
619A Medowie Road, Medowie Ph 4981 7174 | M 0402 190 835 E email@example.com www.cosyiron.com.au yhv 26 | MAR-APR 2020
Danish Royal Stables, becoming the blacksmith and farrier to the Queen of Denmark! This involved shoeing the royal horses and carrying out artistic blacksmithing at some of the Queen’s castles – a high-profile role indeed. But after a while, René decided he was ready for a new challenge. And so, in 1995, he and Judith packed a shipping container full of René’s heirloom blacksmith tools and set off for Australia, bringing all that experience and expertise to our shores. Those same heirloom tools still serve René today, as he and Judith create new works and artistic restorations from their Cosy Iron Design workshop in Medowie. René is the embodiment of the old-fashioned artisan. Follow the sounds of hammer and anvil, and you’ll find him ensconced in his forge, working with a combination of traditional and modern tools to create bespoke items for all manner of clients. Judith, affectionately dubbed ‘The Master’s Apprentice’ by her husband, adds her creative talents to the mix as well; a diploma-certified welder with a good knowledge of fabrication and steel manufacturing, she sculpts her own original designs for smaller products such as wine racks and candelabras. Cosy Iron products are a combination of age-old artistry and uncompromising quality. René and Judith work together in collaboration with architects, designers, builders, fabricators and individual clients to create a mix of classic and modern wrought-iron designs. They specialise in restoration as well as new work, so whether you’ve got a functional or decorative piece that needs some attention or you’re in search of something new, Cosy Iron is the place to call. Attention to detail and a keen eye for classic design elements shine through in every custom-made piece. The husband-and-wife team’s repertoire includes various indoor and outdoor furniture items; Juliet balconies and staircases; gates, fences and security grilles; fire screens and tools; hinges, brackets and hand-forged nails; candelabras and mirrors; beds and bedheads; flower boxes and garden items; wine racks and hat and coat stands; unique sculptures; wedding accessories; and much more. If you have a unique one-off piece in mind, be it large or small, all you need to do is talk to the Cosy Iron team. In an age of mass production where the art of handcrafting sometimes seems all but lost, master craftspeople like René are a rare find. So if you do commission a product from Cosy Iron Design, be sure to treasure it. Not only will it become a unique focal point in your home or garden, it can also be passed down as an heirloom for years to come. The Cosy Iron Design workshop is located at 619A Medowie Road, Medowie. For more info on the products and services available, or to obtain a quote for your next special project, call 4981 7174, or visit www.cosyiron.com.au P
The Cellar Restaurant delivers modern contemporary Australian cuisine, utilising local and seasonal quality ingredients. Dine in our indoor garden setting or outside in the courtyard.
Try our NEW Autumn menu!
A NIGHT IN THE VILL AGE Every second Wednesday of the month
Join us and the Hunter's newest Chefs for a night of food, wine and fun that you’re sure to remember. Choose from an impressive 2 or 3 course tasting menu. BYO encouraged or choose from our extensive wine menu. Located at Hunter Valley Gardens Shopping Village, Broke Road Pokolbin • Phone 4998 7584 Lunch from 12pm Mon – Sat; Dinner from 6pm Mon – Sat
www.the-cellar-restaurant.com.au 27 | MAR-APR 2020 yhv
Deliciously Fresh Seven Day Dining at
OISHII WORDS Di von Essen
It’s the only Asian restaurant in a winery, and Oishii Japanese Thai Restaurant is also one of few restaurants in wine country that are open seven days a week. With this in mind, we decided to take up the opportunity to have dinner at this popular restaurant in the middle of the week. Given its reputation, we weren’t really surprised to see just how busy this charming familyowned and operated restaurant was. Dining at Oishii is like few other restaurant experiences, and it is easy to see why Oishii has become a highly recommended and favourite dining destination amongst locals and visitors. Located within the Roche Estate complex on Broke Road in Pokolbin and overlooking the architecturally designed amphitheatre and vines, Oishii provides a conveniently located, relaxed and affordable dining alternative with dishes designed to please every palate. The menu at Oishii is a combination of two Asian cultures - Thai and Japanese and includes all the traditional Thai favourites such as Thai fish cakes, stir-fried vegetables with soft tofu, chicken cashew nuts, green curry chicken and other fragrant Thai curries. The menu is further enhanced by a range of Japanese dishes that include assorted sushi and sashimi selections. There are also a variety of vegetarian dishes. We decided on the chicken satay, and assorted sushi and nori rolls for the entree as well
