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SUNDAY 1ST SEPTEMBER —WEIRD & WONDERFUL TEAPOT EXHIBITION at Morpeth Gallery Featuring the amazing crea vity of teapot makers from all over Australia and around the world with a staggering 4000 teapots on display. All teapots are for sale. In addi on to teapots the novelty tea-cosy exhibi on will feature around 400 tea cosies all vying for the grand champion compe on prize. Visit the gallery at 5 Green St, Morpeth or for more informa on visit Admission is Free.

SUNDAY 1ST SEPTEMBER —WEDDING OPEN DAY at Wandin Hunter Valley Spring is the season of Weddings in the Hunter Valley...plan your en re wedding with a visit to the Wandin Wedding Open Day. Brides (and Grooms!) can see how the majes c cricketers pavilion at Wandin can be transformed to accommodate their dream wedding. The dedicated Wedding & Events Manager will be available all day to personally answer ques ons and other wedding service providers will also be on-hand. Entry is free. For more info visit

1ST—29TH SEPTEMBER THE BLAKE PRIZE at Cessnock Regional Art Gallery Un l September 29th, the Gallery will present the touring exhibi on of the 61st Blake Prize. Named a er the visionary ar st and poet William Blake, The Blake Prize is the oldest na onal prize in Australia dedicated to spirituality, religion and cultural diversity. Both exhibi ons are free admission. For more informa on visit

1ST—30TH SEPTEMBER—SPRING FESTIVAL OF FLOWERS at Hunter Valley Gardens This year the Spring Fes val of Flowers will have an Oriental Twist! See over 250,000 annuals that are planted throughout Hunter Valley Gardens in a visual and sensory experience to remember. Enjoy floral displays, authen c cooking demonstra ons, topiaries, school compe on displays, talks, tours, workshops and heaps of ac vi es, all with an Asian influence. This event will provide a stunning viewing and hands on experience for all visitors. Visit the Hunter Valley Gardens website for all event informa on

SUNDAY 8TH SEPTEMBER —BROKE VILLAGE FAIR at McNamara Park, Broke This is our one big day of the year when the village of Broke welcomes visitors from all over NSW to enjoy our peaceful village in the vineyards as a fundraiser for local community groups. A true family day featuring live music, singing, dancing displays, children ac vi es, face pain ng, amusements and a great rep le show. For more informa on visit

21ST SEPTEMBER UNTIL 6TH OCTOBER —SMURF-TACULAR SHOW & SCHOOL HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES at Hunter Valley Gardens Hang out with Smurfe e and Papa Smurf at Hunter Valley Gardens! Be entertained by this brand new Live Show plus get a chance to meet the stars. There’ll also be a colouring compe on, giveaways and kids can use their Smurf Garden Passport to hunt for Smurfs throughout the Gardens to win a small prize. For more informa on visit

28TH & 29TH SEPTEMBER —HUNTER VALLEY GARDENS 10TH BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS at Hunter Valley Gardens Wow! HVG is turning 10, so come along and celebrate! A er the general entry fee you can have fun for free on the jumping castle and other amusement rides. There will also be free birthday cake, pony rides, face pain ng, ac vi es and much more. Stay tuned for more details closer to the date! For more informa on visit

28TH & 29TH SEPTEMBER —NEWCASTLE WINE & FOOD FESTIVAL at Pacific Park Newcastle Newcastle Wine and Food Fes val is the first of its kind for Newcastle East. The fes val is a one-stop shop for all things food and wine. Running over two days, discover a vast selec on of exhibitors with their many wares and delicious food to sample and buy. This is your opportunity to share a premium Hunter Valley wine and food experience with Hunter Valley winemakers while pairing them to the finest produce and crea ons from local chefs and producers. Visit www.wineandfoodfes for more informa on.



PUBLISHED BY: WCP Media ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES: PH +61 2 4967 3600 WCP MEDIA 12 Hanbury St, Mayfield NSW 2304 September 2013. Copyright © 2013 WCP Media. Published monthly by WCP Media. All rights reserved. Permission to reprint or quote excerpt granted by wri en request only. While every a empt has been made, WCP Media cannot guarantee the legality, completeness or accuracy of the informa on presented and accepts no warranty or responsibility for such. Unsolicited contribu ons are always welcome, please contact WCP Media using the contact details above.

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EDITORS Finally—Spring has arrived! In wine country Spring is most visible on the vines as they come back to life with an explosion of green known as ‘budburst’. It’s a signal that it’s me to shake off those Winter cobwebs and get out and about in wine country.

THE spring ISSUE

In this issue we look at our top 10 things to do in the Hunter Valley—and there’s truly something for everybody! From strolling around Hunter Valley Gardens, visi ng a local market, taking me for yourself, a ending a chocolate or wine apprecia on class or even experiencing new heights with a hot air balloon ride.

A great way to breathe in some fresh Spring air is to visit the 9th Annual Fes val of Flowers at Hunter Valley Gardens. This month long celebra on of Spring will have an oriental twist this year with the new exhibi on marquee hos ng displays, demonstra ons, talks and tours. Local Glass Ar st Setsuko Ogishi will be displaying some of her unique and magnificent work, but if you miss it you might consider taking a class with Setsuko throughout September where you can learn how to transform your wine bo le into a pla er! We think this might be the ul mate in recycling projects!.

Of course it would be remiss of us not to point out that this issue has our first ever “Weddings Special Feature” full of ps and informa on for Spring brides in the Hunter Valley. Many brides travel to the vineyards to hold their dream wedding

(why wouldn’t you?) and in this special pull-out we provide advice about how you can give your des na on wedding it’s own unique touch of the area by shopping locally. The Wedding Special also looks at how to choose a wedding celebrant and features informa on about upcoming Wedding Expos “Love on the Lawn” and “Love in the Vines.” If you find that your Wedding Special pull-out has been removed please give us a call and we’ll email the digital version to you. We also talk to our own local “CheeseMan” Peter Cur s of the Hunter Valley Cheese Factory and find out a li le more about his interes ng career as a cheese-maker. Finally , perhaps the perfect spring wine—Rosé—is this months feature wine variety. Enjoy!


4930 9072

PA tousreceive a copy in your leand erbox. Call on you’ll never miss out!






Cessnock Regional Art Gallery

WHAT’S ON SHOW? The Blake Prize Touring Exhibi on. Un l the 29th of September the Gallery will present the touring exhibi on of the 61st Blake Prize. Named a er the visionary ar st and poet William Blake, The Blake Prize is the oldest na onal prize in Australia dedicated to spirituality, religion and cultural diversity. It aims to s mulate the interac on of different religions and ideas in contemporary Australian art. The prize inspires conversa on about the meaning and value of religion and spirituality within everyday life, providing an opportunity for ar sts to be a catalyst for social debate. The Blake Prize Touring ExhibiƟon includes thirty works from the 61st Blake Prize, as well as the winning and highly commended poems from the Blake Poetry Prize. Cessnock Regional Art Gallery is the final spot on the tour for the 61st Blake Prize. Cessnock Regional Art Gallery is located on Vincent Street, Cessnock and is open Tuesdays to Sundays. Entry is free.

