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The No.1 magazine for visitors to Hunter Valley Wine Country


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at Bimbadgen Estate The RNB Vine Days concert series will showcase some of the biggest names in contemporary RNB – Boyz II Men, TLC, Shaggy, DJ Horizon and YO! MAFIA. Tickets available at


at Roche Estate Crossroads in the Vines is an exciting new festival series that will bring together the biggest names in country and blues for two massive days of premium music, food and entertainment. For more information, visit

23 & 24


PH +61 2 4943 2888


Level 1, 216 Pacific Hwy, Charlestown, NSW 2290 FEBRUARY 2018. Copyright © 2018 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.


From 1st February 2018 until the 28th February 2018 inclusive or while stocks last.

Special Event

Family Fun



at The Lodge, Tamburlaine Organic Wines The first luncheon of the year features a 5 course menu based on Chef Matt Dillow's favourite recipes from a recent tour of Tasmania, perfectly paired with Tamburlaine wines by Winemaker Mark Davidson. For more information, visit

at Cessnock Showground It's show time again in Cessnock, as the annual Cessnock Show returns with all your show favourites! Highlights include the horse class and dog show competitions, speedway demonstrations, rides, and the fireworks spectacular!




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!


Special Event



at Bimbadgen Estate The Living End, Spiderbait, Veruca Salt, The Lemonheads, Tumbleweed and The Fauves combine for an almighty performance! For more information visit,

thb 2 | FEBRUARY 2018

at Calais Estate A fresh take on a much loved classic, this production will be a truthful, fast paced and energetic tale. For more information, visit

WANT MORE? Keep up to date with events in the Hunter by visiting


Hunter Valley Vineyards Boutique Cheesery

It’s February… the month of love! trends on page 13 – you just might Candle-lit dinners, wine tasting, be surprised! balloon flights, picnicking and horse Our local wine industry leads riding are just a few of the romantic the way in both red and white offerings available, and we’re also wines – but what about orange told that the Hunter Valley is one wines? Yes, we really are talking of the most popular (and most about orange coloured wine – an successful!) places to not only increasingly popular style that’s propose but also to tie the knot! slowly making its way into the We’ve got plenty of tips in this issue Cellar Doors of the Hunter Valley for a sure-fire proposal. and onto wine lists around the Wine Country is not only the world. Find out more about this perfect location for romance, but tasty trend. it’s also full of many local couples Hunter winemakers and whose romances have stood the vignerons are extremely positive test of time. In Love Amongst the about this year’s vintage, which Vines (P16) we speak to a few such in some parts of the region came couples to find out about their about much earlier than normal love stories, and we also get a few – some even picking during the tips about the secret to a happy first week of January. For many marriage. winemakers, it’s the earliest Move over Acai bowls, take Vintage they can recall. For the rest a hike Kale – 2018 sees a whole of us, it’s also great news. Not only new bunch of food trends ready is 2018 an extremely promising to take their place on the menu vintage – but we may also get to try of some of our top restaurants! it a little sooner! This year's trends reinforce our Enjoy! Oh – and Happy Valentines interest in healthy eating, our local Day! communities and preserving our environment. Check out the new


CHEESE FACTORY Award winning cheese handmade in Pokolbin Hunter Valley to complement the varietal wines of the region. • Tasting rooms open daily 9am to 5.30pm. • Cheese-making and maturation room viewing all day. • Complimentary instructional cheese-making tutorial daily 11am and 3pm.


Contents 2018 FOOD TRENDS








Move over kale and Açaí bowls; there are a new bunch of food trends in town, ready to take their place on your plate and on restaurant menus…

It is the perfect location for a romantic dinner or weekend away, but the Hunter Valley is also full of many local couples who prove that love really is amongst the vines...

Exciting times ahead as an iconic location is transformed back to its former glory, one of the original families of the Hunter expands, and new businesses breathe new life into the region!

Scoops of creamy ice confection piled high on top of a crisp waffle cone; nothing says Summer quite like ice cream!



ARTISIAN AUSTRALIAN CHEESEMAKERS Located at Mcguigan Wine Complex 447 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin PH 4998 7744



Grapes of the 2018 vintage have been harvested, so what can we expect from the 2018 vintage? Will it be the best yet?

The Hunter Blackboard's handy guide to finding your way around Wine Country.

3 | FEBRUARY 2018 thb



Join Cessnock Regional Art Gallery for an after-work drink on Thursday 22nd February from 6pm for Art After Hours. This popular monthly event held on the last Thursday of every month is a casual affair, where you have the opportunity to meet the exhibiting artist and understand their thought process behind different pieces or the underlying theme or inspiration behind their current exhibition. It is a great way to get to know art intimately and to discuss art with like-minded people. This is the perfect opportunity to catch up with friends, enjoy a glass of wine, enjoy some tasty food and expand your art appreciation. All are welcome, and entry is free. WHERE Cessnock Regional Art Gallery, 16 Vincent St, Cessnock. PH 4991 6619. FREE ENTRY


The Gum Ball is back in 2018! The annual Hunter Valley-based three-day camping event; The Gum Ball returns for its 13th instalment on Friday, April 27 to Sunday, April 29. The popular event will no doubt be continuing its legacy as a supreme family-friendly escape with thoughtfully chosen acts, both new and legendary, in a mix of genre. The line-up for this year’s event includes REMI, The Aints, Butterfingers, Dave Graney ‘n’ the Coral Snakes, The Creepshow, plus heaps more. The Gum Ball is always a sell-out event, with Early Bird tickets for 2018 selling out in record time. You will

need to be quick to get your ticket to ensure you don’t miss out! Standard tickets and discount bundles are now available via The Gum Ball website. WHERE The Gum Ball will be held at Dashville, 103 Kirkton Rd, Lower Belford. WHEN Friday, April 27 to Sunday, April 29. TICKETS available at


GREEN. Pampering + Wine + Chocolate = Romance Spoil someone special this Valentine’s Day with the 90-minute Couples Delight Package from Reflections Day Spa.

Prepare to be pampered as you and your partner each receive a 50-minute Relaxation Massage, an Express Facial and a Foot Massage (including soak and exfoliation). And if that isn’t enough, finish off this luxurious experience with wine and chocolates! All this for just $300 per couple! Valued at $428, this is a saving of $128. *T&C’s apply Don’t miss your chance to book one of the most romantic Valentine’s Day experiences the Hunter Valley has to offer! WHERE Reflections Day Spa at Adina Vineyard, 492 Lovedale Road, Lovedale. PH 4930 9006. OPEN Wed-Sun.

thb 4 | FEBRUARY 2018

Go Plastic Free!

Throw away the cling wrap as there is now a great plastic-free, environmentally friendly alternative! Bee Green Wraps are made in Australia and not only promote a plastic-free environment, but healthy homes and healthy lunchboxes. They are perfect for keeping ‘real food’ fresh. The wraps are made by infusing natural fibres with a special blend of Australian beeswax, tree resin and certified organic jojoba oil. They are versatile, mouldable, strong and water resistant but best of all they are re-usable! Bee Green Wraps are self-adhesive. Simply fold around food items as you would with cling wrap, or over storage containers (such as bowls) and using

the warmth of your hands, mould the wrap to create a seal. They are perfect for storing/covering/wrapping fruit, veg, garden produce, nuts, sandwiches, cheese, bread, crackers and fermented foods in your lunchbox, fridge or pantry. The wraps are available in a range of sizes and designs and can be purchased individually or in sets. WHERE Available from Hunter Honey Hive, Hunter Valley Gardens Shopping Village, Broke Road, Pokolbin. PH 4998 7191.


Have Yourself a

Garden Wedding! With the picturesque backdrop of the Brokenback Ranges and the convenience of holding the ceremony, photography and reception all in one location, it is no wonder Hunter Valley Gardens has become one of the most popular wedding venues in Wine Country. With a beautiful air-conditioned Chapel overlooking the gardens and a selection of garden locations for your wedding ceremony, Hunter Valley Gardens offer a unique natural destination unlike any in Australia. The Hunter Valley Gardens Chapel offers a stunning setting for any wedding. Capable of seating 150 guests, the Chapel exterior is lined with white Ornamental Pear trees and features a beautiful courtyard with magnificent views of the spectacular gardens and Brokenback Mountain Ranges. With a large picture window and two picturesque lakes on either side as the backdrop, this venue will create a truly memorable wedding day. If a garden ceremony is what you are dreaming of, you can say ‘I do’ at the top of the stunning 10-metre waterfall, in the Lakes Walk Rotunda for a fairy tale ceremony or in one of the other themed feature gardens. All offer beautiful backdrops and elegant locations to exchange your vows. Within Hunter Valley Gardens lies the Garden Terrace, an idyllic location for your post-ceremony celebrations. This versatile reception space lends itself beautifully to theming and seats up to 120 people. It has amazing views of the Oriental Garden, where your guests can also enjoy pre-dinner drinks and canapes. Hunter Valley Gardens also offer Garden Marquee weddings set up in the European styled Formal Garden, seating up to 200 people. Your guests can walk straight from your ceremony, into the reception where lawn games can be organised to keep them entertained as you whisk off for photos. Marquee weddings are a beautiful alternative and allow you to customise the look and feel of the venue as you please. If you’re looking to wow your guests, Hunter Valley Gardens can also organise a fireworks display overlooking your reception as an optional extra. A truly magical moment to share with your loved ones and friends.