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as the miso soup, which proved to be a perfect accompaniment to the Japanese dishes. We then made a selection of three Thai dishes all served with steamed rice for main courses. Our first selection was the red curry king prawns. This dish was superbly presented, and the king prawns cooked to perfection with just a hint of lime and deliciously fresh vegetables. The sweet and sour chicken - looking colourful and healthy, was served with cucumber, tomatoes and shiitake mushrooms and with a tangy and incredibly delicious sweet and sour sauce. Our final dish was also our favourite and a very traditional Thai meal. We’re clearly not alone, as the Panang duck curry, as I later discovered, is also one of the most popular dishes amongst Oishii's patrons. It came served with juicy and generous slices of skinless duck sitting within a deep-flavoured Panang curry sauce, and after the first taste it was easy to see why this dish was such a favourite – it was delicious and left us wanting more. The dishes are perfect for sharing and ideal for families or groups of friends and the Japanese menu also offers Teppan Yaki and Terri Yaki options for those looking for a ‘taste of Japan.’ The setting is minimalist and with a Thai-themed dining room. Diners also have the option of dining outside on the terrace overlooking the vines - a perfect setting for those warmer days and evenings. Oishii offers a real alternative for dining in the Hunter Valley and is an absolute must-do dining experience. For more information and menus, visit www.oishii.com.au, or to make a booking phone 4998 7051.
WE BELIEVE IN THE SIMPLE THINGS IN LIFE. THEY JUST NEED TO BE AMAZING.
Chocolate Company EST. 1999
Located in the heart of Pokolbin, Hunter Valley Chocolate Company has been a family owned and operated Hunter Valley gem for the last twenty years.
SMART CASUAL DINING FRESH LOCAL PRODUCE ALSO WEDDINGS | EVENTS | PRIVATE FUNCTIONS LOCATED ON THE VINE AT COCKFIGHTERS GHOST VINEYARD
Indulge in the ultimate chocolate experience, with a tantalising range of premium hand-made chocolate and chocolate products plus more than 30 flavours of freshly made fudge!
Open 7 Days 9am – 5pm. Ph 4998 6999 Three Great Locations in Pokolbin:
576 DE BEYERS ROAD, POKOLBIN PH: 4998 7776 | firstname.lastname@example.org www.huntersquarter.com.au
Twenty-3-Twenty – 2320 Broke Road Peterson House – Broke Road Hunter Valley Gardens – Shop 5, HVG, Broke Road
OPEN LUNCH THURS - SUN. DINNER THURS, FRI, SAT & MON.
www.hvchocolate.com.au | email@example.com
Visit Saddler's Creek Wines and receive a complimentary souvenir wine glass and wine tasting valued at $20.
WINE GLASS & TASTING! 15 Marrowbone Road, Pokolbin | Open 7 days 10am-5pm | 02 4991 1770 Present this ad at Cellar Door to receive offer, valid until 30/04/20. One per person. 29 | MAR-APR 2020 yhv
Have an Eggcellent EASTER in Wine Country! Easter is almost upon us again, and with the celebration falling at the start of the school holidays, this year itâ€™s a fabulous time for getting out and exploring all the region has to offer. There will be plenty to do across Hunter Valley Wine Country throughout the Easter long weekend (10 to 13 April), with some eggcellent activities for the kids and a few tasty treats for mums and dads as well. April is a beautiful time of year to visit the Hunter Valley Gardens, with bright sunny weather anticipated and an array of entertainment on offer for the whole family to enjoy. Over the Easter weekend, the kids will be peering through bushes and under trees to find the famous giant golden egg which will win a lucky visitor an annual family pass to the Gardens. Plus, donâ€™t forget the enormous easter egg hunt on every day over the long weekend.
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POKOLBIN ESTATE VIN EYARD
Tempranillo | Nebbiolo | Sangiovese | Nebbiolo RosĂŠ Get your taste for adventure today at ...Pokolbin Estate. Winery â€“ 2019 James Halliday Australian Wine Companion
Pokolbin Estate Vineyard 298 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin | Open 7 Days 9am - 5pm PH 4998 7524 | www.pokolbinestate.com.au
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Mega Creatures at Hunter Valley Gardens. Photo by Chris Elfes.
