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WEDDING OPEN DAY at Wandin Hunter Valley Create a day that will last a life me in your memories. See how Wandin Hunter Valley & the majes c Cricketers Pavilion is transformed into the wedding des na on of your dreams. The Cricketers Pavilion will be in full wedding setup and an array of highly qualified and recommended wedding supply professionals will be onsite all day; florists, wedding cake designers, event specialists, photographers and many more. For more informa on visit

SATURDAY 9TH MARCH NEIL YOUNG & CRAZY HORSE IN A DAY ON THE GREEN at Bimbadgen The tour will be Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s first headline tour since 2003. The March 2013 shows promise to showcase both new material from their recently released album ‘Psychedelic Pill’ (out now through Warner) and the classic hits that helped make Neil Young a household name. Without a doubt the cri cal acclaim surrounding the tour dates so far illustrates just how Neil Young con nues to pull massive crowds five decades into his impressive career. For more informa on visit

9TH & 10TH MARCH FESTIVAL OF TWO PALETTES at Morpeth Gallery. Visit Morpeth Gallery and chat to 12 of Australia’s best tradi onal ar sts. See their works at the gallery in an informal and relaxed environment. An array of Hunter wine and food will be available for tas ng throughout the weekend. It’s a fes val of two pale es! Ac vi es in the main street of Morpeth will add to the fes val spirit throughout the weekend. For more informa on contact the gallery on 4933 1407.

15TH TO 17TH MARCH CMC ROCKS THE HUNTER at Hope Estate Now in its sixth year, the CMC Rocks the Hunter fes val has established itself as the biggest Interna onal Country & Roots Fes val outside of North America and the biggest in Australia. Packed to the ra ers with local and interna onal acts such as Rascal Flats, Big & Rich and Billy Ray Cyrus to name just a few. For more informa on visit

SATURDAY 23RD MARCH GAME ON at Wynwood Estate and Twine Restaurant Dine around the vines on Wynwood Estate with 12 courses, with each course being matched with a different Wynwood Estate wine. A er every 2nd course you will be required to walk approximately 100 metres to the next loca on (sea ng will be limited) where the next course and matched wine will be served. Water will be provided at each sta on. The progressive dinner ends with a live magician show by Adam Mada, music and dancing in the Barrel Room, cheese pla ers will be served at this me. Visit for more info.

FRIDAY 29TH MARCH UNTIL MONDAY 1ST APRIL EASTER LONG WEEKEND at Hunter Valley Gardens. During the Easter Long Weekend at Hunter Valley Gardens there is plenty for the whole family to enjoy as we host the largest Easter Egg Hunt in the Hunter Valley, plus a variety of other ac vi es including the infamous Easter Bunny. This annual event is in its 7th year and is held from Friday the 29th March un l the 1st April 2013 with the Easter Egg Hunt taking place on Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st March.

SATURDAY 30TH MARCH & SUNDAY 31ST MARCH PAUL SIMON & ROBERT PLANT DOUBLE CONCERT LINEUP at Hope Estate Simon’s appearance in the Hunter Valley on Easter Saturday - with special guests Rufus Wainwright and Jimmy Cliff - forms one half of a weekend of legendary music in prime wine country. On the Sunday, following Simon’s Saturday concert, famed Led Zeppelin front man, Robert Plant, with his band Sensa onal Space Shi ers, and special guests Blind Boys of Alabama and Playing For Change will also play, making for two more great reasons to spend Easter in the Hunter.



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The Easter Bunny….

HOPS INTO THE HUNTER During the Easter Long Weekend at Hunter Valley Gardens there is plenty for the whole family to enjoy as we host the largest Easter Egg Hunt in the Hunter Valley, plus a variety of other ac vi es including the infamous Easter Bunny. This annual event is in its 7th year and is held from Friday the 29th March un l the 1st April 2013 with the Easter Egg Hunt taking place on Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st March. We encourage all children to explore the Storybook Garden with hundreds of brightly coloured plas c eggs sca ered in and around our colourful se ng. Every child who par cipates will receive a gi of Easter chocolate at the comple on of the hunt. The Giant Easter Egg Hunt runs every 45 minutes from 9am with the last hunt at 12.45pm. But it doesn’t all end there, kids can also hang out with the Easter Bunny, create a masterpiece with our Easter cra (all the materials supplied), learn and watch as real baby chickens hatch, play fun garden games and jump around on our very own Storybook Garden jumping castle*. A er spo ng the Gingerbread House in our Storybook Garden, children can get crea ve by decora ng their very own Gingerbread person at our Workshop* which will run from 10am to 4pm on Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st March. If you need a moment to recover from all the fun, families can take a guided tour around our 10 themed display Gardens on the Hunter Valley Gardens train* or have a bite to eat in our Garden Terrace Café which offers a variety of delicious lunch, snack and beverage op ons. Don’t miss out on this fantas c family event during the Easter Long Weekend. Entry to the Gardens is $25.00 per adult, $15 for children between 4 – 15 years of age and free for children 3 years and under. Hunter Valley Gardens open daily from 9am to 5pm. For the full program and further informa on please call 02 4998 4000 or visit *$3 - $7 per ac vity. Admission charges apply.