On Sunday October 6th….. the wineries and businesses of the beau ful, tree-lined Palmer’s Lane, Pokolbin will be celebra ng all that they have to offer. The beneficiaries? You! The hidden treasure of Waverley Estate will be hos ng a mini-fes val to showcase their wares and those of Calais Estate, Gemelli, Li les, Moorebank and Pokolbin Brothers, all Estate wines of the highest quality. The day kicks off at 12pm with live music by Newcastle group … Roadshow Mojo. In the picturesque grounds of Waverley Estate, the neighbouring businesses will be offering their wines for tas ng and other local producers of gourmet and handmade products will be present. Gourmet coffees, high teas, luscious beauty products, condiments and jams, preserves and chocolates are just some of the products offered at each winery; all within the gorgeous backdrop of the Brokenback Ranges. BBQ food will also be available and a selec on of fun lawn games will be provided. Waverley Estate boasts the only extensive tas ng list of Aged Wines in the Hunter. It is possible to try their 10 year old Semillon alongside their newest vintage; a rare treat. These six wineries involved in Octoberfest on Palmer’s Lane, are all linked by a unique Eco-trail that can be biked or hiked. Pokolbin Brothers has bike hire and maps available and you can find accommoda on nearby at Pokolbin Cabins and Gemelli Estate If you’re looking for a change to the way you wine-taste in the Hunter, then come along and enjoy a relaxing, entertaining day, where you can sample many wines and wares all at the one loca on. This is a perfect opportunity to try wines from unique cellar doors and to take away some treats that will have your friends begging for direc ons to this gorgeous li le neck of the woods.



Spring into Hunter Valley Gardens

Festival of Flowers From 31 August to 30 September you’ll discover the 9th Annual Spring Fes val of Flowers at Hunter Valley Gardens. This year the Fes val has an Oriental Twist along with our brand new Exhibi on Marquee. With many interes ng displays, demonstra ons, talks and tours, this event promises to take all who a end on a journey of the senses with incredible floral displays including the hundreds and thousands of annuals.

EXHIBITION MARQUEE. Our brand new Exhibi on Marquee will hold a variety of displays throughout the event, some of the fantas c exhibitors include: Hunter Cactus and Succulent Society, Ukko Hot Tubs display, Ogishi Glass Art, Tokyo Kimono, Will Maguire Ar st Blacksmith, Maggie Searle Ichiyo School of Ikebana and Masters Rutherford Bonsai Display. These displays will showcase a variety of different gardens, art and tradi ons rela ng to Asian countries. Visitors can par cipate in some interes ng demonstra ons and talks where they can ask the experts about their chosen field. Some of the highlights are East Coast Tai Chi Academy , Fujian Associa on Dance Group , The Koi Society of Australia , Wallis Creek Water Gardens and Amy Norris Origami Art. Other highlights include…. TOPIARY TALKS. On every day in the Storybook Garden, our knowledgeable hor culture team will teach you how to plant, trim and train your topiaries. FLORIST SHOWCASE. Local Florist’s will be exhibi ng new and innova ve arrangements in the Entry Hall with their interpreta on of “Blossoms, the awakening of Spring.” SCHOOL’S ORIENTAL BIRD FEEDER COMPETITION. Local schools were given the challenge to decorate a bird feeder in any Oriental style of their choice. The winner will be announced on the 19th September and all the entries will be on display throughout the Fes val.

PUPPY & POULTRY PLAYGROUND. On selected days visitors can watch these unique Asian dogs and poultry play, be groomed and ask their breeders ques ons. Varie es include Chinese Crested, Shar-Pei, Pekingese, Japanese Spitz, Chow Chow and Pugs. With many ac vi es throughout the event come and celebrate Spring at Hunter Valley Gardens’ Fes val of Flowers from the 31st August to the 30th September. Entry to the Gardens is $25.00 per adult, $20 for Seniors, $15 for Children between 4 to 15 years of age, children aged 3 years and younger enter for free. For further informa on regarding Fes val of Flowers ac vi es at Hunter Valley Gardens (Broke Rd, Pokolbin), visit or call 4998 4000.





GO HORSE-RIDING Is there anything more enjoyable than watching the sun rise as you and your horse move through the quiet of the morning or an early evening roman c ride with your partner enjoying each other’s company as you watch the sun set behind the mountain range just ahead of you? Life just does not get be er than that... and Hunter Valley Horse Riding & Adventures provides you with the best and most fulfilling horse-riding experience in the Hunter Valley. Situated on over 300 acres of natural bushland you can go kangaroo spo ng and even try your hand ca le mustering. With glorious views of the Watagans, Brokenback Range and even Barrington Tops - you get to experience the Hunter Valley at its natural best. To make a booking contact Margaret on 4930 7111


In the warmer weather, there's nothing be er than dining outdoors and there's something about ea ng outdoors that makes the conversa on flow more naturally and everything seems to taste extra delicious. With the Spring temperatures generally si ng in the early 20's, we should be in for some sunny days and mild evenings, just perfect for al fresco dining. There is no shortage of fabulous restaurants and cafes offering outdoor dining in the Hunter Valley, so why not head out for a long lunch or early dinner under the stars and be romanced by the local countryside, vineyard and mountain views as you dine al fresco - Hunter style. See our restaurant pages for some excellent al fresco dining sugges ons.

DO A CHOCOLATE APPRECIATION COURSE Indulge yourself in a hands-on chocolate making course at Hunter Valley Chocolate Co. this Spring - just perfect for the inquisi ve and crea ve chocoholic who wants to find out how real chocolate is made. Workshops begin with a glass of wine before a brief discussion on the history of chocolate and how chocolate is made. A endees then choose a mould and get stuck into making their own delectable chocolates... Cost $80 pp. Ph: 4930 7388 BROWSE AROUND THE LOCAL MARKETS 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 me. These local community markets or ''street markets'' are typically held in a market square, church or school grounds or even vacant lots and paddocks! There are markets running pre y much every weekend throughout the Hunter Valley’ll find details of September Markets on Page 7 opposite.