A few more unusual eggs will also be on show at the Gardens this Easter thanks to the Mega Creatures display, which is running across the long weekend and throughout the school holiday period. Spot a Stegosaurus, tiptoe past the Triceratops and try not to tremble at the sight of the giant T-Rex! It’ll be difficult to avoid the six-metre-long winged dragon or the toothy two-headed dragon – so stay on your toes! Check out the new additions to this popular prehistoric event including archaeological fossil digs, the secret dinosaur egg-hunt daily and the fabulous Dino Mights stage show. If that’s not enough thrills and excitement for one visit, why not get into the carnival vibe and take a ride on one of the Gardens’ amazing rides with a ride-pass (purchased from the event area). There’s the Venetian carousel, 25m Ferris wheel, super speedy swing chair or giant slide, or bounce off that chocolate-induced sugar rush in the kids’ inflatable world. If you’re looking to add a few more eggs to your basket before you leave Hunter Valley Gardens, make sure you stop by Shop 5 in the village and check out the gourmet delights on offer at the Hunter Valley Chocolate Company. The destination of choice for those looking to indulge in something truly special, the artisan chocolate makers have been lovingly crafting their wares since 1999 using only the highest quality Belgian or Swiss couverture chocolate, together with Australian dried fruits and nuts, and distilled pure fruit oil infusions. There’s something to cater to every taste bud, with dark, milk and
white buttons and blocks a staple of the range. Easter is undoubtedly their busiest time of year, and during this period Hunter Valley Chocolate Company branches out to include a few sensational seasonal lines including the ever-popular freckled eggs, and a more novel product, which uses a real rainbow-dyed eggshell that kids can peel off to discover a delicious praline nougat underneath. Hunter Valley Chocolate Company’s amazing array of handcrafted products are available seven days a week online as well as in-store at their “Twenty-3-Twenty” Chocolate & Fudge Factory on Broke Road and their retail outlets at Hunter Valley Gardens and Peterson’s House. Parents keen to pick up a treat for themselves that isn’t chocolate related should check out The Garden Cellars, with an Easter Long Weekend sale not to be missed. There will be tastings available and wine dozens on offer from $144, including Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Cabernet Merlot and more, while stocks last. Once you’ve had your fill of the fun at the Gardens, don’t forget to stop by Kevin Sobels Wines just down the road and check out the handcrafted treasures on offer at the Handmade in the Hunter Markets. To celebrate Easter the markets will run all weekend, from 9am–3pm on Saturday and 9am–2pm on Easter Sunday. Organiser Karen Rowe promises plenty of zany Easter fun, with bunny ears galore, a sprinkling of chocolate and “whatever else we can dream up to make your visit to the market a festive time”. Alongside the Easter craziness will be a market full of passionate (Continued next page) F
Nadine and Jean Brochut welcome you to Thélème Wines at Black Creek Farm. A boutique Wine Producer in the Hunter Valley situated on a gentle easterly facing slope.
We produce premium red Cabernet-Merlot and Shiraz, a Rosé and white wines including Semillon and Chardonnay. ..... Our Cellar door is open by appointment, or Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm.
