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IN THIS ISSUE OF WINE & DINE… The Hunter Valley….A rich tapestry of food and wine experiences for all to enjoy. Welcome to the Hunter Valley and this fourth issue of Wine & Dine in the Hunter.

A WCP MEDIA PUBLICATION

It is no coincidence that some of the finest restaurants in the world can be found in the best wine growing regions. Where there is great wine, great food usually follows and the Hunter Valley is no exception. With a reputation for being the home of great Australian wine and one of the finest, most authentic culinary destinations in Australia, the Hunter Valley provides a rich tapestry of food and wine experiences for the traveller and local alike.

As Australia's best known and oldest wine region and a major wine producing area in EDITORS/PUBLISHERS its own right, the Hunter Valley is Quentin von Essen internationally recognised for having some Di von Essen of the world's leading winemakers and highest quality wines with distinct regional CONTRIBUTORS characteristics. Peter Firth Neil McGuigan Peter Went Salt&Peppa Reviews FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION CALL 61 2 4930 9072 info@wineanddineguides.com.au

PO Box 241 Cessnock NSW 2325 Australia © Copyright 2013 WCP MEDIA All rights reserved. Reproduction in part or whole or use without permission is strictly prohibited. For information regarding permissions please contact us at the above address. Although every effort has been made to ensure accuracy, WCP MEDIA cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions that may occur. All opinions expressed are those of the writers and not necessarily that of the publishers. The publisher reserves the right to refuse any advertising due to inappropriate content.

Today the Hunter Valley is as much about food as it is about wine and the region has a strong food and wine culture that is reflected in its award winning wines, world class restaurants and fresh local produce. Wine & Dine in the Hunter invites you to experience ''a world of wine and food'' and the best the Hunter Valley has to offer by participating in a wine tour, wine school, or a visit to some of the finest cellar doors, restaurants, cafes and gourmet food providers in the region with fresh local produce prepared by some of the best chefs in the country.

Quentin & Di von Essen—Publishers

REGULAR ITEMS 2 4 5 9

SPECIAL FEATURES

Quick Index to Cellar Doors Quick Index to Restaurants Quick Index to Providores All About ...Lower Hunter Valley Wine Country 9 Trail Maps ...Index to Trail Maps 10 Pokolbin 1 Wine & Food Trail,

7

The History Behind… Australia’s oldest wine producing region.

8

Troy Rhoades-Brown The Hunter’s own master chef!

28

26 Raise Your Glasses!

Wineries, Restaurants & Providores Pokolbin 2 Wine & Food Trail, Wineries, Restaurants & Providores

24 The Tyrrells’ The Hunter’s First Family of wine

52 Lovedale, Rothbury & Branxton 46 Wine & Food Trail, Wineries, Restaurants & Providores 50 68 Mount View, Cessnock & Nulkaba Wine & Food Trail, Wineries, 64 Restaurants & Providores 78 80 Broke Fordwich Wine & Food Trail, 88 Wineries, Restaurants & Providores 86 Wollombi Wine & Food Trail, 92 90

Wineries, Restaurants & Providores Wine & Dine Services Wine & Food Tours and Experiences

When Size & Shape really do matter Three Great Spots. To lunch...alot! Top Drops Our picks of the season Breakfast at...Restaurant Cuvee Dining at...Muse Restaurant Dining at...Roberts Restaurant The Last Word...by Neil McGuigan

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Hunter Valley wines are equal to the best in the world and include a full range of wine styles and varietals to choose from - one to match every meal.


QUICK INDEX TO CELLAR DOORS (A-O) 54

492 Lovedale Rd, Lovedale

7 Days

Arrowfield Estate

12

Cnr Hermitage Rd & Mistletoe Lane, Pokolbin

7 Days

Bimbadgen Estate

13

790 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

Blueberry Hill Vineyard

15

999 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

Briar Ridge Vineyard

72

Mount View Rd, Mount View

7 Days

Capercaillie Wine Co.