Hunter Valley Gardens offers a range of wedding packages to suit all needs and budgets and their wedding team are committed to ensuring your day is memorable and enjoyable. For more information, visit

A naturally beautiful experience in the heart of Hunter Valley Wine Country The Gardens are a place for the appreciation of nature and peaceful reflection…but they are also a place for families and fun. The ten individually themed gardens showcase the artistry of gardens around the world and use both native and exotic varieties of plants. Enjoy a beautiful, nature based, experience for local, national and international visitors.


DATE: 30 th Mar – 2nd Apr Join the Easter Bunny to search for lots of coloured eggs through our Story Book Garden. Every child will receive a gift of Easter chocolate at the completion of the hunt.


DATE: 14 th – 29th Apr Hunter Valley Zoo will be visiting with some cute and cuddly animals, come along for some hands-on fun with their exciting petting zoo!

For more details visit 02 4998 4000 - Broke Rd Pokolbin *Guided garden tours are user pay. Gardens open from 9am – 5pm daily. Admission charges apply. Rides are only open during event periods.

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A Day On The Green's

MONSTER LINE-UP! Prepare for iconic indie rock anthems in the great outdoors when The Living End, Spiderbait, Veruca Salt, The Lemonheads, Tumbleweed and The Fauves combine for an almighty a day on the green performance at Bimbadgen on 24th February. It’s a bill bursting with bands who were part of the alternative heyday of the 1990s, a period that has left a remarkable legacy on Australian music fans and continues to be remembered with much affection. Between them, these six bands have notched up eight ARIA Awards, received more than 30 ARIA Award nominations, had 12 Top 10 albums and 19 Top 40 hit singles. They’ve played just about every major music festival in the world and worked with a wide range of collaborators – everyone from Kylie Minogue to The Wiggles! In the live arena, their reputations were formed through performances marked by energy, passion and verve – qualities that will once again be on display. The Living End have earned their enviable standing as one of the most compelling and captivating bands in Australian rock history. Their 1998 self-titled debut album hit number one on the ARIA chart, spawning singalong anthems Prisoner Of Society, All Torn Down, Second Solution, West End Riot and Save The Day. Chart domination continued


with Roll On, Pictures In The Mirror, What’s On Your Radio, Wake Up and White Noise to name but a few. Twenty years on they continue to be a force to be reckoned with, with last year's Shift becoming their seventh ARIA Top 10 album. Having just completed a huge US tour, their live shows continue to excite fans worldwide. The Living End’s Chris Cheney said. “Check it out folks, grab the esky and your picnic blanket because we are excited to announce we're playing a day on the green! After spending a huge chunk of this past year touring internationally, we can't wait to play shows in our own beautiful Australian backyard. As anyone who's ever gone to a day on the green knows, they're always unique gigs, but this one is extra special. The lineup is killer! … Hot damn! Get on it!”

Hunter Valley

Introducing the Hunter Valley's


2 x 50 min Relaxation Massages, 2 x ExpressFacials, 2 x Foot Massages, Finish with wine and chocolates.

$300 (normally $428) *T&C Apply

•Massage • Facials • Body Treatments •Pedicures/ Manicures •Hens Parties •Spa Packages at Adina Vineyard 492 Lovedale Rd, Lovedale

OPEN Wed - Sun PH 4930 9006 •

The Lad y in

Pin k



Tempranillo | Nebbiolo | Sangiovese | Nebbiolo Rosé Get your taste for adventure today at ...Pokolbin Estate. Winery – 2017 James Halliday Australian Wine Companion

Pokolbin Estate Vineyard 298 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin | Open 7 Days 9am - 5pm PH 4998 7524 |

thb 6 | FEBRUARY 2018

The Living End

Spiderbait thrilled audiences when they saddled up for their first a day on the green tour in 2016, so are very happy to be doing another lap of the winery map. With five Top 20 albums, two ARIA Awards, a massive number one anthem with the irrepressible Black Betty and a huge and loyal following, it’s true to say, Kram, Janet and Whitt’s special musical alchemy is a wondrous thing! Earlier this year they embraced their past by playing in full their most popular album, Ivy And The Big Apples – home to the triple j Hottest 100 number one Buy Me A Pony. Spiderbait’s Kram said: “We're all so stoked to be playing a day on the green again next year all around Australia. The last time we did these shows, the response was amazing, and the gigs were so awesome. Thanks to the fans that came out and made these events so brilliant for us.” Veruca Salt’s signature hit Seether remains one of the most-loved rock tunes of the ’90s. Not surprisingly, the band experienced a meteoric rise, doing everything a young band coming of age in the grunge era could hope for – selling more than a million records, touring with alt-rock royalty Hole and PJ Harvey, and winning critical acclaim for albums like American Thighs (named after an AC/DC lyric). After breaking up in 1998, the original line-up – Nina Gordon, Louise Post, Jim Shapiro and Steve Lack – re-formed in 2013 and were warmly welcomed back on stage. In 2015, they released their fifth studio album, Ghost Notes, the first to feature the band’s original line-up since 1997’s Eight Arms To Hold You. American alternative rock band The Lemonheads got their big break with their 1992 album It's A Shame About Ray. Followed by a cover of Simon and Garfunkel's "Mrs Robinson", which eventually became one of the band's most successful singles. A concentrated blast of pure pop perfection, their follow up album Come On Feel The Lemonheads, reached number 19 on the ARIA chart, giving the band their first Top 20 album in the world. The Lemonheads were active until 1997 before going on hiatus but reformed with a new lineup in 2005. The band released its latest album, Varshons, in June 2009. It doesn’t get much better than this almighty monster rock line-up. Six rocking bands, six rocking concerts! Tickets on sale from

Pokolbin Village Accommodation • Botanical Elixir General Store • Pokolbin Bottle Shop Chocolate and Jam Company • Smelly Cheese Shop Buon Cibo Restaurant • Tempt and Vixen Giftware

2188 Broke Road, Pokolbin 2320


Restaurant Indoor/Outdoor Dining Fresh Local Produce Also available for Weddings, Events and Private Functions

At Cockfighters Ghost Vineyard, 576 De Beyers Road, Pokolbin PH 4998 7776 OPEN Lunch Thurs - Sun, Dinner Thurs, Fri, Sat & Mon Tumbleweed

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H O T E L . B R E W E R Y. R E S O R T

Brasserie | Bar | Brewery

Calais Estate. Photo by Brent Leggett

Accommodation Events | Functions | Weddings

SHAKESPEARE in the Vines

For sixteen years, the Essential Theatre Company has toured their widely popular Shakespeare in the Vines. This year they invite you to join them at the picturesque Calais Estate, as the tale of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night unravels against the magnificent backdrop of this Hunter Valley vineyard. This season Essential Theatre will bring a fresh take on the much-loved classic. It will be a truthful, fast-paced and energetic production that will have you laughing out loud at the antics! Twelfth Night is the hilarious yet heartbreaking tale of twins who are separated in a shipwreck and left stranded on the coast of Illyria. Forced to fend for themselves in a strange land, the quick-witted Viola assumes the disguise of a page boy for Duke Orsino and finds herself at the centre of a fiery love triangle. Essential Theatre and Calais Estate invite you to join this journey with Viola, be delighted by the unforgettable characters and thrilled by the adventures that this strange yet wonderful land has to offer. Calais Estate is a family owned boutique winery that is famous for both its great wine and hospitality. The award-winning winery boasts one of the largest collections of boutique wines in the Hunter Valley and is set on a beautiful vineyard estate. The event will include picnic-style seating, wine bar and live music. Food will be available to purchase throughout the performance, or you can pre-purchase a hamper with your ticket that includes a selection of handmade condiments and biscuits, bread rolls, salami and ham, salads, delicious desserts and a bottle of wine for you to enjoy. Or if you are after the VIP treatment, you can purchase a VIP Long Lunch Ticket which includes a winery tour, sparkling winemaking session, five-course degustation long lunch by the Verandah Restaurant with Calais Estate matched wines and VIP reserved seating area for the performance while enjoying a cheese platter. For more information visit


Hunter Valley Wine & Brewery Tour Watagan Mountain Eco Tour  Newcastle, Central Coast & Port Stephens Coastal Tour  Private Luxury Transfer Service  Tours can be personalised to suit your tastes  Direct Accommodation Pick up/Drop off

VENTURE BEYOND THE USUAL TOURIST TRAILS With Adventure, Wine & Eco Tours you can experience the very best the region has to offer.

Contact Rob on 0438 564 422 •

thb 8 | FEBRUARY 2018


Ph (02) 4991 7922 |





Crossroads in the Vines is an exciting new festival series that will bring together the biggest names in country and blues for two massive days of premium music, food and entertainment. Roche Estate will host the first event on February 10th with some of the best international and Australian blues performers.

For blues fan, it doesn’t get much bigger than 7-time Grammy Award Winner Buddy Guy. George “Buddy” Guy, born in Lettsworth, Louisiana back in 1936, earned his chops in the 1960s, playing with blues icon Muddy Waters as a house guitarist at Chicago’s famed Chess Records. Guy’s six-decade career has been one of the most prominent in blues history, having influenced multiple generations of eminent guitarists including Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Page, Keith Richards, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jeff Beck and John Mayer. Buddy Guy was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2005 by none other than Eric Clapton, who fondly described him as “the best guitar player alive”. Australian blues/rock legends Ian Moss, Diesel, Ted Mulry Gang, Kevin Borich and Phil Emmanuel, join modern Australian virtuosos Mia Dyson, Lachy Doley Group, Mark Moroney plus many more to create a once-in-a-lifetime celebration for the genre. If you prefer Country to Blues, Crossroads Country in the Vines will take place on March 24th. Roche will welcome Billy Ray Cyrus, Lee Kernaghan, Kasey Chambers, John Williamson, The McClymonts, Sara Storer, Adam Harvey, Beccy Cole, local Newcastle band The Viper Creek Band and many more of the world’s biggest names in country music to the stage. No stranger to unforgettable events, Roche Estate has played host to the likes of Elton John, Neil Diamond, Lionel Richie, Duran Duran, KD Lang, Rod Stewart, Cat Stevens and many more. Elegantly paired with Roche’s reputation for gourmet food and premium wines, the ‘Crossroads in the Vines’ events will bring the very best country and blues music, artisan markets and food stalls to their brand-new home; under the stars of Australia’s Hunter Valley wine region.