H U N T E R VA L L E Y
803 Old North Road, Rothbury Ph 0410 491 572 www.blackcreekfarm.com.au 31 | MAR-APR 2020 yhv
(Continued) stallholders who love to chat about what they do and show you their work. If you feel like something a bit more substantial than a chocolate egg or two, why not grab a bite to eat at one of the region’s fine dining restaurants or gourmet cafés. Bimbadgen will be open every day throughout Easter (excluding Good Friday). There will be lawn games and kids colouring in available along with a family deal in the pizza café. Enjoy two Pizzas and two glasses of beautiful Bimbadgen wines PLUS two kids pizzas and two kids drinks and four (yes four!) Gelato’s – all for only $60. Hunters Quarter (HQ) is a relaxed and elegant dining destination, located in the Cockfighters Ghost Vineyard of Pokolbin. With a dining space that has something for everyone, including a private terrace in the
vineyards, it’s the perfect place to while away a few hours with family, friends and fantastic food this Easter. Over the Easter weekend (excluding Good Friday), Hunters Quarter will be serving up an Easter feast for diners with a scrumptious three-course menu. Bookings are essential – phone 4998 7776. T To stay up to date with Easter opening times and events as they are announced, visit www.yourhuntervalley.com.au
TH E B I R T H P L A C E OF AUST RAL IAN WINEMAKING
WINE A W
W WINE A
WINEMAKER OF THE YEAR D
OF THE YEAR
I A N
A S P
VI SI T OU R C ELL A R DOOR Established in 1921 by legendary winemaker, Maurice O’Shea – Mount Pleasant is one of the great wine estates of Australia. Enjoy a true Hunter Valley wine tasting experience or simply take in the beautiful surrounds with a glass of wine and a cheese platter. OPEN 7 DAYS, 10AM – 4PM | ESTATE TOURS RUN DAILY AT 11AM — $5PP ON WEEKDAYS, FREE ON WEEKENDS 401 MARROWBONE ROAD POKOLBIN NSW 2320 | (02) 4998 7505 | MOUNTPLEASANTWINES.COM.AU
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Wollombi WORDS Michelle Meehan
Bordered by pristine national parks and spectacular state forests, Wollombi is a nature lover's paradise. But as the southern gateway to the Hunter Valley, and the point where the convict-built Great North Road diverges to usher travellers north towards Singleton, and north-east to Cessnock and Maitland, the tiny rural hamlet is also a haven for history buffs. Prior to European settlement, the land around Wollombi was a significant meeting point for various coastal Aboriginal peoples. When colonial settlers arrived in the district, the village that was established was named Wollombi, after the Aboriginal word for meeting place or meeting place of the waters. Visitors keen to explore the region’s rich indigenous heritage are in for a treat, with more than 300 significant Aboriginal sites dating back over 13,000 years in the area. Many sites in Yengo National Park and surrounds are well-preserved and can be visited via walking and driving tracks. The Finchley cultural walk in the Yengo National Park offers an easy 1km-return trip packed with amazing ancient Aboriginal rock art and a wealth of insights into local Aboriginal history. Taking in the Finchley Aboriginal engravings, renowned as one of the best Aboriginal sites in Australia, the walk also features a number of informative signs along the way that give insight into the Aboriginal culture of the area. GIRRI GIRRA offers Aboriginal guided bush walks through Yengo and the Wollombi Valley, with the tours taking in a host of indigenous sites including caves, carvings and the mind-blowing view from the Finchley Trig lookout, as well as sharing local cultural stories and experiences. Farmers moving north from the Hawkesbury River district and the MacDonald Valley were among the first Europeans to settle in the
Wollombi area, which was established as the administrative centre of the district in the 1830's. Wheat became one of the core agricultural industries from 1844 until rust disease devastated the area in the 1870's, and by the early 1900's the coal mining industry was taking off in the wider Hunter Valley, with Cessnock taking over from Wollombi as the commercial hub. Farming activities continued in Wollombi, although crops were replaced with livestock operations, while timber from the local area was felled and sent to Cessnock for use in the mines. The Historic Wollombi Walk offers the perfect introduction to the colonial heritage of the picturesque village, covering just 1km with an easy trail that meanders past 19th-century sandstone buildings and timber slab constructed cottages and sheds. The walk kicks off at St John’s Anglican Church, which was designed in a pointed Gothic style by Edmund Blacket and consecrated by Bishop Tyrrell in 1849. Stained glass windows within the church provide memorials to past parishioners. This is one of two local churches featured on the walk, with a later stop taking in St Michael’s Catholic Church, which was built at Cunneens Bridge in 1840 but relocated to its current position on higher ground following the flood of 1893. The diversity of Wollombi’s early colonial history and everyday life in the village can be seen on the third stop of the Historic Wollombi Walk, which visits the Endeavour Museum. The museum is located in the former police station and courthouse, which was built on the site in 1866. The building features fine timber fittings made from locally-sourced red cedar, including the courthouse doors, railings and magistrate’s bench, while the rear of the structure features two cells, which were once used to house prisoners, as well as a wire exercise yard. The former police station was converted for use as a museum in 1970, with an additional building constructed at the rear in 2008 to showcase local agricultural machinery and equipment. A popular stop on the walk will no doubt be the historic Wollombi Tavern (once known as the Wollombi Wine Saloon), which has been the focal point of social activities in the town since 1868. The original building was owned by Mel Jurd, the creator of the locally-renowned alcoholic concoction Dr Jurd’s Jungle Juice. It burned down in 1959 and was replaced by the current building. Other historic sites on offer along the 1km trail include a former blacksmith and wagon building business (The Forge), the police residence (built in 1900), the former overland telegraph office, which was established in 1860 as part of the Sydney to Brisbane telegraph line, and Ken’s Folly, a two-storey stone building built around 1890. Part of the building was leased in the early 1900's to district road engineer Robert Gordon Edgell, who went on to establish the Edgell food canning company near Bathurst.