54

4 Londons Rd, Lovedale

7 Days

Constable Estate

15

205 Gillards Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

DeBortoli Wines

55

532 Wine Country Drive, Pokolbin

7 Days

Denmar Estate

16

479 Hermitage Rd, Pokolbin

Fri to Mon

Emmas Cottage Vineyard

55

438 Wilderness Rd, Lovedale

Fri to Sun

Ernest Hill Wines

33

307 Wine Country Drive, Nulkaba

7 Days

Gartelmann Wines

56

701 Lovedale Rd, Lovedale

7 Days

Gemelli Estate

16

168 Palmers Lane, Pokolbin

Fri to Mon

Gundog Estate

33

101 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

Hermitage Rd Cellars

17

Hermitage Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

Hungerford Hill Wines

34

2450 Broke Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

Hunter Distillery

17

1686 Broke Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

Iron Gate Estate

36

Oakey Creek Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

James Estate

18

1210 Hermitage Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

Kelman Vineyard

72

2 Oakey Creek Rd, Mount View

7 Days

Kevin Sobels Wines

36

5 Halls Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

Krinklewood Biodynamic Vineyard

81

712 Wollombi Rd, Broke

Sat & Sun

Leogate Estate Wines

18

1693 Broke Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

Lindeman’s Wine

37

119 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

Macquariedale Organic Wines

17

170 Sweetwater Rd, Rothbury

7 Days

McGuigan Wines

38

447 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

McLeish Estate

38

462 DeBeyers Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

Meerea Park

39

2198 Broke Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

Misty Glen Wines

19

293 Deasys Rd, Pokolbin

Fri to Mon

Mount Broke Wines

81

130 Adams Peak Rd, Broke

Fri to Sun

Mount View Estate

72

502 Mount View Rd, Mount View

7 Days

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Adina Vineyard


QUICK INDEX TO CELLAR DOORS (P-Z ) Nightingale Wines

82

1239 Milbrodale Rd, Broke

7 Days

Noyce Brothers Wines

87

2884 Wollombi Rd, Wollombi

7 Days

Oakvale Wines

19

1596 Broke Rd,Pokolbin

7 Days

Peterson House

41

Cnr Broke Rd & Wine Country Drive, Pokolbin 7 Days

Petersons Wines

73

552 Mount View Rd, Mount View

7 Days

59

82 Elderslie Rd, Branxton

Pokolbin Estate

40

298 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

Ridgeview Wines

20

273 Sweetwater Rd, Pokolbin

Wed to Sun

Saddler’s Creek Wines

74

15 Marrowbone Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

Sandalyn Estate Wines

60

Wilderness Rd, Lovedale

7 Days

Savannah Estate

74

402 Mount View Rd, Mount View

7 Days

St Clements Estate

60

136 Talga Rd, Rothbury

7 Days

Stomp! Wines

82

1273 Milbrodale Rd, Broke

Sat & Sun & By Appointment

Stonehurst Cedar Creek

87

1840 Wollombi Rd, Cedar Creek

7 Days

Tallavera Grove

76

749 Mount View Rd, Mount View

Thurs to Mon

Tamburlaine Organic Wines

42

358 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

Tatlers Wines

61

477 Lovedale Rd, Lovedale

7 Days

Tempus Two

43

Cnr Broke & McDonalds Rds, Pokolbin

7 Days

Tintilla Estate

22

725 Hermitage Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

Tower Estate

43

Cnr Halls & Broke Rds, Pokolbin

Thurs-Mon

Tyrrel’s Wines

22

1838 Broke Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

Undercliff Winery & Gallery

87

152 Yango Creek Rd, Wollombi

7 Days

Vinden Estate

23

17 Gillards Rd, Pokolbin

Wed to Sun

Wandin Hunter Valley

62

12 Wilderness Rd, Lovedale

7 Days

Waverley Estate

23

207 Palmers Lane, Pokolbin

7 Days

Wollombi Village Vineyard

87

2971 Payne’s Crossing Rd, Wollombi

Sat & Sun

Wynwood Estate

45

310 Oakey Creek Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

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Pierre’s Wines

Mon to Fri by appointment. Sat & Sun


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

70

19 Vincent St, Cessnock

Lunch & Dinner 7 Days

Australia Hotel

70

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

23

17 Gillards Rd, Pokolbin

Lunch Fri to Sun

Black Creek Farm

14

803 Old North Rd, Rothbury

Lunch Fri-Mon; Dinner Sat & Sun

Bistro Molines

71

749 Mount View Rd, Mount View

Lunch Thurs to Mon; Dinner Fri & Sat

B.L.U.E Thai

71

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

Bluetongue Brewery Cafe

14

Bodega Restaurant & Bar

32

Boy—O—Boy

32

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

All Day Dining7 Days from Midday Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 7 Days

Cnr Broke & McDonalds Rds, Pokolbin

Thursday to Monday for Lunch & Dinner

Briar Grillade

72

Mount View Rd, Mount View

Wed to Sun

Café 1843 at Lindeman’s

37

119 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

Café DenMar

16

479 Hermitage Rd, Pokolbin

Fri to Mon

Café Enzo

32

Cnr Broke & Ekerts Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days for Breakfast & Lunch

Café Pokolbin Hill

15

Leisure Inn Pokolbin Hill, Cnr Broke & McDonalds Rds, Pokolbin

Emma’s of Lovedale

56

438 Wilderness Rd, Lovedale

Emersons at Pokolbin

16

1014 Hermitage Rd, Pokolbin

Breakfast 7 Days; Lunch Wed to Sun; Dinner Mon to Sat Breakfast Sat & Sun; Lunch Thurs to Sun, Dinner Thurs to Sat Lunch Thurs to Mon; Dinner Thurs to Sat