For more information or to purchase tickets visit

Cheers Bus

Hunter Valley Guided Winery Tours

Book your tour securely at • Private or shared deluxe tours in an air conditioned mini bus or hire car, seven days per week • Pick up from your local accommodation or group pickups only from Sydney, Central Coast, Newcastle, Maitland and Singleton areas and be escorted throughout the day • Witness the beauty and tranquillity of Hunter Wine Country on route to our or your chosen boutique cellar doors, as well as vodka, schnapps, cheese, olive and chocolate tastings • Wedding, restaurant, concert and airport transfers available • Call John on 0408 987 057

Shop 3, Hunter Valley Gardens Shopping Village Phone 4998 6888 • Open 7 Days

Wine Glass Gallery Because great wine deserves a great wine glass

• Largest range of wine glasses in the Hunter Valley • Original artworks - all well priced • Amazing selection of colourful glass platters, vases and ornaments • Amusing collector teapots • Jewellery, seasonal scarves and handbags • Australian and Hunter Valley T-shirts and souvenirs Over 3,000 colourful eclectic products to choose from... Come and enjoy a friendly Hunter Valley Experience!

9 | FEBRUARY 2018 thb


Morpeth Antique Centre Discover 21 dealers

and The Servant’s Quarters Tearoom, all under one roof. All things Ancient, Antique, Vintage, Retro, Heirloom, Collectable.

Tuff Beds for Destructive Doggies! WORDS Michelle Meehan Everyone knows puppies are experts at destroying things around the home. But when Bryan Delforce and Josh Watson found their dog’s expensive new bed ripped to shreds just two hours after they bought it, the Maitland men knew there had to be a better solution. With a background in motor trimming, commercial upholstery and business management, the pair put their heads together and came up with the TuffMatt!, a durable outdoor bed designed to stop their English Springer Spaniel from ripping or tearing holes in the material. Rather than just keeping the creation for their own destructive doggy, the pair started selling their handcrafted bedding to others. After some initial success, Bryan and Josh established Rover Pet Products and started work on a design for a more luxurious, indoor bed – the PlushMat! “We established Rover Pet Products almost three years ago - just after our English springer spaniel was born” Bryan said. “We purchased an extremely expensive dog bed from a mass retail chain, thinking that’s what we should do. “This was a poor choice and led to a waste of $320 in the time we took a trip to get food! Our English Springer Spaniel simply flipped this ‘ultra-durable’ bed over and scratched it open, playing in the snow of Dacron. “Our rip stop technology solved 99 per cent of issues with dogs destroying their beds, as being rough, playing tug-of-war and scratching were the common causes of bed destruction.” Aside from durability, the men also wanted to create bedding that offered therapeutic benefits for dogs, sourcing Australian-made orthopaedic foam and covering it with a commercial grade material that ensured it was comfortable, resistant to damage and easy to maintain. “No-one else in the world makes dog beds like us. We’ve looked!” Bryan said. “They’re not just the highest quality available, they’re incredibly therapeutic and great for pets. “We’ve had arthritic dogs that couldn’t walk, now being able to walk, we’ve had dogs that couldn’t rest, now being able to sleep comfortably and many more positive results.” Regular visitors to the Handmade in the Hunter Market would probably have come across the Rover Pet Products range, which now also includes personalised collars and leads. But Bryan said 2018 would see their offering expand even further, with two exciting new bedding ranges expected to be ready for sale later this year. The next Handmade in the Hunter markets will be held at Kevin Sobels Wines from 9am to 3pm on February 10 and 24.

thb 10 | FEBRUARY 2018

OPEN 10am – 5pm, Thursday to Sunday & most public holidays 175 Swan Street, Morpeth, Hunter Valley PH 02 4933 1407 E 

Hunter Valley

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 17 years. 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: Twenty-3-Twenty – 2320 Broke Road Peterson House – Broke Road Hunter Valley Gardens – Shop 5, Broke Road |


Pop the Question? WORDS Michelle Meehan

So, you’ve found the love of your life and picked what you think will be the ring of their dreams – now all you need to do is pop the question. But it seems there’s far more to it than just going down on bended knee when the time feels right. In the Hunter Valley, there are plenty of options to choose from that will ensure your marriage proposal is truly something special. So, just where should the big event take place? The options for love among the vines are almost endless! If there’s one thing the Hunter Valley has more of than vineyards, it’s great places to stay, and nothing says romance like a weekend away for two. Think a cosy bed and breakfast, sumptuous spa villa or luxurious resort room with flowers and champagne on arrival in your room and a private dinner for two. Plenty of accommodation providers will help you set up something special for your marriage proposal. Cedars Mount View, for instance,

offers beautifully appointed self-contained cottages and a range of pre-prepared romance packages that include everything from a bottle of chilled wine, a platter of decadent chocolates and box of long-stemmed roses to a ceremonial milk bath and luxurious body and massage oil. They can also tailor a personalised proposal package just for you. Wining and dining are obviously the most popular things to do when you’re in wine country, so why not up the ante on the romance stakes at one of the award-winning restaurants that offer the option of hiring out a private dining room. You could even arrange for the waiter to serve up the ring box on a covered silver platter – the perfect entrée for a romantic evening. Twine Restaurant located at the stunning Wynwood Estate plays host to numerous engagements each year. They believe they can help you organise the ultimate Hunter Valley proposal with some help from Slattery Helicopters. You and your partner will be flown to Twine by helicopter where you will be greeted with sparkling wine and be escorted to a private tasting in the winery. You will then be lead to the ceremony gazebo where you can enjoy panoramic views over the vineyards and beyond while enjoying a three-course lunch with matching wines. Now ask the question, and Twine will gift you with a beautiful bunch of roses to congratulate the newly engaged couple. For a more laidback – but no less luxurious – pre-proposal dining experience, why not opt for a picnic among the vines. Many of the cellar doors and bed and breakfasts can provide a hamper filled with mouthwatering treats to enjoy in a secluded spot. If your partner appreciates the great outdoors, why not swap two wheels for four legs and set off on a scenic horseback ride along one of the many Hunter trails. Operators such as Hunter Valley Horse Riding and Adventures offer personalised picnic options for experienced riders to the higher ridges and lookouts, where you can enjoy your special moment surrounded by spectacular views as far as the eye can see. Of course, the best valley views are only available from a much higher vantage point – but they provide the perfect backdrop for a wine country proposal. ►

Wynwood Estate

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(Continued) The baskets of Balloon Aloft’s hot air balloons have been the setting for countless marriage proposals over the years as they float gently above the Hunter Valley countryside. Enjoy the full VIP treatment in an hour-long balloon ride for just the two of you with champagne and chocolates during your flight, a complimentary in-flight photo, concluding with a gourmet breakfast at Peterson House. The special Proposal Package will make your special day even more memorable with a “Will you marry me?” banner that can be placed on the landing field or along the flight path to create the perfect moment for you to pop the question. Regardless of what you choose to do when you propose to your loved one, remember to relax, take it all in and truly savour the experience of hearing them say “yes” – it will be a moment you never forget! ■

For an altogether sweet experience, a visit to Sabor in the Hunter’s Dessert Bar is a MUST! Pair something scrumptious with a delicious Hunter Valley wine... it’s a unique Hunter Valley experience that you can only enjoy at Sabor in the Hunter Dessert Bar. 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. 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 amongst the vines or to take away and savour in your home or hotel.

Enjoy a world of desserts at Sabor in the Hunter Dessert Bar Pokolbin! Located at Lambloch Estate 2342 Broke Rd, Pokolbin • PH 1300 958 939

Open Thurs & Fri 10am - 4.30pm, Sat 10am - 5.30pm, Sun & Mon 10am - 4.30pm thb 12 | FEBRUARY 2018

Closed from 29th January, Re-open 15th February


for 2018

What Can We Expect! WORDS Quentin von Essen

Food trends are fleeting, as anyone with a fondue set gathering dust in their kitchen cabinet can attest to. Yet forecasters continue to bring out their crystal balls and assemble their predictions for what’s going to be big in food each year. Nevertheless, over the past year, we've seen a wide range of food and drink trends reflecting changing attitudes towards health, community and the environment. It seems 2018 is set to be the year of even more adventurous veggie and vegan cuisine, the rise of hyper-local cooking and exciting advances in food technology.

Continuing their runs from 2017 will be coconut everything, salads made from seaweed, Mexican cuisine, charcuterie, pickles and preserving, craft beers, comfort foods, more uses of ancient grains and street food-inspired dishes Topping the list of food trends for 2018 is edible flowers, which can add flavour to salads, soups, and beverages with minimal added calories. They can serve as an essential ingredient in a recipe, provide seasoning to a dish, or simply be used as a garnish to brighten up a plate. Eating flowers may sound like a strange new food trend, but the idea has been around for centuries and can be traced back to ►

Established in 1921, by legendary winemaker Maurice O’Shea - Mount Pleasant is one of the great wine estates of Australia. ‘2017 JAMES HALLIDAY WINERY OF THE YEAR’ ‘BEST LARGE CELLAR DOOR GOURMET TRAVELLER WINE MAGAZINE 2016 & 2017’ Visit our Cellar Door and enjoy a true Hunter Valley wine tas�ng experience or just take in the beau�ful surrounds with a glass of wine and local sourced cheese pla�er.

