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WELCOME!

Welcome to the Hunter Valley and this 5th issue of Wine & Dine Hunter Valley.

Warm hospitality, a love of life, world class wines, fine food and culture - this is Hunter Valley wine country. With a tradition of viticulture stretching back more than 180 years and celebrated as Australia’s primary wine and food destination, the Hunter Valley attracts food and wine lovers from all over the world and treats them to a fascinating journey of discovery into the world of fine wine and wonderful food.

SPECIAL FEATURES 7 8 24 26

Out & About in historic Hunter Valley. Matt Dillow—Stirring the pot! Hunter Valley classic wines. What’s on your plate? Food trends for 2013 and beyond. Three Great Spots. To lunch...alot! Top Drops—Our picks of the season. Wine Trends—for today, tomorrow and beyond. Breakfast at...The Brickworks Brasserie. Dining at...Casa Margarita. Rhys & Garth Eather—A new wave of innovative winemakers Dining at...Hunter Valley Steakhouse.

iPHONE, iPAD & ANDROID DEVICES

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The rich soils of the Hunter Valley inspire growers to 50 produce a bounty of premium wines and fresh 54 produce - offering more choice and diversity than any other wine region in Australia. 66 EDITORS/PUBLISHERS The Hunter Valley wine culture has inspired a strong Quentin von Essen food culture and vice versa. The two simply go hand 68 Di von Essen CONTRIBUTORS in hand and it is therefore no coincidence that some Jessica Codrington of the best restaurants in the world happen to be 80 Peter Firth located in some of the finest wine-growing regions Roger Lilliott where wine is often just as prevalent in the cooking 85 Robert Lusby process as it is in the glass. Ross Wilson 88 McLeish Estate But the world of wine and food as we know it is Salt&Peppa Reviews constantly evolving and an increasingly important FOR ADVERTISING consideration for so many people is the origin of the INFORMATION CALL food they eat and enjoy. Food miles, sustainable 0432 195 942 info@wineanddineguides.com.au farming, locally sourced produce are now a PO Box 241 fundamental part of the food philosophy for many Cessnock NSW 2325 restaurants of the Hunter Valley. In this issue of Australia Wine & Dine Hunter Valley readers can read about REGULAR ITEMS © Copyright 2013 the current food trends for 2013 as well as some of WCP MEDIA 2 Quick Index to Cellar Doors the trends in wine production. All rights reserved. Wine & Dine is a 4 Quick Index to Restaurants Registered Trademark. Considered to be the Hunter Valleys premier and Reproduction in part or whole or 5 Quick Index to Providores use without permission is strictly most popular guide to wineries, restaurants and prohibited. For information gourmet food providers, Wine & Dine Hunter Valley 9 Trail Maps ...Index to Trail Maps regarding permissions please contact us at the above address. invites you to experience ''a world of wine and food'' 10 Pokolbin 1 Wine & Food Trail Although every effort has been and the best the Hunter Valley has to offer. Take the 28 Pokolbin 2 Wine & Food Trail made to ensure accuracy, WCP MEDIA cannot be held time to relax, indulge a little and enjoy your time in 56 Lovedale, Rothbury & Branxton responsible for any errors or the Hunter and use this guide and the wine and food omissions that may occur. All Wine & Food Trail opinions expressed are those of trail maps in each section to explore the Hunters the writers and not necessarily that 72 Mount View, Cessnock & of the publishers. The publisher finest cellar doors, restaurants and gourmet food Nulkaba Wine & Food Trail, reserves the right to refuse any providers and learn something about the history of advertising due to inappropriate 82 Broke Fordwich Wine & Food each unique area. content. Trail 86 Wollombi Wine & Food Trail, 90 Wine & Dine Services Wine & Food Tours, Classes and OPTIMISED FOR Experiences QuenƟn & Di von Essen—Publishers A WCP MEDIA PUBLICATION


QUICK INDEX TO CELLAR DOORS (A-O) 58

492 Lovedale Rd, Lovedale

7 Days

Blueberry Hill Vineyard

13

999 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

Briar Ridge Vineyard

76

593 Mount View Rd, Mount View

7 Days

Capercaillie Wine Co.

58

4 Londons Rd, Lovedale

7 Days

Constable Estate

14

205 Gillards Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

DeBortoli Wines

59

532 Wine Country Drive, Pokolbin

7 Days

Emmas Cottage Vineyard

60

438 Wilderness Rd, Lovedale

Fri to Sun

Ernest Hill Wines

33

307 Wine Country Drive, Nulkaba

7 Days

First Creek Wines

14

600 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

Gartelmann Wines

59

701 Lovedale Rd, Lovedale

7 Days

Gemelli Estate

13

168 Palmers Lane, Pokolbin

Fri to Mon

Gundog Estate

34

101 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

Hanging Tree Wines

35

294 O’Connors Rd, Pokolbin

Fri—Sun

Harkham Wines

35

266 DeBeyers Rd, Pokolbin

Sat & Sun

Hermitage Rd Cellars

15

Hermitage Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

Hungerford Hill Wines

36

2450 Broke Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

Hunter Distillery

15

1686 Broke Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

Iron Gate Estate

38

Oakey Creek Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

Ivanhoe Wines

39

525 Marrowbone Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

James Estate

16

1210 Hermitage Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

Kelman Vineyard

76

2 Oakey Creek Rd, Mount View

7 Days

Kevin Sobels Wines

39

5 Halls Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

Krinklewood Biodynamic Vineyard

83

712 Wollombi Rd, Broke

Sat & Sun

Lindeman’s Wine

40

119 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

Macquariedale Organic Wines

17

170 Sweetwater Rd, Rothbury

7 Days

McGuigan Wines

41

447 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

McLeish Estate

41

462 DeBeyers Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

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Adina Vineyard


QUICK INDEX TO CELLAR DOORS (P-Z ) 42

2144 Broke Rd,(Cnr McDonalds Rd) Pokolbin 7 Days

Misty Glen Wines

17

293 Deasys Rd, Pokolbin

Fri to Mon

Mount Broke Wines

84

130 Adams Peak Rd, Broke

Fri to Sun

Mount View Estate

76

502 Mount View Rd, Mount View

7 Days

Noyce Brothers Wines

87

2884 Wollombi Rd, Wollombi

7 Days

Oakvale Wines

18

1596 Broke Rd,Pokolbin

7 Days

Peterson House

44

Cnr Broke Rd & Wine Country Drive, Pokolbin 7 Days

Petersons Wines

77

552 Mount View Rd, Mount View

7 Days

Pierre’s Wines

63

82 Elderslie Rd, Branxton

Mon to Fri by appointment. Sat & Sun

Pokolbin Estate

43

298 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

Ridgeview Wines

19

273 Sweetwater Rd, Pokolbin

Wed to Sun

Saddler’s Creek Wines

77

15 Marrowbone Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

Savannah Estate Wines

78

402 Mount View Rd, Mount View

7 Days

Stomp! Wines

84

1273 Milbrodale Rd, Broke

Sat & Sun & By Appointment

Stonehurst Cedar Creek

87

1840 Wollombi Rd, Cedar Creek

7 Days

Tamburlaine Organic Wines

45

358 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

Tellace Wines

59

356 Tuckers Lane, Nth Rothbury

Fri—Sun

Tempus Two

46

Cnr Broke & McDonalds Rds, Pokolbin

7 Days

Tintilla Estate

20

725 Hermitage Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

Tower Estate

47

Cnr Halls & Broke Rds, Pokolbin

7 Days

Undercliff Winery & Gallery

87

152 Yango Creek Rd, Wollombi

7 Days

Vinden Estate

21

17 Gillards Rd, Pokolbin

Wed to Sun

Wandin Hunter Valley

65

12 Wilderness Rd, Lovedale

7 Days

Waverley Estate

21

207 Palmers Lane, Pokolbin

7 Days

Wollombi Village Vineyard

87

2971 Payne’s Crossing Rd, Wollombi

Sat & Sun

Wombat Crossing

22

530 Hermitage Rd, Pokolbin

Sat Only (Winter); Fri/Sun/Mon by appointment Sat & Sun (Spring)

Wynwood Estate

48

310 Oakey Creek Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

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Meerea Park


QUICK INDEX TO RESTAURANTS (A-R) Al-Oi Thai Restaurant

74

19 Vincent St, Cessnock

Lunch & Dinner 7 Days

Australia Hotel

74

136 Wollombi Rd, Cessnock

Lunch & Dinner 7 Days

Amandas on the Edge

12

1039 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin

Lunch Fri to Mon; Dinner 7 Nights

And the Winner is Oscars

30

Shop 15 Hunter Valley Gardens Village, Breakfast & Lunch 7 Days Broke Rd, Pokolbin