MARCH 2013






Nadia Waters—Natural SelecƟon Number 3


Marked - drawing now is a major exhibi on of contemporary drawing Drinkwater, Ben Kenning, Michelle Gearin, Tash Wills, Lucas Grogan at the Cessnock Regional Art Gallery, running from Thursday 28th and Nadia Waters are all making a big impact in the metropolitan art February un l Sunday 24th March. scene. Marked - drawing now features the work of 30 of our most talented ar sts in an engaging and challenging exhibi on that should interest and delight all visitors to the Gallery.

The unbelievable variety of work in this exhibi on moves from the minimalist medita ons of Ahn Wells and Bruce Roxburgh through Michael Cusack's arres ng contempla ons, Dean Bele ch's figura ve Most of the ar sts involved are from the Hunter Valley and those from studies and John Sorby's coastal observa ons. Jenny Herbert-Smith's linear sculptures sit quietly next to the power of Jonathon Hardy's further afield have very close associa ons to the district. Together they present a probing and ques oning exhibi on that seeks to break work and the expressionis c energy of Nelson Bay ar st Suzannah Jones. down many preconcep ons of what drawing entails. The huge variety in the interpreta on of the term 'drawing' by all these ar sts is unified by their undeniable talent and mastery of their mediums. Most works will be for sale and all serious collectors should pay Dobell's fellow Archibald Prize Winner, Janet Dawson, presents us Marked with a lyrical series of cloud studies while Dobell Drawing Prize drawing now finalists Peter Gardiner and Gino Palmieri demonstrate the talents that special a en on. have seen them rise to the top of our ar s c ranks along with Bre This is a first class Macmahon and John Turier. exhibi on that Interna onally respected Cessnock-based ar st Dani Mar is joined in should not be this show by fellow local Amanda Davies from Laguna, and Kate missed. Official Downie from the industrial heartland of Scotland that shares so much Opening 3pm with our region. Saturday 2nd March. Entry is Many of the exhibitors are not only highly successful ar sts in their free and own right but are highly influen al art teachers and educators. John everybody is Turier, Michael Bell, Robert Gille , Jane Lander, Glenn Henderson, welcome. For Lezlie Tilley, David Middlebrook, Peter Lankas and Trevor Weekes all have le las ng impressions on hundreds of students that have passed more informa on visit through their studio classrooms.

Central to the exhibi on is a portrait by William Dobell, the great Australian ar st who is especially highly regarded for his draugh ng abili es. Dobell was born in Newcastle and spent many years living on the shores of Lake Macquarie at Wangi Wangi. The Dobell Prize for Drawing presented by the Art Gallery of NSW is the most highly regarded prize of its kind in Australia.

It is fi ng that many of their best students who are emerging into the professional ranks are also in this show. Ar sts such as James



Suzannah Jones—Gas Flare Landscape

MARCH 2013



Local Markets

BUILDING COMMUNITY SPIRIT They are a great deal of fun and a good way to keep in touch with the local community while picking up a great deal at the same Ć&#x;me. Local community markets or ''street markets'' are outdoor markets that are typically held in a market square, church or school grounds or even vacant lots...

Above: Sacred Tree Markets at Branxton

Community or street markets are now everywhere as they experience a resurgence in their demand and popularity. The same of which can be said of farmers markets. These types of markets exist worldwide and o en reflect the regions local culture, customs and economy with the size of these markets varying from a few stalls to several streets. In some cultures, live animals, imported delicacies unavailable locally, and personal goods and cra s are sold. Some of the more interna onally renown markets include those in London such as Camden Market and Portobello Rd Market with Borough Market being the most popular and which sells mostly fresh produce as well as having a bakery. Some markets have even become significant tourist a rac ons such as Tung Choi Street and Apliu Street in Hong Kong.

Historically, these markets represent the first real form of retailing long before the development of the big departments stores and in many ways not a great deal has actually changed. In fact Marks and Spencers and Tesco in the United Kingdom all started from a barrow or stall. By selling in an outdoor market, the cost of land, buildings, ligh ng and air-condi oning is reduced or eliminated allowing traders to pass on the savings to the consumer while s ll having the benefit of being able to avoid selling their produce at lower wholesale prices.

There are many benefits to communi es by suppor ng local markets. Markets help maintain the link between rural and urban popula ons, generate traďŹƒc for nearby businesses, draw a en on to the surrounding area, provide outlets for 'local' products and encourage more visita on. Also most of the money gained at markets tends to In some cases, market traders or stall holders are known to travel long stay in the community. In many instances local chari es or voluntary organisa ons (eg: SES) collect dona ons at the entrances to the market distances - o en across state to a end the more popular markets, o en travelling during the night or early hours, turning market squares which can o en be a major fundraising boost for many local charity and streets in to vibrant colourful places. The life can be tough and the organisa ons. hours can be very long, but there are certain families who have been Customers are drawn to local community and farmers’ markets for involved with the industry for many genera ons and are usually linked three main reasons: be er quality food and products, be er prices, to the same trade or line of product, whether it be wood carvings, and a great social atmosphere. leather goods, jewellery or even children's toys.



Here in the Hunter Valley there has been a significant increase in the number of markets held in the region each month. The most recent markets and now some of the most popular and fastest growing markets to establish a presence in the Hunter Valley are Sacred Tree Markets held on the third Sunday of each month in Branxton and Handmade in the Hunter Markets at Kevin Sobels Wines. Other well known markets include Wollombi Market which operates on the holiday Monday of each long weekend (Easter, June and October) and on Australia Day. This market has over 100 stalls and includes local produce and cra s, plants, clothes, tools, bric-a-brac and much more.



