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M A RC H 2 0 14

The No.1 magazine g for visitors to Hunter Valleyy Wine Co Country


Community Issue

NEW EXPRESSWAY Brings Wine Country Closer


Returns to the Hunter



march SATURDAY 8TH MARCH 2014 | JOHN FARNHAM & LIONEL RICHIE at Tempus Two | Five- me Grammy winner Lionel Richie is a music icon known for his solo hits and as a member of the Commodores. Collec vely he has sold more than 100 million albums, and wri en and recorded chart-topping hits. John Farnham, a master performer whose classic album “Whispering Jack” is owned by one in four Australians, has a long-held nickname that s ll says it all: The Voice. Lionel Richie and John Farnham promises to be a not-to-be-missed concert at a unique loca on. Witness these two incredible performers singing all the hits — old, new and reimagined. For more informa on visit

8TH—9TH MARCH 2014 | FESTIVAL OF TWO PALETTES at Morpeth Gallery Fes val of Two Pale es is the perfect recipe for gourmet glamour, entertaining and inspira on. Over 2 days, you will be able to see famous ar sts create their ul mate pain ngs while you sip, sample and graze your way through the fes val. Take part in wine tas ngs and art tutorials. Learn from the experts in one of the many pain ng demonstra ons or have a glass of wine with your favourite ar st. For more informa on visit

SATURDAY 8TH MARCH 2014 | FLICKERFEST—23RD INTERNATIONAL SHORT FILM FESTIVAL at James Theatre Dungog | Flickerfest is Australia’s only Academy Accredited Interna onal Short Film Fes val. It returns this year with an entertaining award-winning selec on of Australian (and Interna onal) shorts handpicked from over 2,300 entries, all sure to inspire audiences with the most “spectacular short films with soul” available in world cinema today. It’s a

great opportunity to spend the day (or weekend) in Dungog and enjoy a full range of wonderful short films. For more informa on visit

SATURDAY 8TH & SUNDAY 9TH MARCH 2014 | MAITLAND TASTE FESTIVAL throughout Maitland | The Maitland Taste, Food, Wine and Music Fes val returns to Maitland City Centre this year over two days in March for a colourful celebra on of the Hunter’s finest food, wine and music. Cooking demonstra ons will showcase the talents of some of the Hunter’s most renowned chefs, who will get the taste buds ngling as they slice, dice and sauté their way to foodie heaven. Esteemed winemakers from around the region will also be on hand to complement the smorgasbord of treats. Atmospheric entertainment will be provided by local musicians and there will be plenty of children's entertainment and ac vi es.

14TH—16TH MARCH 2014 | CMC ROCKS THE HUNTER at Hope Estate This 3-day fes val, held at Hope Estate, is one of the biggest and most-an cipated music events each year. Now in its seventh year of opera on and fourth year in the Hunter, CMC Rocks the Hunter fes val has established itself as the biggest Interna onal Country and Roots Fes val outside of North America and one of the premiere events on the Australian music calendar. For more informa on and cket sales visit


ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES: PH +61 2 4967 3200 WCP MEDIA 12 Hanbury St, Mayfield NSW 2304 March 2014. Copyright © 2014 WCP Media. Published monthly by WCP Media. All rights reserved. Permission to reprint or quote excerpt granted by wri en request only. While every a empt has been made, WCP Media cannot guarantee the legality, completeness or accuracy of the informa on presented and accepts no warranty or responsibility for such.

SPECIAL OFFERS AVAILABLE from 1st March 2014 until the 31st March 2014 inclusive or while stocks last.

SATURDAY 22ND MARCH 2014 | JIMMY BARNES IN A DAY OF CLASSIC AUSSIE ROCK! A Day on the Green at Bimbadgen | Due to overwhelming demand, the very-popular a day on the green classic Aussie rock show is back! The concerts held in the past two years have absolutely gone off, but we’re predic ng this year’s event may well up the ante even further. Bimbadgen Winery will rock to the sounds of Jimmy Barnes, the Angels with Dave Gleeson, Ian ‘Mossy’ Moss, Richard Clapton, Daryl Braithwaite and Boom Crash Opera. That’s six incredible acts and more than five hours of some of the greatest Australian rock ever produced! For more informa on and ckets visit

28TH—30TH MARCH 2014 | KURRI KURRI NOSTALGIA FESTIVAL throughout Kurri Kurri | The Kurri Kurri Nostalgia Fes val is now in its second decade and has established itself as one of the Hunter's premier fes vals, featuring all things 1950s - rock n roll, cars, music, fashion and dancing. The three day program of events includes the Show and Shine vintage car display, retro market stalls, talent quests, fashion parades, Rock n Roll dancing and plenty of live entertainment in the main street of Kurri and at the local clubs. Most of the events are free with entry to the various club shows and dance events varying in price. Check out the website for a program of events and loca on map.


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GET MOBILE! View this month’s issue of The Hunter Blackboard on your iPhone, iPad, android tablet or android phone. Simply download the QR Code and get mobile!

from the

EDITORS Welcome to the annual “Community” issue of the Hunter Blackboard. As with previous community themed issues, we hope that this issue will be as popular for our locals as it is for visitors to the area.

I recently overheard a local resident proudly describing The Hunter Blackboard to a visitor as being “our magazine”. Around about the same me, our local library called to ask if we could drop off a bundle of magazines each This month’s theme got us talking about month because they “get asked for it all our local community in the Hunter Valley the me”. and how different it is to the one we le behind in Sydney almost eight years ago. These two unrelated incidences made me realise that without knowing it, we I recall looking out our back window in had managed to give something back to June 2007 (the last me the area our community in the unlikely form of a experienced serious flooding) and monthly magazine. witnessing a huddle of locals with flashlights, raincoats and shovels helping The Hunter Blackboard wasn't originally my husband fix an overflowing tank. designed with this purpose in mind. It When the local RFS rep arrived with a was created to entertain visitors, much needed pump to assist, I trekked communicate local events and out with some beers to discover that our achievements and support local neighbour had no ced we were having businesses (but that’s a whole other problems and had phoned around for story!) helpers. We are really proud that our local The country camaraderie and willingness community has taken ownership of our to roll up sleeves and help someone in humble magazine and made it part of the need (even if they are a total stranger) is iden ty of the Hunter Valley. We hope a dis nguishing feature of our local you enjoy reading this issue as much as community and one we should be very we have enjoyed pu ng it together for proud of. you.

HIGHLIGHTS COVER STORY | HIGHWAY TO HEAVEN New Expressway brings Wine Country closer for visitors to the area, making a day trip an easy drive….. Cover image courtesy of NSW Roads & MariƟme Services


THE GUM BALL | April see’s the 10 year anniversary for the Gum Ball Music Fes val. In this issue we find out how this musical feast has become a much-loved event in the Hunter Valley calendar….

WEDDING SPECIAL | Wine Country Weddings are unique in their loca on and relaxed country style. Our special feature helps couples plan for the big day….