A breathtaking early morning view from a hot-air balloon is a wondrous way to view the Hunter Valley vineyards and mountain ranges. Ascending in a hot air balloon and cruising over the picturesque landscape of the lower Hunter Valley vineyards is for many of us earth bound creatures a rarely presented thrill of a life me. For the simplest and easiest way for you, your family, and friends to create a life me memory and absorb the natural beauty of the Hunter Valley wine region - go ballooning! Balloon Alo is the market leader and offers sunrise balloon adventures with gourmet champagne breakfasts, proposal packages and exclusive VIP flights for two which would be just perfect for that special occasion. Ph: 1300 723 279

ATTEND A WINE SCHOOL Try something new and a end the Hunter Wine Theatre at Hunter Resort on Hermitage Rd for a short 15 minute movie that follows the grape through the winemaking process into BOOK A WINE TOUR Are you interested in learning more about wine and wine apprecia on? Then maybe an organised tour to some of the the bo le. The wine tutorial a erwards is a must do. Times are 11am and 2pm. Ph: 4998 7777. First Creek Wines also provide daily winery tours that most renown wineries in the Hunter Valley is just what you need and involve seeing a working winery in opera on, Hunter Valley 101 wine without the concerns of drinking and driving. John at Cheers Bus Tours courses and tas ngs of trophy winning reserve wines. Ph: 4998 2992. specialises in tours that include some of the smaller bou que wineries which are o en family owned and where wine making is a lifelong passion Ph: 0408 987 057. Hunter Valley Safaris also offer a variety of packaged wine tour op ons that can include lunch and dinner. Ph: 4998 7550. MEANDER THROUGH HUNTER VALLEY GARDENS

A visit to world renown Hunter Valley Gardens is a wonderful way to relax and revive your senses and has become quintessen al to the visitors overall experience of the Hunter Valley. This year the annual Spring Fes val of Flowers will have an Oriental Twist! See over 250,000 annuals that are planted throughout Hunter Valley Gardens in a visual and sensory experience to remember. See page 5 for more info.


Take the me out for yourself and indulge in some personal ''you me'' - it's worth it. Beauty therapies are well known for their relaxa on benefits which can last for several days and provide you with the added advantage of lowering your blood pressure (at least for a while), improve peripheral circula on, improve skin tone and appearance, reduce muscle tension as well as many other stress-related symptoms. Day spas can also help with skin condi ons, improve circula on, simulate cellular ac vity, and balance your skin. A trip to the day spa can be a truly holis c experience. Our choice: Zen Hair Skin Body at Hunter Valley Gardens Shopping Village; Reflec ons Day Spa at Adina Vineyard and The Golden Door Elysia at Cypress Lakes.



TAKE A BEER TASTING AND BREWERY TOUR This Spring learn how beer is made and taste some of the regions finest. The Hunter Beer Co. brews several award winning flavourful beers - from a delicate Pilsener to a mighty Bock. Visit the brewery and tas ng centre and try one of their handcra ed beers brewed onsite. Join a tour, talk to the Brewers, or just sit back in the relaxing beer garden whilst enjoying one of their several spectacular beers. Comprehensive guided tours are offered at 12pm, 2pm and 4pm daily. For just $10.00 per person be tempted by several tas ngs as the Brewers guide you through the brewing process. Ph: 4991 7922

sept markets

SUNDAY SEPT 1ST Broke Village Markets. This li le market is a must-see. Set in the beau ful, sheltered park in the main street of Broke, the market is a relaxing way to add to all that Broke Fordwich has for visitors and locals. A perfect ou ng for Fathers Day!

SATURDAYS SEPT 14TH AND 28TH 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.

SATURDAY SEPT 14TH Markets on Wynwood. showcasing handmade and unique wares including jewellery, home wares, clothing, gourmet foods and everything in between including wine tas ng from local vineyards. The markets are held between 9am and 3pm at Wynwood Estate, 310 Oakey Creek Rd, Pokolbin.

SUNDAY SEPT 15TH Sacred Tree Markets. Boasting over 90 stalls, these markets are the fastest growing in the valley. The markets are held at the Old St Brigids School Grounds on the corner of Station Street & the New England Hwy at Branxton. For further information visit




Aiming for the top

Darren Sco , along with his wife Tracey, established RidgeView from scratch in 2000. With a background in science, winemaking came naturally to Darren. When the me came to begin making wine under the RidgeView label Darren sought the guidance of Gary MacLean - an established local winemaker and operator of a small contract winemaking business in Lovedale.

It is a testament to the skill and talent of all three winemakers that RidgeView were also the only exhibitor at the 2013 Hunter Valley Wine Show to receive 3 gold medals for dierent varie es and runner up to three trophies.

With an eclec c range of varie es (shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, chambourcin, merlot, pinot gris, viognier and traminer) on oer and the Gary became the contract winemaker for RidgeView in 2004 and has first 10 years under their belts, it seems Ridgeview is set to climb new played an integral role in RidgeView being awarded over 500 medals and heights in the years to come under the steady hand of 3 passionate and trophies for wines made under his guidance. The highlight of these awards commi ed winemakers. for wines made by Darren & Gary was the "Best Young Shiraz" trophy for their 2006 "Genera ons" Reserve Shiraz in the 2009 NSW Wine Awards. Today Gary is in charge of producing RidgeView's "Estate Range" of wines which includes 10 varie es. The 2009 "Genera ons" Reserve Semillon made by Gary has just won gold in the 2013 Hunter Valley Wine show held in August. RidgeView are also fortunate to have renowned winemaker Mark Woods as a contract winemaker. Mark is Hunter born and bred, has a heavyweight reputa on in the Hunter Valley and is much admired as a winemaker for his outstanding passion and dedica on to his cra . Mark has won many awards for employers both past and current that include Leogate Estate, Ernest Hill, Briar Ridge and Pepper Tree Wines. Mark is now in charge of producing RidgeView's "Impressions" & "Genera ons" range of wines which includes Semillon, Shiraz & Chardonnay. The 2011 "Impressions" Chardonnay & 2011 "Impressions" Shiraz both made by Mark were awarded gold medals in the 2013 Hunter Valley Wine show.



Darren Sco



the Distillery

Situated amongst the vines of Pokolbin, Hunter Dis llery was the first 100% organic dis llery in Australia and is the only organic dis llery in the southern hemisphere.

The Hunter Dis llery produces premium organic vodkas, under the “Valli” label as well as a range of schnapps and liqueurs. Their flagship “Valli Vodka” has won interna onal awards and has

established the Dis lleries reputa on on the world stage.

Hunter Dis llery is open 7 days a week for a unique “test tube” tas ng experience and tour of the facili es. Visit www.HunterDis for more informa on and opening mes.




Eat off the bo le

you just drank from?