ESCA Bimbadgen

13

790 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin

Lunch 7 Days; Dinner Wed to Sat

Harrigan’s Irish Pub

34

Broke Rd, Pokolbin

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 7 Days

Harry’s at Tatler

57

477 Lovedale Rd, Lovedale

Lunch Thurs-Tues; Dinner Fri & Sat

Hunter Valley Steakhouse

35

Cnr Broke & McDonalds Rd’s, Pokolbin

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 7 Days

Infuzion Restaurant

32

Sebel Kirkton Park 336 Oakey Creek Rd, Pokolbin

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 7 Days

Leaves and Fishes

58

737 Lovedale Rd, Lovedale

Lunch Wed to Sun; Dinner Fri & Sat

Lillino’s Bar Trattoria

60

136 Talga Rd, Rothbury

Lunch Thurs to Sun; Dinner Thurs to Tue

Magpie Café

56

701 Lovedale Rd, Lovedale

Breakfast & Lunch Fri to Mon

Mojos on Wilderness

58

84 Wilderness Rd, Lovedale

Dinner 6 Nights (closed Tues)

Muse Kitchen

19

At Keith Tulloch Wines, Lot 17 Hermitage Rd, Pokolbin

Lunch Wed-Sun

Muse Café & Restaurant

39

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

Nightingales Restaurant

82

1239 Milbrodale Rd, Broke

Oishii Japanese Thai Restaurant

40

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

Lunch Wed to Sun; Dinner Mon to Sat


QUICK INDEX TO RESTAURANTS (R-Z ) Restaurant Cuvee

41

Cnr Broke Rd & Wine Country Drv, Pokolbin

Breakfast & Lunch 7 Days

Ridgeview Restaurant

20

273 Sweetwater Rd, Pokolbin

Breakfast Fri to Sun; Lunch & Dinner Thurs to Sun

Roberts Restaurant

42

Halls Rd, Pokolbin

Lunch Fri to Sun; Dinner 7 Nights

Royal Federal Hotel 221 Restaurant & Bar at The Royal Oak Hotel Sabor in the Hunter Dessert Bar

59

50 Maitland Rd, Branxton

Lunch & Dinner 7 Days

73

221 Vincent Street, Cessnock

Lunch & Dinner 7 Days

59

Fri to Mon

San Martino Restaurant

21

319 Wilderness Rd, Lovedale At Hunter Resort, Hermitage Rd, Pokolbin

SSS BBQ Barns

75

4 Wollombi Rd, Cessnock

The Beltree

21

266 Hermitage Rd, Pokolbin

The Brickworks Brasserie

76

The Cellar Restaurant

44

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

The Olive Tree Restaurant

59

The Verandah Restaurant

21

Twine Restaurant

44

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

Vittorios Italian Café Restaurant

44

Pokolbin Village, 2188 Broke Rd, Pokolbin

Wandin Wine Bar & Diner

62

12 Wilderness Rd, Lovedale

Lunch 7 Days; Dinner Fri-Sun Breakfast & Lunch 7 Days; Dinner Tues to Sat Lunch 7 Days; Dinner Fri & Sat

Wine Country Café

45

455 Wine Country Drive, Pokolbin

7 Days from 9AM until 3PM

Wyndham Estate, Dalwood Rd, Branxton

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 7 Days Dinner 7 Nights; Lunch groups by appointment Lunch Fri to Sun; Dinner Fri & Sat Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner 7 Days Lunch & Dinner Mon to Sat Breakfast Sundays; Lunch Sat & Sun Lunch & Dinner Thurs to Sun

QUICK INDEX TO PROVIDORES Adina Vineyard

54

492 Lovedale Rd, Lovedale

7 Days

Amore Cheese

70

At Mount View Estate, 502 Mt View Rd, Mt View

By Appointment

Australian Regional Food Store & Café

30

426 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

56

701 Lovedale Rd, Lovedale

7 Days

33

101 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

Hunter Olive Centre

40

298 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

Hunter Valley Cheese Company

35

At McGuigans Complex, 447 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

Hunter Valley Chocolate Company

57

Shop 5, HVG Village, Broke Rd, Pokolbin

7 Days

Hunter Valley Chocolate Company

57

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

7 Days

Hunter Valley Chocolate Company

57

Factory & Showroom 820 Lovedale Rd, Lovedale

7 Days

Mojos The Deli

58

84 Wilderness Rd, Lovedale

7 Days

Nulkaba Hatchery

70

78 Fleming St, Nulkaba

Mon to Sat

Sabor in the Hunter Dessert Bar

59

319 Wilderness Rd, Lovedale

Fri to Mon

Sandalyn Estate

60

Wilderness Rd, Lovedale

7 Days

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Gartelmann Wines Gundog Estate & Gourmet Pantry


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:

 