Australian Regional Food Store

30

426 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin

Breakfast & Lunch 7 Days

Bistro Vinden

21

17 Gillards Rd, Pokolbin

Lunch Sat & Sun

Black Creek Farm

12

803 Old North Rd, Rothbury

Lunch Fri & Sat

Bistro Molines

75

749 Mount View Rd, Mount View

Lunch Thurs to Mon; Dinner Fri & Sat

B.L.U.E Thai

75

137 Mount View Rd, Cessnock

Lunch Wed to Sat; Dinner Tues to Sun

Blaxlands Inn

31

2198 Broke Rd, Pokolbin

Lunch & Dinner Wed to Sun All Day Dining7 Days from Midday

Bluetongue Brewery Cafe

13

Bodega Restaurant & Bar

32

Briar Grillade

76

593 Mount View Rd, Mount View

Wed to Sun

Casa Margarita

32

266 DeBeyers Rd, Pokolbin

Breakfast & Lunch Sat & Sun; Dinner Fri & Sat

Café 1843 at Lindeman’s

40

119 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

Chez Pok

33

At Peppers Guesthouse, Ekerts Rd, Pokolbin

Breakfast 7 Days; Lunch Fri—Sun; Dinner 7 Nights

Elizabeth’s

32

401 Marrowbone Rd, Pokolbin

Breakfast & Lunch 7 Days

Emma’s of Lovedale

60

438 Wilderness Rd, Lovedale

Breakfast Sat & Sun; Lunch Thurs to Sun, Dinner Thurs to Sat

Goldfish

34

Cnr Broke & McDonalds Rds, Pokolbin

Lunch and Dinner 7 Days

Harrigan’s Irish Pub

36

Broke Rd, Pokolbin

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 7 Days

Hunter Valley Steakhouse

37

Cnr Broke & McDonalds Rd’s, Pokolbin

Dinner 7 Nights; Lunch Sat & Sun

At Hermitage Lodge, 609 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin Sebel Kirkton Park 336 Oakey Creek Rd, Pokolbin

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 7 Days

Il Cacciatore

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Hunter Resort, Cnr Hermitage Rd & Mistletoe Lne, Pokolbin At Cypress Lakes Resort, 15 Thompsons Rd, Pokolbin

16

Infuzion Restaurant

38

Leaves and Fishes

61

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 7 Days

Dinner 7 Nights

737 Lovedale Rd, Lovedale

Lunch Wed to Sun; Dinner Fri & Sat

Lovedale Smokehouse & Café

62

64 Majors Lane, Lovedale

Retail Sales 7 Days. Café Fri—Mon for Lunch

Majors Lane Restaurant

62

64 Majors Lane, Lovedale

Dinner Thurs—Mon

Mojos on Wilderness

63

84 Wilderness Rd, Lovedale

Dinner 7 Nights

Muse Kitchen

17

At Keith Tulloch Wines, Lot 17 Hermitage Rd, Pokolbin

Lunch Wed-Sun

Muse Restaurant & Café

42

At Hungerford Hill, 1 Broke Rd, Pokolbin Lunch 7 Days; Dinner Wed to Sat

Oishii Japanese Thai Restaurant

43

Cnr McDonalds & Broke Rd’s , Pokolbin Lunch & Dinner 7 Days

Redsalt Restaurant

64

430 Wine Country Drv, Lovedale

Breakfast 7 Days; Dinner 7 Nights


QUICK INDEX TO RESTAURANTS (R-Z ) Restaurant Cuvee

44

Cnr Broke Rd & Wine Country Drv, Pokolbin

Breakfast & Lunch 7 Days

Ridgeview Restaurant

19

273 Sweetwater Rd, Pokolbin

Breakfast Fri to Sun; Lunch & Dinner Thurs to Sun

Roberts Restaurant

45

Halls Rd, Pokolbin

Lunch & Dinner 7 Days

Royal Federal Hotel 221 Restaurant & Bar at The Royal Oak Hotel

63

50 Maitland Rd, Branxton

Lunch & Dinner 7 Days

74

221 Vincent Street, Cessnock

Lunch & Dinner 7 Days

Sabor in the Hunter Dessert Bar

64

319 Wilderness Rd, Lovedale

Fri to Sun (Mon Pub & School Hols)

San Martino Restaurant

20

At Hunter Resort, Hermitage Rd, Pokolbin

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 7 Days

SSS BBQ Barns

79

4 Wollombi Rd, Cessnock

The Beltree

18

266 Hermitage Rd, Pokolbin

The Brickworks Brasserie

78

The Cellar Restaurant

46

At Potters, Wine Country Drive, Nulkaba Hunter Valley Gardens Village, Broke Rd, Pokolbin

The Olive Tree Restaurant

64

The Verandah Restaurant

18

Twine Restaurant

46

At Calais Estate, Palmers Lane, Pokolbin 310 Oakey Creek Rd, Pokolbin

Vittorios Italian Café Restaurant

47

Pokolbin Village, 2188 Broke Rd, Pokolbin

Wandin Wine Bar & Diner

65

12 Wilderness Rd, Lovedale

Wyndham Estate, Dalwood Rd, Branxton

Dinner 7 Nights; Lunch groups by appointment Lunch Fri to Mon; Dinner Fri & Sat (Sun long weekends) Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 7 Days Lunch & Dinner Mon to Sat Breakfast Sundays; Lunch Sat & Sun Lunch & Dinner Thurs to Sun Lunch 7 Days; Dinner Fri-Sun Breakfast & Lunch 7 Days; Dinner Fri to Sun Lunch 7 Days; Dinner Thur—Sat

QUICK INDEX TO PROVIDORES 58

492 Lovedale Rd, Lovedale

7 Days

Australian Regional Food Store & Café

30

426 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

Gartelmann Wines

59

701 Lovedale Rd, Lovedale

7 Days

Gundog Estate & Gourmet Pantry

34

101 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

Hunter Olive Centre

43

298 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

Hunter Valley Cheese Company

37

At McGuigans Complex, 447 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

Hunter Valley Chocolate Company

61

Shop 5, HVG Village, Broke Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

Hunter Valley Chocolate Company

61

Peterson House, Cnr Broke Rd & Wine Country Drv, Pokolbin

7 Days

Hunter Valley Chocolate Company

61

Factory & Showroom 820 Lovedale Rd, Lovedale

7 Days

Lovedale Smokehouse

62

64 Majors Lane, Lovedale

7 Days

Sabor in the Hunter Dessert Bar

64

319 Wilderness Rd, Lovedale

Fri to Sun (Mon Pub & School Hols)

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Adina Vineyard


WHAT’S IN A SYMBOL? Throughout this booklet you will see symbols relating to facilities and products offered by our wineries, cellar doors, restaurants & providores. Here’s the meaning:

Ë Æ

Disabled Access Onsite Restaurant/CafĂŠ Functions/Events/Weddings

ĂŠ Ă…

On Site Parking

v

Family Friendly

Picnic /BBQ Area

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Accommodation

Vineyard Views

Cellar Door On Site

Â?

On Site Gallery

Order On-Line

A/C

Air Conditioning

Free WiFi

Z

On Site Golf Course

Beer On Tap

Picnic Hampers

Scenic Views

Gourmet Produce

Cooking Classes

Baby Change Facilities


OUT & ABOUT in historic Hunter Valley

The Hunter Valley is one of Australia's best known and oldest wine regions with the first vines planted in the mid 1830's when James Busby an amateur viticulturist, returned to New South Wales after travelling throughout Europe and South Africa, collecting cuttings from over 500 vineyards. Some of these cuttings were sent to the newly established Royal Botanical Gardens in Sydney and the rest planted at the family estate of Kirkton (between the towns of Branxton and Singleton) establishing what was probably the first vineyard in the region. It was these cuttings which established the Hunter Valley’s claims to viticulture fame.

The 1950s and 1960s saw consumer taste shift toward drier styles of wine. As a result the 1960's saw a dramatic increase in the number of plantings of vine including red wine varietals and the reintroduction of Cabernet Sauvignon to the Hunter Valley.

From these beginnings, the Hunter Valley flourished, with several families establishing vineyards in the area including the first vineyards by George Wyndham of Wyndham Estate. By the end of the decade, plantings had expanded from 200 acres to approximately 500 acres and by 1876 land planted with vine had exceeded 1800 acres.

The year 1971, saw the first commercial bottling of Chardonnay - an event that sparked the beginning of the Australian Chardonnay craze. By 1976, plantings in the Hunter Valley had grown to exceed 10,000 acres and despite a small reduction during the recession of the 1980s, the Australian wine boom of the 1990s pushed plantings even further to over 11,000 acres.