To learn more about the history of Wollombi and what else there is to offer, go to www.visitwollombi.com.au
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Signature WINES Standing on the Shoulders of Giants
WORDS Quentin von Essen
The Hunter Valley is the country’s oldest and premier wine region, where the pleasures of eating and drinking wine are celebrated daily. This exquisite area has been built on 185 years of passion and dedication to the craft, resulting in the production of many world-class wines and in particular some of the world's best and most distinctive styles of Semillon and Shiraz which are the hallmark of this region. The most recognised of these is Hunter Valley Semillon – the Hunter Valley’s flagship variety providing a truly outstanding example of this wine in terms of quality and taste and with a style that has not been replicated anywhere else in the world. As a cellaring wine, it is one of the greatest whites in the world and can live for a good 20 years, often much longer. Other varieties grown include Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Verdelho which have all produced great Hunter wines. The region is also home to a talented list of winemakers who are at the forefront of innovative and new varieties that include Pinot Grigio, Viognier, Gewurztraminer, Chambourcin, Sangiovese and Barbera amongst others. Of the more than 140 cellar doors making up the various Hunter Valley wine trails, you would be hard-pressed to find one that did not include a Semillon or Shiraz amongst their flagship or most awarded wines.
So, what makes a flagship wine?
It’s a very subjective category with different winemakers or vignerons providing very different responses on what they consider to be the makings of a flagship wine. The term "signature" or "flagship" wine does not have a specific definition within the wine industry, so there are no hard and fast rules dictating how a winery chooses their flagship wine or even if they have one. If a winery does have a flagship wine it could be based on their most awarded wine; a winemakers favourite wine that he or she produced or one that the winemaker believes best represents the style that he or she is trying to achieve. At the end of the day, the common theme amongst winemakers is that these are not wines made from a desire to have a flagship wine or to aspire to icon status. Instead, these are wines of exceptional quality – wines that reflect the characteristics specific to the winemaker’s vineyard and reflects the typical style of the person who has made it. A wine that
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embodies the grape varietal and region in which it was grown. The benefit of having a flagship wine is that it enables consumers to be able to recall, differentiate and recognise the winery. It doesn’t have to be based on a grape variety, but instead could be a blend, a wine style, such as sparkling or Rosé, or even a unique winemaking technique. This principle also applies to wine-growing regions throughout the world with some wine regions receiving global recognition for producing excellent wines amongst certain varieties. For France (Burgundy) it’s Pinot Noir and Chardonnay; for Italy (and in particular Tuscany) it’s Sangiovese; in Southern Italy it’s Taurasi; in South Africa its Chenin Blanc and the unique variety of Pinotage; in Argentina it’s Malbec; for Chile its Cabernet Sauvignon; for New Zealand, it’s Sauvignon Blanc; for Portugal (Madeira) it’s Verdelho and for the major Spanish wine regions it’s Tempranillo. Closer to home the flagship variety for the Hunter Valley is its worldfamous Semillon which wine critic Jancis Robinson once described as "Australia's wine gift to the world" and Shiraz. For the Swan Valley, it’s Verdelho and South Australia’s Clare Valley is better known for its Riesling. In the Yarra Valley and the Tamar Valley in Tasmania, the flagship variety is Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The Barossa Valley is primarily known for its red wine, and in particular Shiraz and for the Margaret River, it’s Cabernet Sauvignon. These flagship varieties serve as a means to attract consumers to a wine region or a particular winery and to experience all the other varieties and everything else on offer in the region – wines that are of exceptional quality, that are emblematic of the region, terroir, winemaker, and grape.