Disabled Access Onsite Restaurant/Café Functions/Events/Weddings

 

On Site Parking

Family Friendly

Picnic /BBQ Area

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Accommodation

Vineyard Views

Cellar Door On Site

On Site Gallery

Order On-Line

A/C

Air Conditioning

Free WiFi

On Site Golf Course

Beer On Tap

Picnic Hampers

Scenic Views

Gourmet Produce

Cooking Classes

Baby Change Facilities


The history behind Australia’s oldest wine producing region The first major planting in the Hunter Valley occurred in the early 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. 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. 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. Sydney was a lucrative market for the Hunter Valley largely due to the regulations in place at the time that placed prohibitive duties on wines from other areas such as Victoria and South Australia. By the turn of the 20th century, this virtual monopoly over the Sydney market changed significantly with a new constitution banning such interstate trade barriers. The Sydney market was opened to out of state wine producers. This coupled with the changing public tastes from dry wines to sweeter

wines, fortified ports and sherry signaled a period of fast decline for the Hunter Valley. 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– 30 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. 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. As Hunter red wines were gaining acclaim, Hunter whites were also being noticed. In the 1960s, a Sydney wine merchant named Leo Buring began marketing the first commercially successful Hunter Valley Semillon which was initially known as ''Hunter Riesling''. 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. 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.

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TroyR hoades-Brown The Hunter’s own master chef!

Considered one of the Hunter’s most exciting and successful chefs, Troy Rhoades - Brown interest in cooking, food flavours and techniques began at a very young age and was highly influenced by his mothers love of food and cooking.

At the time, it was a decision loaded with risk as the global financial crisis had taken hold, economic uncertainty had set in and it was a perilous time to launch a business, let alone a fine-dining establishment within an already established Pokolbin food scene. It was a bold move and for Troy the most stressful and frightening decision of his life.

Today Troy remains one of the youngest awarded chef in Australia and has set himself the goal of achieving two chefs hats, and his restaurant recognised for being one of Just 18 months after opening its doors, Muse was the best regional fine dining restaurants in the country. awarded the coveted Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide Chef’s Hat. A tremendous achievement for Troy Troy's first few years of training took place in a small and Megan who in the same year also took home the traditional Italian family-run restaurant, before moving to Restaurant and Catering Association award for Best the Hunter Valley where he worked at Roberts Regional Restaurant in NSW and Contemporary Restaurant under renown chef Robert Molines whose Australian Restaurant Regional NSW. restaurant was the breeding ground for many high achievers. It was here that Troy immersed himself in After a fantastic first 18 months Troy was well on his way modern French cuisine and started to develop his own to achieving his objective to create one of Australia’s best style and flair and to create a name for himself. regional restaurants.

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After winning the 2005 Brett Graham Award, Troy flew to Europe to work at the two Michelin Star Ledbury Restaurant at Notting Hill in London where fellow Australian Brett Graham is Head Chef. It was here that he observed precision, innovation and strong leadership – and he soaked it all up. Troy then returned to the Hunter Valley with the dream of opening his own restaurant working his way up the ranks to Head Chef of Robert’s Restaurant under Executive Chef Daniel Hunt. In March 2009, Troy and wife Megan opened Muse Restaurant and Café at Hungerford Hill on Broke Rd, Pokolbin , with the aim of providing diners with ''a complete dining experience'' that reflected their dedication and passion for what they do.

In October 2011 the dynamic couple did it again by opening the more casual modern European inspired Muse Kitchen at Keith Tulloch Wines on Hermitage Rd to complement the more formal Muse Restaurant. In September 2012, Muse Kitchen was awarded its first chefs hat and Muse Restaurant retained it's much prized chefs hat for a second year - successfully confirming both restaurants status in the NSW food scene After years of hard work, dedication and passion Troy Rhoades - Brown has created a sensory sensation and a dining moment that everyone should experience.


LOWER HUNTER VALLEY WINE COUNTRY INDEX TO WINE & FOOD TRAIL MAPS

 

  

     

Trail Map

PG

Pokolbin 1

10 / 11

Pokolbin 2

28 / 29

Lovedale, Rothbury, Branxton

52 / 53

Mount View, Cessnock 68 / 69 & Nulkaba Broke Fordwich

80 / 81

Wollombi Valley

86

WOLLOMBI MILLFIELD

About the Lower Hunter Valley The soils in the Hunter Valley vary widely from sandy alluvial flats to black silty loams and friable red duplex soils. Most of the vineyards are situated on the red clay soils on the foothills of the Brokenback Range or on the creek flats below them, which have sandy soils greatly suited to whites. The Lower Hunter can get as much as 400–530mm of rain during harvest which takes place between the months of January to early March, creating significant challenges for winemakers as the rain, along with the heat, encourages high relative humidity in the region and the subsequent threat of mould. The most widely planted grape varieties in the Hunter Valley are Chardonnay, Semillon and Verdelho among the whites and Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot among the reds. The area is famous for its Semillon white wines and its soft rich reds made from Shiraz. The Hunter Valley produced Australia's first Chardonnays in the 1970's and its soft lavish fruit driven style, adds another staple variety to the area. Verdelho has been planted in the Hunter Valley for over 100 years but it is has only recently become popular as a single varietal wine producing a dry wine with spicy tropical fruit characters.