OPEN 7 DAYS - Mon to Sun 10AM - 4PM 401 Marrowbone Road Pokolbin NSW 2320 (02) 4998 7505

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(Continued) Roman times, as well as the Chinese, Middle Eastern, and Indian cultures. Ancient Romans ate violets, roses and pot marigolds as part of their diet and edible flowers were especially popular in the Victorian era during Queen Victoria's reign. Many cultures use flowers in their traditional cooking - think of squash blossoms in Italian food and rose petals in Indian food. The general rule is that the flowers of most vegetables and herbs are safe to eat, but always check first – there are always exceptions, and you don’t want to be the one to find it. Gut-friendly fermented foods are back on the menu with gut-health set to be a big trend this year. It might be time to try probiotics like kimchi, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut and miso which have been around

POKOLBIN VILLAGE ACCOMMODATION Wedding Group Specialists P: (02) 4998 7670

thb 14 | FEBRUARY 2018

for ages in Asian grocers and continental delicatessens, and prebiotics such as onions, garlic and other alliums. Expect to see them increasingly being used in restaurant kitchens and on the shelves of speciality stores. Non-alcoholic beverages are considered a growth area in the food and drink industry, supported by the fact that health-conscious millennials are drinking less alcohol. Expect to witness premium soda waters with interesting flavours, non-alcoholic “spirits” and botanical mixes fill a significant gap in the market. Good news for those who love a good cuppa, specialised tea's are set to be even more popular than before. Sales of herbal and green tea, continue to rise for consumption at home, so expect to see a number of tea ‘bars’ pop up here and there as people start to think of tea with the same reverence as coffee for its many varieties. Super powders can be good — or bad. Some powders, like matcha green tea, are a great antioxidant and can boost metabolism while adding virtually no calories. However, not all super powders are a good choice; it's important to look at the nutrition label for the number of calories, added sugars and chemical fillers. Powders can be filled with

Complimentary shuttle bus for group bookings of 10 or more rooms 2 NIGHT MINIMUM STAY

GMOs, preservatives, allergens like dairy, soy, and other synthetic toxins like aspartame, saccharin, and artificial flavours. As with other countries, in Australia, there has been a growing trend for locally sourced food – food that is grown or produced within close proximity to where it is bought or consumed. Here in the Hunter Valley, this has been put into practice by most local restaurants and in particular RidgeView Restaurant and Circa 1876 who have applied a sense of “localism” to their ingredients. Manufactured meat or lab-grown meat doesn’t sound very appetising, but there are a growing number of businesses dealing in cultured meat - growing actual meat cells without an animal, and it is expected to big in 2018 thanks to businesses such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods. And if all this sounds a little too weird – get used to the idea as the world moves closer toward more environmentally sustainable meat alternatives. Beyond Meat vegan burgers are very meat-like and techfood start-up Impossible Foods are already using it to bring a meaty quality to their plant-based burger made from pea protein which even bleeds a little “plant blood” when you cook them. If you haven’t yet heard of poké (pronounced POH-kay), that’s bound to change soon. Expect to see restaurants serving this Hawaiian raw-food speciality, which many consider to be the next phenomenon in fastcasual food. Poké is a mix of raw cubes of seafood (usually ahi tuna or salmon) in a soy sauce-based marinade. It’s often garnished with seaweed, cucumber, avocado, or tobiko, and served over rice or greens. In many ways, poké is a deconstructed, flavourful version of sushi and is considered healthy too. ■

Emma’s Cottage Vineyard 438 Wilderness Road, Lovedale 2320 • (02) 4998 7734

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Jimmy & Matty Kerr – Nanna Kerr’s Kitchen

Love Amongst the

VINES They say love is all around and this is especially true in the Hunter Valley. It is the perfect location for a romantic picnic, dinner or weekend away, but the Hunter Valley is also full of many local couples who have stood the test of time and prove that love really is amongst the vines. We spoke to a few prominent local couples to find out their love stories and the secret to a happy marriage.

How long have you been together/married? We’ve been together since July 2014 so three and half years. We were engaged in October 2014 - when you know, you know. We got married before it was actually legal on December 30th, 2016 in a backyard ceremony with about 300 people watching. We will legally get married again sometime this year, but it will be a much more intimate affair. Where did you meet? Through a dating App. We were both living in Elizabeth Bay in Sydney about 600m apart, and the internet brought us together. “I remember Matty’s profile headline read ‘I just want to meet someone I can watch David Attenborough docos with and take home to meet Mum & Dad,” recalls Jimmy. Where did you go on your first date? “Jimmy cooked for me,” says Matty. “He’d stuffed a quail with baked potatoes, and braised peas with bacon, onion and lettuce – some French dish and I loved it. I was full of flu and had cancelled on him once. I could tell he wasn’t going to let me cancel twice, so I turned up for dinner in my PJ’s and Ugg boots with a beanie on.” “He’d told me he used to be a Chef,” adds Jimmy. “He worked in Brisbane and Canada, and I thought I need to impress this guy. It turned out the ‘Chef’ worked at Sizzlers, Hogs Breath and a gourmet burger joint in Vancouver. The first time he ‘cooked’ for me he bought a roast chicken on the way home from work.” Tell us about the proposal? “Jimmy proposed while we were having drinks at a rooftop party in Sydney it was a complete surprise. It was the day he’d got his Australian Citizenship along with three of his best friends from the UK. So a party already, that turned into this massive celebration.” says Matty. “I’d planned to propose on Matty’s birthday at the end of October, but my emotions got the better of me, and I couldn’t hold it in anymore and blurted it out two weeks earlier than expected. Citizenship meant I was an Australian and here forever, so it made ▶

Mark & Lou Davidson – Tamburlaine Organic Wines How long have you been together/married? We’ve been together since we were 18 and will celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary in August this year (still waiting for my medal!) Where did you meet? We met at Newcastle Uni where we both majored in Psychology. Mark then went on to practise as a Psychologist, and I did Primary School teaching. Where did you go on your first date? The Bel Air Hotel in Kotara… every Friday night with the Uni gang. Then he drove me home – the long way past the beaches… Tell us about the proposal? I ended up in Blacktown for my first teaching appointment and used to come home to Newcastle every weekend to see Mark. My strict Catholic father kept asking when Mark was going to ‘do the right thing by his daughter’, and in May that year Mark said ‘why didn’t you tell him that we’ll get married as soon as you get assigned to a school in Newcastle?’ My reply was ‘Because I didn’t know!’ Mark said ‘…oh, did I forget to tell you? I told mum!!!’ And he has continued to be this romantic ever since (hahaha) What is your favourite memory together? Apart from memories of time spent with our daughters and four grandchildren, my favourite memories are of holidays when we can relax, and Mark turns his brain off ‘work mode’ for more than a few hours at a time!

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Lou & Mark Davidson

What is the secret to a great marriage/relationship? Try to keep laughing (at yourself and each other). Support each other’s dreams and aspirations, and find some common interests that you can do together as you age. Mind you – we live together, we work together, we learnt to dance together, we play golf together... I thought we might learn Bridge together to give ourselves a 5th reason to fight!!

sense that I proposed to the man I wanted to be with forever. I hadn’t even bought the ring yet. I did it properly with the ring in the park next to our apartment overlooking Sydney Harbour on his actual Birthday too - so he said yes twice.” What is your favourite memory together? “My favourite memory was introducing Jimmy to my whole family in December 2014. My sister, Miranda, flew us over to LA for Christmas with Mum and Dad so that she could meet my future husband. We had the first of many family holidays together. On Boxing Day, we were all surprised with an extra present and jumped on board a private jet to Tahiti where we spent two weeks on a private yacht. Miranda threw us an engagement party on the boat which was pretty spectacular.” Says Matty “That’s probably my favourite memory too,” says Jimmy. “Funny, that on that trip we met Evan for the first time when he and Miranda had just started becoming friends. Who knew they would end up married too!” “But I’m so excited for our surrogacy and parenthood journey the best memories are yet to come." What is the secret to a great marriage/relationship? Hardest question! We are not really sure if there is a secret. Being open and honest all the time, not holding anything you are thinking back helps but that’s pretty obvious. Knowing when you

need alone time - you are married but you are still individuals. Listening to your partner’s needs especially like us when you are business partners too. We’ve learned that breaks from each other, even holidays alone or with friends without the other half are healthy for our relationship. Most of the time we spend 24/7 with each other, and it’s intense. We are really good at being with each other and looking after each other.