Signature Wines Petersons Wines
2017 Petersons Back Block Shiraz Hunter Valley | $95 The “Back Block” Shiraz is only produced in the very best years with exceptional fruit from a single parcel of vines located in front of their cellar door at Mount View. Originally planted in 1972, these vines consistently produce some of the most exceptional fruit in the Hunter. TASTING Layers of complexity, elegance and finesse. The upfront fruit flavours are of overly ripe raspberries and blackcurrant. The mid palate is broad with a cashew nut oak flavour. There are also hints of Chinese five spice and sweet soy sauce. The back palate is long with a silken mouthfeel and flavours that lingers. FOOD MATCH Fillet mignon, venison pie with potato mash peas, smoked cheddar cheese. CELLARING 5 – 10 years. (Decant before consumption)
Thélème Wines 2019 Cabernet Merlot | $32 Our Thélème Cabernet Merlot is directly inspired by the French Bordeaux style wines. The Cabernet and Merlot grapes are pressed altogether and the wine is fermented and matured in French oak barrels. TASTING Dense colour, glossy and bright. Fresh Cabernet varietals on the nose with some cassis. Ripe fruit core on the palate, the Merlot component softens the fruit and tannins. Well balanced and soft finish. FOOD MATCH Delicate flavoured food such as roasted lamb, duck or mushroom risotto. CELLARING Drink young or cellar for 9 to 10 years to enable a full expression of the long Cabernet flavours.
2017 H.A.E Single Vineyard Shiraz | $60
Copper Shiraz, 2017 | $35
2017 was an outstanding Hunter vintage given the hot and dry conditions. Only 150 dozen cases of this high quality Shiraz were produced from single vineyard estate grown fruit. Hand pruned and handpicked to ensure exceptional quality. It also took out the Gold Medal at the 2018 Hunter Valley Boutique Show. TASTING Intense black/purple colour, with ripe dark fruits and pepper on the nose. A well structured and balanced palate, with loads of spice and layers to complement the outstanding fruit weight. Framed magnificently with skillful use of high quality French oak barriques. A big red, from a big Hunter vintage! FOOD MATCH Suited perfectly with Beef Burgundy. CELLARING Comfortably store for 25+ years.
The Copper series takes Tempus Two's winemaking spirit to a new level, offering hand-crafted, old world-style wines with an Australian twist. The Copper series is the epitome of modern style meets classic finesse. TASTING This elegant, cool climate, Gundagai Shiraz is a stunning addition to the Tempus Two portfolio. Red fruits dominate it’s very lifted and intense aroma, harmonising perfectly with star anise and mocha which flow seamlessly through rustic, fine grained tannins for a persistent and lengthy finish. This wine is aged on American and French oak for 14 months to add further depth and complexity. FOOD MATCH A perfect accompaniment to hearty meat dishes including roast lamb or rare fillet of steak. CELLARING Up to 10 years.
McLeish Estate Wines
2009 Cellar Reserve Semillon | $125
McGuigan Personal Reserve Chardonnay 2018 | $50
Produced using hand-harvested fruit from the single vineyard planted in 1985. The pedigree of the estate has seen over fifty Trophies awarded to the McLeish Semillon. This 2009 Semillon is rated 96/100 in the Australian Wine Companion, and has received 6 Trophies and 17 Gold medals. TASTING Displays a light gold with olive green tints and beguiles with scents of jasmine, lemon zest and lanolin. Find vibrant grapefruit flavour on the front of the palate and honeydew melon, sherbet and leatherwood honey and toast integrate on the middle palate. The finish brings in mineral-edged acid. FOOD MATCH Myrtle-crusted salmon fillets with lemon-buttered papardelle. CELLARING Drink now to 2026.
Personal Reserve represents the pinnacle of McGuigan and are wines exclusive to their Hunter Valley Cellar Door. These wines are produced from super-premium, low cropping vineyards and produced in limited quantities depending on the availability of grapes. TASTING Pale yellow in colour, McGuigan's Hunter Ridge Chardonnay has lifted floral aromas with notes of marmalade, orange peel and subtle French oak. The palate is full-bodied and balanced with bright, fresh acididty. FOOD MATCH This wine is perfectly matched with creamy pasta dishes, or light chicken dishes and salads. CELLARING Ideal drinking now, but will easily cellar 5 to 10 years.