OK - it may sound strange, but what be er way to make a las ng memory of your stay in the Hunter Valley than to take home your favourite bo le of wine re-cycled with your own hands into a serving pla er! At Ogishi Cra Centre, you can create your very own memento by taking a Wine Bo le Pla er Lesson throughout the month of September. Ogishi Cra Centre offer professionally made wine bo le cheese pla ers for sale at their gallery in Lovedale, but now you or a group of friends can make up to 3 cheese pla ers yourself using empty bo les of wine during a single class. Classes are suitable for groups of 1 to 3 singles or 3 couples (6 people). This month Ogishi are offering a special introductory offer of a group class for up to 6 people for only $240 (addi onal people are included at a cost of $10pp). The classes are suitable for people aged 13 years and older. Phone Ogishi on 4998 7979.






A time of budburst and growth

The first month of Spring is a wonderful me in the Hunter Valley with the valley slowly transforming into a bright green explosion of new growth as the vines send out new shoots followed by rapid leaf growth. In the vineyard, it is a me of regular monitoring of late frost, and its affect on the new growth. Other risks and challenges can come in the form of overly dry weather or storms with heavy rain and winds. The annual growth cycle of grapevines in the vineyard commence each year with budburst taking place in Spring and culmina ng in leaf fall in Autumn followed by Winter dormancy In the Hunter Valley, budburst begins around September when daily temperatures begin to exceed 10 °C . Tiny buds on the vine start to swell and take the form of woolly buds. A er a while (approximately 2 weeks) ny leaves start to grow on the new shoots as they elongate - nourished by the food (carbohydrate) stored in the trunk and roots from the previous season's growth. Eventually the ny leaves begin the process of photosynthesis, producing the energy to accelerate growth. There are some differences in the ming of budburst depending on the varie es being grown, but sustained temperatures will ini ate budburst in most vines. For example, Chardonnay always bursts rela vely early, whereas Cabernet Sauvignon always burst rela vely late. October is the period of rapid shoot growth (growing an average 3 cm a day) as the vine canopies fill out. New roots start to emerge and berries become visible on the new shoots.



In November the process of flowering begins with small clusters of flowers appearing on the ps of the young shoots. A few weeks a er the ini al clusters appear, the flowers start to grow in size with individual flowers becoming very evident. This is the stage when self pollina on and fer lisa on take place. Bunches of grapes are now visible on the vine.



Turn heads on your

Wedding Day

Zen Hair Skin Body and Sublime Weddings is a full Hairdressing Salon and Beauty Spa in one loca on in the beau ful Hunter Valley Wine region. Combining innova ve & deluxe treatments in an environmentally friendly establishment, the salon can cater to any need.

Zen has fast become the preferred salon for wine country brides and it isn’t diďŹƒcult to see why. Owner and Ar s c Director Rachel Kane has had 18 years in the business and knows just what it takes to turn heads on your wedding day. To arrange a wedding consulta on with Rachel or her team of dedicated stylists, call the salon on 4998-6844 or visit the website at



A perfect match...

Choosing a Wedding Celebrant

If you aren’t planning on a formal church service for your vows then a marriage celebrant will be just what you are looking for. Choosing the right marriage celebrant can be a daun ng task.

You need to ensure they are registered, that you have received accurate informa on about their special es and style, maybe a photo, know where they'll work (rather than where they live) and be sure that they're prepared to perform the sort of ceremony you both want. Hundreds of wedding services are performed by marriage celebrants in the Hunter Valley each and every year…so we talked to a few of our favourite Celebrants to find out a li le more about what is involved in the intricate task of conduc ng a wedding ceremony. Kathy Pynsent of A Vineyard Wedding has come to “Celebrancy” from a long career in teaching, a background which she believes has prepared her well for speaking confidently in public and developing excep onal organisa on skills… “Ini ally, a rela ve in Sydney introduced me to the marriage celebrant world, and this planted the seed in my mind’’ explained Kathy. ‘’I was cap vated by the overall feeling of joy and happiness associated with a wedding, and so I set about pursuing the idea of becoming a celebrant un l I was appointed in 1991. At that me becoming a celebrant was quite different to the current prac ce and the number of celebrants was considerably less.” Since then Kathy has conducted around 2000 wedding ceremonies. Kathy went on to say that “it’s important that couples feel relaxed and comfortable with their celebrant, and trust that their par cular style will be reflected in the manner in which the celebrant delivers their ceremony. Couples should feel confident in the celebrant's professionalism and genuine approach to their work” The Ceremony is perhaps the most important aspect of your wedding day and it’s important that you have no regrets. Maree Callaghan of Hunter Marriage Celebrant was formerly the Mayor of Cessnock, a posi on she held for 8 years and one which prepared her well for life as a celebrant. Maree offers good advice to the bride and groom in choosing the right celebrant … “Don’t base your decision on the cheapest price as the celebrant sets the tone and vibe. Google, ask local photographers, the venues and florists for recommenda ons, then check their websites and backgrounds (to ascertain if they are capable of ge ng the legali es right, if they can “perform” on the day). Meet them if you can to see if you gel, as you will be less stressed leading up to the day if you have confidence in the person running the show” Maree says that the key to arranging your dream ceremony is to know all the op ons that are available to you. “Every single one of my ceremonies is different. I provide a 20-page wedding pack with numerous op ons and encourage and assist couples to produce something unique to them. Most of my couples are me poor, so I provide as much informa on and resources as possible” she says.

Kathy Pynsent of A Vineyard Wedding

When it comes to weddings there are definitely “trends” and this extends way past the style of the dress and hair to the type of ceremony couples prefer. Helen Pickering says one of the biggest trends is the outdoor wedding “the bride and groom love to have the service in the open, close to nature and par cularly in the vineyard areas where the spectacular views add to the romance of the se ng” she says. This is most likely the reason that Hunter Valley wine country has become one of the most popular wedding des na ons in the country. Maree agrees, “the quality of the venues, food and wine are superior to Sydney and yet prices are lower. The Hunter has a wealth of experienced wedding professionals and all of us, being local, work together (not against each other) to ensure that every wedding goes to plan. Couples also save on the cost of hiring wedding planners as most venues have wedding co-ordinators included in the price. Maybe it is a downside, but couples tell me that it is rare for guests to decline their invita on, as everyone wants a weekend in the Hunter!” For a wedding celebrant it’s also important that they feel connected with the couple they are conduc ng the ceremony for and some mes a couples dream wedding can be a li le le of centre. Perhaps the funniest story comes from Kathy…”Several years ago, I was asked to conduct a ceremony at a nudist beach, and although I was asked to wear clothes to make the ceremony more formal, it could have been extremely difficult to remain completely focused. Fortunately (?) the wedding didn't go ahead as planned due to family issues about clothing!” Contact details for Kathy, Maree and Helen can be found on the page opposite. Thanks ladies for taking the me to answer our ques ons.




s g n i d d e W

with local lair

When and where will your wedding be held? We are ge ng married at Walka Water Works in Oakhampton in November. You have made a conscious effort to support local businesses when planning your wedding – what were your reasons for this? We run a local event called Sacred Tree Markets and since star ng the markets and working with so many small businesses we have become really aware of the impact big business can have on the local economy. We made a decision that our wedding is an investment in our future and by choosing locally sourced products we were also inves ng in the prosperity of the community. We feel like sourcing dis nctly local products also gives our wedding a unique Hunter Valley flavour which we wouldn’t get if we bought outside of the area. Have you found it difficult to find local suppliers? No not at all. The local community are all very keen to support each other so we have found that if one supplier doesn’t have something they will direct you to someone else who can help. Everything so far has well exceeded our expecta ons.