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The Hunter Valley is Australia's oldest wine region with vines first being planted in the early 1830's. Vineyards are located in two areas - Upper and Lower Hunter Valley. The Lower Hunter Valley is nestled amidst the Brokenback Range and located 160km north of Sydney and 40km from the Pacific Coast. Famous for its world-class wines, most notably Hunter Valley Semillon and Shiraz, the Lower Hunter is said to have pioneered Australian wine tourism and is now well established with a good selection of accommodation, cellar doors and restaurants. The majority of cellar doors and tourist developments are found in the Lower Hunter Valley with the area consisting of a number of very distinct wine areas - these include the areas of Pokolbin, Rothbury (or Lovedale), Mount View, Wollombi Valley and Broke-Fordwich, each unique in their own way. Broke-Fordwich is the only officially recognised sub-region of the Lower Hunter. Renown for its food and wine, the Hunter Valley is abounding with choice with more than 65 restaurants, over 140 wineries and cellar doors and a diverse range of gourmet foods and regional produce spread throughout the area. The Hunter Valley also has a vibrant calendar of events throughout the year to capture the imagination of wine and food lovers - most notably the Lovedale Long Lunch and Hunter Valley Wine & Food Month.


POKOLBIN WINE & DINE TRAIL 1 (NORTH)

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. 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. 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.

PAGE 10

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.

TRAIL 1 CELLAR DOORS

PAGE

MAP

Arrowfield Estate Bimbadgen Estate Blueberry Hill Vineyard Constable Estate Denmar Estate Gemelli Estate Hermitage Rd Cellars Hunter Distillery James Estate Leogate Estate Macquariedale Organic Wines Misty Glen Wines Oakvale Wines Ridgeview Wines Tintilla Estate Tyrrell’s Wines Vinden Estate Waverley Estate

12 13 15 15 16 16 17 17 18 18 17 19 19 20 22 22 23 23

C1 D7 C7 E4 B2 E7 C2 F3 E2 F3 B4 D5 F2 B4 C2 F4 E5 E7

TRAIL 1 CELLAR DOORS WITH RESTAURANTS

PAGE

MAP

Bimbadgen Estate Denmar Estate Hermitage Rd Cellars Ridgeview Wines Vinden Estate

13 16 17 20 23

D7 B2 C2 B4 E5

TRAIL 1 RESTAURANTS

PAGE

MAP

Amanda's on the Edge Bistro Vinden Black Creek Farm Bluetongue Brewery Café Café DenMar Café Pokolbin Hill Emersons at Pokolbin ESCA Bimbadgen Muse Kitchen Ridgeview Restaurant San Martino Restaurant The Beltree The Verandah Restaurant

12 23 14 14 16 15 16 13 19 20 21 21 21

C7 E5 B6 C2 B2 F6 E2 D7 D2 B4 C2 A1 E7


Things to See & Do

i

For more information about events visit www.thehunterblackboard.com

HOW TO USE WINE & DINE

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

symbol symbol

PAGE 11 11 PAGE

A Day on the Green Bimbadgen plays host to this popular concert series, running from September through to March. The line-up features both local and international stars. Visit www.adayonthegreen.com for announcements. Hunter Valley Wine & Food Month For the entire month of June the Hunter Valley showcases and celebrates Hunter Valley wines and fresh local produce. Check out the events at www.hvwineandfood.hvva.com.au. Throughout June. Locals Night at The Verandah Restaurant Become a local for the night on the first Sunday of every month (excluding January). The night kicks off at 6.30PM and has a different theme every month. It’s recommended that you book as these nights are very popular. See The Verandah Restaurant on page 21.


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The Tyrrells’

The Hunter’s First Family of Wine By the early 1970s, Tyrrell’s had an established following for its brand and in 1972 began exporting wine to the United States. Bruce, who was born in 1951, was the first member of the Tyrrell winemaking family to go to University, studying Agricultural Economics at the University of New England. He joined the family company on a full-time basis in 1974 at the age of 23 years. It was during this time that Bruce fell in love with Semillon.

When you think of great Hunter Valley wines and wine producers you think of Tyrrell's Wines and for me personally the Tyrrell' s Vat 1 Semillon - a classic of the Hunter Valley Semillon genre.