By the 1860s, plantings of vineyards began to move from the fertile alluvial plains along the Hunter River towards the foothills of the Brokenback range near Pokolbin and Rothbury (Lovedale) where many of the most well established and highly regarded vineyards of the Hunter can be found today.

Today the Hunter Valley remains Australia's oldest wine producing region and one of Australia's most recognisable regions with over 140 wineries in the Hunter, producing a wide range of wine. The region has a strong food and wine culture that is reflected in its premium quality wines and abundant regional produce and gourmet food products. Hunter Valley wine is equal to the best in the world and the wine sector is recognised for producing a full range of wine styles and varietals one to match every meal.

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After World War I, many returning soldiers were given land grants in the Hunter Valley, but the Great Depression and devastating hail storms between

1929–1930 caused many of these new land owners to abandon their vineyards. Some of the land was bought up by the larger and more established land owners at the time who would later become driving forces behind the Hunter Valley's wine industry.


PAGE 8

MattDillow

Born and raised in Sydney, Matt first started cooking at the young age of 15 and spent much of his apprentice years working for Rydges Hotels and Resorts and finally at the Alpine Resort in Thredbo. Matt then went to work as a full time chef at the stylishly restored Hotel CBD Sydney and the multipurpose Slip Inn in Sussex Street, before finding himself back at the Rydges Hotel in North Sydney, but this time in the position of Head Chef. It was at this stage of his career that Matt decided to travel through Europe experiencing as many food cultures as possible - which he did travelling through Spain, Greece, Portugal, Prague, England, Germany, Demark and France. Arriving back in Sydney, he was given the role of head chef at Barrenjoey House, where he played a significant role in revitalising the historic dining venue in Palm Beach, before deciding to open his own restaurant. In 2007, Matt had his heart set on The Verandah Restaurant situated on the very picturesque Calais Estate in the Hunter Valley. Until its closure in 1995, the Verandah Restaurant had a long and interesting history as one of the best restaurants in the Hunter Valley and was once the restaurant of iconic Hunter chef Robert Molines. Having been closed for 12 years, the restaurant was in dire need of restoration if it was to be returned to its former glory, but for Matt many of the positives were already in place and included a prestigious wine label and a stunning vineyard setting. Also, having to refurbish the building provided Matt with the opportunity to put his personal stamp on the building. Wanting to provide visitors to the Hunter as well as the locals with something different, Matt decided to provide his clientele with a modern Australian Tapas Style dining

Stirring the pot!

experience - a style of dining he prefers himself. Since opening in 2007, The Verandah has been a finalist in Awards for Excellence in Best Tourism Restaurant and also Best New Restaurant in the Hunter region. As the restaurant became more recognised, Matt started to spend more of his time working closely with the local community which led to him being involved in the TAFE Hospitality Roadshow where he has been able to mentor others wanting to succeed in the industry. It also resulted in the emergence of the successful series of Locals Nights Dinners - with the menu each month designed around a specific country, culture or food aspect. Matt also started an off-site catering business, allowing himself to be more involved in local events and wine and food festivals. Not one to sit still for too long, and just five years after opening The Verandah Restaurant Matt, along with Sydney Chef and long time friend Adam Ireland, launched the new restaurant '' Twine'' at Wynwood Estate on Oakey Creek Rd in Pokolbin serving up Modern Australian cuisine and boasting some of the most fantastic views in the Hunter. Matt has recently also taken over the restaurant lease at Gartelmann Estate in Lovedale - a local favourite. The Deck will be serving up brunches and Lunches from July. Matt considers dedication, passion, patience, consistency and being a people person as well as loving what you do to be the key drivers to being a successful chef and declares that his proudest career moment is establishing The Verandah Restaurant six years ago. When not in the kitchen, Matt divides his time between running and marketing the business and time spent with wife Monika and his two beautiful daughters.


LOWER HUNTER VALLEY WINE COUNTRY

CESSNOCK

INDEX TO WINE & FOOD TRAIL MAPS Tips for self-touring Wine Country • Locate your current area on the map above—note the large circled number—this is your closest trail

• Use the Index on your right to locate the page number for your selected trail

• Turn to the page indicated to find detailed

Pokolbin 1

PG 10 / 11

Pokolbin 2

PG 28 / 29

Lovedale, Rothbury, Branxton PG 56 / 57 Mount View, Cessnock & Nulkaba

PG 72 / 73

Broke Fordwich

PG 82 / 83

Wollombi Valley

PG 86

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information about the trail you have selected and an alphabetical listing of all Wineries and Restaurants you can discover along your trail. • Drive carefully and enjoy!

M N O P Q R


POKOLBIN WINE & DINE TRAIL 1 (NORTH) PAGE

MAP

Blueberry Hill Vineyard

13

C7

Constable Estate

14

E4

First Creek Wines

14

F7

Gemelli Estate

13

E7

Hermitage Rd Cellars

15

C2

Hunter Distillery

15

F3

Pokolbin Trail 1 provides the location and information on cellar doors, restaurants and gourmet food providers located on the northern side of Pokolbin stretching north from Broke road to Hermitage Rd and Old North Rd and includes some of the most renown and highly awarded wineries, restaurants and providores providing the most enjoyable wine and food experiences in the Hunter.

James Estate

16

E2

Macquariedale Organic Wines

17

B4

Misty Glen Wines

17

D5

Oakvale Wines

18

F2

Ridgeview Wines

19

B4

Tintilla Estate

20

C2

The rural locality of Pokolbin sits in the shadow of the Brokenback Range and is considered to be the ''hub'' of the Hunter Valley wine region and where the largest collection of wineries, accommodation houses and restaurants can be found.

Vinden Estate

21

E5

Waverley Estate

21

E7

Wombat Crossing

22

B1

TRAIL 1 CELLAR DOORS WITH RESTAURANTS

PAGE

MAP

Hermitage Rd Cellars

15

C2

Ridgeview Wines

19

B4

Vinden Estate

21

E5

TRAIL 1 RESTAURANTS

PAGE

MAP

Amanda's on the Edge

12

C7

Bistro Vinden

21

E5

Black Creek Farm

12

B6

Bluetongue Brewery CafĂŠ

13

C2

Il Cacciatore

16

E6

Muse Kitchen

17

D2

Ridgeview Restaurant

19

B4

San Martino Restaurant

20

C2

The Beltree

18

A1

The Verandah Restaurant

18

E7

Pokolbin is internationally recognised for being Australia's oldest commercial wine producing area and where viticulture (growing of grapes) in the Hunter Valley is believed to have first started when James Busby brought planted cuttings of European vines and established what is considered the first vineyard in the area in the 1830's. However, it was not really until the 1960s that the wine industry of the Lower Hunter Valley really took off due to the closure of local mining operations and the arrival of European immigrants after the Second World War led to a reorientation of Australian tastes. By the 1980s the wine industry had replaced the mining industry as the centerpiece of the local economy. There are now numerous wineries, restaurants, cafes and gourmet food providers in the Pokolbin area, including some of the best known names in Australian wine - some of which have been in existence for well over a century. The majority offer tasting facilities and cellar door sales, and some of the larger enterprises provide additional facilities such as function rooms, restaurants, barbecue and picnic facilities.

PAGE 10

TRAIL 1 CELLAR DOORS


Things to See & Do

Go Back to School! At Hunter Valley Wine School you can attend a 2 hour session which includes a vineyard inspection, instruction on the winemaking process and how to make and blend wines. Daily at 9AM (see page 15 for details) Visit the Hunter Distillery If you’ve ever wondered how spirits are distilled then Hunter Distillery is the place to visit. Get a tour of the production facilities and sample the results from row after row of test tube tasters. The Distillery produce an award winning range of Vodkas, Schnapps and other spirits. (see page 15 for details)

In the following pages you will find information about Wining & Dining in the Pokolbin North area. This area is differentiated by the colour ORANGE throughout and also by the shaded bar down the outside of each page. Listings are in alphabetical order where possible and can be easily identified by the following symbols: Wineries—will display the following symbols: = White Wines

= Sparkling Wines

= Red Wines

= Fortified Wines

Restaurants– will display the Providores— will display the

Æsymbol symbol

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i

For more information about events visit www.thehunterblackboard.com

HOW TO USE WINE & DINE


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Image Courtesy of Twine Restaurant (at Wynwood Estate)


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The Classics

The Hunter’s Timeless Wines

Shiraz - Australia' s favourite red variety

The Hunter Valley, one of the longest established wine regions and the most significant for New South Wales is renown for producing some of the world's best and most distinctive styles of Semillon, Shiraz and Chardonnay which are the hallmark of this region. The most recognised of these is Hunter Valley Semillon, a truly outstanding wine in terms of quality and taste and with a style that has not been replicated anywhere else in the world. Other varieties grown include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Verdehlo which have all produced great Hunter wines. The region is also home to a talented list of winemakers who are at the forefront of innovative and new varieties and styles such as Tempranillo. Semillon - Australia' s gift to world

PAGE 24

Hunter Valley Semillon is a unique Australian white wine which keeps getting better with age and considered to be the highest quality, purest example of dry white Semillon wine produced anywhere in the world. It is also the most highly awarded variety in the Hunter Valley winning trophies & medals at both national & international wine shows. When young, Hunter Valley Semillon is deliciously crisp with abundant citrus aromas and flavours that pair magnificently with seafood. With age Hunter Valley Semillon develops its unique complex toast, vanilla and honey flavours, giving it depth and richness. The Classic un-oaked examples of this variety can be enjoyed for up to 20 years.