Jay Worling InvitaƟon Design

Blues Child

Polka Dot Candles

It doesn’t take much research to discover that the Hunter Valley has everything you could possibly desire as a wedding des na on. Picturesque scenery makes for fairy tale wedding photos and the fine wines, amazing foods and wide variety of recep on venues available for couples to choose from have seen the area grow rapidly in popularity, becoming one of the most fashionable wedding spots in Australia. Once your wedding date is decided and the real planning begins, it can be temp ng to bring in suppliers close to home, but the Hunter Valley has so much more to offer than food, wine & venues with unique and passionate ar sans on-hand to help you create the wedding of your dreams using local suppliers. Co-founder (with her sister Penny) of our local Sacred Tree Markets, Ganga Ma will be ge ng married (in the Hunter Valley of course!) in November and has set about making her dream wedding a truly local gig by sourcing and commissioning some amazing and talented locals to create her dream wedding (and as Ganga Ma points out a wedding on a budget!). Here we talk to Ganga Ma about her plans for the big day….. I take it that you are a local girl? Where did you grow up? I grew up in Lake Macquarie and I moved out here when I met Dame in 2007. I consider myself a local girl now. Is your fiance also local? Dame grew up on a property in Miller’s Forest which is out past Maitland. He moved to Branxton a er finishing a vintage in New Zealand in 2007. How did you two meet? I cringe at the thought of it! I was at the then Clubhouse in Maitland with my step sister. I was exhausted and had been begging my sister to go home for hours. I went to get a drink and on the way I caught the gaze of this beau ful soul near the bar. He smiled and it wasn’t long before we were swapping phone numbers. That was it for me. I knew he was the one. Can you tell us a li le about your wedding proposal? It was one of the most beau ful weekends of my life! A few days earlier Dame had asked me to pack a bag. He told me we were going away but wouldn’t say where. The suspense was intense!

You must have a lot of contacts through your role in running the Sacred Tree Markets – how did you locate all the local businesses you needed? Much of our wedding we have sourced through Sacred Tree Markets. Markets are a great way of connec ng with local designers, suppliers and ar sts. There are so many incredibly skilled locals all in the one place and you can almost be guaranteed that if someone there doesn’t have something they will know where you might be able to source it. Do you have any advice for brides travelling to the Hunter Valley for their wedding day who want to use local suppliers? Ask around and you’ll find what you are looking for. The Hunter Valley has an endless pool of incredible unique suppliers but because there are no big malls it just might mean thinking a li le outside the square. I use the scenario – “where would Mum have bought from when she was looking?” I find it makes me look smaller-run, sustainable and closer to home. Ganga Ma has been kind enough to share the details of her wedding suppliers with us to share with you! Here are some of our favourites… • Invita on Design: Jay Worling • Vintage Décor: Nanna Had That NanHadThat ... Karen is a vintage queen and always goes out of her way to track down what you are looking for. • Handmade candles and holders: Polka Dot Candles • Wedding Cake: Fantasy Cupcakes Fantasy-Cupcakes/108502689219710 • High Tea Plates: Ally’s Glass Chimes Allys-Glass-Chimes/152956334864564 • Flower Girls dresses and Ring Bearer Ou it: Blues Child Good luck with your wedding planning – remember to keep it local for a truly unique day!

He flew me to Uluru and proposed under a waterfall at sunset. But it didn’t end there. The next morning he flew me to Melbourne and drove me along the Great Ocean Road and the following morning before sunset he drove to Simpson Steps and proposed again at sunrise. Three states and 2 proposals in 3 days. The wait had definitely been worth it. It was the most roman c experience of my life.


Ganga Ma & Dame THB WEDDINGS | SPRING 2013

Fantasy Cupcakes



Two essential ingredients for

One perfect day

If you would prefer an outdoor ceremony there are several enchan ng loca ons around the gardens that will provide you with the unique ambience to suit your day. One of our favourites is the Formal Garden. The three ered European garden is for tradi onally elegant couples wishing for a classic outdoor ceremony. If arriving by horse and carriage or bridal car, this garden will allow you to create a grand entrance while your guests look on. Other magical loca ons include the Waterfall, the Sunken Garden or the Oriental Garden. Having cked the ceremony loca on off your list, you now need an expert photographer to capture the moment on film. Enter April Werz. April started her photography business in the Hunter Valley 10 years ago a er studying photography and art at Westminster College in London.

rz Photography by April We

Couples travel to the Hunter Valley to get married for a number of reasons but more and more that reason is the variety of outdoor se ngs within which your dream wedding can be held. The picture-perfect loca on and the very best photographer to capture the magic forever are two essen al ingredients for one perfect day.

Since returning to Australia she has established her business in the Hunter Valley region and has developed a reputa on as one of the leading wedding photographers in NSW. Covering Hunter Valley, Newcastle, Central Coast and Sydney, April is highly sought a er for the magical images that she creates.

April’s passion is art and she is able to incorporate this into her photography, crea ng ar s c images and exquisite memories. Her dis nct At Hunter Valley Gardens couples can have the choice of a the beau ful air and unique vintage style dis nguishes her from other photographers and condi oned Chapel or a selec on of Garden loca ons for your wedding creates that ‘something different’ that many couples are looking for. ceremony, offering a unique des na on unlike any in Australia. Having lived and worked in the Hunter region for ten years, April has shot Completed in 2001, Hunter Valley Garden’s Chapel offers a stunning se ng weddings at most of the of the big venues and wineries throughout the for any wedding. Capable of sea ng 150 guests, the Chapel exterior is lined area but she also knows many of the great hidden loca ons tucked away in with white Ornamental Pear trees and features a beau ful courtyard with various parts of the Hunter that help to create some of her amazing shots. magnificent views of the spectacular Gardens and Brokenback Mountain Many of Aprils clients are newly engaged and o en organise an “E-Shoot”. Ranges. With two picturesque lakes on either side as the backdrop, this This is a great way to record a momentous me in your rela onship and venue will create a truly memorable wedding day. also to get more used to the camera before the big day. Aprils’ details are opposite – please contact her for availability







Hunter Valley Reflec ons Day Spa is situated in the grounds of Adina Vineyard and offers fully qualified diploma level therapists to help you relax, be pampered and delight in one or more treatments from their menu of special spa packages. Hunter Valley Reflec ons Day Spa specialise in 'insanely great treatments', believing that treatments shouldn't just be good they should be so great that they are a memorable experience for their clients. Providing a large range of treatments including face and body treatments and spa packages, Reflec ons only use quality Dermalogica products treatments customized to suit your skin type and sensi vity. Dermalogica is a pioneer for new standards for product performance. All of the staff at Reflec ons trust and use Dermalogica products themselves daily, believing that “if its not good enough for us to use… we wont sell it to you”! Contact Reflec ons on 4930-9008 for an appointment today!