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AUSTRALIAN ALPACA BARN
SPECIALISING IN QUALITY AUSTRALIAN ALPACA FASHION, HOMEWARES & ACCESSORIES
Open 7 Days 10am–5pm Peppers Creek on Broke Road, Pokolbin Hunter Valley Gardens Shopping Village, Pokolbin 155 Swan Street, Morpeth PH 4998 6669 • www.australianalpaca.com
Morpeth Antique Centre Discover 25 dealers
and The Servant’s Quarters Tearoom, all under one roof. All things Ancient, Antique, Vintage, Retro, Heirloom, Collectable.
OPEN 10am – 5pm, Thursday to Sunday and long weekend public holiday Mondays 175 Swan Street, Morpeth, Hunter Valley PH 02 4933 1407 E firstname.lastname@example.org www.morpethantiquecentre.com
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Get an Education…
The fun side of seeing a winery in action is when the grapes are being picked and put through the crusher at the winery – which for the Hunter Valley happens mostly in January and February. For the rest of the year, action in the winery is generally pretty quiet. Luckily, you can experience a whole year of winemaking condensed into a short 15-minute visual presentation at the Hunter Wine Theatre at Hunter Resort. The presentation gives the audience an insight into the Hunter Valleys wine heritage, grapevine maintenance and the steps in the winemaking process. After the presentation, you are invited to a 15-minute wine tutorial with the Cellarmaster. What’s the difference between a wine tutorial, and a wine tasting? A wine tasting involves tasting various wines with a view to purchasing, whereas a wine tutorial takes participants on a learning experience with a bracket of four wines. The Cellarmaster will teach you how to taste front palate sweetness, acidity, and back-palate tannins, and most importantly exercising your nose to appreciate the bouquet of the wine. The full half-hour experience is just $30pp, and the Hunter Wine Theatre is open every day at 10am and 3pm. Individual bookings are not required; however, numbers are limited for each show and times may vary, so be sure to check the website. Of course, if you have a group, you will definitely need to book. Want to know more? Also found at Hunter Resort is the Hunter Valley Wine School, which promises an education of wine during the two-hour session. Stroll through the vineyard and learn how grapevines grow, then enjoy a comprehensive winemaking tutorial with the Cellarmaster. The structured wine tutorial covers the history of wine, how wine is made, grape varieties and the art of blending. You will receive a personalised Wine Appreciation Certificate to take home with you and loads of knowledge about Hunter Wines. Usually $60 per person but if you pre-book, just $40 per person. For more information about both experiences, visit www.hunterresort.com.au
Autumn Dining Guide
THE CELLAR RESTAURANT
Esca Bimbadgen showcases Bimbadgen wines by matching them with simple, elegant food in a jaw dropping setting. A pioneer of fine dining, Esca Bimbadgen exemplifies the unique nature of a winery restaurant. The spectacular entrance suspended above the winery is second only to the view from your table.
The Cellar Restaurant delivers modern contemporary Australian cuisine, utilising local and seasonal quality ingredients. Dine in our indoor garden setting or outside in the courtyard. Try our NEW al a carte and tasting menu! Share plates are also available for lunch Monday to Sunday. Bookings recommended.
790 McDonalds Road, Pokolbin, MAP REF H12 | PH 4998 4666 email@example.com | www.bimbadgen.com.au/dining OPEN Sun to Thurs 12pm–3pm, Fri & Sat 12pm–3pm; 6pm–9pm
HVG Village, Broke Rd, Pokolbin, MAP REF K10 | PH 4998 7584 firstname.lastname@example.org | OPEN Lunch Mon– Sat; Dinner Mon–Sat | www.the-cellar-restaurant.com.au
OISHII JAPANESE THAI RESTAURANT
Specialising in friendly country hospitality, you’ll love your time at Blaxland Inn. Our menu is full of hearty meals from succulent steaks, house-made pies, and our signature garlic prawns. When reserving your table, ask about our courtesy vehicle. Suitable for up to 11 guests, conditions apply. Bookings are essential.