SUNDAY MARCH 17TH —Sacred Tree Markets. The February markets boasted over 90 stalls making these markets one of the fastest growing in the valley. The markets are held at the Old St Brigids School Grounds on the corner of Sta on Street & the New England Hwy at Branxton. For further informa on visit SATURDAY MARCH 9TH, 23RD , 30TH AND SUNDAY 31ST —

Hand Made in the Hunter Markets—everything at these popular markets is hand-made by the person selling it—making it the most unique markets held in wine country. Generally held most Saturdays (and the occasional Sunday) at Kevin Sobels Wines. Visit the facebook page for stall and weather info.

MARCH 2013



Giving Back to

OU OUR LOCAL COMMUNITY So o en we are reminded that we live in an amazing and generous community in which so many individuals and local businesses contribute their personal me or funds to the benefit of others. These same people do so without seeking recogni on or reward but instead to be part of a community that in turn supports them, their family or business. They see it as being both a pleasure and a privilege. Deborah White is one such person. Deborah, who is also the purchasing oďŹƒcer at Hunter Valley Gardens, has for the last 20 years been involved with the NSW Rural Fire Brigade based at Gresford and one of the earliest female members of the Gresford brigade to go out on fire calls. Over the past 20 years Deborah has seen some significant developments take place within the Rural Fire Brigade to become the skilled organisa on that it is today. One of the most notable developments being how the role of women has advanced in the rural fire services over this me. Deborah who is also the Secretary of Paterson Brigade s ll a ends fire calls when required and was the Community Liaison OďŹƒcer at the recent fire at Kurri-Kurri and has o en had to forgo special events such as celebra ng Christmas and New Year to a end fires - not to men on some of the life threatening situa ons she has at mes found herself in. Deborah is also heavily involved in Community Engagement within the Group 3 area of the Lower Hunter Zone which includes conduc ng Bushfire Safety Community Workshops which provide residents with informa on and knowledge on bushfire prepara on, assistance with Bushfire Survival Plans and a demonstra on of the correct use of fire blankets, ex nguishers and pumps. Her husband Keith is also involved as an RFS instructor as well being the Paterson Deputy Captain and Crew Leader.



MARCH 2013



GUMBALL 2013 For the Young ..and the not so young! Now in it's ninth year, the Gum Ball is a truly magnificent, music fes val designed for young and old. Although rela vely small, this down to earth weekend fes val has a great vibe from the moment you arrive and in a laid back, hassle free environment. With the freedom to bring your own drinks, the Gum Ball is one of the most chilled out small fes vals around where you can truly enjoy music the way nature intended. The already impressive line up of 35 ar sts for the 2013 fes val now also include the formidable collabora on known as The Hillbilly Killers comprising of Tim Rogers, Catherine Bri and Bill Chambers who will be performing an exclusive set at the fes val. There will also be a special ANZAC day performance by John Schumann and Hugh McDonald of the legendary Australian poli cal folk band Redgum. With cket sales already at record levels and an extended program featuring a long list of formidable ar sts, the 2013 fes val is well on its way to being the biggest and best Gum Ball to date.. The Gum Ball is hosted by the Johnston family on their pris ne property known as ''Dashville'' located at Belford in the Hunter Valley. It is BYO and offers camping and accommoda on packages, delicious food, markets and open spaces, all with an eclec c mix of music suitable for all ages. The fes val proudly supports and fundraises for The Black Dog Ins tute and is a member of the Sustainable Event Alliance. Gates open at midday on Anzac Day Thursday 25th April, running through to Sunday morning 28th April 2013 More informa on can be obtained at

BRING YOUR BEST To this year’s ‘Game On’ Progressive Feast Are you looking for a gastronomical adventure? Well how does a progressive dinner at one of the Hunter Valley’s best and newest restaurant coupled with perfectly paired wines from one of the Hunter's latest and most exci ng new wine labels sound? This years annual ''Game On'' progressive dinner is to be held on Saturday 23rd of March and hosted by Twine Restaurant at Wynwood Estate. Diners will get to experience some of the most fantas c food and wine over an eight hour period with 12 mouth-watering tapas style courses that include dishes such as duck liver parfait on Twine sour dough with baby cornichons, tempura ba ered zucchini flowers filled with Hunter Valley goats cheese, panko crusted mud crab slider, Californian scallop wrapped in pance a with corn puree, pulled and pressed lamb shoulder with glazed eschallots and Asian style pork belly with five spiced pear puree - ALL expertly matched with a range of Wynwood Estate wines. Its hours of fun and indulgence so make sure you bring a camera to capture those many memorable moments, a blanket or light weight camping chair to take with you to each food sta on, a jacket in case the weather changes and extra cash for incidentals such as so drinks as there is no onsite ATM. The evening ends with an A er Party with music and dancing in the Wynwood Estate Barrell Room where diners will be served cheese pla ers and be entertained by magician Adam Mada. No-one gets to leave empty handed with each guest receiving a 'Game On' baseball cap and wine glass. Tickets are $220 each and are available by calling (02) 4998 7449