Rosé Rosé is a the perfect staple during the Spring and Summer months and served chilled is a refreshing accompaniment to a variety of warm weather meals - especially when served alongside the grill

Whether it's rosé, rosado (Spain), rosato (Italy) or "blush", they all refer to pink wine which can range in colour from a pale orange to a vivid near-purple, depending on the grape used and wine making techniques which include the length of me 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 mid 100 B.C, the Romans had popularized darker red wines in Europe, but rosé wine remained popular in parts of France - most notably Provincia Romana (now Provence). Today, the number of rosé on the market con nues to grow, seemingly unabated. In fact the demand for tradi onal dry rosé is so widespread that across France, rosé outsells white wine and outside of France, rosé is experiencing a rebirth Rosé comes from all over, in all sorts of varietals and are 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. Almost all of the world's wine-producing regions make rosé wines and Australia’s fresh and vibrant rosés are generally produced from red grape varie es such as Shiraz and Grenache, with only minimal contact on skins to give the wines their signature ‘blush’. As a fantas c food wine, the versa lity 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, an pasto pla ers, grilled 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. 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 alterna ve to a red or white. When it comes to cheeses, so goat cheese pairs best with rosé.




Cellar Door Spring is the perfect me of the year to be in the vineyards with the buds developing new shoots and leaves triggering the start of the grape flowering process. As the days get warmer, the shoots grow longer and the grape flower begins to form grape berries - known as ''berry set''. The vineyard team now get busy monitoring the vines and crop thinning where necessary to meet op mum yield levels per acre. Here are some of the latest happenings on the local Wine Scene. Big Wins at the 2013 Hunter Valley Wine Show: Trophy Winners are:

• Pepper Tree Wines won the Doug Seabrook Trophy for best dry red of show, the Hector Tulloch Trophy for the best currently available dry red, the James Busby trophy for the best premium vintage red and the Ellio Family Trophy for the best 2 year old red.

• Audrey Wilkinson won the Petrie -Drinan Trophy for the best white wine of the show, the Maurice O'Shea Trophy for the best currently available dry white and the McGuigan Family Trophy for the best premium vintage dry white.

• Tyrrell's was awarded the Singleton Council Trophy for the most successful exhibitor, the Ed Jouault Trophy for the best one year old dry white, the Murray Tyrrell Trophy for the best any vintage Chardonnay and the Tyrrell Family Trophy for the best named vineyard dry white.

• Winemaker Andrew Thomas won the H.J. Lindeman Trophy for the best current vintage dry white and the Marshall Flannery Trophy for best current vintage Semillon.

• Tempus Two won the Graham Gregory Trophy for best museum vintage dry white.

• Leogate Estate Wines won the Len Evans Trophy for best named vineyard wine of show and the Drayton Family Trophy for the best named vineyard dry red. Interna onal accolades for McGuigan Wines: Neil McGuigan from McGuigan Wines won the Interna onal White Winemaker of the year award at the Interna onal Wine Challenge in the UK for the second me in 4 years ( McGuigan also won the white winemaker award in 2009). The company's Bin 9000 (2005 vintage) was also named the champion white wine. Culinary addi on to Adina Vineyard: Mul -award winning restaurateur Emerson's is moving his very popular restaurant to Adina Vineyard in September. Hungerford Hill Wines has taken out the ‘Customer Service’ (fewer than 20 employees) Award in the recent annual 2013 Hunter Business Awards. Wine Events & Awards:

• Australian Drinks Awards 2013 - Sydney (4 September 2013) • Hunter Valley Bou que Winemakers Show - Maitland Showground, Maitland (16-17 September 2013)

• 2013 Ci bank NSW Wine Awards - Sydney (31st October 2013) 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.



What is.. Cork Taint (also known as corked wine) ? Most wine drinkers are familiar with the term 'corked wine', but not many people know what a corked wine tastes like, how a wine becomes corked in the first place, or even how to detect a corked wine. A corked wine does not mean the wine has ny par cles of cork floa ng around in the glass. Instead it is a broad term for a wine that has become contaminated with cork taint - caused by the presence of a chemical compound called TCA (2,4,6 - trichloroanisole) which is so strong that even the niest amounts can cause musty aromas and flavours in wines. The compound forms through the interac on of plant phenols, chlorine and mould which most frequently occurs in natural cork and is then transferred to the bo led wine. But the taint can also originate elsewhere in wineries, where damp surfaces and chlorine-based cleaning products are commonplace; barrels, wooden pallets, wood beams and cardboard cases are all sources of phenols. If TCA goes undiscovered, it can spread and eventually taint all wines in the winery. Corked wines smell and taste of damp, soggy, wet or ro en cardboard. It dulls the fruit in a wine, renders it lackluster and cuts the finish. While unpleasant to taste, cork taint is not in any way harmful to humans. Some mes it is barely no ceable and other mes it will knock your socks off the moment you open the bo le.



Are you in the mood to be amazed? Imagine finding over 3,000 gifts in one venue with an emphasis on colourful wine glasses and exciting home decorator items - ideal for wedding gifts! The Wine Glass Gallery at Hunter Valley Gardens Village is the perfect place to shop for that special gift for yourself or that someone special or just simply pass the time browsing through the large range of unique quality wine glasses including hand painted wine/shot glasses. You’ll also find fashion jewellery, handbags, Riana Jewellery with Austrian Crystals, colourful beaded lamps, art glass platters & vases, unique metal animals and exclusive handmade cards for all occasions. Popular local artist Cheryl Cusick also has a wonderful range of original canvasses and her exclusive ''Wine Glass Range'' on display - ideal for the modern dining or living areas. Come and see why the Wine Glass Gallery is proving to be so popular amongst both locals and visitors. Open 7 days from 10 – 5 pm - you will be AMAZED!!