HUNTER BLACKBOARD MAP | A popular addi on to each and every issue. Use it to find your way around Wine Country...

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HUNTER VALLEY CHARDONNAY| Chardonnay is one of the world’s greatest grape varie es that grows well in a variety of loca ons throughout the world and especially in the Hunter...


SHOWCASING OUR COMMUNITY| Hand Made in the Hunter Markets are the brain-child of local Karen Rowe and this month they celebrate their 3rd birthday. We speak to Karen about how the markets have benefited the local cra community...


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Join Cessnock Regional Art Gallery as they celebrate the art of map embroidery in their latest exhibi on Maps - you are here, a unique display of embroidered maps from eleven of the finest female prac oners. This exhibi on marks a revival of the cra of map embroidery, which was a popular pas me for women and children from the me of James Cook's discovery of Australia un l the middle of the nineteenth century. Captain Cook's wife Elizabeth was a keen embroiderer of maps and it was her depic on of the Western Hemisphere, held by the Mari me Museum in Sydney, that provided the impetus for this exhibi on which will run un l March 16th. As Elizabeth Cook s tched the line that indicated the route of her dead husband’s travels she also s tched her thoughts, her memories, her past and future, just as the makers of these works explore their past, present and future through this once-forgo en medium. This exhibi on will be followed by ReflecƟons on the Hunter, an explora on of the region by ar sts Brian Roberts and Shirley CameronRoberts. Brian's luscious oils portray the big picture, with drama c pain ngs of sea and land as well as a glimpse of the people and creatures that live there. Shirley's works concentrate on her immediate surroundings, portray natural forms and the small creatures that inhabit them. Visit the gallery for the free opening of ReflecƟons on the Hunter on Saturday 22nd March at 2pm, or drop in any me to view the exhibi on.

PARTY LIKE An Irishman!

St. Patrick’s Day at Harrigan’s Hunter Valley will have patrons celebra ng like true Irishmen and women with Guinness set to flow and a long weekend full of entertainment and ac vi es planned, ensuring a St. Paddy’s Day to remember. The Irish Pub will celebrate the life and work of St. Patrick in the tradi onal way with music, Guinness and laughs to be shared by all who a end. Celebra ons will begin on Saturday 15th & Sunday 16th with the very best entertainment for all ages to kick off the party.

“Treading Carefully”

On Monday 17th March, the official St. Patrick’s Day, a Pipe band will play along with tradi onal Irish Dancers who’ll have everyone at Harrigan’s Hunter Valley on their feet celebra ng during this fun event for both Australians and Irishmen. Guests are encouraged to dress up in the tradi onal green colour that marks the special day, with plenty of giveaways, and a guarantee that the ‘Craic will be mighty’. Brendon Currie, Manager of Harrigan’s says, “St. Patrick’s Day is a fabulous me to visit Harrigan’s. We have an excellent mix of Irish people and Australians looking to celebrate the day over a pint of Guinness”. The tradi onal Harrigan’s Australian Irish Bistro will be serving all of the old favourites including the famous Beef & Guinness pie, fish and chips and a few special Irish dishes for families to enjoy.” For further informa on regarding entertainment, dinner bookings and accommoda on at Harrigan’s Hunter Valley visit


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TAKE THE WHOLE DAY To Relax & Explore Nestled at the foothills of the Brokenback Ranges, right in the heart of the Hunter vineyards, you will find one of Australia’s premier aƩracƟons - Hunter Valley Gardens. Consis ng of over 60 acres of spectacular interna onal display gardens that will heighten your senses, Hunter Valley Gardens offer a wonderful display of sight, colour and fragrance. With over eight kilometres of walking paths, visitors are able to explore each of the ten individual feature gardens consis ng of more than six thousand trees, one million ground covers and six hundred thousand shrubs and a range of statuary, all of a standard you won’t see elsewhere in Australia. During your visit you can also explore Hunter Valley Gardens Village, a bou que shopping village with numerous retail outlets, cafes and a rac ons or perhaps enjoy a picnic near the fully enclosed children’s playground. There is so much to see and do at Hunter Valley Gardens, so why not stay overnight and come back to take advantage of everything the property has to offer?




One visit simply won’t be enough to take in all there is to see and do at Hunter Valley Gardens! For more informa on about Hunter Valley Gardens visit and for the Shopping Village visit

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Hunter Valley Liqueurs & Baerami Olives (pronounced “buh-raa-mee”) Hunter Valley Liqueurs & Baerami Olives is a shopping experience that has to be seen to be believed! Located in Hunter Valley Gardens Shopping Village next door to the Hunter Valley Chocolate Company, Hunter Valley Liqueurs along with Baerami Olives offer a unique taste experience which includes new seasons extra virgin olive oils, infused olive oils, vinegars and a large range of speciality Hunter cra ed liqueurs coupled with an impressive array of European glass bo les to customise your purchase. The oils are grown and processed on the family farm and sold exclusively in the Hunter Valley. They also specialise in “something different” and can tailor-make corporate gi packages, and unique wedding bonbonnieres. Drop in and say hello to Jess and Margaret and make sure you sample the Chocolate Port (awesome!) and the amazing range of stuffed olives. Open 7 days a week from 10am to 5pm


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The Hunter 2014 Recognised as one of the most anƟcipated premiere events on the Australian music calendar CMC Rocks The Hunter has also established itself as the biggest InternaƟonal country and roots fesƟval in the southern hemisphere and outside of North America.

Now in its seventh year of opera on and fourth year in the Hunter, CMC Rocks the Hunter bring together the best interna onal and local country and roots performers for the 3 day fes val held at Hope Estate in Pokolbin with an average daily a endance of 10,000 people. This year’s event (March 14th—16th) is par cularly exci ng for country music fans with one of the biggest superstars of country music Toby Keith making his first ever trip to Australia to headline the 2014 music fes val. With his 20 years of performing incredible hits, the release of sixteen studio albums, three compila on albums, nineteen Number One hits and sales of more than 40 million albums worldwide, Toby is sure to blow the punters away. Joining him, will be the American based, hard partying, yet endearing singer/songwriter Gretchen Wilson who is making her first trip to Australia since her brief promo tour in 2004 and will no doubt be including her worldwide smash hit ‘Redneck Woman’ and debut album ‘Here for the Party’ in her performance. Along with Gretchen, are interna onal and local ar sts which include Lee Kernaghan, Craig Campbell (USA), Clay Walker (USA), Thompson Square (USA), Jim Lauderdale (USA), James Reyne, Shane Nicholson, Jedd Hughes, Blackjack Billy (USA), Busby Marou, Love and The (USA) and many more. Rob Po s Entertainment Edge, Chugg Entertainment and Foxtel’s Country Music Channel (CMC) are also pleased to announce that the Eli Young Band (USA), Kellie Pickler (USA), Jayne Denham, The Davidson Brothers, Aleyce Simmonds, Mustered Courage, Wagons, Kaylee Bell (NZ), Lachlan Bryan, Li le Bastard and Corey Colum will also be there for the party. Execu ve Chairman of Chugg Entertainment, Michael Chugg said, '' This is the most interna onal ar sts we've ever had at CMC Rocks so it's going to make an unbelievable weekend of music" The fes val will also see the return of the CMC Rocks Songwriters Shows, held on Saturday and Sunday a ernoon in the Campers' Bar and open to all patrons of the fes val. Each show will feature some of the most successful singer-songwriters in country and roots music, playing their biggest hits in an in mate se ng. Once again, camping will be available on site. The late-night Campers' Bar (exclusively for campers) will be back in ac on on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, following the conclusion of the main stage program. For ckets, camping, travel and accommoda on details go to