MARCH 2013




Chambourcin Chambourcin is a rela vely new purple skinned French - American hybrid grape that produces deep-coloured light to medium bodied wines with a full aroma c flavor, and no unpleasant hybrid flavors. It can be made into a dry style or one with a moderate residual sugar level, giving it a pleasant sweetness. Chambourcin is unique from other red grape varie es as it yields pink or red juice, whilst all other varie es produce a clear juice. Although the exact parentage of the Chambourcin grape is not known, we do know that it was developed by Joannes Seyve in France’s Loire Valley before being released in the early 1960's from there the vines made it to the new world wine regions, where they con nue to produce easy to grow, high yielding, hardy, thick-skinned grapes that are extremely disease resistant. It is especially grown in North America where it was first planted in the 1970s and can now be found mostly in the north-east and mid-west, as well as in Canada. In Australia, the grape did not show up un l the late 1970's, and was first planted in 1981 at Cassegrain Wines just outside Port Macquarie on the mid north coast of NSW. Chambourcin is now a widely used variety with an intense dark colour that has now also led winemakers to use it to improve the depth of blended red wines without sacrificing the fruit quality of the main variety (eg: Shiraz). Some producers use the variety for sparkling reds, and it is also used successfully for port style wines. Because this variety is especially resistant to fungal diseases Chambourcin is a variety that thrives in the Hunter Valley climate and is also most at home in the more humid regions of Coastal NSW and Queensland which experience wet summers. Chambourcin wines have a lovely, deep red colour. Most are big and fruity with a lot of raspberries, plums, prunes and even cranberries on the palate. It is not as heavy or robust as Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon, which can make it quite a rac ve to people who generally don't like red wine. Chambourcin wines also respond well to being oaked, a treatment which can produce vanilla or mocha flavours in the wine. When it comes to food, Chambourcin is a very versa le wine that will pair well with lighter meats, pork, lamb, sausage, poultry, pasta, cheeses and chocolate (or desserts made from the chocolate). If you are looking for an interes ng red that is a departure from your usual Cabernet, Merlot and Pinot, Chambourcin is a great alterna ve.




Cellar Door March is o en a con nuance of harvest, depending on the temperatures and how the vintage has developed over the past few months. Here are some of the latest happenings on the local Wine Scene. The 2013 Macquarie Group Sydney Royal Wine Show once again demonstrated the strength of the Hunter Valley wine industry as Judges sipped and swirled their way through 2354 Australian wines submi ed by 372 exhibitors. Hunter Valley wines awarded trophies and gold medals were:

♦ The David Clarke Memorial Perpetual Trophy went to First Creek Wine for their 2011 Winemakers Reserve Semillon

♦ The Dr Henry John Lindeman Memorial Perpetual Prize was awarded to Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard for their 2006 Museum Reserve Semillon

♦ The Restaurant and Catering Industry Associa on Perpetual Trophy was won by Thomas Wines for their 2007 Cellar Reserve Braemore Semillon

♦ The Len Evans Memorial Perpetual Trophy was also won by Thomas Wines for their 2007 Cellar Reserve Braemore Semillon

♦ The James Busby Perpetual Trophy went to Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard for their 2006 Museum Reserve Semillon Gold Medals were won by:

♦ Bimbadgen Estate for their 2012 Estate Semillon ♦ McLeish Wines for their 2007 Semillon ♦ Pepper Tree Wines for their 2009 Alluvius Reserve Hunter Valley Semillon

♦ Pepper Tree Wines for their Tallavera Limited Release Hunter Valley Shiraz

♦ First Creek 2011 Winemaker’s Reserve Semillon ♦ McGuigan 2005 Vineyard Select Semillon The first Decanter Asia Wine Awards (DAWA) held in Hong Kong were dominated by Australian wines winning six of the 13 interna onal trophies - the highest number from a New World country. From over 2,200 wine entries represen ng 42 wine regions around the world, 13 wines were chosen as the best among all regions in each category. The Single-Varietal White Interna onal Trophy was won by the 2006 Brokenwood, Maxwell Vineyard Semillon. The Gardens Cellars located in Hunter Valley Gardens Shopping Village have taken advantage of the increasing interest in Italian grape varie es by stocking the Hunter Valley's first ''Fiano'' release from the Mt Eyre Vineyard on Hermitage Rd. Not to be missed! Wine Shows and Fes vals: 22 February-31 March 2013 - NSW Wine Fes val - An annual celebra on of the State's wine and fine produce through a number of wine and food focussed events across Sydney and regional NSW. Hyde Park, Sydney. See the latest issue of Wine & Dine in the Hunter for a comprehensive list cellar doors, suggested wines, local restaurants, dining reviews and food and wine trail maps for each of the 5 key wine growing areas