The A Team

Emerson Rodriguez and his wife Samantha opened their first restaurant Emerson's at Pokolbin in September 2010 and very quickly earned a reputa on for pushing the boundaries in culinary excellence. In fact just a few months a er opening the new restaurant, Emerson received an AGFG Chef Hat in 2011 and soon a er received the Best New Restaurant tle at the 2011 Restaurant & Catering Awards for Excellence. Emerson has since con nued to receive the much coveted AGFG Chef Hat award in 2012 and 2013.



moves to..

Now, three years later, Emerson is moving his mul -award winning restaurant to Adina Vineyard in Lovedale this month - something he and wife Samantha are looking forward to. Here they will have the support of Adina Vineyard owner Peter O'Meara who is keen for Emerson to showcase his fine dining skills and local produce with his award winning wines. Emerson has a passion for flavour - something that is strongly demonstrated throughout his seasonal menus that oer Spanish style tapas




Peter Cur s - also fondly known as the ''Cheese-man'', grew up in a small country town in central Victoria before embarking on an 18 month na onal service s nt which was also spent in Malaysia. On comple ng his na onal service, Peter then decided on a career as a physical educa on teacher in Melbourne which he did for four years while also pursuing a side interest renova ng and selling real estate. It was this interest in real estate that brought him into contact with future life partner Rosalia (Rose) Lambert who was working in the real estate industry. With a desire to move into the country a er their child Riley was born, Peter accepted a job offer from a friend who owned the highly regarded Milawa Cheese Company - a small, speciality cheese-making factory located in North East Victoria's wine region. Peter soon developed a passion and a unique set of skills for cheese-making and a er just six months found himself in the role of head cheese-maker. A er 4 years at the Milawa Cheese Company, Peter and Rose decided to move to the Hunter Valley to start their own bou que speciality cheese factory and retail outlet. The Hunter Valley Cheese Company commenced opera on in April 1995 with the vision to manufacture Australian specialty cheese for a niche market comprising gourmet deli's, fine food restaurants and cheese loving visitors to the Hunter Valley vineyards. Peter recalls that in the 1990's the cheese industry in NSW was all about cheddar cheese with li le focus on the so er cheese varie es—something Peter was keen to introduce from his experience in Victoria. Since then Peter has seen a significant change in the industry which has in many ways mirrored the evolu on of the wine industry with the constant change in people tastes and preferences - largely driven by an improved knowledge and awareness of cheese.


for lunch and in mate contemporary modern Australian cuisine during the evenings. Diners also have the op on of an eight course degusta on menu on Friday and Saturday nights. For those looking for something special.....''Emerson's'' is an essen al dining experience. While you’re dining at Emerson’s check out the all new Cellar Door at Adina Vineyard. Enjoy a wine tas ng and savour all the latest olive products or for a truly special girls-day incorporate a visit to Reflec ons Day Spa (which is also on-site at Adina Vineyard) into your day. Great wine, fine food and pampering...the perfect day out!

When asked about his favourite cheese to make and eat - Peter automa cally points to the smear ripened cheese which he refers to as ''the cheese makers cheese" due to the degree of difficulty in making it and ge ng the texture just right and also being a most flavoursome cheese. His second favourite being the washed rind cheese. When not making cheese - Peter can be found on the golf course at Cypress lakes or roaring through the na onal forests on his mountain bike - a favourite past me. Today, the Hunter Valley Cheese Factory and tas ng room is one of the most visited des na ons in Hunter Valley Wine Country where local, interstate and overseas visitors come to sample their full range of cheese along with a comprehensive range of local produce and cheese accompaniments. Peter is undoubtedly ''the Cheese man'' and can o en be found talking with passion and enthusiasm about his cra to a group of people huddled in front of the glass window of the temperature-controlled matura on room.




Under the Table September signals the start of Spring and warmer days as we edge ever closer to Summer. This is the month that is just perfect for a late morning breakfast or brunch and even dining alfresco at one of the many local restaurants and cafes do ed around the Hunter Valley. Here are some of the latest happenings on the local Food Scene. Emerson Rodriguez makes his move to Lovedale: Award winning restaurant Emerson's (formerly Emerson's at Pokolbin) is moving to Adina Vineyard (Lovedale) in September. Emerson's is considered one of the Hunters finest restaurants winning Best New Restaurant in 2011 and the AGFG Chef Hat in 2011, 2012 and 2013. Ph: 4930 7029. Binnorie Dairy - who has a cheese outlet on Hermitage Rd is planning to build a cheese making factory in London's Road - Lovedale. The cheese factory would have a floor area of 822square metres, containing rooms for processing, pasteurising, cooling, ageing, dry storage and packing. Fireside Sundays at Twine Restaurant - Middle Eastern Dining: Fireside Sundays at Twine Restaurant is about cooking over an open fire to create a unique casual dining experience. It starts with a house made mezze plate followed by the fireside dinner (Middle Eastern) and a tantalizing dessert. Every Sunday at Twine Restaurant from 5:30pm last bookings 7:30pm. Cost: $45 pp (kids under 12 eat free). Ph: 4998 7449 Enjoy 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. The Deck Cafe at Gartelmann Wine Estate in Lovedale is now open for business and is serving breakfast and lunch 5 days a week from Saturday to Wednesday. Ph: 4930 9007. Locals Night at The Verandah Restaurant on Sunday the 8th of September, with the theme "Saron, garlic and olive night". The evening starts at 6:30pm with complimentary canapes and bubbles, followed by a 5 coarse Tapas Style degusta on. $50 per person BYO No corkage. Ph: 4998 7231 The Hunter Valley Chocolate Company is holding Chocolate Workshops on the 3rd Saturday of each month in 2013. Booking are essen al. Ph: 4930 7388 RidgeView Restaurant is having their Spring in Season Dinner on Friday 22nd of November. Dinner includes 4 courses plus canapes with a glass of ''sparkler'' pinot noir/ chardonnay. Cost $65 pp or $85 pp with matching wines. Ph: 6574 7332

For a comprehensive list of local restaurants, dining reviews and food and wine trail maps for each of the 5 key wine growing areas - see the latest issue of Wine & Dine in the Hunter.