A rac ng more than 20,000 people each year, the Lovedale Long Lunch is a progressive-type lunch involving seven bou que wineries and a selec on of the regions finest restaurants and live entertainment. Long Lunch-goers then get to wine and dine their way around the par cipa ng wineries over the weekend enjoying a glass of wine, gourmet food and fabulous music and art which add to the total indulgence of the senses. So, mark the weekend of May 17th and 18th in your diary for the finest food, wine and entertainment experience the Hunter has to offer.

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Hunter Valley Wine Country has long been “heaven” for lovers of food and wine from around Australia... and it’s just about to become closer!

To Heaven While Prime Minister Tony AbboƩ may not be able to take credit for the Hunter Expressway, he did make the commitment to ensure that ''the roads and infrastructure of the 21st century are converted into real acƟon'' and the development of the M15 Hunter Expressway certainly qualifies as a new-millennium infrastructure.

diversion of traffic away from Cessnock will have a detrimental impact on their business. While the economic effects of the expressway will not be known un l it opens, many see it as an opportunity for Cessnock to become more of a des na on than a pass-through area. Others also see it as an opportunity to redevelop the older buildings in the town centre as residen al development, along with more services and cafe-style businesses.

A er delaying the planned opening in December by 3 months, the state's biggest infrastructure project, the $1.7 billion, 40-kilometre, four-lane M15 Hunter Expressway, is now expected to open in March with final road The greater Hunter Region, which includes Newcastle, is one of the surfacing, line marking, landscaping, wire rope barrier and sign installa on strongest markets for na onal and interna onal tourism in NSW, ranking as the most popular tourist des na on outside Sydney and the sixth most work now being carried out. visited place in Australia. This significant east-west connec on is a four lane expressway between the M1 Pacific Motorway and the New England Highway west of Branxton As one of the premier des na ons within the Hunter region, a rac ng over 2.5 million visitors each year, the opening of the Hunter Expressway, and promises to significantly cut travel mes and create an economic ensures that Hunter Valley Wine Country becomes a step closer and far boom for the region. It is expected that between 30,000 and 40,000 more accessible to both the Sydney and Newcastle markets. vehicles will use the Hunter Expressway each day. ''The full 40-kilometre project will open in March'' an RMS spokesman said of the expected opening date which will be communicated to the public via the media, Roads and Mari me website and signage along the main routes to the Expressway including the M1 Pacific Motorway and New England Highway.

The area has grown in popularity as a conference and conven on hub, with consistent growth over the past decade. The improved roads, accessibility and reduced travel me from Sydney and Newcastle is expected to have a significant effect on both day trips and overnight visita on to the region as well as its popularity as a conference des na on.

It's a massive project which includes 52 bridges with viaducts spanning a This growth of tourism in the Hunter Valley goes beyond the expansion of total of 785 metres across steep gullies through the Sugarloaf range some of which are 42 metres high. Six interchanges have also been built at the wineries and restaurants, with many hospitality and tourist related the M1 Pacific Motorway & Newcastle Link Road, Buchanan, Kurri-Kurri, developments also emerging in recent years. Loxford, Allandale and Branxton. Two further developments, yet to be approved by Council, are the $620 Cessnock mayor Bob Pynsent has also praised the project - describing it as million development planned for AnviL Creek and the $150 million Golden an example of ''brilliant engineering'' that will have significant benefits for Bear Resort to be built opposite the Vintage on Wine Country Drive. Both projects include the development of an interna onal standard 18 hole golf the region and in par cular for the towns of Cessnock, Kurri-Kurri and course and club house, a hotel, residen al dwellings and tourist Branxton. accommoda on buildings. Also included are retail areas, a health spa, gym Although travel mes between Newcastle and the Hunter will be reduced and func on facili es. by an es mated 28 minutes, it's the improvement to the efficiency of the na onal network that is equally as important. The new freeway will With the opening of the Hunter Expressway this month and the planned provide a more direct and efficient route for freight movements between future development of high grade tourist related facili es, Hunter Valley the Port of Newcastle and the Upper Hunter, northern and central NSW Wine Country is all set to become a key conference and business and central Queensland. conven on hub for the region and Australia's major tourist des na on. The development of the expressway, however, has not been welcomed by Images courtesy of NSW Roads & MariƟme Services all with many Cessnock business owners expressing concern that the

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Not everyone has ambiƟons to start their own music fesƟval in their front yard, but a young 21 year old, MaƩ Johnston set out to do just that. His goal was to bring people and music together, outdoors in a natural environment and without the hassles that typified other fesƟvals. 'I'd been travelling for a while, was feeling a bit restless and woke up one morning with the monumental and yet seemingly simple idea to start a music fes val in the front yard'', explains Ma when recalling how it all came about. Ma Johnston, now 31, turned his dream into a reality when his first music fes val ''The Gum Ball'' kicked off in April 2005 in the front yard of his parents’ property known as ''Dashville'' at Belford in the Lower Hunter Valley.

of Passion, Sweat and Tears of Joy!

As a result of this hard work and dedica on, the Gum Ball has gained widespread recogni on and respect in the community as well as the support of local tourism bodies and council. To work in with the Anzac Day weekend, in 2013 the fes val expanded from 2 days to 3 and with over 36 bands performing, including a special ANZAC Day performance of 'I was Only 19' by John Schumann of Red Gum. Ma highlights last year as one of the greatest and most surreal moments he could ever imagine, made even more memorable by the fact that he chose the third day of the fes val to propose to Jess in front of over 1600 people.

Although rela vely small this down to earth annual event has a great vibe from the moment you arrive. Exci ng and yet also relaxing this weekend fes val provides a taste of country living in a laid back, hassle free environment. With the freedom to bring your own drinks, the Gum Ball is Now in its 10th consecu ve year, The Gum Ball has grown in popularity one of the most chilled out small fes vals around where you can truly and presence to the point where it is now a sell out success year a er year enjoy music the way nature intended. and considered by many to be one of the best bou que fes vals in Ma a ributes the unique atmosphere and family-friendly nature of The Australia. Gum Ball as the reason it has sustained a growing popularity over the Supported by his family and partner Jess, the fes val is very much a family years. opera on with both Ma and Jess working around their other jobs to “People have become ‘fes val experts’- they go to so many events, that organise and tackle the myriad of constant challenges confron ng them they begin to realise what they want in their down me. In our experience with each new fes val. people are seeking comfort, serenity and uncomplicated set ups to help Ma personally organises and co-ordinates each fes val which all have their own unique set of challenges - whether it be local government bureaucracy, the weather, lack of funds, or an ini ally divided local community. Despite all this, Ma has managed to keep his dream alive to create one of the Hunter’s most popular music fes vals

them enjoy good music making for good mes”.