MARCH 2013



PULLING TOGETHER To Protect our Vineyards

There's nothing like threatening people's future livelihood, homes, environment and water supply to unite a community. For seven years, the local Hunter community has been ''figh ng back'' against coal seam gas explora on, the environmental dangers presented by coal seam gas drilling and the state governments refusal to protect the Hunter's vineyards and tourism industry from what is considered inappropriate mining in the region. Industry member groups such as the Hunter Valley Wine Industry Associa on (HVWIA) stepped in to lobby local and state government representa ves as did the Hunter Valley Protec on Alliance (HVPA) an environmental group supported by local residents and businesses who share a mutual commitment to safeguarding our land and water for future genera ons. The Hunter community also got behind the Lock the Gate Alliance which was formed in 2010 and today has thousands of members determined to protect Australia’s natural environment and agricultural resources from the mining companies by ''locking their gates'' against these invasive industries - effec vely refusing them access to land. Mee ngs were held on a regular basis, funds were raised to lodge government submissions and to employ environmental experts to assist with these submissions, le ers were wri en to local government and NSW state members, pe ons signed, signs posted on farm fences and peaceful rallies held throughout the region in an a empt to get the NSW Government to exclude Hunter Valley grape growing regions from coal seam gas mining ac vi es and protect Australia's largest and most interna onally recognised wine tourism industry. There were renewed calls to protect the Hunter's vineyards as drilling for coal seam gas commenced at the Poole's Rock Vineyard on Wollombi Rd in Broke earlier this year and increased pressure put on the O'Farrell government to follow the lead of the South Australian and Western Australian governments who put in place special legisla on protec ng the wine regions in their respec ve states to ensure any future developments were in keeping with the exis ng vineyard region. “If every other iconic wine growing region in Australia is now protected by special legisla on to prevent unsympathe c



development within its boundaries why does the Hunter region remain unprotected?” asked Graeme Gibson, the spokesperson for the Hunter Valley Protec on Alliance . Hunter Valley winegrowers made it clear to the NSW State Government that they had no inten on of being the first winegrowing region in the world to co-exist with coal seam gas explora on and demanded a ''bill of protec on'' similar to those enacted in South Australia and Western Australia to safeguard wine and tourism regions from all forms of inappropriate land use. Now a federal elec on topic, it appears that industry and community group pressure and poli cal lobbying from groups such as the Hunter Valley Protec on Alliance has paid off with the O'Farrell Government's announcement on the 19th of February that the NSW Government would honour their pre-lec on promise to exclude Hunter Valley Vineyards from coal seam gas ac vi es. An announcement that was enthusias cally received by vineyard owners and the people of the Hunter. This change in policy announced by Premier Barry O'Farrell was, it says, in response to community concerns and that the government had simply ''fine tuned'' its land use policy which was first announced in September. ''These ac ons clearly place public health and safety at the heart of all coal seam gas ac vi es'' Mr O'Farrell said. But for Graeme Gibson and the HVPA, the fight will not be over un l it is wri en into law - and not a simple State Environmental Planning Policy, but ''irrevocable legisla on similar to the Character Preserva on (McLaren Vale) and (Barossa Valley) Acts in South Australia''. Graeme also says that he wants the changes backed by legisla on before September 14 to ensure the moves were not linked to support for the Coali on at the upcoming federal elec on. ''Un l those laws are in place'' Graeme goes on to say, ''we will con nue to lobby Government and resist AGL Energy from con nuing its explora on in the vineyard areas, blockading their proper es if necessary.'' Images Top Le : Lock the Gate's NaƟonal Week of AcƟon in 2012 (Image courtesy of the Lock the Gate Alliance). Top Right: Local senƟment reflected in signage at award winning winery Gartelmann Wines.

MARCH 2013



A WORTHY CAUSE Strikes a chord with our community…..

The event is being held under the auspice of the Maitland Hospital Founda on and members of a fund-raising commi ee formed for this event - assisted by the owners of Lovedale based wine estate Wandin Hunter Valley, Russel and Katrina Leslie, who are hos ng the banquet. The role of the Maitland Hospital Founda on is to promote the work of Maitland Hospital and to raise vital funds to ensure the purchase of much needed equipment, con nued development of research, educa on and special projects, which will provide integrated health care for the pa ents of Maitland Hospital. Founda on Chairman, Greg Farrow said, “We really want to make a big dent in the very long list of equipment at this event which falls outside of government funding to help improve the facili es at the hospital and level of care in our community.” On the “wish list” is equipment for the opera ng theatre such as a microscope ENT/Ortho with an eyepiece ($280,450), Anaesthe c machine ($57,000), Anaesthe c monitors ($36,175 each) and an endoscope unit refit $69,365. Other needed equipment is a defibrillator/monitor ($27,000) and a total solar silver Urodynamic system and accessories for the Urodynamic Clinic ($39,820). The Hunter Valley community is being invited to get behind a An event held at Wandin Valley in late December was a ended by a worthwhile cause to support an ambi ous $1 million-plus fund raising number of known local businesses and individuals who pledged their drive to purchase much needed medical equipment that will improve support to be table captains to help organise a large group to a end pa ent services at Maitland Hospital. the event. th The Hunter Banquet is to be held on 11 May, 2013 at Sal re Wines Ticket costs are $150 per head and all proceeds are guaranteed to be located at 113 Wilderness Road in Lovedale - a night which will be a donated to Maitland Hospital. For more information or to offer support for fun evening of gourmet cuisine, bou que wines and live raffles/auctions etc. contact or contact Kate entertainment to aid the worthy cause. One hundred per cent from Burls on 4931 6000 or email every dollar raised will go toward the hospital. To book a table or seats to a end the event visit



MARCH 2013



Drop into…

LOVED@LE Turn off Wine Country Drive into Lovedale Rd or Wilderness Rd and you’ll find yourself in the lovely Lovedale area. There’s plenty to see, taste and’s just a few of our favourites. Don’t forget to visit Adina Vineyards, Balloon Alo and the Hunter Valley Chocolates Factory Shop while you’re here—they are also in Lovedale and can be found elsewhere in this issue! www.ogishi.c

Home of Glass Ar st Setsuko Ogishi For Cra , Art & Chocolate! NEW OPENING HOURS 11AM TO 4PM Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays and Public Holidays!