Chocolate makes everyone smile-even bankers." - Benneville Strohecker, chocola er Chocolate is a joy to give and a joy to receive and each of us has an intensely personal history with this sweetest of substances which has so many things wrapped up in it - roman c memories, love, childhood, happiness and that grin-induced feeling of being rewarded. We all love chocolate, most of us probably eat it every day, or at least several mes a week. It is one of the most loved food products in the world and most of us probably feel we know chocolate pre y well since it is such a regular part of our lives. However, there are many fascina ng facts about the world of chocolate that most do not know. The earliest record of chocolate was over fi een hundred years ago in the Central American rain forests, where the Cacao Tree was worshipped by the Mayan civilisa on of Central America and Southern Mexico, who believed it to be of divine origin. The word ''Cacao'' is actually a Mayan word meaning "God Food". The word has since been corrupted into the more familiar 'Cocoa' by the early European explorers. Aztecs of central Mexico also enjoyed Cacao as a beverage fermented from the raw beans and even valued the beans above silver or gold and used the beans as a form of currency - for buying food or paying a tribute to Aztec emperors.

other parts of Europe. By this me chocolate was also believed to have nutri ous, medicinal and even aphrodisiac proper es, but it remained largely a privilege of the rich un l it was mass produced in the late 1700s. In 1828, a Dutch chemist found a way to make powdered chocolate and the crea on of the first modern chocolate bar is credited to Joseph Fry who in 1847 discovered that he could make a mouldable chocolate paste by adding melted cacao bu er back into Dutch cocoa. By 1868, a small company called Cadbury was marke ng boxes of chocolate candies in England. Milk chocolate hit the market a few years later, pioneered by Nestle. In America, chocolate was so valued during the Revolu onary War that it was included in soldiers' ra ons and used instead of wages. But more recently, there's been a chocolate revolu on marked by an increasing interest in high-quality, handmade chocolates and more sustainable cacao farming and harves ng methods. Chocolate is an $83 billion a year business with Europeans accoun ng for nearly half of all the chocolate consumed in the world. The average Brit, Swiss or German will each eat around 11 kilograms of chocolate a year.

Today. chocolate which is high in cocoa solids is also recognised as having many quali es that are beneficial to our health. For example, cocoa is Sweetened chocolate didn't appear un l Europeans discovered the known to have the highest natural source for Magnesium and Magnesium Americas and sampled the na ve cuisine. Legend has it that the Aztec king deficiency is linked with hypertension, heart disease, diabetes, joint Montezuma welcomed the Spanish explorer Hernando Cortes with a problems and pre-menstrual tension (PMT or PMS). Chocolate also banquet that included drinking chocolate, having mistaken him for a contains essen al trace elements and nutrients such as iron, calcium and reincarnated deity instead of a conquering invader. potassium, and vitamins A. B1, C, D, and E. The first chocolate factories opened in Spain, where the dried fermented "There's nothing be er than a good friend, except a good friend with beans brought back by the Spanish fleets were roasted and ground. By the chocolate." Linda Grayson - Ar st and children's book author 17th century chocolate was a fashionable drink throughout Europe and chocolate powder from which the drink was made, was being exported to



COMING UP Un l October 6th—SMURF SHOW & SCHOOL HOLIDAY ACTIVITIES at Hunter Valley Gardens. Hang out with Smurfe e and Papa Smurf at Hunter Valley Gardens! Be entertained by this brand new Live Show plus get a chance to meet the stars. For more informa on visit or see pages 2 & 5 of this issue.

Saturday October 12th—WOLLOMBI MUSIC FESTIVAL Now in it's 4th year, Wollombi Music Fes val is a day & night of great Australian music, awesome markets, fantas c food & heaps of crea ve surprises. Wollombi is known for its crea ve & diverse culture with a rich indigenous history. The fes val is about reflec ng all those things & wrapping them into one groovy night of fes val fun. For more informa on visit www.wollombimusicfes 12th October un l 17th November—ROSE SPECTACULAR at Hunter Valley Gardens Take the opportunity to see Hunter Valley Gardens blooming with hundreds and thousands of rose blooms, throughout the annual Rose Spectacular. See 35,000 rose bushes in over 125 different varie es. The majority of the roses are grown at Hunter Valley Gardens and are of the fragrant variety, a er all, a rose without perfume just isn’t a rose! Includes rose talks and demonstra ons. For more info visit Saturday October 19th—OPERA IN THE VINEYARDS at Wyndham Estate. Imagine sipping on a glass of wine as the sun sets slowly over the vines and the first note soars across the Valley. Let us take you there this Spring as we celebrate fine food, wine and of course opera! This one of a kind event is in its 18th year and going from strength to strength—this year’s lineup includes with popular tenor David Hobson and interna onal soprano Anna Leese. For more info and ckets visit October 26th & 27th—MEET THE MAKERS at Broke ‘Meet the Makers’ is a unique fes val and event weekend in the Broke Fordwich wine region. It’s your chance to meet the person who makes the wines, produce, condiments and chocolates. For more informa on visit

If this lovely Spring image seems familiar it should! Can you believe that it is 12 months since this image launched the new look Hunter Blackboard for our 5th Birthday issue! That can mean only one thing—it’s now our 6th Birthday! Happy Birthday Hunter Blackboard .How Ɵme flies when you’re having fun….

on your wedding day...






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.




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 Rustic Mediterranean cuisine in a relaxed, friendly environment. Open for lunch and dinner Monday to Saturday. Bookings recommended. 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. 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 Mount Eyre/Three Ponds Cellar Door. See the Tunnel Of Beer or taste 17 flavoured organic vodkas.

THE TWIG A gorgeous selection of home furnishings and personal giftware unlike anything else on offer in the ZEN HAIR SKIN BODY A full Hairdressing Salon valley. and Beauty Spa in one location, innovative & deluxe THE WAITERS FRIEND A great selection of quality treatments in an environmentally friendly setting, the salon can cater to any need. Phone 4998-6844. kitchenware and barware and some of the best prices anywhere in Australia. AQUA GOLF & PUTT PUTT If you fancy a bit of action then visit our Aqua Golf and VILLAGE BOOKS A fantastic range of fiction, nonPutt Putt Golf Course—fun for the whole family! Win fiction, and children’s books and a unique collection of cash & prizes! Phone 4998-7896. quality toys, games, souvenirs and gifts. POKOLBIN CONVENIENCE STORE In the heart WILSON & HUNTER Summer is heating up at Wilson of the village is a genuine general store servicing the and Hunter with a burst of colour. The latest from Camilla, Pokolbin area with everything you might need while Mela Purdie, Verge, Katherine, Samantha Wills, Metalicus, visiting the Wine Country. Bleu Blanc Rouge,Tilly Rose,Tolani and more… POKOLBIN VILLAGE PHARMACY Offering you WINE GLASS GALLERY An extraordinary gift gallery friendly, professional service as well as a wide range of BROKE ROAD, stocking unique colourful wine glasses, original artworks, products: full PBS prescription service, medicines, POKOLBIN homewares, hand bags, jewellery, shot glasses, vitamins, skin care, cosmetics, hair care, fragrances, OPEN 7 DAYS magnets, souvenirs & much more. sunglasses and much more. PH 4998 6677 FROM 10AM



The Hunter Blackboard September 2013  
The Hunter Blackboard September 2013  

The Hunter Blackboard is your complete guide to everything that's happening in Hunter Valley Wine Country. In this issue we look at our top...