With an already impressive line-up The Gum Ball 2014 is pped to be a big one. Themed as a celebra on of the best of the last 10 years with ar sts that include Hoodoo Gurus, Jinja Safari, Wolf & Cub, Adrian Edmondson and The Bad Shepherds (UK), Nicky Bomba All Stars, The Gin Club, Swamp Thing (NZ), Lindi Ortega (CAN), Damien Dempsey (IRE), The Hello Morning, ''It’s been a rollercoaster of passion, fa gue, joy and hindsight. In the end Tropical Zombie, the psychedelic party me band King Gizzard and The though, the reason we keep pu ng The Gum Ball on is for the people that Lizard Wizard and a return performance from Mia Dyson as well as a come to the fes val and make it what it is”, said Ma of his epic 10 year number of fresh and long awaited inclusions. journey in the compe ve Australian fes val market. The event is set to take place again at the pris ne country venue ‘Dashville’, in Lower Belford, on Friday 11th and Saturday 12th April 2014.


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For further informa on on the event and line-up of performers including direc ons on how to get there, visit

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OŌen referred to as the ''Heart of the Hunter'', Lovedale is located just east of Pokolbin and is renown for its interesƟng community, awardwinning wines, family owned and operated cellar doors, quality bouƟque accommodaƟon, fine restaurants, unique galleries and of course the annual Lovedale Long Lunch.

Lovedale also hosts a number of events throughout the year, with the signature event being the famous Lovedale Long Lunch held on the third The name Lovedale combines the name of one of the early families of the weekend in May each year. Now in its 21st year, this popular wine, food district, the ''Loves'', with the memory of the dales of Yorkshire in England. and music fes val a racts up to 20,000 people over the two day event,. The Love’s Winery on Lovedale Road (near what is now Allandale Wines and Capercaillie), processed grapes from other vineyards as well as their Lovedale is fast becoming popular amongst wine and food lovers. With a own and closed in 1927. vast selec on of bou que accommoda on to choose from and a wine and food trail made up of 12 cellar doors and 10 restaurants, Lovedale offers As one of the oldest wine producing regions of the Hunter Valley, the the perfect couples weekend away and the ideal opportunity to history of Lovedale dates back to the 1800s when local wheat, dairy and experience some of the best wine and food the Hunter has to offer. general produce farmers turned their hand to grape growing. If you re of wine tas ng, you can visit a few local galleries with Emmas Se lement in Lovedale dates prior to 1825 when there were significant Co age Vineyard Gallery and Ogishi Cra Centre being within close land grants along Black Creek. This area was par cularly suitable for proximity of each other, or pamper yourself with a spa treatment at vineyards and was also favoured for its proximity to the 'Old North Road' Reflec ons Day Spa at Adina Vineyard. Alterna vely visit the Hunter Valley to Windsor. Chocolate Factory or Sabor in the Hunter Dessert Bar for a pure chocolate Before the 1920s there were more wineries in the area than there are indulgence. For those who are feeling a li le more adventurous, go horsetoday. Unfortunately by the late 1920's most of the Lovedale vineyards riding at Hunter Valley Horse-riding & Adventures on Talga Rd or a play a ceased opera ons due to the impact of the Depression and a widespread round of golf at Hunter Valley Golf & Country Club. outbreak of downy mildew. In the 1960's the vineyards began to reWhatever you decide to do - you will always leave Lovedale wan ng to emerge and wine produc on began once again with Semillon, Shiraz, return. Visit for more informa on. Chardonnay, Verdelho, Pinot Noir being the more popular varie es grown in the area.

For lovers of CraŌ, Art & Chocolate… A Glass Studio, Art Gallery & Chocolate Café all in one!

Book a glass blowing lesson! Now taking bookings for April to June 2014 Find that unique giŌ, purchase a giŌ voucher or just browse the gallery and enjoy a scrumpƟous mug of hot chocolate.

PH 4998 7979 thb

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OPEN FRI to MON 11AM-4PM 540 Wilderness Rd, Lovedale

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14 | MARCH 2014


ine Country AUTUMN | WINTER 2014

Engraved Bottles a lasting memory for guests



“Say Cheese” the new wedding cake trend 30 Years of Peppers Retreat Girls just wanna have fun… the evolution of the Hen’s Night

Turn heads on your

Wedding Day

Zen Hair Skin Body and Sublime Weddings is a full Hairdressing Salon and Beauty Spa in one loca on in the beau ful Hunter Valley Wine region. Combining innova ve & deluxe treatments in an environmentally friendly establishment, the salon can cater to any need. Zen has fast become the preferred salon for wine country brides and it isn’t difficult to see why. Owner and Ar s c Director Rachel Kane has had 18 years in the business and knows just what it takes to turn heads on your wedding day.

To arrange a wedding consultaƟon with Rachel or her team of dedicated stylists, call the salon on 4998-6844 or visit the website at

Think outside the box

With a gift to remember

Looking for that perfect gi that stands out from the rest? Or perhaps you’d like to give your wedding guests a special gi that they'll never forget. Ivanhoe Wines have just that with their personalised engraved wines. Not only do Ivanhoe specialise in producing excep onal quality wines, they are now able to expertly engrave their wine bo les with your personalised message to create a unique gi and las ng memento of your special occasion. Any of their wines can be engraved in gold or silver and can be made for all occasions. Our miniature designer tawny port bo les are perfect for wedding bonbonniere and even if it is simply a present for a birthday or anniversary, these personalised etched wines are sure to surprise the receiver. You can also select from a range of accessories to compliment your personalised gi such as glasses and presenta on boxes. Orders are taken 7 days per week by telephone or email and can be delivered to your door in a minimum of 7 days. Think outside the box when shopping for your next special occasion and give a gi to remember with Ivanhoe’s personalised engraved wines. For more informa on visit

30 Years of Weddings... Peppers Guest House will celebrate it’s 30th Birthday later this year. That’s a lot of experience and tradi on that couples can tap into when they plan a Peppers Wedding. At Peppers Guest House they understand that every bride and groom has an individual style of wedding in mind when planning their special day, and as such offer a variety of ceremony and recep on ideas. Nestled in the heart of the Hunter Valley Wine Country with stunning views of the surrounding bushland and gardens, they offer a relaxed yet elegant se ng for your wedding ceremony, recep on or both u lising a range of on-site loca ons. Garden Ceremony: Say your vows on the Pepper Tree lawn, under a wisteria covered archway in the gardens or beside the lake. They’ll also ensure a wet weather op on is available as a backup op on so you don't even need to worry about the weather. Tallawanta Room: As the main recep on area, this private func on suite has its own pre-func on space and private garden terrace overlooking the acreage. All doors open directly to the gardens. This is a superb indoor/ outdoor se ng for weddings of 30-120 guests. Guest Lounge: Perfect for in mate winter weddings, say your vows beside the roaring fire or enjoy your wedding celebra on dinner in this cosy se ng with up to 40 guests. Barbeque dining under the stars: Available all year round and perfect for more casual weddings, enjoy an outdoor dining experience in the grounds of Peppers Guest House, complete with an exclusive campfire se ng with barbeque, bonfire in the cooler months and private barbeque chef. Available for 80 guests seated. Which ever loca on you choose for your special day, rest assured that the experience of 30 years in the business will add that professional touch to your wedding ceremony and recep on. For more informa on about Peppers Weddings visit