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Headed up by fourth generation family member Bruce Tyrrell, Tyrrell’s Wines is one of Australia’s pre-eminent family owned wine companies with vineyards extending from their historic home in the Hunter Valley to the Limestone Coast in South Australia and Heathcote in Victoria, and export to more than 50 countries around the world. Tyrrell’s is also home to some of Australia’s most awarded wines and in 2010 was named “Winery of the Year” in James Halliday’s Australian Wine Companion.

In 1994, Bruce became CEO of Tyrrell’s Wines with an annual production of 550,000 cases and decided to expand the company by completing a series of interstate acquisitions in McLaren Vale, Limestone Coast and Heathcote. The McLaren Vale vineyard has since been sold and Heathcote is now on the cusp of being one of the great shiraz areas of Australia. In 2006, Bruce Tyrrell was recognised with an Order of Australia Medal for his contribution to the Australian wine industry; improving grape quality, research, tourism and export opportunities. In 2009, he became a Hunter Valley Living Legend at the Hunter Valley Wine Industry Awards. Under Bruce, the brand has come to be sold internationally and today Tyrrell's produces a broad range of wine varieties and styles, and have championed the Semillon variety and strive to create wines of individual character and flavour.

Tyrrell’s future as a family-owned and operated winery is secure, with the fifth generation well entrenched in the business. Bruce's son Chris, who had his first vintage in Tyrrell's Wines was first established in 1858 by English 2001 when he was 18, is one of the company’s three immigrant Edward Tyrrell who, upon taking up a concessional allotment of 320 acres, named the property winemakers. Older brother John and sister Jane are also actively involved in the business ensuring Tyrrell’s will “Ashmans” after his maternal grandmother’s ancestral continue to remain family owned for years to come. home “Ashmans Hall” in Suffolk, England. The winery was built in 1863 but for the first 100 years, Tyrrell’s sold To discover 150 years of winemaking experience take a its wine in bulk to be bottled by other producers and sold trip to Tyrrell's Wines in Pokolbin. Visit the cellar door under their name. and taste some of the award winning wines or take a tour In 1959, the business was taken over by Murray Tyrrell, and experience first hand the old oak vats and historic Bruce's father, who set about establishing Tyrrell’s as an red cellar still in full operation. You will also see the original iron bark hut that Edward Tyrrell lived in and the independent brand. Murray, who until then had been making his living in the cattle business, went on to win a Short Flat Vineyard, home of Australia’s most awarded white wine, Vat 1 Semillon, with its vines first planted in gold medal at the Sydney wine show with a 1962 wine. 1923.


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Raise your Glasses... When Size & Shape really do matter. directing the white wine's aroma to the nose, greatly enhancing the wine's flavour for the drinker. Red wine glasses on the other hand are slightly larger than white wine glasses and hold up to sixteen ounces. The reason for this is that the complex aromas and flavours of red wine require a glass with a larger surface area to allow the wine to come into contact with more air which then increases the aromatic qualities. The more aromas you smell, the more flavours you taste on the palate. As a result, the bowl of red wine glasses tend to be more full and round with a larger opening to allow the drinker to easily dip their nose into the glass to detect the aroma. For those who wish to expand on their enjoyment and appreciation of wine, the choice of wine glass can become a little more intricate with specific types of glasses designed to match certain wines. For example, when it comes to white wine, there is a choice of two types of wine glasses, one for younger, crisp whites and one for more mature, fuller whites. The wine glass for younger white wines has a slightly larger opening directing the wine to the tip and sides of the tongue to taste its sweetness, while the glass for more mature white wines is straighter and taller - directing the wine to Although wine glasses can come in many shapes the back and sides of the tongue where the bolder and sizes, there are four basic types of wine glasses flavours can be tasted. red, white, sparkling, and dessert. When it comes to red wines, the choice is between a Every wine glass has a slightly different shape, Bordeaux or Burgundy glass. The difference between depending on the type of wine that particular glass is to the two being that the Bordeaux glass is taller, yet the be used for, but it is the bowel of the glass that serves bowl is not quite as large. This glass is designed for a the most important purpose and it is here you will find heavier and more full bodied red wine such as Cabernet most of the variation in wine glasses. Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Merlot. The tallness of the In all types of wine glasses, both red and white, the bowl glass allows the wine to proceed directly to the back of must be large enough to swirl your wine, opening it up to the mouth to maximize its flavour for the drinker. On the other hand, a Burgundy glass is for a lighter, full bodied more air and allowing its aromas to be released. wine such as Pinot Noir. It is not as tall, but the bowl is Glassware intended for red wine tends to be bigger as larger than the Bordeaux glass - providing a larger red wines need more time and air to open up surface area to emphasise the aromas and also allows Sparkling wine glasses (or flutes) are tall and thin and the red wine to enter the palate closer to the tip of the because sparkling wines are carbonated, the flutes are tongue where many of the taste buds sensitive to designed to encourage carbonated bubbles to remain sensations of sweetness are located. active in the glass longer and with a greater intensity. If sparkling wine was to be served in a shorter, fatter wine A dessert wine glass should be smaller, with a wide glass, it will be exposed to air more quickly, causing the body and narrow opening to exalt both the development of aromas and their concentration to the nose. The sparkling wine to go flat. And where would the fun be straight opening allows the wine to be directed to the then? back of the mouth - where it is less overpowering. White wine glasses are tulip shaped and are typically Dessert wines generally have a higher alcohol content, medium in size, ranging from eight to fourteen ounces. making the small glass perfect for a smaller serving. The bowl of this glass is more U-shaped and upright with the rim tapered inward to a slightly narrower opening