Shiraz (or Syrah as it is called in Europe) is a darkskinned grape that is said to originate from the Rhone wine-growing area of France but is now gown throughout the world and used primarily to produce powerful red wines which can be both varietal or blended. Shiraz is the Hunter's premium red variety and the most widely planted grape variety in Australia, currently representing 40% of the total red grape crush and constitutes one fifth of all wine grape production in Australia. The typical young Hunter Valley Shiraz is a medium bodied wine showing red and dark berries, spices and a great deal of tannin. However its real character is seen in wines with longevity. With age, the wines become a far more complex, full bodied, yet smooth and richly flavoured wine with some earthy tones. Shiraz deserves is status as Australia's favourite grape variety. Find yourself a Hunter Valley Shiraz to discover why. Chardonnay - The most noble of wines Chardonnay is a green-skinned grape variety used to make white wine and for many casual drinkers, it is the quintessential white wine. In general, it is a dry white but possesses much broader flavours and a soft lavish fruit driven style than many other whites. Chardonnay is believed to originate from the Burgundy wine region of eastern France but is now one of the most widely-planted grape varieties worldwide and an important component of many sparkling wines around the world, including Champagne. Chardonnay's popularity declined significantly in the late 1980's and early 1990's, but has since undergone a huge transformation with Australian winemakers now offering Chardonnay styles that are not as heavy as the past but instead lighter and more elegant in an attempt to attract drinkers away from the New Zealand imports. The resulting wines are tighter, leaner, a little more subtle and of course have a little less oak. And its working... after several years of exile, sales of Chardonnay wines have begun to rise again. A little known fact is that the Hunter Valley happens to be the birthplace of modern Chardonnay - producing Australia's first Chardonnays in the 1970's. While many examples of Chardonnay can benefit from a few years of bottle aging, especially if they have high acidity, most Chardonnays are meant to be consumed in their youth.


Slow Food..Food Miles..Spa Cuisine..

Food Trends for 2013 and beyond! Since then we have survived more recent trends that have included congealed salads containing gelatin accompanied by anything from chicken, hard-boiled eggs, olives, grapes and grated carrots; the introduction of canned meat products such as SPAM; the meat and cheese fondue craze of the 1970's which dates back to the late 1600's; the emergence of functional foods followed by instant and imitation foods such as the ''just add -water'' products and the more concerning introduction of genetically modified foods. Since Australia's first fast-food outlet, Kentucky Fried Chicken, opened in 1968 closely followed by McDonald’s opening an outlet in Sydney in 1971, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of fast food chains serving low cost, high fat and low nutrient fast food.

Now consumers are becoming increasingly health conscious and want to understand what ''good'' food is whether it be organic, biodynamic, locally sourced, hormone free, green and even ethically produced with no Think back to the dishes presented by the elite of ancient cruelty involved. Rome where, after making an offering to the household As a result we are seeing the introduction of spa cuisine, gods, the banquet would begin with starters that could organic goodness, food miles, slow food movements, well include jellyfish and eggs, sow's udders stuffed with sustainable farming, ethical food production and back-tomilk and eggs, boiled tree fungi with peppered fish fat basics whole foods as consumers become increasingly sauce or sea urchins with spices, oil and egg sauce. focused on understanding the journey their food has taken, from the farm to their forks. Whether it be The main course may then typically consist of fallow purchasing a bunch of grapes, lamb chops or a deer roasted with onion sauce, raisins, oil and honey. Turtle dove boiled in its feathers was a popular dish, as hamburger, to them it is more important than ever to understand where food comes from, how it is made and was ham boiled with figs and bay leaves and then rubbed with honey and baked in a pastry crust. For those whether the flavour is natural or manufactured. who weren't crazy about doves, parrots were often People are now also more adventurous than they were roasted and flamingos boiled with dates. Diners would five to ten years ago. Australia's obsession with food and also on occasion find gold, pearls, amber or other jewels access to information, through fashionable television hidden amongst the food dishes. One banquet for a cooking shows and social media channels, has enabled young emperor famously featured 600 ostrich brains, people to be more knowledgeable about different foods, with side dishes of gold-speckled peas and rice techniques and cultures. The result being that they are garnished with pearls. Parrot livers, peacock brains, more willing to try new things such as novel food from flamingo tongues and the spleens of moray eels were nature that include Kakadu Plum, Saltbush, Sea Celery other delicacies of the time. and Warrigal Greens. In addition to the botanical Jumping forward a few hundred years to Medieval times produce there is a wider availability of native Australian animal products on the market with many restaurants and things were no less weird with feasts amongst the embracing these new products and including kangaroo, nobility lasting for days and often included ''illusion emu, crocodile, yabbies and eels on their menus in foods� - with chefs trying to make the animal look alive addition to flavouring these dishes with bush tucker after cooking it. Live blackbirds and other songbirds spices. Time will tell if this adventurous spirit goes so far really were baked into pies, flying out to amaze the as to include edible insects like grasshoppers, locusts, guests, while swans and peacocks were roasted, then witchetty grubs, honey-pot ants and tomato hornworms. dressed again in their plumage. YUM!

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Looking back over the years there have been a number of fascinating and noteworthy culinary trends - some good, some bad and others downright weird.


POKOLBIN WINE & DINE TRAIL 2 (SOUTH) TRAIL 2 CELLAR DOORS

Pokolbin Trail 2 provides information and the location of cellar doors, restaurants and gourmet food providers located on the southern side of Pokolbin - the area stretching from Broke Road to Oakey Creek Road and includes some of the most highly regarded and award winning restaurants and wines available in the Hunter. The area of Pokolbin is synonymous with all things relating to wine and food and is internationally recognised for its world class vineyards and restaurants and for being Australia's oldest commercial wine producing area - with some vineyards being in operation for well over 120 years. Pokolbin is considered the ''hub'' of the Hunter Valley wine region and where the largest collection of wineries, accommodation houses and restaurants can be found Viticulture in the Hunter Valley is often considered to have commenced with James Busby when on returning from a tour of French and South African vineyards in the 1830's brought with him numerous cuttings of vines, sending half to the newly established Royal Botanical Gardens in Sydney and the remaining vines planted at the family estate of Kirkton - just north of Belford. It was there he established what was probably the first vineyard in the region.

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Some of the most well respected names in Hunter Valley wine history today shortly followed establishing vineyards in the area in the 1850's - some of these long -established names are still in existence today.

TRAIL 2 PROVIDORES

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Aust. Regional Food Store Gundog Estate & Hunter Pantry Hunter Olive Centre Hunter Valley Cheese Co. Hunter Valley Chocolate Co.

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Ernest Hill Wines Gundog Estate Hanging Tree Wines Harkham Wines Hungerford Hill Wines Iron Gate Estate Ivanhoe Wines Kevin Sobels Wines Lindeman’s Wine McGuigan Wines McLeish Estate Meerea Park Peterson House Pokolbin Estate Tamburlaine Organic Wines Tempus Two Tower Estate Wynwood Estate

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Hungerford Hill Wines Lindeman’s Wines Peterson House Tempus Two Wynwood Estate

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And the Winner is Oscars Aust. Regional Food Store Blaxlands Inn Bodega Restaurant & Bar Café 1843 at Lindeman’s Casa Margarita Chez Pok Elizabeth’s Goldfish Harrigan’s Irish Pub Hunter Valley Steakhouse Infuzion Restaurant Muse Restaurant & Café Oishii Japanese Thai Restaurant Cuvee Roberts Restaurant The Brickworks Brasserie The Cellar Restaurant Twine Restaurant Vittorios Italian Restaurant

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Things to See & Do

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For more information about events visit www.thehunterblackboard.com or www.hvg.com.au

HOW TO USE WINE & DINE

In the following pages you will find information about Wining & Dining in the Pokolbin South area. This area is differentiated by the colour TAN throughout and also by the shaded bar down the outside of each page. Listings appear in alphabetical order wherever possible. Wineries—will display the following symbols: = White Wines