The name says it all... Delicious. Open daily, Oishii has become one of the most popular eateries in the epicentre of Hunter Valley wineries and concerts. The market fresh seafood Sushi and Sashimi followed by a rich Massaman Beef Curry and finished with fried ice cream – a house speciality, begs a return visit to taste their unique Prawn Tempura, Panang Duck Curry and Green Curry Chicken. Roche Estate, Cnr Broke & McDonalds Rd’s Pokolbin, MAP REF L11 OPEN 7 Days Lunch, Dinner + T/A; Home Delivery Fri–Sun 4998 7051 | www.oishii.com.au
2198 Broke Road, Pokolbin, MAP REF K12 | PH 4998 7550 email@example.com | www.blaxlandinn.com.au OPEN 7 days for Lunch & Dinner
THE WOOD RESTAURANT
We are a locally owned cafe and restaurant located in the heart of the Hunter Valley. The inviting and relaxed atmosphere makes it a great place for a quick catch up, long lunch with friends or family or a decadent 3 course dinner. Relax in our outdoor area with delicious food and a nice cold beer, glass of wine or cocktail.
Located at Brokenwood Wines magnificent new cellar door facility (voted best in the Hunter Valley 2019) The Wood Restaurant’s contemporary menu features quality locally sourced ingredients, prime cuts and market fresh seafood, cooked simply with flair.
Leisure Inn, 485 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin, MAP REF K10 PH 4998 7932 | www.andantebrasserie.com.au | OPEN 7 Days for Breakfast and Lunch; Fri, Sat and Sun for Dinner
Located at Brokenwood Wines, 401-427 McDonalds Road, Pokolbin, MAP REF L10 | PH 4993 1193 | Open 7 days for Breakfast and Lunch; Dinner Friday and Saturday
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Restaurant Trey G14 Sabor Dessert Bar K13 The Cellar Restaurant K10 The Deck Café F18 The Mill Restaurant F4 The Wood Restaurant L10
Peterson House K14 Peterons Wines R12 Pokolbin Estate M10 Running Horse Wines J3 Saddlers Creek Wines Q13 Tamburlaine Organic Wines M10 Tempus Two J10 Thélème Wines C11 Tin�lla Estate E4 The Garden Cellars K10
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Aerohunter Adventure Flights L15 A Li�le Bit of Italy in Broke J3 Balloon Alo� (Pickup Point) K14 Hunter Valley Adventure Centre – Segways, Horseriding, Electric Bikes F5 HV Horseriding & Adventures D17 Hunter Valley Gardens K10 Hunter Valley Wine Theatre F5 Hunter Valley Wine School F5 Kurri Kurri Nostalgia Fes�val P20 Lovedale Long Lunch I16 Morpeth Gallery C18
Handmade in the Hunter Markets K12
Australian Alpaca Barn K9/K10 Australian Alpaca Barn (Morpeth) B19 Hunter Valley Gardens Shopping Village K10 Morpeth An�que Centre (Morpeth) C18 Mortels B16 The Garden Cellars K10 Wine Glass Gallery K10
Emma’s Cottage as opened the new Restaurant Trey (G14)
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Narone Creek Rd
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Cessnock Regional Art Gallery
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Saddler’s Creek Wines
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A new Autumn Menu at Hunter’s Quarter (M9)
Oishii Japanese Thai is open 7 days (J10)
Mount Pleasant Wines
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For an altogether sweet experience, a visit to Sabor Dessert Bar is a MUST! The Sabor Dessert Menu features over 50 different desserts, each one created individually. Nothing is served by the slice and this brings a new level of culinary delight to desserts in the Hunter Valley. Pair something scrumptious with a delicious Hunter Valley wine... Itâ€™s a unique Hunter Valley experience that you can only enjoy at Sabor Dessert Bar. Indulge in multi-award winning Portuguese chocolate mousse, decadent cakes, pastries, hand-made chocolates, Portuguese tarts and gourmet ice-cream. There is also a large range of gluten free desserts, barista-made Glinelli coffee and a selection of teas to enjoy with our amazing view of the vines and mountain ranges or to take away and savour in your home or hotel.
Enjoy a world of desserts at Sabor Dessert Bar in Pokolbin!
2342 Broke Rd, Pokolbin Open Thurs & Fri 10am - 4.30pm, Sat 10am - 5.30pm, Sun & Mon 10am - 4.30pm PH 1300 958 939 â€˘ www.sabordessertbar.com.au