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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MAP

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

30 33

C4 E2

40 35 57

D3 C3 C3/C6

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Ernest Hill Wines Gundog Estate Hungerford Hill Wines Iron Gate Estate 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

33 33 34 36 36 37 38 38 39 41 40 42 43 43 45

E7 E2 C7 G7 C5 E2 C3 E4 C5 C6 D3 D3 C4 C5 G5

TRAIL 2 CELLAR DOORS WITH RESTAURANTS

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

34 37 39 41 43 45

C7 E2 C5 C6 C4 G5

TRAIL 2 RESTAURANTS

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And the Winner is Oscars Aust. Regional Food Store Blaxlands Inn Bodega Restaurant & Bar Boy O Boy Café Enzo Café 1843 at Lindeman’s 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 Wine Country Café

30 30 31 32 32 32 37 34 35 32 39 40 41 42 76 44 44 44 45

C3 C4 C5 D3 C4 B2 E2 C3 C3 F5 C7 C4 C6 D5 F8 C3 G5 C4 D7


TO MAP 

Things to See & Do

Christmas Lights Spectacular at Hunter Valley Gardens. Over a million Christmas lights on show throughout designated areas of Hunter Valley Gardens. November to January (Australia Day)

TO MAP 

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 Seniors Week at Hunter Valley Gardens. A week of appear in alphabetical order wherever possible.

fantastic activities for our seniors with interesting talks, Wineries—will display the following symbols: tours and demonstrations and an appearance from a celebrity gardener or two. Every April.

= White Wines

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Providores— will display the

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

= Sparkling Wines = Fortified Wines

symbol symbol

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Flavourfest at Hunter Valley Gardens. Watch MasterChef contestants and celebrity chefs cook up a storm to show= Red Wines case the best this region has to offer as part of the month long Hunter Valley Wine & Food Month. Long weekend in Restaurants– will display the June.


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BLAXLANDS INN

2198 Broke Rd, Pokolbin PH 4998-7550

Nestled in the heart of the Hunter Valley, in Pokolbin. Blaxland's Inn is situated next to Tower Estate on 100 acres of vineyards and gardens. Offering a relaxed experience with a casual enjoyable atmosphere, it is the perfect place for a great meal with family and friends, or a cold drink after a long day of exploring all that the beautiful Hunter Valley has to offer.

www.blaxlandsinn.com info@blaxlandsinn.com

DINING STYLE Casual dining

Offering a warm country ambience, with friendly staff and great value meals, a trip to the Hunter Valley would not be complete without calling in to see us. Dine inside by our open fire, or outside under the stars. With an outdoor campfire, you can relax and unwind whilst enjoying a truly Australian experience.

Wed—Sun from 12PM-3PM

Our meals range from Certified Angus steaks, salads and burgers. You might also be tempted to try one of our famous deep dish pies!

Wed—Sun from 6PM-9PM

Blaxland's provides an alternative watering hole, a place to relax and unwind with a refreshing ale or glass of wine selected from the best local boutique wineries. We are able to cater for small or large groups and for any functions. Our courtesy vehicle is available for pickup and drop off within the Valley (bookings advised).

OPENING HOURS LUNCH DINNER CAFÉ Wed—Sun All Day

GROUPS

Groups welcome

SPECIALITIES & AWARDS

Certified angus beef & deep dish pies Trip Advisor Restaurant Excellence Award

PRICE GUIDE Main meals from $12.95-$44.95

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MAP REF: C5


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LINDEMAN’S WINE

119 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin PH 02 4993-3700

One of the oldest and most respected wineries in the Hunter Valley, Lindeman’s has the enviable reputation for producing some of the worlds most revered wines. Our stylish cellar door offers something for everyone:

♦ A range of experiences, including our Ultimate Indulgence Food & Wine ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦

Matching and Super Premium tastings Upstairs Wedding and Event Space for 300 Indoor and Outdoor dining at Café 1843 Gourmet Local Produce Unique and unforgettable Surroundings

www.lindemans.com.au cellardoor@lindemans.com WINE TASTING & SALES Open 7 Days 10AM-5PM

CAFÉ 1843 Open 7 Days 10AM-4PM Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Day & Good Friday

GROUPS By appointment only

WHITE WINES Semillon, Chardonnay, Riesling, Pinot Grigio, Verdelho, Sauvignon Blanc

RED WINES Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Rosé

SPARKLING Pinot Chardonnay, Shiraz FORTIFIED WINES Muscat, Viognier, Grand Tawny, Moscato SPECIALTIES Sparkling Shiraz, Coonawarra Trio, Cellar Door Exclusives

WINEMAKER Wayne Faulkenburg and Brett Sharpe

PRICE RANGE From $10 to $200/bottle

As our founder Dr Henry Lindeman said “the purpose of wine is to bring happiness” With that in mind, Lindeman’s and Café 1843 are the must visit destination to share moments of happiness with family and friends everyday.