540 Wilderness Rd Lovedale 18


PH 4998 7979




Born and raised in Newcastle, Trent Webber stepped into the world of kitchens, cooking and erra c hours at the early age of 17 when he commenced his appren ceship at The Mortar & Pestle, fine dining restaurant in Newcastle where he worked and trained for 2 years. Since then, Trent's extensive career as a chef has seen him working in some of the most pres gious fine dining restaurants throughout Newcastle and the Hunter Valley. Deciding to leave Newcastle to gain valuable experience working in the Hunter Valley, Trent joined the Elysia Golden Door Retreat Hunter Valley where he worked for four years under renown chef Edwin Rosenkranz who proved to be a strong and posi ve influence in Trent's early career as a chef. The lure of Byron Bay proved too strong when Trent was offered a role as junior Sous Chef at the mul award winning and 2 ha ed Fins Restaurant in Byron Bay, where he gained extensive experience working with seafood - only to return to the Hunter Valley as a Seafood Chef de Par e at the 2 ha ed Rock Restaurant working under Andrew Clarke. Trent later joined Wyndham Estate in Dalwood as Head Chef for 2 years before leaving to head back to his hometown of Newcastle to join Butlers Restaurant. A er then spending some me travelling through France, Germany and Italy where he developed an interest in European cuisine, Trent returned to Australia to join Apollo Interna onal Hotel as Head Chef. Working in these establishments has provided Trent with an excep onal understanding of modern European cuisine and the ability to produce to a very high standard. Trent firmly believes it is his commitment to seasonal and regional produce, and versa le, marketdriven menus that has contributed to the success of his career to date. Arriving at Emma’s of Lovedale was a natural progression for Trent who feels he has now found his calling and is enjoying being back in the Hunter Valley and being able to live his passion for using fresh produce and crea ng innova ve menus that reflect the ingredients' fresh, clean flavors and is already placing a stamp on the Emmas of Lovedale menu. While he enjoys working with seafood, Trent's favourite dish to cook is duck as it needs me and thought to prepare a great dish. Make sure you try his Crisp Duo of Duckling - which is pan-seared duck breast and confit thigh served with parsnip puree, sautéed baby spinach and white balsamic figs. When not in the kitchen, Trent tries to spend as much of his spare me with wife Vera and young son, hiking or fishing with his father in Lake Macquarie. Be sure to drop by and sample some of Trent's great new dishes some me soon.

MARCH 2013




Under the Table March is the perfect me of the year to make the most of the warm weather with a late morning breakfast, mid a ernoon meal or simply dine al-fresco under the stars making the most of the warm evenings. Well known Hunter Valley Chef Harry Callinan has le Tatlers to take up a senior chef posi on at The Golden Door Health Retreat restaurant and spend more me with his newly born twin girls. Chef Trent Webber joins Emmas of Lovedale - bringing with him extensive experience from some of the most pres gious fine dining restaurants that include 2 ha ed restaurants Rock Restaurant in the Hunter Valley and Fins Restaurant of Byron Bay. Execu ve Chef John Edwards has joined Peppers Guest House to head up its recently re-branded in-house restaurant Chez Pok (previously Restaurant Sanctuary) Chez Pok find Sanctuary in the past...- the iconic restaurant at Peppers has returned under its more familiar moniker Chez Pok, - the original name before it was named Restaurant Sanctuary in 2010. The Verandah Restaurant is hos ng Locals Night on Sunday the 3rd March, "Tastes of the Ocean" - Starts at 6:30pm with complimentary canapes and bubbles, and then followed by a 5 coarse Tapas Style degusta on. $50 per person BYO No corkage. To book phone 4998 7231 Twine Restaurant at Wynwood Estate is hos ng this years ''Game On'' Event on Saturday 23rd March consis ng of an 8 hour 12 course food and wine event like no other with live music, magicians and much more! Cost is $220 per person 2pm ll 10pm. To book phone 4998 7449 Fireside Sundays at Twine Restaurant! Join Adam and his team on Sunday evenings from 5.30pm - 7.30pm and receive a Meze plate, a selec on of meats plus sides followed by dessert for just $45 pp (kids under 12 eat free). To book phone 4998 7449 Locals Night at Roberts Restaurant - every Tuesday and Wednesday night... Mul -award winning Execu ve Chef George Francisco has created a specials locals night menu for these always popular dinners. Ph: 4998 7330. RidgeView Restaurant is the perfect spot for Summer alfresco dining, overlooking the vineyards - with a new seasonal menu u lising organically grown produce from their kitchen garden and local suppliers. Try the Cypriot Meze menu consis ng of 14 dishes over 4 courses with Mediterranean and Middle Eastern influences: $65pp or $85 with matching wines. Phone: 6574 7332 Vi orio's Italian Cafe Restaurant in Pokolbin con nues to have their popular Pizza & Pasta Tuesday Nights each Tuesday night for just $25 per person. Ph: 4998 7945 Esca Bimbadgen is serving up High Tea - 7 days a week from 3pm to 5pm. $40 for two people or $50 for two people with a glass of Bimbadgen Sparkling Semillon or Rose. Ph: 4998 4666 Execu ve Chef Gavin Robertson has joined the Crowne Plaza and brings more than 20 years of experience to the role. Margan Restaurant wins Gold at Na onal Tourism Awards (Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services)