Three generations of the Kerr family

Darren & Tracey Scott

Bob & Maryanne McLeish – McLeish Estate Wines How long have you been together/married? 33 years. We were married in 1985. Where did you meet? The first time we met, Maryanne had just fallen off a horse and had a concussion. I was visiting, as I was a friend of her sisters, and had been invited to play bagpipes at a private event at their house. While I remembered her, she didn’t remember me. Where did you go on your first date? After the first initial vague meeting in 1982, we were set up on a blind date by Maryanne’s sister. I was working in South Australia at the time and took Maryanne out to the Golden Oldies Rugby Festival in Sydney in 1983. I hired a water taxi to pick her up from Mosman to catch a ferry across to Rose Bay to go to an event at Randwick racecourse. Tell us about the proposal? A total set up! I was living in Melbourne at the time, so I would drive up in my little MG or Maryanne would fly down to Melbourne. The distance was a problem so at the airport on one of the weekends I asked Maryanne to move in with me and she said she wouldn’t come down to Melbourne unless she was married. The rest is history! What is your favourite memory together? Moving to the Hunter Valley in 1985 and planting our vineyard together. The property was originally a weekender; we would escape from Sydney after a long week at work and come up to our vineyard to look after the land, build fences and build the house. What is the secret to a great marriage/relationship? Give your wife the control of the bank account.

Darren & Tracey Scott – RidgeView Wines and Restaurant How long have you been together/married? Met in 1982 (36 years) & married for 32 years! Where did you meet? Bexley RSL where Darren was working part-time while at University Where did you go on your first date? Graphic Arts Club to see a band called Ducktail...very lame! Tell us about the proposal? We honestly cannot remember... we were only 20 at the time with minimal money, so it wasn’t as lavish as these days. Tracey even sourced the ring while in Hong Kong to save money. What is your favourite memory together? Having four kids, the marriage of 2 of our kids (with another pending) + 3 and ¾ grandkids. Another memory would have to be our European Scenic cruise in 2016 with our best friends for our 30th Anniversaries.

Bob & Maryanne McLeish with daughter Jessica

What is the secret to a great marriage/relationship? We have always been best mates. Despite the rigours of life and the difficulty to find work/life balance, it is essential to find time for each other. There are numerous daily and nightly business decisions to be made giving rise to the feeling there are staff members lurking around us always. Along with family pressures, it means life can become very complicated, so we try to find the time to go to the movies or theatre...I guess a date night!! Overall, we love each other to the moon and back, respect each other’s role in life both with work and family and try to find time for each other.

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We’re talking about orange wine, an increasingly popular style that is making its way into cellar doors and onto wine lists around the world. The name itself – orange wine – is a little misleading … there’s no such thing as an orange grape after all. It instead refers to the distinctive hue of the product, which can vary greatly from a soft pinkish apricot to a golden honey colour or even a rich amber. The wine itself is made using white wine grapes. However, instead of following the standard process where the grapes skins are discarded once the juice has been extracted, winemakers preparing an orange wine leave the two together for an extended period. As is the case when making red wine, the extended contact – also known as maceration - allows the juice to take on some of the colour pigments and tannins contained in the skins, seeds and stems of the fruit. In white wine making, maceration is usually avoided altogether or allowed for only a very short time. Red wines, on the other hand, gain their bold flavours and rich textures from this extended contact with the solid elements of the red wine grapes, making it an essential part of the winemaking process. Orange wine – or skin-contact wine as it is also known – also involves this extended contact, which can range from a few days to several weeks or many months depending on the result the winemaker is seeking. Of course, given this process involves white wine grapes, the end product has a far more delicate hue than its red counterparts. While orange wines have been popping up across Australia for the past few years, the practice itself is an ancient one, dating back

Red, White and

ORANGE WORDS Michelle Meehan

The wine industry is known for its reds and its whites – but what about its oranges? Obviously, we’re not referring to the citrus fruit (unless you’re adding it to a nice drop of sparkling), or even the fertile wine region in the central west of NSW.

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hundreds of years in European regions such as Slovenia, and possibly even thousands of years in the Eurasian region of Georgia. In the Hunter Valley, orange wines have been on the radar of certain vintners for quite some time. Boutique family-owned Pokolbin winery Harkham Wines explored the more natural winemaking process in 2014. At the time, co-founder Richie Harkham told Russh Magazine he wanted to make wine “like the ancient Romans would have done”, using Semillon grapes on skins in a clay amphorae (jug) that he’d had an artist make specifically for the process using the same dimensions as the ancient versions. More recently some of the largest winemakers in the region have also been experimenting with the process. Tamburlaine Organic Wines Senior Winemaker Aaron Mercer told Hunter Blackboard a skin-contact Pinot Gris was on the horizon at the Pokolbin winery, while he said Brokenwood Wines had also been working on an orange varietal using Semillon grapes. “We did a skin contact Pinot Gris this year; we just handled it like red wine, no additions, totally natural,” Aaron said. “We haven’t released it yet, but it’s on the cards. The Pinot Gris came from Orange actually, an orange wine from Orange, but it’s pink as well, that’s why I used Pinot Gris, it has a lot of aromatics in the skin, so I wanted to see if we could get those out.

We just handled it just as we would red wine, fermented it and plunged it to see what we could do, as opposed to a lot of the other orange wine that go on skins for 100 days or so.

“We pushed the boundary on that; it’s a no-additive wine, pinkish but oranging off. I wish it was brighter, but it’s not, so we’ll give that another go next year. “We’re thinking of doing a Sauvignon Blanc commercial release in that as well in the future. “I like it, I use a bit of Sav Blanc skin contact to blend back into the other stuff, and you get real aromatics out of it.” While it’s unlikely orange wine will ever replace white or red as a mainstay of any wine producer, it’s clear the amber-coloured drop will be on the menu for a few more years to come.

Hunter Valley Resort Corner Hermitage Road & Mistletoe Lane, Pokolbin (02) 49987777

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Lovedale Wedding Chapel & Reception Experience a day you'll always remember in a place you'll never forget! The Hunter Valley, with its breathtaking views and some of the country’s most spectacular vineyard wedding settings, is now the first choice for many brides looking to get married in one of Australia’s most romantic destinations. For many, you cannot get a more romantic setting than that offered by the Lovedale Wedding Chapel in Lovedale. Imagine exchanging your vows in front of your friends and family in the gorgeous white chapel that oozes all the warmth and charm of an old-style wedding chapel, with its beautiful wooden exposed beams and handcrafted pews capable of seating up to 110 wedding guests.

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2 Oakey Creek Road, Pokolbin Open 7 days 10am - 4pm • Phone 4991 5456

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James Halliday’s Wine Companion

358 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin

When it comes to capturing those lasting memories, the grounds provide the ideal backdrop for your wedding photography with the vineyards, olive grove, bushland, dam and gazebo all offering an abundance of wonderful wedding photo opportunities. Your reception will be all you ever dreamed of at Lovedale Wedding Chapel’s Reception centre. With the wedding ceremony completed, your guests can retire to the onsite reception centre to enjoy drinks and canapes until the celebrations commence. Specifically designed for wedding parties and thoughtfully laid out with large glass doors opening onto an extensive and elevated decking area, the recently-built reception area offers fantastic views of the landscaped gardens and vineyard – not to mention views across the valley to the Watagans and Brokenback Ranges. While there is no shortage of accommodation in the Lovedale area, your wedding party can also make use of the three cottages conveniently located on the picturesque property. If you are planning to get married in the Hunter Valley but are not sure where to start, contact Ashlee, Lovedale Wedding Chapel’s Wedding Coordinator, who will ensure that every detail of your wedding day runs smoothly and is completely stress-free. For more information phone 0447 923 888 or visit

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the perfect wine country dining experience executive chef jean marc-pollet has created a menu driven by the fusion of classic French cuisine with local, seasonal Australian produce including produce from his private farm. situated in the hub of hunter valley wine country, éléments is open 7 days for café lunch and a-la-carte dinner.

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The Hunter Valley has a rich and vibrant history as home to some of Australia’s winemaking pioneers. As the years pass and people come and go, its great to see some of the Hunter Valley’s most iconic locations transformed back to their glory, the original families of the Hunter expanding and thriving, and new businesses breathing new life into the region…

Dalwood Estate returned to former glory For the first time in three years, Dalwood Estate, formerly known as Wyndham Estate, reopened its doors in January after being given a new lease on life. The winery is one of Australia’s oldest wineries, having been established in Branxton 190 years ago. The property surrounds Dalwood House, the original 1828 National Trust -listed family home of George Wyndham, who - by virtue of his Branxton plantings - is credited with establishing Australia’s first commercial Shiraz vineyard.

The estate sat virtually untouched since its closure in 2014 until last year when the Iris Capital group of Sydney hotelier and developer Sam Arnaout bought the property, adding a third winery to its Hunter portfolio alongside Hungerford Hill Wines and Sweetwater Wines. With a return to its original 1828 establishment name, Dalwood Estate boasts a heritage winery building, manicured lawns and garden beds, a function centre, cellar door, restaurant, walking trails and public barbecue areas on the banks of the Hunter River. The main building which has been restored to its former glory is 2500 square metres and includes the old winery, cellar door, restaurant, ceremony locations and three function rooms. The function centre can hold up to 400 seated guests and has secured relevant licences to host live concerts and music festivals. Senior winemaker and general manager of Iris Capital’s Hungerford Hill, Sweetwater and now Dalwood wine operations, Bryan Currie will lead the production of Dalwood’s Chardonnay, Semillon and Shiraz wines made from grapes harvested from the 2018 vintage, which will be released this year. It is also expected that the cellar door will be reopened and fully operational in the coming months.

Tyrrell Family purchase Pokolbin’s Old Hillside Vineyard Late last year, the Tyrrell family announced that they had purchased the Old Hillside Vineyard at Pokolbin from Neil and Bernadette Stevens. The block covers 13.52 hectares on Marrowbone Road, of which 6.11 hectares are planted solely to Shiraz. It is believed that 1.1 hectares of this block is the oldest producing vineyard in NSW. Planted in 1867 these vines would almost certainly have been planted from first generation cuttings from the Busby collection. The balance of the vineyard was planted in 1968, and this vineyard is currently the source of Tyrrell’s Wines Old Patch and Stevens Shiraz. This purchase ensures that ownership of this iconic vineyard remains amongst the original families of the Hunter. The Hunter Valley has 11 blocks of vineyard over 100 years old on their own roots, and this now gives the Tyrrell family seven of those blocks.