A farewell to unmarried life or a chance to party with friends? Whilst many brides-to-be view a hens night (also known as a bachelore e party) as a customary tradi on to be followed - o en involving a weekend at a luxurious spa, wine tours or dancing the night away. Today, these celebra ons are viewed as a fun way to say goodbye to unmarried life, but this wasn't always the case. This me-honoured tradi on of hens nights does in fact have roots that are nothing short of demure - especially when compared to modern prac ces. Originally established as a ''woman-only affair'', this pre-wedding prac ce dates back to the 1600's where it became customary for the bride-to be to spend a night in alone to contemplate her 'bo om drawer' - a dowry of precious things collected in prepara on for marriage. In contrast to the o en wild par es of today, this bride-to-be would spend the evening quietly at home with her family. As the years and centuries passed, the evening of solitude took on a new direc on and became known as ''bridal showers'', designed to supplement the brides dowry. This generally involved a formally arranged luncheon or dinner where gi s would be bestowed upon the bride by other women. Although showers are s ll quite common, the evolu on and rise in popularity of hen par es does seem to correlate to the sexual revolu on of the 1960s. As more women stood up for equality, a party to match the bachelors’ pre-wedding fes vi es became a priority. By the 1980s, the hen party was firmly entrenched as a pre-nup al tradi on - following very similar tradi ons as the bachelor party. Today a hens party can o en extend to an en re weekend of fes vi es. Despite its more subdued roots, the tradi onal hens night has evolved over me and the tradi on of staying in to reflect upon your last night of freedom and prepare yourself for marriage is long gone. Modern bridesto-be are girls who want to have fun. For more informa on about holding your Hen’s Party at Harrigan’s visit the website

Wine Country




Upper Hunter


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MARCH 2014 | 23




What is meant by a wines body? The ‘’body’’ of a wine refers to the fullness, weight and concentra on and total mouth feel of a wine. A light-bodied wine would have less concentrated flavours, while a full-bodied wine would be more concentrated. As far as heaviness is concerned, a light-bodied wine would feel similar to water in your mouth whereas a full-bodied wines would be more like milk.

Chardonnay is one of the world’s greatest grape varie es that grows well in a variety of loca ons throughout the world. Ranging from un-wooded, light and fresh to full-bodied barrel fermented and aged, this versa le grape can produce a range of styles that can be matched with just about any food The year 1971 saw the first commercial bo ling of Chardonnay - an event that sparked the beginning of the Australian Chardonnay craze. By the late 1980s and 1990s, Chardonnay became very fashionable as the stereotypical drink of young socially aware men and women. Such was the demand for Australian Chardonnay in the late 1980’s, that the area of Chardonnay vines increased more than fivefold during the decade so that in 1990, Chardonnay, became Australia’s most planted white wine grape variety. But then it all changed and very quickly too... This peak in popularity in the late 1980 and early 1990's gave way to a change in tastes. The market was drinking more red wine and there was a backlash from consumers disenfranchised by the bu ery taste and high level of oak used in these wines. Chardonnay sales declined as consumer tastes turned towards lighter wines such as pinot grigio and the crisp, juicy cool-climate sauvignon blancs. Despite this setback This adaptable and hearty grape flourishes easily in most climates and condi ons, and remains one of the most widely-planted grape varie es worldwide, is planted in more wine regions than any other and an important component of many sparkling wines around the world, including Champagne. Chardonnay is making a comeback with styles that are not as heavy as the past but instead lighter, more elegant, a li le more subtle and of course have a li le less oak. A grape offering this kind of variety and quality was never going to be eclipsed for long and it is a great me for wine consumers to revive this interest in what is considered to be one of the world's great wines. When it comes to food, Chardonnay has the poten al to be paired with a wide range of food types and is most commonly matched with poultry dishes, pork, seafood or recipes that have a heavy cream or bu er base. Enjoy the bu ery taste of a good Chardonnay with mild cheeses or a crab cake appe zer. Oysters and salmon also pair well with the citrus flavours of a crisp Chardonnay. Of course, there’s also nothing be er than a cool, sharp Chardonnay all by itself on a fine summer day and served at a moderate 12°C.

PICK OF THE CROP IVANHOE WINES | 2013 CHARDONNAY This 2013 Chardonnay from Ivanhoe Wines in Pokolbin has great colour and the beau ful oak character enhances the luscious fruit on the palate. There is a hint of stone fruit and ripe berry. 40% of the wine was stored in French and American Oak. The oak character almost gives this wine a bu ery and rich feel. A very enjoyable drop that is great to enjoy now, or would benefit with cellaring for a couple of years. It’s richness and complexity would pair well with crispy skinned chicken with fresh herbs and lightly grilled marinated lamb with wild rice. Serve chilled. Alcohol 13.5%


24 | MARCH 2014

MARCH 2014 | 25



March can be a con nuance of harvest, depending on the temperatures and how the vintage year developed over the Summer months. Fermenta ons are monitored by checking how rapidly the grape sugars decline as the alcohol level increases. Here are some of the latest happenings on the local Wine & Beer Scene. Hunter Valley's top drops announced at the 2014 Sydney Royal Wine Show More than 30 trophies and 1,100 medals were awarded to entrants from across the country’s top wine regions with almost 50% of entries receiving a medal - reflec ng the excellent 2012 and 2013 vintages and the excep onal quality of some of the older wines coming through. McLeish Estate con nued its winning streak with their 2007 Semillon taking home no less than four trophies, including exhibitor of the best NSW wine. Hunter Valley Wines awarded Trophies were:

• 2007 Mcguigan Bin 9000 Semillon (1 Trophy) ∗ The David Clarke Memorial Perpetual Trophy for Best Semillon. • 2007 Mcleish Estate Semillon (4 Trophies) ∗ The Dr Henry John Lindeman Memorial Perpetual Prize for Best Aged White Wine

∗ The Len Evans Memorial Perpetual Trophy for Best Single Vineyard Wine.

∗ The Restaurant And Catering Industry Associa on Perpetual Trophy for Best Small Producer Wine.