MARCH 2013



Interview with... Penny Nowland and sister Ganga Ma created Sacred Tree Markets at Branxton six months ago. The February market day saw over 90 stalls and 5,000 people walk through the gates, so we asked Penny to talk to us about their phenomenal success… What was it that made you want to start up Sacred Tree Markets – and why the Hunter Valley (Branxton) in parƟcular? Ganga Ma and I live in Branxton and have always been huge lovers of great markets. We used to watch the market calendar to find out which market was on when and loved day tripping down to Sydney or up or down the coast for unique finds. We especially loved markets where you could just sit for hours on the grass with the kids, have some lunch and be entertained by beau ful tunes and watching the crowd go by. Ganga Ma had been talking about star ng a market locally for a while but then one day last March we just decided to stop talking about it and just do it and we’ve only looked up since. How do you think Markets such as Sacred Tree contribute to the local community?

Westpac Rescue Helicopter Singleton Support Group a ended Sacred Tree Markets in November last year and raised a massive $2600 in one day through gate collec ons and selling merchandise.

We like to think Sacred Tree is a place where the community comes together. To eat, to play, to trade their crea ons and to show off their incredible talents. It has a great vibe and a lot of the community just like to come down and grab something to eat and hang out on the rugs In 6 months of trading Sacred Tree Markets has helped to raise over listening to the music.With a lot of stall holders from the Hunter Region, it helps support over 90 small businesses. Each month we wear $17000 for local groups. clothes designed and created by our stall holders. Over the past 6 months that you have been running Sacred Tree what I love that we can buy things from crocodile meat, designer clothes and has been the funniest moment home wares to having your palm read or energy healing. It’s just a Oh… I’m not sure if there is one in par cular but Ganga Ma and I really great showcase of all that is beau ful and unique about the always have a giggle to ourselves about how o en people mistake us Valley. for one another. We both have long dark hair and look kind of similar What percentage (approx) of stall holders are part of the local and then we wear the same uniform on top and it seems to make community in which the markets are held? people do a double take. It’s happened more than once that we have to explain we aren’t the other. I’d say just over 20% are from our local community and about 60% come from towns in close vicinity of Sacred Tree. Around 90% of the You must be extremely proud of what you have achieved with the stall holders are from the wider Hunter Region. markets since their incepƟon…what are you most proud of? We are star ng to get more and more stallholders approaching us from places as far away as Sydney and Port Macquarie so it seems people are willing to travel here too which is fantas c because it just means people are willing to invest in our local community too. Does Sacred Tree support any local chariƟes (for example through gate collecƟons etc) Yes it does. Each month we offer a different local community group or charity the op on of collec ng dona ons at the entrance gates plus a couple of local community groups also have stalls at Sacred Tree and raise funds for their projects in this way.



The vision of Sacred Tree was to create a peaceful, fun place where local businesses could trade, family and friends could meet and the local community would have somewhere they could hang out and just enjoy being at. We are ecsta c that the vision has really started to become a reality. The part which is really humbling though, is how much money has been raised for the local community at Sacred Tree Markets. The generosity of our community is phenomenal and we honestly can’t thank everyone enough for that.

MARCH 2013



A Little about the Locals

PETER & JO O CLARKE When well known local couple, Peter and Jo Clarke moved to the Hunter Valley from Sydney in 1999 with the inten on to ''take life a li le easier'' - li le did they know how different things would turn out. Fourteen years later and they now find themselves owning and managing a thriving chocolate company with three retail outlets, a prominent cellar door and liquor retail outlet and their latest venture a vodka and schnapps dis llery. In the late 1990's Jo and Peter Clarke made the move from Sydney to the Hunter Valley with the inten on to ''take it a li le easier'' and establish what could be considered a popular business in the Hunter Valley. A er a trip to Western Australia's Margaret River and seeing the demand and popularity for chocolate there, Jo and Peter made the decision to establish a chocolate business in the Hunter Valley. Peter previously owned roofing and sur oard manufacturing businesses in Sydney and Jo was in corporate clothing. The pair also owned and managed a total of 3 service sta ons over 15 years and neither had any experience in the chocolate or confec onary selling business, so this was an extremely bold move for these entrepreneurs! In 1999 the first Hunter Valley Chocolate Co outlet was opened at Pokolbin Village on Broke Rd which back then was a limited collec on of small retail outlets and eateries and also known as ''The Trading Post''. Business boomed and a new Hunter Valley tourism interest was born. It was also at this me that Hunter Valley Gardens was being developed by the Roche family and plans were in place to develop an a rac ve shopping village adjacent to the gardens. Recognising the poten al impact this new tourist a rac on and shopping village would have on the area, Peter and Jo took out a lease on one of the larger and more prominent buildings and a er a major fit out moved from Pokolbin Village to their current loca on in Hunter Valley Gardens Shopping Village.