= Sparkling Wines

= Red Wines

= Fortified Wines

Restaurants– will display the Providores— will display the

Æsymbol symbol

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Visit Hunter Valley Gardens Shopping Village With 17 specialty shops, 4 restaurants and cafes,an amazing hair salon & beauty spa, putt putt and aqua golf plus the largest display gardens in the southern hemisphere, this is a shopping village that is a fun day out for the whole family. Broke Rd Pokolbin. Festival of Flowers is an event designed to immerse visitors in a visual and sensory experience they will never forget. There are thousands of annuals planted throughout Hunter Valley Gardens along with fabulous entertainment, activities, attractions, demonstrations, talks, tours and workshops. September 2013 Christmas Lights Spectacular Over a million Christmas lights on show throughout designated areas of Hunter Valley Gardens. November to January (Australia Day)

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Three great spots to lunch..alot! Restaurant reviews by Sir Lunchalot—Peter Firth

Since our last edition there has been a very mixed bag of weather with more than the average rainfall, always at the wrong time naturally. Most of the vineyards were able to pick their whites before the rain and in spite of the reduced tonnage, the quality will be well above average. The reds were a different story, some wineries managed to pick limited amounts while others weren’t so lucky. The rainfalls varied from area to area. As all farmers say, “there is always next year”. Meanwhile I have been tasting some sensational 2011 and 2012 Semillons. Definitely worth stocking in your cellar over the next few years. Once again we would love to share with you some of our latest dining experiences. Of course as you can imagine, these are just a few that we have visited over the past 6 months. As I have said before, somebody has to sacrifice themselves for our readers!

BLAXLANDS INN There is a choice of two, beef or chicken. This time I ordered the pie with chunky beef which had been slowbraised in red wine with fresh vegetables and covered with a lovely crusty pastry. The meat is very tender and the sauce is excellent. Ideal for a cold Winter’s day with a big Hunter Red of course! Lady Lunchalot sensibly chose something lighter – the Garlic Prawn Caesar Salad. A very generous serving of prawns and the dressing was light and very tasty. Believe me the bowl was empty and Ros stated it was one of the best she had eaten.

Here are some dishes we tasted recently. We shared the Salt and Pepper Chilli Calamari which was lightly battered with a suggestion of chilli. Tasty! Then came the Caramelised Onion Tart, not usually one of my favourite choices, however this was excellent, made with roasted Roma tomatoes, a hint of Gorgonzola cheese and black olives. I would definitely order that again. A dish I have tried many times before is The Deep Dish Pie.

There are also burgers made with flame grilled chicken or Angus steak. The Beer Battered Barramundi and crunchy chips is very popular. One of our party ordered it and said it was very enjoyable. The dessert menu is extensive, on a blackboard and changes regularly. Check it before ordering your mains! There is also a very good children’s menu.

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BLAXLANDS on BROKE ROAD has been trading for some 25 years and is well known to the locals and visitors returning. The building is constructed with some of the original bricks and sandstone from Blaxland’s (the famous explorer) house in the Blue Mountains. There are both indoor and outdoor dining areas with the open fire place adding extra atmosphere during winter. Attached to the restaurant is a small wine tasting area and soon you will be able to purchase steaks for your BBQ. This meat is Certified Angus from their farm called RIVERTREE LAND & CATTLE CO.


221 RESTAURANT & BAR 221 RESTAURANT & BAR at THE ROYAL OAK HOTEL on Vincent Street, Cessnock opened 1 year ago and has recently been awarded The Best New Restaurant (Savour Australia Restaurant & Catering Hostplus Awards for Excellence 2012). It was also a National finalist in the same category. Daniel Hunt is the executive Chef and, with the new owners Alexandra and John Harvey, is producing some of the best food in the Hunter. The hotel has been beautifully restored with indoor and outdoor dining areas. There is a private dining room as well and a lounge area to enjoy a coffee or meet friends for a drink and taste some of Daniel’s tasty bar snacks. Some of the dishes on the menu are served as either entrée or main portions, so it is very easy to share with others if you wish. My favourite way of dining as I enjoy tasting as many as possible. The Tasting Plate, an ideal start which can be prepared for 1 to 2 people, consists of Pickled Pork Brawn, Chicken and Pumpkin Seed Terrine and Duck Liver Pate with condiments – all home-made. The Schezuan Pepper-Spiced Soft Shell Baby Mud Crab is one of the best I have ever tasted. Every mouthful a sheer delight and served with green mango, cucumber and Nam jim. Next, chosen by Ros, was the Crispy Skinned Ocean Trout with a fennel salad, dill crème

sauce and herb spatzle. I, being a Sea Scallop lover, ordered the Atlantic Scallops, which are large and juicy! They are served on a cauliflower puree, chambord jus, pear, machê and jamon serrano. I will let you be the judge! There two steaks, beef from Cape Grim in Tasmania and a Tajima Wagyu, which I am told are both stunning. With winter here, the Slow Braised Lamb Shanks in red wine with forest mushrooms, creamy mashed potato and baby beans makes great comfort food – my next selection! Several times since 221 opened, we have ordered one of their gourmet wood-fired pizzas or picked one up to take home. The base is thin and crunchy and the toppings are exciting – authentic Italian style! Here are two of our favourites – Garlic Prawn, roasted tomato, basil and mozzarella or Black Fig with pear, caramelised onion, goat’s cheese and prosciutto. Daniel is not only a brilliant chef, but a very keen fisherman, hence he only chooses the freshest of seafood. We always check the Blackboard which usually has specials featuring seafood cooked with fresh herbs out of his garden at the Hotel. It changes nearly every day. If you are still able, try the Baked Vanilla Cheesecake. Delicious!

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EMMA’S OF LOVEDALE @ EMMA’S COTTAGE VINEYARD EMMA’S OF LOVEDALE on WILDERNESS ROAD is one of the Hunter’s best kept secrets, it just re-opened late last year as a full restaurant. Executive chef Trent Webber comes here with a great record – he was the Sous Chef at Fin’s in Byron Bay and the Seafood Chef de Partie at Rock in Pokolbin. Both restaurants were awarded 2 Chef hats. Freidy Meinel is the Maitre D’. Born in Munich, he has gained incredible experience from working in some famous establishments including the Sheraton in Cairo and Bentley’s on Elizabeth (Russel Crowe’s favourite restaurant in Coffs Harbour). The cuisine is modern Australian with European influence. There are both indoor and outdoor dining areas looking onto vineyards and a dam which has plenty of bird life. It was the perfect day and we chose to dine al fresco. Here are a few of the dishes that we tried. We started with the Pan Fried Salt and Pepper Squid. This was served with a tasty salad of crispy vegetables with a lemongrass dressing. The squid was extremely tender with a very light batter.

These came with baby fresh vegetables and pan fried desiree potatoes with speck and diced onion. I was ‘allowed’ to taste them and they were both perfectly cooked with heaps of flavour. Our other dining companion ordered the confit of duck. The skin was very crispy and the meat was lovely and moist and fell off the bone. Parsnip puree, braised red cabbage and sautéed broccolini were a perfect accompaniment! There are many more dishes from which to choose. I am heading back to try the Hungarian Goulash and the Bavarian Pan. This consists of Aged Scotch Fillet with a mild cream mustard sauce and the same potatoes I mentioned before. If you still have a spot left, the dessert selection looked very interesting. Next door is the Pokolbin cemetery, still in use with some famous wine people buried there. Fascinating and well worth a visit! We hope that the ‘Wine & Dine’ magazine has made your choice of food and wine easier during your stay and hopefully you will visit our lovely Valley again.

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I ordered the Suckling Pork Belly with crispy crackling, one of my many downfalls. This was served with BBQ Bon Appetit, king prawns and Nam Jim dressing. Highly Peter Firth AK A recommended! The two ladies ordered off the specials board. Both were fresh fish dishes, one a whole Rainbow Trout and the other fresh farmed Barramundi.

Sir Lunchalot


TOP DROPS ERNEST HILL TEMPRANILLO GRENACHE 2012

TINTILLA ESTATE JUSTINE MERLOT

A popular wine with good body and a softness and finesse that reflects the relationship between the vineyard soil, aspect and climate—the Terroir. The Tempranillo is a Spanish grape variety used to grapes were harvested at night undergoing make the famous wines of the Rioja region in controlled fermentation with hand plunging northern Spain. It is often blended with other in open fermenters to enhance the quality varieties including Grenache and Graciano to and then racked into French oak barrels create a fruity, easy drinking wine. for ageing. The wine has a deep ruby red colour with a nose showing plums and Tasting: The Tempranillo provides the rich blackcurrants, violet and earthy raspberry flavours which blend superbly with complexities the spicy, liquorice characters of the Tasting: The medium bodied, round in Grenache, creating a medium bodied, softer texture concentrated sweet varietal fruit style of wine. flavour is matched with supportive spicy oak flavours and notes of cedar and sweet Maturation in French oak barrels has added some sweaty leather. This is a complex wine with refined wonderful, subtle toasty characters. Best matched with mouth feel offering firm black/red currant fruit. Enjoy with white bean and chorizo casserole, or roast suckling pig. red meat such as roast lamb, beef and game. Cellaring: Enjoy now or cellar up to 6 years Cellaring: It should age well for the next ten years.