∗ The NSW Department Of Primary Industries James Busby Perpetual Trophy for Best NSW Wine. Hunter Valley Wines awarded Gold Medals were:

• Bimbadgen Winery: 2012 Signature Hunter Valley Chardonnay • Briar Ridge Vineyard: 2013 Stockhausen Signature Hunter Valley Semillon

• First Creek Wines: 2011Winemaker's Reserve Semillon • Hungerford Hill Wines: 2011 Classic Hunter Valley Semillon; 2010 • • • • • •

Classic Tumbarumba Chardonnay and 2008 Collec on Hunter Valley Semillon Mcguigan Hunter: 2013 Bin 9000 Semillon and 2007 Bin 9000 Semillon Mcleish Estate: 2009 Semillon and 2007 Semillon Pepper Tree Wines: 2013 'Alluvius' Single Vineyard Hunter Valley Semillon Tallavera Grove: 2013 Estate Grown Hunter Valley Vermen no Thomas Wines: 2009 Cellar Reserve Braemore Semillon Tyrrell's Vineyards: 2012 Vat 47 Chardonnay; 2011 Stevens Semillon; 2005 Vat 1 Semillon and 2009 HVD Semillon

For a comprehensive list of local wineries, top drops and food and wine trail maps for each of the 5 key wine growing areas - see the latest issue of Wine & Dine Hunter Valley.


26 | MARCH 2014

MARCH 2014 | 27


McLeish Estate … Asserts its posiƟon as one of the top bouƟque wine producers in Australia. A er a highly successful 2013, McLeish Estate is already reaching new and exci ng heights with their McLeish Estate Cellar Reserve 2007 Semillon being awarded four trophies including best NSW wine at the recent 2014 Sydney Royal Wine Show awards. McLeish Estate also won gold for their 2009 Semillon. The bou que Hunter Valley winery has been successfully producing premium wines for the past 29 years, with Bob & Maryanne McLeish using only hand harvested fruit from their 44 acre vineyard on DeBeyer’s Road in Pokolbin. A true champion wine of the world, the much decorated McLeish 2007 Semillon gained interna onal recogni on when awarded the trophy and tle for ''world's best Semillon'' at the 2012 London Interna onal Wine Challenge and the trophy for the Best Semillon of Show and trophy for Best Wine at the 2013 Sydney Interna onal Wine Compe on. The McLeish Estate 2009 Semillon, which also won gold at the 2014 Sydney Royal Wine Show, bears a close resemblance to its 2007 counterpart. The 2009 Semillon has already established its posi on among the top Semillon’s of the region with a 96 point ra ng in the 2013 James Halliday Wine Companion and twice rated Top 40 at the NSW Wine Awards. The wine exhibits aromas of lemongrass, lime and green melon, delivering silken flavours of lime and kiwi fruit on the palate and finishing long with subtle white peach and excellent fruit/acid balance. McLeish Estate wines are produced in small quan es and are only available at the cellar door, well-known restaurants and through the McLeish Estate website.


28 | MARCH 2014





Andrew Wright’s love of food began as a young boy when he helped his mother in the kitchen. He grew up in London and worked at the local Italian restaurant a er school and weekends. Summer holidays were spent travelling around Europe with his family, in par cular rural France where he loved to taste the local delicacies. Comple ng his appren ceship in 1983, Andrew worked at various London hotels and restaurants and was Head Chef at the House of Lords in 1994. In 1995 he ran a private dining room for the directors of J Walter Thompson in Mayfair, London, before migra ng to Australia in 1996. Andrew was Sous Chef at the Nikko Hotel, Darling Harbour – Sydney before moving to the Hunter Valley in 1997, where he was Head Chef at Roberts Restaurant. From there Pipe e at Cypress Lakes, then Seasons Restaurant for Hunter Valley Gardens where he was also involved with the kitchen set up at Harrigans Irish Pub. In 2003, Andrew and his wife Janet became a part owners of The Cellar Restaurant and then full owners in 2005. Andrew is passionate about sourcing the freshest and best quality local ingredients for his ever-changing Mediterranean inspired menu. “The quality of the produce is the most important aspect of any good meal” he says. “The Cellar Restaurant’s new menu format allows guests to construct their own dishes from a range of quality steaks, poultry and other meats to whole fish and seafood.” The Cellar Restaurant’s extensive and predominantly Hunter focussed wine list has won many awards including a Sydney Morning Herald “One Glass” ra ng as well as Australia’s Wine List of the Year, One Glass Award. “Our wine list is constructed around the plethora of local wineries and my aim is that all the wines featured can be purchased at the local cellar doors” says Janet. “I have also thrown in a few overseas comparisons to keep the locals interested.” In August 2010, Andrew and Janet opened The Olive Tree Restaurant located at the historic Wyndham Estate Winery and home to the annual Opera in the Vineyards. Here, Andrew’s rus c Mediterranean menu features the very best of mostly locally sourced produce and is served on beau ful an que crockery lovingly collected by Janet from local flea markets and junk shops. Andrew also makes his range of delicious jams, pickles, chutneys and preserves which are available for sale through both restaurants. Andrew also caters for a number of external events that include the Hunter Valley Wine Show, Lovedale Long Lunch, Sydney Cellar Door, Opera in the Vineyards and the many concerts held at venues that include Hope Estate, Bimbadgen, Wyndham Estate and Tempus Two.

MARCH 2014 | 29



With March comes slightly cooler days and nights - ideal for late morning breakfasts or brunch and dining outside under the stars at one of the many local restaurants and cafes do ed around the Hunter Valley. Here are some of the latest happenings on the local Food Scene. Maitland Taste FesƟval - Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th March—Two days of colourful celebra on of the Hunters finest wine, food and music. See cooking demonstra ons showcasing the talents of some of the regions most renowned chefs and taste wines from the Hunters leading winemakers. Farm Gate at Roberts Circa 1876 - Execu ve Chef George Francisco invites you to wander through their Market Garden - picking fruit, vegetables and edible flowers with your own hands. Open weekends 12.00am to 2.00pm. Also selling jams, honey, muesli and other handmade products. Halls Rd Pokolbin - Ph: 4998 4998 The Deck Cafe at Gartelmann Wines is now open 7 days a week from 8.30am to 3.30am. Spanish Paella Classes: Learn how to cook authen c Spanish Paella, Super tasty Churros and of course Sangria at the Calais Estate Barrel Room with Ma Dillow - owner and chef of The Verandah Restaurant. Cost $90 per person. Dates for 2014 classes are: 30th March; 1st June; 8th June; 15th June; 22nd June; 29th June; 21st September. Ph: 4998 7231 Fireside Sundays at Twine Restaurant: Put a li le spark in your Sunday with Fireside Sundays at Twine Restaurant and celebrate ''Sea and Land'' throughout March. Sunday night fireside dining is about cooking over an open fire to create a unique casual dining experience. It starts with a house made mezze plate followed by the fireside dinner and a tantalizing dessert. Every Sunday at Twine Restaurant from 5:30pm last bookings 7:30pm. Cost: $50 pp (kids under 12 eat free). Ph: 4998 7449 Locals Night at The Verandah Restaurant is on Sunday the 2nd of March with the theme ''Tastes of the Ocean''. The evening starts at 6:30pm with complimentary canapes and bubbles, followed by a 5 coarse Tapas Style degusta on. $50 per person BYO (no corkage). Ph: 4998 7231 Emerson's Cafe & Restaurant - now at Adina Vineyard in Lovedale is introducing a new and exci ng way to dine with his ''Chef's Table Dinner'' - an exclusive opportunity to dine right in the middle of all the ac on in Emerson's kitchen. To enquire about the Chef's Table phone 4930 7029. For a comprehensive list of local restaurants, dining reviews and food and wine trail maps for each of the 5 key wine growing areas - see the latest issue of Wine & Dine in the Hunter.