In 2002 they opened their second chocolate shop at the popular Petersons Champagne House and a few years later established the factory and retail outlet in Lovedale where son Peter is the chocolate maker and also very involved in the family business. Not one to ignore a challenge nor a good business opportunity. Peter has also recently invested in a number new business ventures which include the Gardens Cellars at Hunter Valley Gardens Shopping Village - a liquor retail outlet that also doubles up as a cellar door offering wine tas ngs and hundreds of different local and imported beers in the ''tunnel of beer''. The other and more recent venture is the Hunter Dis llery which opened on the October long weekend last year . Located on Broke Rd - Pokolbin, the Dis llery poduces a dozen different flavours of vodka, and schnapps which are available for tas ng and purchase at the dis llery. Peter and Jo live in the beau ful vineyard area of Lovedale where they have lived for 10 years a er moving from Aberglassyn. When asked what they like most about living in the Hunter Valley, they both agree that it is the community and the people that are so welcoming and helpful that make the Hunter Valley so special, along with its history, beau ful scenery and close proximity to Sydney and Newcastle and the beaches.



MARCH 2013





‘Turin Brakes’ will be performing at the Gumball—25th to 27th April at ‘Dashville’ in Belford. With Easter all over and done with at the very beginning of the month, build a model in the Speed Zone or challenge themselves on the and school holidays almost upon us there’s plenty of time to get out Nintendo DS Lego Starwars game. and discover the colours of the Hunter Valley as the vines transform SATURDAY 20TH & SUNDAY 21ST APRIL—MORPETH FIERY FOOD the landscape into a myriad of earthy Autumn colours …. FEAST at Morpeth Gourmet Foods and throughout Morpeth SATURDAY 13TH & SUNDAY 14TH APRIL—HUNTER VALLEY Fire up your tastebuds and get ready for an endorphin rush as STEAMFEST in Maitland. Highlights of this magnificent steam filled Morpeth bursts with the flavours of all things hot and spicy. Taste chili weekend include, the ever so popular Great Train Race on Sunday salsas, sauces, mustard, nuts, cordial, fudge, biscuits and oils. morning, the Grand Parade on the Rally Ground covering the evolu on Restaurants throughout Morpeth will feature their spiciest treats. of transport through me and the Steamfest Bazaar with over 100 Fancy a Devonshire Tea with Chilli Jam? stalls. For more informa on visit 25TH TO 27TH APRIL —THE GUMBALL at Dashville A weekend in 13TH UNTIL 28TH APRIL—AUTUMN PLAYGROUND at Hunter Valley secluded bushland full of awesome live music & art, onsite camping, Gardens. Experience the Autumn Playground with a program of Lego BYO, delicious food, market stalls, kiddies mega playground, heaps of and the ul mate Rollerska ng Rink! Grab a pair of roller or inline games and prizes, some big warm fires and a classic vibe similar to your skates and zoom around the rink or enter the Lego Play Zone. Li lies mates backyard party. For more informa on and ckets visit will enjoy building and crea ng, whilst older children can simply build or play against each other in a Lego board game, race each other to





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. VILLAGE BOOKS A fantastic range of fiction, nonfiction, and children’s books and a unique collection of quality toys, games, souvenirs and gifts. WILSON & HUNTER Summer is heating up at Wilson and Hunter with a burst of colour. The latest from Camilla, Mela Purdie, Verge, Katherine, Samantha Wills, Metalicus, Bleu Blanc Rouge,Tilly Rose,Tolani and more… WILSON & HUNTER (EMPORIUM) We've got the whole family covered. Cool cotton dresses and tops for mum, everything dad needs for a great weekend, Oobilicous fashion for the kids and footwear, swimwear and hats for the whole family. WINE GLASS GALLERY An extraordinary gift gallery stocking unique colourful wine glasses, original artworks, homewares, hand bags, jewellery, shot glasses, magnets, souvenirs & much more.




gourmet picnics, fish, sandwiches, our famous gourmet pies, pizza and pasta, there is truly something for all tastes and pockets! Phone 4998-7355. BLISS COFFEE ROASTERS CAFÉ Relax and enjoy a delicious light meal or sweet treat and a blissful cup of coffee. Phone 4998-6700. 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 Award winning contemporary Australian cuisine in a relaxed friendly environment. Open for lunch and dinner 6 days (closed Sundays). Phone 4998-7584.

Established more than ten years ago the ORIGINAL Hunter Valley Chocolate Company & Fudge Factory is one of the premier attractions in the area. HUNTER VALLEY COOKIES Hand-made premium cookies in designer gourmet flavours. Cookie tastings daily, delicious coffee and gluten free cookies.

HUNTER VALLEY LIQUEURS & BAERAMI OLIVES Extra virgin olive oils, infused olive oils,

vinegars and a large range of specialty liqueurs and an impressive array of bottles to customize your selection. POKOLBIN CONVENIENCE STORE In the heart of the village is a genuine general store servicing the Pokolbin area with everything you might need while visiting the Wine Country. 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 Tasting 15 boutique ZEN HAIR SKIN BODY A full Hairdressing Salon Hunter Valley wines daily. The largest range of local and Beauty Spa in one location, innovative & deluxe and imported beers in the Hunter Valley. treatments in an environmentally friendly setting, the salon can cater to any need. Phone 4998-6844.

Pamper Play


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.

Broke Road, Pokolbin Open 7 Days from 10AM

The Hunter Blackboard - March 2013  
The Hunter Blackboard - March 2013  

The Hunter Blackboard