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Ernest Hill is a small family run boutique vineyard, located on the Pokolbin 2 trail.


TOP DROPS MCLEISH ESTATE 2007 SEMILLON

McLeish Wines have built a reputation for producing quality wines that have gone on to achieve a range of accolades both nationally and internationally. The much decorated McLeish 2007 Semillon took the title for the world’s best Semillon at the 2012 International Wine Challenge (IWC) in London and also starred in the Sydney Wine Show, winning a gold medal and the trophy for best Semillon of show and was recently awarded the Joy Lake Memorial Trophy for the best wine of the 2013 Sydney International Wine Competition. Tasting notes: Citrus and very pure Semillon nose with gentle toasty and lemon citrus and honey flavours. It is still very fresh and tight with a strong line of acidity and good length – quite mouth puckering! This is an intense & powerful Semillon yet still fine and a natural complement to any seafood dish. Cellaring: It has cellaring potential for 8-10 years

IRONGATE ESTATE 2011 SEMILLON CHARDONNAY

Iron Gate Estate is one of only a handful of true estate Hunter Valley wineries, where all the fruit is grown and fermented onsite. Fruit for this wine was grown on 15 year old vines on the estate and fermented in stainless steel with no oak contact. Temperature of fermentation was kept low to maximise the fruit characters. The blend is an unusual 50% Chardonnay with 50% Semillon Tasting: The stone fruit characters of the Chardonnay are shown as peach, apricot and tangerine being nicely balanced by the citrus of the Semillon. A slight honey character on the back palate completes the picture. An elegant and balanced summer wine for salads and light chicken dishes. Cellaring: Drink now to 2016

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LOVEDALE, ROTHBURY & BRANXTON WINE & DINE TRAIL CELLAR DOORS

Lovedale, often referred to as the ''Heart of the Hunter'', is located just east of Pokolbin and is renown for its interesting community, award-winning boutique wineries, cellar doors, quality accommodation, fine restaurants and unique galleries. The name Lovedale combines the name of one of the early families of the district, the Loves, with the memory of the dales of Yorkshire in England. As one of the oldest wine producing areas of the Hunter Valley, the history of Lovedale dates back to the 1800s when local wheat, dairy and general produce farmers turned their hand to grape growing. Settlement in Lovedale dates prior to 1825 when there were significant land grants along Black Creek. This area was particularly suitable for vineyards and was also favoured for its proximity to the 'Old North Road' to Windsor. Before the 1920s there were more wineries in the area than there are today. The Love’s Winery in Lovedale Road processed grapes from other vineyards as well as their own and closed in 1927. Unfortunately by the late 1920's most of the Lovedale vineyards ceased operations due to the impact of the Depression and a widespread outbreak of downy mildew. In the 1960's the vineyards began to reemerge and wine production began once again.

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Lovedale also hosts a number of events throughout the year, with the signature event being the famous Lovedale Long Lunch held on the third weekend in May each year.

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Adina Vineyard Capercaillie Wine DeBortoli Wines Emmas Cottage Vineyard Gartelmann Wines Pierre’s Wines Tellace Wines Wandin Hunter Valley

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CELLAR DOORS WITH RESTAURANTS

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Emmas Cottage Vineyard Gartelmann Wines Wandin Hunter Valley

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RESTAURANTS Emmas of Lovedale Leaves and Fishes Lovedale Smokehouse & Café Majors Lane Restaurant Mojos on Wilderness Redsalt Restaurant Royal Federal Hotel Sabor in the Hunter Dessert Bar The Olive Tree Restaurant Wandin Wine Bar & Diner

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PROVIDORES Adina Vineyard Gartelmann Wines Hunter Valley Chocolate Company Lovedale Smokehouse & Café

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Things to See & Do Go Hot Air Ballooning

Balloon Aloft run sunrise ballooning adventures daily, all year round. They are the most experienced ballooning company in Australia and provide a lovely gourmet champagne breakfast at a winery post-flight. Phone 1300 723 279

Attend a Chocolate Workshop

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For more information about events visit

In the following pages you will find information about Wining & Dining in the Lovedale area. The Lovedale area is differentiated by the colour GREEN throughout and also by the shaded bar down the outside of each page. Listings are in alphabetical order where possible and can be easily identified by the following symbols: Wineries/Cellar Doors—will display the following symbols: = White Wines

= Sparkling Wines

= Red Wines

= Fortified Wines

Restaurants– will display the Providores— will display the

Æsymbol symbol

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On the 3rd Saturday of each month (1.30PM) you can get hands-on chocolate making experience at the Hunter Valley Chocolate Co. factory . Designed for the inquisitive and creative chocoholic, bookings are essential. Phone 4930 7388

HOW TO USE WINE & DINE


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ON TREND Wine Trends for today, tomorrow and beyond

Wine trends can signal a cultural shift - a changing of the guard from old to new or in some cases, from new to old. The industry has seen a real shift in how people discover wine and while there will always be a place for wine critics there has been a noticeable decline in their influence as we see the rise of the “amateur expert” with people increasingly getting their wine information from online sources, social media channels and friends.

Italian Varieties: There is a fast growing appreciation of Italian varieties by both winemakers and wine drinkers in Australia. Although plantings of Mediterranean varieties from Greece, Spain and Portugal are still popular, it’s the potential of those from Italy that are exciting winemakers in Australia. Sangiovese is Moscato and the Sweet Reds: Moscato is on the rise – already a popular wine, and due to its high drought just look at the growing range available, made from both tolerance it grows particularly well in many Australian Australian and Italian grape varieties. Over the past few wine regions. The white Italian grape Vermentino is also years, Moscato has seen triple digit gains, making it one popular due to its naturally low alcohol level and crisp of the top up-and-coming wines around and other sweet acidity. Expect more of these varieties to come onto the reds are capitalizing on this success. Some predictions wine scene. claim that Moscato will soon be the introductory wine for Australian Pinot Gris: Thought by many to be wine to new wine consumers. watch, Australian Pinot Gris continues to impress with Rosé Comeback: Rosé is making a comeback. Once many winemakers and is predicted to surpass dismissed by wine experts as a sugary sweet wine, the Sauvignon Blanc in popularity. It is also a great food new rosés are less sweet while while still retaining a match thanks to a richness of flavour and weight, and refreshing character.Expect to see rosé as one of the has a refreshing fruitiness to suit all kinds of dishes. wines of choice during the warm summer nights or days. Semillon / Sauvignon blends are increasing in Chardonnay: Chardonnay's popularity declined significantly in the last decade but is now back in vogue popularity. In an attempt to wrest market share of Sauvignon Blanc from the Kiwis, Australian winemakers and appealing to a new generation of wine drinkers as have an increased focus on the quality and style of well. Chardonnay production has undergone a huge their Semillon and Sauvignon blends with some opting transformation with the big, buttery over-oaked wines now replaced by less oak and incredibly well-balanced, for sumptuous barrel-aged Semillon-Sauvignon blends while others aim for leaner citrus-scented varietal elegant wines as winemakers re-focus their efforts on examples of either grape. Either way this is a wine on producing styles that better highlight the true the move. characteristics of this popular grape. Also, as consumers become better educated and more sophisticated about wine, they are no longer satisfied with a wine that is mediocre. As a result they are seeking out good value bottles of wine that don’t skimp on quality.

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Lighter-Alcohol Wines: There has been a gradual increase in the number of lighter-alcohol wines entering the market – mainly due to consumer demands for lower-kilojoule wines. Lindeman’s 2011 Early Harvest Semillon Sauvignon Blanc is a good example of a low-alcohol wine with an easy-drinking style at only 8.5 per cent alcohol. These wines are selling well and appeal particularly to the younger, female wine-drinking market. No doubt there are more to come.


Breakfast at The Brickworks Brasserie Salt&Peppa review It's not just the most important meal of the day, it can also be the tastiest. Well that is exactly what we discovered after waking up one Sunday morning and deciding on a leisurely breakfast at this well known eatery on Wine Country Drive in Nulkaba. For those looking for a tasty, wholesome breakfast in a child friendly environment then the Brickworks Brasserie at Potters Hotel and Resort is just the place. The menu choices are all extremely tempting and just perfectly suited to get those morning fires burning. There is so much to like about the menu which has something for everyone and includes lighter options such as the house muesli, vanilla poached fruit compote with yoghurt, sour dough toast with butter and conserves. For those who feel they need a little more there is the ham and cheese ''toastie'' topped with scrambled eggs.