30 | MARCH 2014

MARCH 2014 | 31


Bring on the


Rockabilly rumble will be rolling into the historic town of Kurri Kurri during the weekend of 28, 29 and 30th of March as Kurri Kurri turns it on for the 2014 Nostalgia Fes val - where dressing up and dancing in the street is just part of the fun! Recognised as one of the Hunter's premier fes vals, the 2014 Kurri Kurri Nostalgia FesĆ&#x;val celebrates all things 1950s - 1960's with a program of dancing, classic cars, hot rods, retro fashions and of course rock n roll music. Now in its 11th year, the fes val a racts over 40,000 people to the region and town centre with a three day program of events that include the Show and Shine vintage car display, retro market stalls, talent quests, fashion parades, Rock n Roll dancing and plenty of live entertainment in the main street of Kurri and at the local clubs. Kurri Kurri Nostalgia Fes val is a community project of Towns With Heart Inc that enlists the help of more than 150 volunteers to make this event the success it is. The fes val is also a boon for the local business community - bringing almost $4million into the local economy over the fes val weekend. Most of the events are free with entry to the various club shows and dance events varying in price. Check out the web site for a program of events and loca on map. For more informa on: www.kurrikurrinostalgiafesĆ&#x;


32 | MARCH 2014


At local “Hand-Made” Markets

Local markets are a great deal of fun and a good way to keep in touch with the community while picking up a great deal at the same me. The Hunter Valley has enjoyed a significant increase in the number of markets held in the region each month, with one of the most popular markets to establish a presence in the Hunter Valley being Handmade in the Hunter Markets at Kevin Sobels Wines on Broke Rd Pokolbin. We took me out to have a chat with Karen Rowe - founder and co-ordinator of Handmade in the Hunter Markets to discuss how it all came about. Handmade in the Hunter Market is three years old next month (congratulaƟons by the way!) – we assume there was life before the markets – what was it for you? Some mes, I have to wonder if there is anything I haven’t done! I tend to change professions every 8-10 years which means going back to uni and ge ng more schooling. I was also supposed to “re re” but that definitely didn’t happen. Prior to star ng the market, I was the project manager responsible for remodelling and refurbishing a church in Sydney. The project lasted 3 years a er which my husband and I returned to our home in the Hunter. Before that I was a marriage and family therapist, a consultant and trainer for both Singleton and Cessnock councils and several coal mines as well as working in TAFE and the private sector. Interes ngly most of the skills I developed in those roles - analysing needs, developing strategy, programme planning and implementa on, organising and recrui ng, people skills and problem-solving are all applicable in managing and co-ordina ng markets. What was it that made you start Handmade in the Hunter Markets? There are three reasons why I started the markets. The first being out of necessity. I have been crea ve all my life and gave the things that I made to friends as gi s. I couldn’t make more of the same thing because all my friends already had one. Consequently, my cra cupboard was overflowing with all kinds of bits and pieces and it got to the stage that once made I took them to the market to sell. The second reason was one of need. I found most markets had a mix of buy, import, resell and handmade items and I discovered that handmade did not do well in a market where this occurred. I also went to several handmade - ar san markets only to be disappointed to discover that stallholders were allowed to include non-handmade products and imported products with the hand-made products. To me, there is a huge difference between the two - especially when it comes to workmanship, skills used and invested energy. And finally, I am a firm believer that visitors to the Hunter want to speak to local people and buy things produced in the actual area. This market is all about Hunter people and the products that they themselves make. There are many talented ar sans from the Central Coast, Sydney and further afield, however, this market is not about talent from Australia. It is solely about the “Hunter” community. How do you think markets such as Handmade in the Hunter contribute to the local community? The markets provide a venue for local ar sans to sell their work without compe ng with imports or buy - resell items. Also, it allows the visitors to the area to meet and talk with the actual maker. For the visitors, the interac on between themselves and the maker gives them the chance to hear the maker’s story. When they make a purchase, they take the story and the me they spent with the maker home with them. No doubt,

when they tell others what they bought, they will recall and retell the story about their me spent at a li le market in the Hunter Valley, where they met the ar san. In a sense, my hope is that by taking something “handmade in the Hunter” home, that it is a posi ve experience that fuels their desire to come back for another visit. Does Hand Made in the Hunter support any local chariƟes or have any special iniƟaƟves to support local community groups? During the past 3 years, we have had several instances where local community groups have been a part of the market. Cessnock Rotary, Cessnock Wine Country Lion’s Club and Singleton Lion’s Club held barbeques, sold raffle ckets and sold Christmas cakes to assist in their fund-raising efforts. Just this past Christmas, the Cessnock Wood-Turners’ Club sold raffle ckets to help recover the costs of dona ng a car to the paediatrics unit at John Hunter Hospital. We also had Assistance Dogs NSW selling handmade dog items and demonstra ng dog training to assist them to raise money to purchase and train a new puppy for a sick child. Over the past 3 years that you have been running Handmade in the Hunter what has been the funniest moment? Oh, this ques on is hard! We are always laughing and having fun. Much of it has to do with stallholders forge ng to bring something really vital like their money to make change for the day or the canvass roof to their tents. But since Dolly Parton recently did a concert in the Hunter, I’ll pass this story on. During market days when there is a concert on, stallholders dress in the style of the concert music. We get rock chicks, opera divas, and some real cool jazz characters. For Dolly, one of our elderly and somewhat “reserved” male stallholders donned women’s a re, blonde wig and grew a mighty fine bosom in a ma er of minutes. He proceeded to speak in a feminine voice throughout the day while talking about and demonstra ng spinning. One of our customers came to me raving about the wonderful “woman” who was spinning. I burst out laughing and could barely explain it was a man. She didn’t believe me and raced back over to have a second look. Then she started laughing. You must be extremely proud of what you have achieved with the markets since their incepƟon…what are you most proud of? There’s definitely so much to be proud of! I am both proud and humbled to have the amazing stallholders that I do have. They have the same passion and vision as I have about being a handmade-only market. Many have been involved with other markets and have struggled to have their work recognised and accepted. They voluntarily choose to operate within the market’s established guidelines and can see the benefit of doing so. Without them, this market would not exist. I am also very thrilled and proud of the reputa on this market has developed for having high quality handmade items. The tour bus drivers now allow extra me for their guests on market days because they recognise both the quality and uniqueness of the items we make. The posi ve reputa on brings the visitors; and the more visitors we have means that more ar sans are encouraged to display and sell their work.