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Baumé at Ben Ean now open for dinner After being purchased by Colin Peterson and Brian McGuigan and undergoing a $1.5 million refurbishment, the historic Ben Ean Estate reopened in November 2017. Since then it has become one of Pokolbin’s most popular spots, thanks to rave reviews from visitors and locals alike. Due to overwhelming demand, the onsite restaurant, bar and café, Baumé at Ben Ean, will now be opening for dinner from Thursday to Monday from 6pm. The casual family-style restaurant sources the best local ingredients to produce a menu that consists of small tasting plates, shared signature dishes, garden fresh sides and salads, delicious pasta and house-made wood fire pizzas.

Hunter Belle Cheese and Hunter Valley Olive Co. find a home at Ben Ean Hunter Belle Cheese and Hunter Valley Olive Co. have both opened new tasting rooms at the Ben Ean Complex. Since 2006, Hunter Valley Olive Co. has produced a range of high-quality olive products, from olives sourced from the Hunter Valley and select regions in NSW. Their first retail outlet at the Ben Ean Complex in Pokolbin offers visitors the chance to shop from and sample Hunter Valley Olive Co.’s complete range of locally-made products and a select range of authentic food and personal items from other olive producing regions of Australia. For over ten years, Hunter Belle Cheese has produced unique, artisan cheese products from the milk of Brown Swiss Cows. In 2010, the popular Hunter Belle Café opened in Muswellbrook giving the business the opportunity to showcase their cheese throughout a café menu. Their first cheese room in Pokolbin will give cheese lovers an opportunity to sample and purchase their award-winning range of soft, hard, blue and flavoured cheddar cheeses, as well as gelato and fudge made in-house.

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The Quintessential Summer Wine Served chilled, rosé can be a refreshing accompaniment to a variety of warm weather meals, and it tops the charts for food-friendly versatility. For a rosé, colour is essential — it's a major aspect of its appeal. It is impossible to define the "correct" colour of rosé wine, which can range from pale pink to light red. The vast range of colours depends on the grape used, the richness of the grape's phenolic compounds and the winemaking techniques used, which include the length of time the grape skins have been in contact with the grape juice. The origins of rosé winemaking can be traced back to ancient Greece when much of the red wine produced was pale red. By mid100 B.C, the Romans had popularized darker red wines in Europe, but rosé wine remained popular in parts of France - most notably, Provincia Romana, which is today's Provence region, as well as the surrounding Mediterranean area. Historically, rosé wine practically disappeared in the nineteenth century and the first half of the 20th century. Red wine was reserved for peasants and workers, while rosé became the fashionable wine of choice for the middle class in the 1960’s. Today, there is a new surge in the popularity, and the number of rosés on the market continues to grow, seemingly unabated. In fact, the demand for traditional dry rosé is so widespread that across France, rosé outsells white wine and outside of France, rosé is experiencing a rebirth. Rosé wines can be made from almost any red variety, red blends or red and white blends, and can be made in a sweet, off-dry or bone-dry style, with most European rosés being decidedly dry.

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CELLARS thb 24 | FEBRUARY 2018

You will find us at Hunter Valley Gardens Shopping Village Broke Road, Pokolbin OPEN 7 DAYS 10am - 5.30pm | PH 4998 7466

Almost all of the world's wine-producing regions make rosés. The first, and arguably, the most important rosé producer is France, where it is predominantly found in the southern region of Tavel, Provence; and the Loire Valley in Anjou. Other important regions are Piedmont in Italy, Rioja in Spain and Styria in Austria. Australia’s fresh and vibrant rosés are generally produced from red grape varieties such as Shiraz and Grenache, with only minimal contact on skins to give the wines their signature ‘blush’. As a fantastic food wine, the versatility of rosé is its standout feature as it can be paired with a wide variety of foods and flavours and handles spices and heat very well. Rosé is great alongside salads, antipasto platters, fish dishes or even your favourite curry. A great beverage for a picnic, rosé wine can accompany everything from seafood, ham, chicken, salads to barbecued and roasted meats. When pairing with cheese, rosé is the perfect accompaniment to soft goat cheese. Rosé usually has a delicate flavour and a balance of sweetness and acidity that make it a refreshing palate-cleansing drink. Best served young and at a chilled temperature, rosé wine is a wonderful alternative to a red or white.



2016 Belebula Nebbiolo Rosé

2017 Wine Lovers Petite Fleur Rosé

This is the first time Pokolbin Estate have made this Nebbiolo Rosé style, previously using the Shiraz grape for their Rosé. This wine is a traditional dry European-style Rosé, making it ideal as an aperitif or with food. While this wine is still very young, it has been extremely popular with consumers.

Tamburlaine Organic Wines is the pioneer of sustainable viticulture, with no synthetic chemical inputs used in the growing of the grapes which made this wine. TASTING This Petite Fleur Rosé has bright pink hues with rose petal and fresh strawberries. Ripe red berries, crisp red apple and Turkish delight on the palate, with subtle oak complexity and a refreshing finish. Not simply a light red pretending to be a rosé.

TASTING Bronzed salmon and peach in colour, this Nebbiolo Rosé possesses a vibrant bouquet of bush strawberries, peach and melon. FOOD MATCH The perfect wine to accompany a romantic Valentine’s Day feast of BBQ Prawns, Grilled Salmon or Roast Chicken. It is also a great accompaniment to a fresh seasonal fruit salad on a hot summers day.

CELLARING Drink now or cellar for up to 5 years.

CELLARING Drink now to 2022

‘Make this your destination’ This is one of the Hunter Valley’s favourite Cellar Doors. Discover 18 acclaimed wines, relax on the deck or enjoy a meal at the Deck Café. 701 Lovedale Road, Lovedale NSW | Ph: 02 4930 7113 |

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I Scream, You Scream WE ALL SCREAM FOR

Ice Cream

WORDS Michelle Meehan

There’s nothing that says summer quite like ice cream. With scoops of the creamy iced confection piled high on top of a crisp wafer cone, it’s a tasty treat that taps into the sweet-toothed inner child in all of us.

Ice cream has been around for centuries although the origins of the frozen dessert are unclear, with icy concoctions made from snow and flavoured with nectar reportedly enjoyed as far back as the second century B.C. A product more similar to our ice cream of today is believed to have emerged in the 16th century in a number of places across Europe, although until the 1800’s it remained a more exotic treat enjoyed only by the upper classes. These days, Australia is among the leading ice cream consumers per capita in the world, eating 18 litres per person each year. We sit only behind our neighbours across the ditch, New Zealand, who consume 20 litres per year, and, not surprisingly, the United States, where people eat 23 litres each per year. The history of gelato is similarly clouded with mystery, although it too was reportedly first created during the 16th century. Often referred to as ice cream made in the Italian style, they are actually two distinctly different products, with gelato generally lower in fat but higher in sugar than ice cream. It is made with a base of whole milk – rather than cream – and flavoured with fruit and nut purees, as well as other flavourings. Gelato also has up to 50 percent less air in it than ice cream, which gives it a much denser, but smoother, texture. ►

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With the mercury soaring in the Hunter this year, a scoop or two of either of these delicious frozen desserts is the perfect way to beat the summer heat. And thankfully there are plenty of places in the heart of wine country where locals and tourists alike can indulge their ice cream or gelato cravings. Top of the list of treats to try is the amazing array of flavours created by the Hunter Valley Gelato Company. A subsidiary of the Hunter Valley Smelly Cheese Shop founded by former restaurateur Tony Drice in 2005, Hunter Valley Gelato was created to provide the shop’s gourmet-loving customers with another dairyinspired experience. The company makes more than 200 different varieties of gelato and sorbet, ranging from the more run-of-the-mill regular flavours such as Sabor in the Hunter Dessert Bar mango or vanilla bean to the more exotic and outlandish concoctions such as sweet potato and maple syrup. Ice cream and gelato lovers of all ages are also catered for, starting Other notable flavours include the ever-popular Ferrero Rocher, with the simplest of Bravo Gelato Tubs and ice cream by the scoop, Aussie Nuts and Bush Honey, Mango, Coffee Crunch, Pistachio, Turkish which are available in six different flavours for both adults and kids. Delight, Panna Cotta and Nuts About Chocolate, to name just a few. Stepping up the ice cream experience a notch is the more decadent Owner Steve Cooper said the key to creating the perfect gelato was Ice Cream Obsession, which includes a scoop each of Chocolate simple. Obsession, Cookies’n’Cream and Caramel Pecan ice cream, which are drizzled with chocolate and served with a poco loco wafer stick. The secret to a great gelato is 'Amore' (love) Sabor is also famous for pairing their desserts with local wines from and using the finest of ingredients," he said. the region, such as their Muscat Ice offering, which includes a double scoop of Vanilla Bean ice cream served with a shot of Petersons Muscat (to pour over the dish). “Hunter Valley Gelato Company is locally and nationally renowned Their Belgium Chocolate Waffle and Ice Cream includes a warm for traditional Italian Gelato, made with local and imported ingredients, chocolate Belgium waffle with a scoop of Vanilla Bean ice cream and hand-crafted using a 200-year-old recipe. Sabor’s choc-pod of melted chocolate, again paired with Petersons “Our gelato is made from pasteurised cow’s milk and stabiliser, adding the most exquisite flavours then churned into an amazing finished Muscat. For those seeking a dessert on the lighter side, opt for a scoop each of Lemon, Strawberry and Mango gelato, topped with berries and product. drizzled with passionfruit and mango coulis. “My personal favourite is the Coconut and Lime gelato, but I can’t The Hunter may be known for its vineyards, but it’s clear that with stop at just the one flavour!” Their products can also be purchased at their Pokolbin Village shop, so many ice cream and gelato flavours to choose from at numerous locations throughout the region, a wining and dining experience just as well as at the Hunter Valley Chocolate Company and Wollombi won’t be complete unless you leave room for dessert. ■ General Store. The company’s most impressive mouth-watering display of their gelatos can be found at the Hunter Valley Smelly Cheese Shop located in the Hall of Food at the Roche Estate Complex on Broke Road, Pokolbin. Not surprisingly, ice cream and gelato also feature heavily on the menu of the Hunter Valley’s first restaurant dedicated purely to desserts - Sabor in the Hunter. Founded by Fernando and Renata Antao, it opened its doors at Lovedale in August 2011, serving up a delectable menu with more than 50 desserts on offer. Clearly, Hunter residents have a very sweet tooth, with growing demand for their desserts later seeing the couple open a second Sabor store just five minutes’ drive away in Pokolbin. Among the more popular items on the menu is the award-winning Casa De Sabor’s Sabor Portuguese Mousse, which is created using an old Antao family recipe.