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For the more hungry there are delicious options such as corn beef and potato hash with poached eggs and rocket; house creamed corn with eggs, sausage, bacon and sour dough toast and a soft tortilla of sautĂŠed mushrooms, provolone cheese rocket, toasted almonds and lemon oil.

Being on the hungry side, we decided on the more traditional fare of fried eggs, bacon, tomato with sour dough toast, the eggs flamenco and eggs Benedict. We were not to be disappointed, the service was very fast and the eggs and bacon looked mouth-watering. The two eggs were fried faultlessly with a deliciously soft yoke, fresh tomatoes and a generous serving of bacon perfectly crisp with an added hash brown on the side. The eggs flamenco (or huevos flamencos) - a very old and traditional Spanish dish can be served in many different ways. We loved their version which came served as a casserole with tomato, chorizo sausage, onion topped with perfectly poached eggs and a slice of sour dough toast. This proved to be an absolutely delicious dish that left you wanting more - and more. However, the sauce was so tasty that it would have been nice to have had more of the dour dough toast to eat it with. The third dish was the eggs Benedict - a typically American recipe which included ham poached eggs topped with a thick dollop of citrusy Hollandaise sauce and accompanied by sour dough toast. No matter what you’re eating, your breakfast will not be complete without a heart-starting Toby's Estate espresso thrown into the mix – maybe make it two. All up a wonderful breakfast that left us ready for the busy day ahead.


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MOUNT VIEW, CESSNOCK & NULKABA TRAIL Mount View is situated at the southern border of Pokolbin and nestled amongst the breathtaking surrounds of the Brokenback Range in the Hunter Valley. Mount View with its winding roads and panoramic views offers some of the most outstanding scenery available in the Hunter Valley. The history of the area dates back to the mid 1800's when early pioneers recognised the quality of the land offered by the area. Mount View provides a number of wine and dine options with 2 highly respected restaurants and a handful of impressive and highly acclaimed boutique wineries that seem to appear out of nowhere and all providing a relaxed and idyllic wine tasting experience and superbly welcoming hospitality. At the end of Wollombi road is the historic town of Wollombi which was settled from 1838 as a service centre for the local farming community as well as travellers. Today Wollombi displays a fine architectural heritage, a selection of cafes, eateries and comfortable guesthouses and national parks with great bush walking trails, lookouts and ancient Aboriginal rock carvings.

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The nearby town of Cessnock was developed as a private village on the road that is now known as ''The Convict Trail'' - the original Sydney to Hunter Valley road hand-built by 3,000 convicts. Cessnock became a major mining centre at the turn of the century; however, wine and tourism have since become the major local industries. Cessnock is considered the ''gateway'' to the wine region and has a number of fine restaurants, guesthouses and galleries with visitors able to visit the local Hunter Beer Co. brewery and the Nulkaba Hatchery in Nulkaba.

Mount View image courtesy of Mount View Tourism

CELLAR DOORS Briar Ridge Kelman Vineyard Mount View Estate Petersons Wines Saddler’s Creek Wines Savannah Estate

CELLAR DOORS WITH RESTAURANTS Briar Ridge

RESTAURANTS 221 Restaurant & Bar at The Royal Oak Hotel Al-Oi Thai Restaurant Australia Hotel Bistro Molines B.L.U.E Thai Briar Grillade SSS BBQ Barns The Brickworks Brasserie

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Things to See & Do

HOW

Brewery Tours—Visit Potters Brewery for a brewery tour—it’s the only Microbrewery in the Hunter and produces several signature beers such as the Hunter Kolsch and Hunter Witbier and also seasonal beers. Tours depart at 12pm, 2pm and 4pm and cost $10pp, which includes a tasting paddle. Visit Hunter Valley Zoo—Feed the animals... hand feed kangaroos, wallabies, farmyard animals and some bird species as often as you like! Daily shows allow you to pat a wombat, cuddle up to a koala, touch a reptile and watch the monkeys being fed. Free gas barbecue facilities and undercover seating, so bring the family for a picnic lunch in a fun relaxed atmosphere.

In the following pages you will find information about Wining & Dining in the Mount View/Cessnock/Nulkaba area. These areas are differentiated by the colour MAROON throughout and also by the shaded bar down the outside of each page. Listings are in alphabetical order where possible and can be easily identified by the following symbols: Wineries/Cellar Doors—will display the following symbols:

USE

WINE

&

DINE

= White Wines

= Sparkling Wines

= Red Wines

= Fortified Wines

Restaurants– will display the Providores— will display the

Æsymbol symbol

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For more information about events visit www.thehunterblackboard.com or www.mountview.biz

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www.sssbbq.com.au Cessnock@sssbbq.com.au

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Dining at Casa Margarita a Salt&Peppa review Mexican cuisine is playing a big part in the current food trends in Australia - a trend confirmed by the Mexican '' wave'' that' s engulfing Sydney and Melbourne. Located at Harkham Estate Winery on DeBeyers Rd in Pokolbin, Casa Margarita has all the atmosphere of a charming, turn of the century cantina with its weathered timber bar and golden-rust sponged walls. The walls are decorated with classic Spanish paintings accentuated by a vast collection of uniquely shaped and rare tequila bottles and authentic sepia photo illustrations from revolutionary-period Mexico. In more ways than one this warm and inviting eatery is reminiscent of Mexico City restaurants of the 1900’s. Originally from Mexico City and Guadalajara, owners Max Soto and Nicolas Medrano (the chef) have created an extensive menu featuring classical Mexican dishes with notable Spanish and French influences and boasting a variety of family recipes. Highlights include fresh Guacamole accompanied by crunchy corn tortillas. The Sopa de Tortilla - a chicken flavoured, tomato based soup and the Ceviche Cocktail (shrimp cocktail) are just a few of the many-featured dishes. Classic sauces like the ancient moles, and a creamy guajillo chile sauce, and flavours like epazote a distinctive Mexican herb, play a part in accentuating every dish.

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Being a table of four we took advantage of the wide-ranging menu and ordered four different appetizers. Of course we could not ignore the traditional serving of fresh Guacamole accompanied by a basket of crunchy tortilla chips. We also ordered the very traditional Chicken Tamales - a corn dough

cake filled with marinated chicken, steam cooked and wrapped in a corn husk and served with a creamy salsa dressing. Next we ordered the Tostadas de Tinga a central Mexican staple dish, deliciously made of shredded chicken breast marinated in tomato and spices and served with chipotle cream salsa and avocado over a deep fried corn tortilla. Of all the appetizers, this was my favourite dish. Our fourth choice was Quesadillas consisting of Oaxaca cheese - a semi-soft white cow's milk cheese melted into a slightly toasted corm tortilla. For our mains we chose Chimichangas, a deep fried burrito topped with a savoury red sauce, sour cream and sliced avocado and the Enchiladas made up of warm soft corn tortillas with a filling of shredded chicken, topped with a green sauce and accompanied with sour cream, shredded cheese and lettuce. Next was the Carnitas Plate an authentic dish of marinated pork shoulder with ''do it yourself'' tacos. The pork had been cooked for hours and was exquisitely tender with a lingering finish of spices. The final dish was Mole Poblano served with prawn. This was a popular dish with all of us. The savoury and creamy combination of spices and chocolate sauce with the rice was entirely delicious. Diners have a wide choice of drinks to enjoy before, during and after their meal and with choices that include a wide range of Margarita andTequila based cocktails to Sangrias, A choice of Harkham Estate wines and a mixture of Australian and Mexican beers. It is worth pointing out that the menu includes a children's menu. We noted that Casa Margarita also provides breakfasts and looking at the breakfast menu I made a mental note to try the Breakfast Burrito one sunny morning.


BROKE FORDWICH TRAIL Known as the “tranquil side of the Hunter Valley” and situated an easy 15 minute drive from Pokolbin and just 25 minutes from Singleton, the Broke Fordwich Wine Region is considered to be a separate viticultural sub-region of the Hunter Valley and accounts for approximately 11% of the vineyard area planted in the Hunter Valley. The warm climate and fertile soils produce distinctive wines such as Semillon, Shiraz, Chardonnay and Verdelho as well as Italian varieties such as Sangiovese and Barbera. The area was first settled as early as 1824 and despite being one of the oldest wine growing areas in Australia, it is only in the last 30 years that Broke Fordwich has started to become an important player in the Australian wine making industry. With the Brokenback Range and the iconic Yellow Rock escarpment in the background, the Broke Fordwich region consists of two villages Broke and Bulga each with their own identity as well as the two smaller communities of Fordwich and Milbrodale.