MARCH 2014 | 33


april 11TH & 12TH APRIL | THE GUM BALL at Dashville, Lower Belford Originally developed as a fes val for discerning music peeps, The Gum Ball is now widely recognised throughout Australia for providing the best in simple pleasures, with a taste of country living in a laid back, hassle free environment. A weekend in secluded bushland full of awesome live music & art, onsite camping, BYO, delicious food, market stalls, kiddies mega playground, heaps of games and prizes, some big warm fires and a classic vibe similar to your mates backyard party. With a laid back music program, certain free range adventure, various weekend/day/family cket op ons available, The Gum Ball is simply a user-friendly fes val not to be missed. For more informa on and cket sales visit

12TH & 13TH APRIL | HUNTER VALLEY STEAMFEST at Maitland, Hunter Valley The first Steamfest was organised by a dedicated group of community volunteers whose vision was that Steamfest would become an annual fixture in the City’s calendar. Twenty Seven years later it can be safely said that their vision has been realised! The Maitland Toyota Hunter Valley Steamfest is Australia's premier fes val of steam. This year will welcome visitors from far and wide to experience all things steam. Don't miss steam train rides, vintage diesel rides, market stalls, road steam, mini steam train rides, face pain ng, Powerhouse Museum displays, live entertainment and kids ac vi es. For more informa on and ckets visit

12TH & 13TH APRIL | A LITTLE BIT OF ITALY IN BROKE throughout Broke Fordwich Now in its 7th year, the fes val that started out as a private dinner catered by an Italian chef has grown into a major celebra on for the area. Star ng at the "Passport Office" in the main street of the village of Broke, visitors receive their passport and begin their journey. The price of entry is the $5 purchase of a souvenir tas ng glass, which is used at each venue for a free sample of the local wines. The passport lists the twelve par cipa ng venues and the food and entertainment to be found there. As the visitor travels from venue to venue they can get their passport stamped, allowing them to go into the draw for over $2,000 worth of local premium wines, gourmet produce and accommoda on. For more informa on visit

18TH—21ST APRIL | EASTER LONG WEEKEND at Hunter Valley Gardens There is plenty for the whole family to enjoy at Hunter Valley Gardens on the Easter Long Weekend with loads of fun ac vi es including the largest annual Giant Easter Egg Hunt in the Hunter Valley. Children can join in the Giant Easter Egg Hunt (Saturday & Sunday only) and search for thousands of brightly coloured plas c eggs from the Storybook Garden (runs every 45 minutes from 10AM un l 1PM). Every child receives a gi of Easter chocolate at the comple on of the hunt. Other ac vi es include decora ng gingerbread cookies, face pain ng and Hunter Valley Pe ng Zoo. The Easter Celebra on will run in conjunc on with the Despicable Me School Holiday Ac vi es from the 12th to the 27th of April . For more informa on visit


34 | MARCH 2014 It must be Morpeth


THINGS An exquisite array of spectacular jewellery, stylish watches, amazing giftware and home wares. Gifts for all ages and occasions collected from all corners of the world.

CANDELABRA One of Australia's most famous boutique candle stores—the stunning fragrances, colour and endless variety of product is truly amazing.

CHRISTMAS IN THE VINES Where it is Christmas every day. Come on in to our little cottage, and see the great Christmas bargains in store. GEMS4U Visit Gems4u and select from a wonderful range of amazing and unique pieces—Gemstones, Minerals, Fossils, Beading and Gift Certificates. PULP ADDICTION Satisfy your paper cravings with our delightful range of designer stationery which is guaranteed to intrigue and delight.

THE TWIG A gorgeous selection of home furnishings and personal giftware unlike anything else on offer in the valley.

THE WAITERS FRIEND A great selection of quality kitchenware and barware and some of the best prices anywhere in Australia.




gourmet picnics, fish, sandwiches, our famous gourmet Established more than ten years ago the ORIGINAL pies, pizza and pasta, there is truly something for all Hunter Valley Chocolate Company & Fudge Factory tastes and pockets! Phone 4998-7355. is one of the premier attractions in the area. THE VILLAGE CAFÉ Relax and enjoy a delicious HUNTER VALLEY COOKIES Hand-made light meal or sweet treat and a blissful cup of coffee. premium cookies in designer gourmet flavours. Phone 4998-6933. Cookie tastings daily, delicious coffee and gluten TASTE OF THE COUNTRY Experience a Taste of free cookies. the Country in this award winning café and retail outlet. HUNTER VALLEY LIQUEURS & BAERAMI This popular café is like walking into an old fashioned, OLIVES Extra virgin olive oils, infused olive oils, country kitchen. Phone 4998-6605. vinegars and a large range of specialty liqueurs and an THE CELLAR RESTAURANT Rustic Mediterranean impressive array of bottles to customize your selection. cuisine in a relaxed, friendly environment. Open for THE BRITISH LOLLY SHOP The largest range of lunch and dinner Monday to Saturday. Bookings imported English Confectionary. All your old recommended. Phone 4998 7584. favourites, humbugs, sherbet lemon, come in and sample our hospitality. THE GARDEN CELLARS Mount Eyre/Three Ponds Cellar Door. See the Tunnel Of Beer or taste 17 flavoured organic vodkas. ZEN HAIR SKIN BODY A full Hairdressing Salon and Beauty Spa in one location, innovative & deluxe treatments in an environmentally friendly setting, the salon can cater to any need. Phone 4998-6844.




VILLAGE BOOKS A fantastic range of fiction, nonfiction, and children’s books and a unique collection of quality toys, games, souvenirs and gifts. POKOLBIN CONVENIENCE STORE In the heart of the village is a genuine general store servicing the WILSON & HUNTER Summer is heating up at Wilson and Hunter with a burst of colour. The latest from Camilla, Pokolbin area with everything you might need while Mela Purdie, Verge, Katherine, Samantha Wills, Metalicus, visiting the Wine Country. Bleu Blanc Rouge,Tilly Rose,Tolani and more… POKOLBIN VILLAGE PHARMACY Offering you WINE GLASS GALLERY An extraordinary gift gallery friendly, professional service as well as a wide range of stocking unique colourful wine glasses, original artworks, products: full PBS prescription service, medicines, homewares, $20 summer hats, jewellery, shot glasses, vitamins, skin care, cosmetics, hair care, fragrances, magnets, souvenirs & much more. sunglasses and much more. Phone 4998 6677

AQUA GOLF & PUTT PUTT If you fancy a bit of action then visit our Aqua Golf and Putt Putt Golf Course—fun for the whole family! Win cash & prizes! Phone 4998-7896.


The Hunter Blackboard March 2014  
The Hunter Blackboard March 2014  

The Hunter Blackboard is your complete guide to everything that's happening in the Hunter Valley. The COMMUNITY Issue looks at all thing lo...