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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 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


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

A Promising

VINTAGE WORDS Quentin von Essen

Hunter winemakers and vignerons are extremely positive about this year’s vintage, which in some parts of the region came earlier than normal, with picking starting during the first week of January. First Creek Wines head winemaker Liz Silkman said it’s the earliest vintage she’s ever worked on in their Upper Hunter vineyards. With thousands of tonnes of grapes already being processed through the Pokolbin based winery, Liz said this season’s harvest was showing great promise. “It may be a really early vintage, but the grapes are looking fantastic,” she said. Ross Wilson from Ernest Hill said that by Australia Day he had picked all his white grapes and had started on his reds – an early start compared to most other vintages. “The early rains and hot weather have actually been really good for the grapes” said Ross. “It’s been critical to keep the vines irrigated but we’ve been able to keep the leaves on, and the sugar levels are good”.

So far, the harvested fruit has been of extremely good quality albeit the yield is down," said Ross.

“We won’t really know how good it is until all the grapes are picked and at the winery”. In the past, winemakers have had to endure years of less than ideal weather conditions and are therefore not underestimating the significance of the next few weeks in either making or breaking the vintage. In a region that has notoriously wet vintages, many were concerned that the December and January heat would damage the grapes, but the damage has been minimal. Very high temperatures – such as the 40-degree temperatures that can occur at this time of the year can place too much stress on the vine

thb 28 | FEBRUARY 2018

What is Vintage?

and can make the vines shut down and stop accumulating sugar and ripening the fruit. Also, sunburnt grapes can have a terrible impact on the juice – making it taste bitter like burnt sugar or toffee. To avoid this, winemakers and vignerons are resorting to letting the leaf canopy grow longer to give the grapes increased shade protection from the hot afternoon sun and even spraying the vines with a type of "sunscreen." While a few days of rain often do not necessarily pose a problem, a sustained and heavy downfall could be dangerous to the crop. Direct rain can cause the vine to take in a lot of water, making all the cells turgid, including the grapes - which can burst. Hail, on the other hand, could destroy the whole crop in less than an hour.

In winemaking terms, “vintage” is the process of picking grapes (harvesting) and creating the finished product. In some parts of the world, it is also known as “the crush”. January - February is when the harvest of the fruit typically occurs in the Hunter Valley. At this time of the year, the winemakers and growers work closely together to determine the optimum time to pick the fruit to ensure the best wine quality. White grapes are pressed off the skins, the juice chilled to prevent oxidation, and inoculated with yeast. Red grapes are crushed and inoculated with yeast, and the ensuing fermentation on the skins allow for colour and flavour extraction. March can be a continuance of harvest, depending on the temperatures and how the vintage year developed over the summer. Fermentations are monitored by checking how rapidly the grape sugars decline as the alcohol level increases. April is typically the completion of harvest. All the wines are now in the tanks or barrels. The winery crush equipment is thoroughly cleaned and put to rest until next year. In the vineyard, the grower may perform some post-harvest irrigation and fertilisation of the vines before they go dormant. In the Northern Hemisphere, vintage normally takes place between August and October while in the Southern Hemisphere it typically occurs between February and April each year. However, taking into consideration the various grape varieties that need to be picked at different times, the wine styles and climate conditions - the harvesting of grapes no doubt takes place somewhere in the world every month of the year. Here in the Hunter Valley, because of our warmer conditions, vintage can commence very early in January with Semillon being one of the first varieties to be picked - being low in alcohol (between 10.5% and 11.5% alcohol), followed by Chardonnay and Verdelho. The red varieties are picked after the whites - which generally takes place from the second week in February. ►

Hunter Valley

Located at Gartelmann Wines.

Trail Rides for Beginners and Experienced Riders

The Deck Café Lovedale provides a diverse and delightful menu complemented by Gartelmann Wines and Piazza Doro Coffee.

Pony Rides • Picnics • BBQ’s • Breakfast Rides • Family Rides Personalised Rides • Hiking & Mountain Bike Trails Sunset Rides • Kangaroos • Spectacular Valley Views Sulky Rides • Tractor Hay Rides to Feed the Animals! Kangaroo and Native Wildlife Spotting at Night Time. Leaves at Sunset. Pedal Go Karts for ages 5 - 99 years. Lots of fun!

Open 7 Days for Breakfast and Lunch. Mon to Fri 8.30am till 3.30pm, Sat and Sun 8am till 3.30pm.

Talk to us about our Weddings on Horseback! FINALIST

For Bookings Phone Margaret on 4930 7111 or 0417 233 008 Stay & play at Hilltop, 288 Talga Road, Lovedale

of the Hunter Region Business Excellence Awards 2016

So close to all of Wine Countrys attractions, yet you feel a million miles away..

29 | FEBRUARY 2018 thb

(Continued) The harvesting of the grapes is understandably one of the most critical stages of the winemaking process. The timing of the harvest is determined by the ripeness of the grape which is measured by the sugar content, as well as acid and tannin levels. Currently, tasting is the only way to measure tannin ripeness. The decision when to pick the grapes is also made in conjunction with the decision of what style of wine the winemaker intends to produce (e.g., dry vs sweet). The weather plays a crucial role in deciding when to pick with the threat of rain, hail, humidity and heat potentially delaying vintage or at worst damaging the grapes and even bringing about various vine or grape diseases such as Botrytis (Grey Rot or Noble Rot). In addition to having to decide on the timing of when to pick the grapes, the winemaker also needs to decide on what methods to use. Harvesting is done by hand or machine depending on site requirements and takes place in the cool of the morning or night to ensure the optimum preservation of fruit. The introduction of mechanical harvesting of grapes has to be one of the most significant changes in vineyard management with the primary benefits being the relatively low cost and far greater efficiency. A mechanical harvester can operate 24 hours a day and in extreme heat conditions, picking up to 200 tons of grape compared to 2 tons by an experienced picker. However, mechanical harvesting is not without its disadvantages which include harvesters not being able to distinguish between ripe, unripe or unhealthy, and even rotten bunches or potentially breaking the skins of the grape, which can cause oxidation and interfere with the aromatic qualities of the wine. Despite the costs, some wineries in the Hunter continue to prefer picking by hand with the main advantage being the gentler handling of the grapes and inherent knowledge and ability of the picker to choose only healthy bunches. â–


7 Days, 10am - 5pm 1686 Broke Road, Pokolbin Hunter Valley PH (02) 4998 6737 • thb 30 | FEBRUARY 2018

More Than Just


Although renowned as one of Australia’s premier wine destinations, the Hunter Valley offers so much more than just wine. With over 140 wineries, wine lovers are well and truly catered for. However, if you don’t fancy wine, the Hunter Valley caters to you too. The increased popularity of craft beer’s in Australia has seen a number of breweries open in the region. Hunter Beer Co. in Nulkaba is the Hunter Valley’s original micro-brewery, offering a unique range of

innovative, hand-crafted beers that come with a diverse range of flavours and styles. For only $10, you can learn more about beer by joining one of the brewers for a tour behind the scenes of the brewery, which also includes a sampling of three beers. Lovedale Brewery, Hope Estate Brewhouse, Pokolbin Cider House and the region’s newest brewery, Ironbark Hill Brewhouse offer the opportunity to take a break and sample some great local beers and ciders. The Garden Cellars with their tunnel of beer and Matilda Bay Brewhouse with their range of Matilda Bay beers that can be sampled on their unique Beer Tasting Paddle, also offer beer lovers a wine tasting alternative. Once you have finished sampling beer and wine, pay a visit to the region’s only distillery, Hunter Distillery, to partake in their unique test tube tasting experience. For only $5 per person, you can taste a selection of your choice from their full product range, which includes flavoured vodkas, delicious liqueurs and gins. If you are more interested in the food than the drinks, the Hunter Valley has scores of fantastic restaurants for you to indulge, as well as local gourmet produce for you to try such as cheeses, olives, chocolate, honey and so much more. To truly enjoy your Hunter Valley experience, leave the car at home and let someone else drive. Cheers Bus is one of the regions leading tour bus companies offering guided and customised tours throughout Wine Country. Their fleet of mini-buses can accommodate both small and large groups and are air-conditioned so your trip is as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. For more information about Cheers Bus and their tours or to make a booking, visit

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

Whether it's a luscious Hunter estate Pinot Gris, a beautiful Sangiovese or a wonderful Pinot Grigio for the warmer months... Taste and buy at our cellar door – we are open 7 days from 10am to 5pm. Enjoy! You can also buy online for delivery to your home or office.