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Historically, the region was first inhabited by the indigenous Wanaruah tribe many thousands of years ago and were known as ‘the people of the hills and plains’ and many direct descendants still live in the area today. These culturally rich people left many significant cave paintings in the area which are still accessible today.

Views of Broke—photo courtesy of Catherine Vale

CELLAR DOORS

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Krinklewood

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Mount Broke Wines

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Stomp! Wines

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HOW TO USE WINE & DINE

In the following pages you will find information about Wining & Dining in the Broke Fordwich area. The Broke Fordwich area is differentiated by the colour PEACOCK throughout and also by the shaded bar down the outside of each page. Listings are in alphabetical order where possible and can be easily identified by the following symbols: Wineries/Cellar Doors—will display the following symbols: = White Wines

= Sparkling Wines

= Red Wines

= Fortified Wines

Restaurants– will display the Providores— will display the

Æsymbol symbol

Things to See & Do Broke Village Markets The Broke Village Markets are held on the first Sunday morning of each month. With over fifteen stalls and growing, this little market is a relaxing way to add to all that Broke Fordwich has for visitors and locals. Broke Village Fair—This is the one big day of the year when the village of Broke welcomes visitors from all over NSW to enjoy this peaceful village in the vineyards as a fundraiser for local community groups. The famous Vintage Car Display brings all sorts of classic cars, motorbikes, trucks & tractors and an amazing array of old but still functioning farm machinery from long ago. A true family day featuring live music, singing, dancing displays, children activities, face painting, amusements and a great reptile show. September 2013

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For more information about events visit www.thehunterblackboard.com or www.brokefordwich.com.au


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The New Wave of innovative winemakers...

Garth (L) and Rhys (R) Meather

Owned by brothers Rhys and Garth Eather, Meerea Park has in a relatively short period of time established itself as one of the Hunter Valley’s leading boutique wine producers winning at least one gold medal at every Hunter Valley wine show since 2002 - an achievement enjoyed by only a handful of Hunter Valley producers.

winemaker - the ''terroir'' which gives its signature flavour to each wine.

Rhys and Garth have recently relocated their cellar door to the Tempus Two facility in Pokolbin where they continue to specialise in individual vineyard wines sourced primarily from the Hunter region and produced at their winery in Palmers Lane (also in Pokolbin), which they purchased in 2007. While they tend to specialise in Hunter Valley Semillon, Shiraz and Chardonnay, visitors to the Mereea Park cellar door and tasting room will also find Shiraz Pinot Noir and Cabernet Merlot blends as well as Verdelho and a Semillon Sauvignon blend in the range of wines.

Winemaking is not new to the Eather family who can trace their winemaking roots in the Hunter Valley back to the 1850's when Alexander Munro, their great-greatgrandfather established the 'Bebeah' vineyard at Singleton and was at one stage the largest and most successful winemaker in New South Wales. In recognition of this, the Meerea Park labels include an image of an ornate drinking fountain and gas street lamp that Alexander Munro commissioned and had made in Scotland before being shipped to Singleton in the Hunter Valley.

Rhys and Garth handcraft their wines from grapes grown on specifically selected single plot vineyards with the most suitable soils that also have a track record for producing the best possible fruit. The result being that their wines have a reputation for being ''true to the earth'' - reflecting the natural relationship between the vineyard soil, vintage conditions, climate and the skills of the

For Garth who is the managing Director and also responsible for all sales and marketing, the focus is on having a well managed wine operation producing top quality individual vineyard hand-crafted wine, a commitment to continuous improvement and reinvestment in their product.

Rhys Eather is the winemaker and a Roseworthy (Adelaide University) graduate in Wine Science and has also gained international winemaking experience in France where he completed a vintage at the world Meerea Park's tremendous success at both national and famous M. Chapoutier in the Rhone Valley - giving Rhys international level, together with the reputation for the experience and insight required to craft top quality producing consistently high quality wines, reasonable Rhone styled wines. Rhys also completed two vintages prices and relatively limited supply, have made wine in Italy (Puglia and Piedmonte) rounding out his international winemaking experience. critics and consumers sit up and take notice.

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WOLLOMBI VALLEY TRAIL Wollombi is a small, picturesque and historic village that has always been an important base for travellers along the Great North Road and today retains its fine architectural heritage bolstered by cafes, wineries and comfortable guesthouses. The Wollombi Valley vineyards have been producing fine wines in this region since the 1850’s. The Wollombi Wine Trail is made up of six boutique wineries offering visitors a unique wine tasting experience and passes through beautiful countryside at the southern gateway to Hunter Valley Wine Country following part of the Great North Road which was built by convicts in the early 19th century.

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Aboriginal occupation of the area dates back at least 12 000 years when the area served as a significant meeting point on the north-south trade and travel route for coastal Aboriginal peoples. The word Wollombi means “meeting of the waters” in the local Aboriginal dialect. Many traces of the original inhabitants survive throughout the valley and include rock engravings, sharpening grooves, hand stencils, tribal markings in caves and outcrops as well as evidence of camping sites along the Brook and its tributary creeks.

CELLAR DOORS Noyce Brothers Stonehurst Cedar Creek Undercliff Winery & Gallery Wollombi Village Vineyard

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Things to See & Do Sculpture in the Vineyards—Sculpture in the Vineyards along the Wollombi Valley Wine Trail in the Hunter Valley, features large-scale outdoor and site-specific works. Annually from November to January. Wollombi Markets—Visit historic Wollombi on the holiday Monday of each long weekend (Easter, June and October) and on Australia Day for this great market of over 100 stalls, including local produce and crafts, plants, clothes, tools, bric-a-brac and much more.

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For more information about events visit www.thehunterblackboard.com or www.visitwollombi.com.au


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Dining at

Hunter Valley Steakhouse a Salt&Peppa review

Located at the Mercure Resort Hunter Valley Gardens, the Hunter Valley Steakhouse has to be one of the most refined and enjoyable dining venues in the Hunter. The welcome is warm and inviting as we are shown to our table in this modern and yet gracious restaurant with well spaced, white clothed tables adorned with candles setting the mood for a romantic dining experience.

calamari which came served with an Asian slaw and a liberal serving of lime aioli. Both dishes were absolutely delicious - especially the calamari which I considered to be amongst the best I have ever tasted.

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The choice of main courses was eventually narrowed down to the Barramundi fillet, the braised beef cheeks, the seared Tasmanian salmon fillet and the Wagyu Kobe cuisine beef - a 450 days grain fed sirloin steak. After The menu is impressive and provides Ă  la carte menu much deliberation, we eventually decided on the braised options as well as a ''table d' hotel'' menu offering diners beef cheeks and the Barramundi fillet. The Barramundi a superb but limited number of entrees, main courses fillet was pan seared with crispy wonton and served with and desserts for the very good price of $55 pp for two a delectable Jerusalem artichoke puree and a zesty courses or $65pp for three. lemon and soy dressing. This dish arrived perfectly French born Executive Chef, Jean Marc Pollet is one of presented and the Barramundi cooked to perfection the Hunters most respected chefs and his menu features tender and the skin seared to form a perfect crust. The the highest quality local grain and pasture fed beef along braised beef cheeks were meltingly tender and cooked in with many other dishes. Whilst the menu is influenced by a Hunter Shiraz and the vegetables nice and crisp. What better combination than beef cheeks and shiraz? quality beef, lovers of seafood and pasta will not be disappointed with a large range of enticing dishes to With room for dessert, we ordered the chocolate truffle choose from. marquis which came with a vanilla bean sauce and a We ordered wine from an equally impressive and varied mouth watering kaffir lime & lychee creme brulee with a refreshing coconut sorbet and pastry twist. The perfect wine list offering an excellent range of local Hunter finish to a perfect meal ! Valley wines as well as from other regions around Australia. The Hunter Valley Steakhouse is to be highly recommended - with excellent well presented food, Our meal started with a generous serving of tomato & garlic foccacia bread baked with parmesan cheese. For superb service (thanks Katharina), great atmosphere and at a reasonable price. entrees we decided on the duck leg confit with blue lentils and a drizzle of truffle oil and the salt & pepper


WINE & DINE ...WINE & FOOD TOURS & EXPERIENCES

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With over 140 wineries in the Hunter Valley you may prefer to avoid driving and choose instead to get on board one of the fun, friendly wine tours with itineraries that include a selection of cellar doors, gourmet food providers and in many cases lunch at one of the Valley's many restaurants or cafes.

You can even attend wine school with short classes on wine production techniques and wine appreciation. Whatever you choose you will be well looked after by operators, instructors or drivers passionate about the region and keen to share its secrets .


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Wine & Dine Hunter Valley Winter | Spring 2013