The most unique, relaxed wine experience in the Hunter Come enjoy spectacular views and premium wines, including an exclusively Hunter Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc. Relax by the fire, listen to music and indulge in the peace and vistas our vineyard and cellar door has to offer! Pre-book for a late afternoon underground cellar tasting experience with cheese platter and if you desire a tasting of a cellar aged wine of your choice.

999 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin Open 7 Days • PH 4998 7295 • MOB 0407 109 992


492 Lovedale Rd, Lovedale PH 02 49 307 473

31 | FEBRUARY 2018 thb












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A DAY ON THE GREEN at Bimbadgen Estate

British singer-songwriter James Blunt returns to Australia next month, performing at a day on the green for the first time as part of his The Afterlove tour. Blunt first captured the world’s attention in 2005 with his multiplatinum debut Back To Bedlam, featuring its history-making number one classic single You’re Beautiful. The British tunesmith has since become one of the most popular singer-songwriters of the modern era, with more than 20 million albums and 12 million singles sold worldwide. He has also been the recipient of a remarkable range of top honours, including five Grammy Award nominations, two BRIT Awards, two Ivor Novello Awards (honouring British music and songwriters), and a host of MTV Awards. James Blunt will be joined by Pete Murray, Busby Marou, Alex Lloyd and Karise Eden, making this a day on the green performance an unforgettable jam-packed day of entertainment. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

thb 34 | FEBRUARY 2018

Following the success of last year’s inaugural Hot Dub Wine Machine at Hope Estate, the popular event is back in 2018 with a carefully chosen line-up of some of Australia’s most loved bands and DJ’s. Hot Dub Time Machine is the world’s first time travelling DJ, a global festival smash-hit and the best party ever! Hot Dub aka DJ Tom Loud from Sydney, plays sounds in “strict” chronological order, mixing and mashing visuals and audio live from vinyl turntables. It’s every song you love presented in a whole new way. Hot Dub Time Machine has become one of the largest ticket selling electronic acts in Australia and has broken dance floors at sold-out shows all over the globe, along with festival slots at Coachella, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Splendour in the Grass, Falls Festival and plenty more. The boutique atmosphere of the event is guaranteed by a capped capacity – ensuring there will be plenty of space to find a comfortable spot to relax while taking in the sweeping views of the scenic vineyards. There will also be a range of premium wines, craft beers and a frenzy of local flavours from fresh finger food to delicious burgers for partygoers to refuel after non-stop singing and dancing. The tickets to the first Hot Dub Wine Machine sold out in record time so you will need to be quick to secure your tickets to a party like no other! For more information or to purchase tickets visit

Enjoy a wide range of street food, coffee, local wine and produce from around the Hunter region at Maitland Taste Festival! With a diverse program of demonstrations, performances, live art, workshops and kids activities, there is something for everybody. Explore the delights of

food and produce, from the garden to the plate, hear from local and national experts in the fields of cooking, gardening for produce and biodiversity across the Kitchen and Garden stages, and sample some of the best street food and local wine the Hunter has to offer! Live music will be on throughout each day across three performance spaces, featuring some of the region’s greatest independent artists, and kids will be entertained with free seedling planting, craft workshops, games and cooking classes! You can enjoy all this and more at Maitland Taste 2018 for free, from 10am to 4pm each day. For more information about the event plus transport options, visit

23 - 25



For all things rock ‘n’ roll, the Kurri Kurri Nostalgia Festival is the place to go! Now in its second decade, the popular event featuring music, classic cars, retro market stalls, fashion and dancing has established itself as one of the Hunter’s premier festivals. The weekend attracts large crowds of people from all over Australia to join in the atmosphere as the town centre is transformed into all the glory of a bygone 50’s and 60’s era. The festival is free to enter, and tickets to indoor shows may be purchased through the Kurri Kurri Visitor Information Centre or at the event door. For more information and the full program visit

Crossroads in the Vines is an exciting new festival series hosted by Roche Estate. The series kicks off with Crossroads Blues in the Vines this month followed by Crossroads Country in the Vines in March. Crossroads Country in the Vines will welcome Billy Ray Cyrus, who will be returning to Australia for the first time in eighteen years. Billy Ray Cyrus is one of the country world’s biggest names, exploding the genre into the mainstream with the iconic hit Achy Breaky Heart. Australian country stars Lee Kernaghan, Kasey Chambers, John Williamson, The McClymonts, Sara Storer, Adam Harvey and Beccy Cole, young stars Caitlin Shadbolt, Amber Lawrence, Viper Creek Band and Christie Lamb and many more will round out an enviable list that no Australian country fan will want to miss. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

119 Mcdonalds Road, Pokolbin, NSW 2320 now open

at lindemans ben ean winery



É Phone: PH O N E : 4993 4 9 9 3 3705 3700 ADDRESS: 119 MCDONALDS RD, POKOLBIN,NSW 2320


At Baumé (pronounced bow - may) we source the best of local ingredients and tend to them with love to create a


casual family style dining experience. Start with some small tasting plates to tempt the taste buds, then enjoy our


& LUNCH8am-11am DINNER Daily 11am- 4pm

Thursday - Monday 6pm-Late

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Shopping Vill V Village age Shop AUSTRALIAN ALPACA BARN - Specialises in quality Australian Alpaca fashion, homewares and accessories. Alpaca coats, sweaters, shawls, scarves, gloves, socks, beanies, throw rugs, bedding, yarn and alpaca toys. PEPPERS CREEK ANTIQUES - An exquisite array of spectacular jewellery, stylish watches, amazing giftware and homewares. 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. EXCLUSIVE DIAMOND CO. - An elegant and stunning new store to the village, offering a range of European, contemporary and individualised pieces. Choose a stunning natural diamond, tanzanite or gemstone piece or perhaps something from our exclusive Larimar range.

HUNTER VALLEY CHRISTMAS SHOP Nestled in the heart of the Hunter Valley, is a magic land where it is Christmas every day of the year! 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. VILLAGE BOOKS - A fantastic range of fiction, non-fiction, and children’s books and a unique collection of quality toys, games, souvenirs and gifts. Phone 4998 6530. WILSON & HUNTER - A unique selection of Australian and New Zealand fashion and accessories from Camilla, Mela Purdie, Tigerlilly, Verge, Willow & Zac, Samantha Wills, Solsana and more. Plus a small range of menswear and accessories.

Play WINE GLASS GALLERY - Hundreds of beautiful wine glasses - Amazing glass vases, bowls, platters & ornaments plus gorgeous silk flowers. Unique tea lights. Amusing collector teapots. Infusers and candles. Seasonal Scarves. Souvenirs Aust. & Hunter Valley. Comical wine glasses, coasters and much more.

Dine AND THE WINNER IS OSCARS - We are a family friendly café serving honest wholesome food and great coffee, in a casual relaxed environment. We are opened for breakfast, lunch and everything in between. Our menu is available dine in or take away and is sure to impress. Phone 4998 7355. DEAR COFFEE - NITRO BEANS: Revolutionary new on tap cold brew coffee, tea and juice infused with Nitrogen, ensuring a crisp, healthy and refreshing drink. Tempt your tastebuds with our waffle on a stick with delicious toppings or other treats like the famous Hunter Valley Cookies, Peters Aussie Scoop ice cream, and various savoury treats. TASTE OF THE COUNTRY - Experience a Taste of the Country in this award winning café and retail outlet. This popular café is like walking into an old fashioned, country kitchen. Phone 4998 6605. THE CELLAR RESTAURANT - This award winning restaurant features an excellent selection of wines and serves Modern Australian cuisine in a relaxed, friendly environment. Open for lunch and dinner Monday to Saturday. Bookings recommended. Phone 4998 7584.

Pamper JOLIE HAIR MAKEUP BEAUTY - Jolie offers style cuts, colour services, hairstyling and several beauty services including waxing, tinting, manicures, pedicures, massage, makeup and more. Book today on 4998 6844.

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.

Savour HUNTER VALLEY CHOCOLATE COMPANY Established more than ten years ago the ORIGINAL Hunter Valley Chocolate Company & Fudge Factory is one of the premier attractions in the area. THE BRITISH LOLLY SHOP - The largest range of imported English Confectionary. All your old favourites, humbugs, sherbet lemon, come in and sample our hospitality. THE GARDEN CELLARS - We stock a wide range of boutique Hunter Valley and other regional wines. See our Tunnel of Beer along with a variety of quality white, red, sweet, sparkling wines and much more. HUNTER HONEY HIVE - Visit Hunter Honey Hive to experience everything honey and bee related, with free tastings daily!

Essentials POKOLBIN FARM SHOP - A modern convenience store & local produce collective. Including meats, dairy, vegies, crafts & souvenirs. Phone 4998 7191. POKOLBIN VILLAGE PHARMACY Offering you friendly, professional service as well as a wide range of products: full PBS prescription service, medicines, vitamins, skin care, cosmetics, hair care, fragrances, sunglasses and much more. Phone 4998 6677.


The Hunter Blackboard February 2018