DINING STYLE Casual Wood Fired Pizzas to share

PRICE RANGE Main Meal from $15

CAFÉ 1843 @ Lindeman’s

MAP REF: E2

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The purpose of hearty wholesome food and beautiful wine is to bring comfort to the soul. Café 1843 is the destination to share moments of happiness with family & friends. ♦ Great Coffee ♦ Fresh Local Produce ♦ Wood fired Pizza Oven ♦ Sweet Treats ♦ Wine by the Glass or Bottle ♦ Indoor and Outdoor Dining ♦ Childrens Menu


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 OISHII JAPANESE THAI RESTAUANT Oishii Japanese and Thai at Tempus Two offers a welcome unique dining alternative in the Hunter Valley. The authentic Asian restaurant offers an award winning menu including popular favorites such as Sushi, Sashimi and Teppanyaki selections as well as fragrant Thai salads and curries. Many menu items can be adapted for vegetarians and gluten sensitive guests.

Cnr McDonalds & Broke Rd’s Pokolbin PH 4998 7051

Most importantly it blends very well with the wines from the Hunter Valley. Oishii has become one of the favorite dining venues in the Hunter Valley as it offers a sharing menu ideal and affordable for families and parties. Join the many repeat patrons and enjoy the fare either inside the dining room, on the terrace overlooking the vineyards or choose the very popular take away option.

www.oishii.com.au info@oishii.com.au DINING STYLE Casual authentic Japanese and Thai Dining OPENING HOURS LUNCH 7 Days from 11.30AM—3PM DINNER 7 Nights from 5.30PM-9.30PM CLOSED Christmas Day GROUPS Bookings preferred SPECIALITIES Sushi, Sashimi, Teppanyaki, Teriyaki PRICE GUIDE Starters $9-$15; Mains $20-$27

MAP REF: C4

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THE CELLAR RESTAURANT

“Such good food in such unpretentious surroundings is worthy of rural France”

HVG Village, Broke Rd, Pokolbin PH 4998 7584 www.the-cellar-restaurant.com.au thecellar@bigpond.com

The London Sunday Times

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Chef/Owner Andrew Wright is passionate about sourcing the freshest and best quality local ingredients. His ever-changing menu showcases his talent for combining contemporary Australian fare with the influence of European traditions, presented in a simple and uncomplicated manner

OPENING HOURS

LUNCH Mon to Sat 12PM—3PM DINNER Mon to Fri 6.30PM—9PM Sat 6PM-9PM Closed Christmas Day & Boxing Day GROUPS Contact us for details

MAP REF: C3

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

WELCOME TO ALL OUR READERS! Welcome to the fourth issue of Wine & D ine in the Hunter - the perfect guide to assist you in your choice of places to wine and dine while touring the beautiful Hunter Valley. As we move toward Summer & Spring, the weather experts are predicting a very hot and dry summer which would mean a perfect 2013 Vintage. There is a long way to go and we can only keep our fingers crossed! Budburst was early and the vineyards are looking spectacular.

BOY-O-BOY @ TEMPUS TWO

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BOY-O-BOY on Broke Road opened in September 2012 and has already established a name for itself. “French With a Twist” is how Peter Westfield and Ben Armstrong describe their food. We agree, as I am sure you will if you get a chance to dine there. The boys met many years ago at Bathers Pavilion and have been very close friends ever since and are now partners in this new venture in the Hunter. Ben spent six years in France where he worked in some Michelin restaurants followed by a few more years opening restaurants in Thailand and China. This is reflected in their food, believe me. The menu will vary week to week as it is a blackboard menu. After many visits, here are a few of our favourites. We started with the Duck Terrine with pickled vegetables and home-made brioche. The terrine was very moist. If it is on the menu, please order the Carpaccio of Spanish Mackerel, garnished with lemon confit and hazelnut vinaigrette. Outstanding! I happened to mention that I was not a fan of risotto, only to be told their version was different. This was the understatement of the year! The risotto was served with corn, truffle and parmesan. We had trouble choosing the mains so we left it to the boys.

They sent out the Deconstructed Rabbit which is a whole rabbit for two served in 5 different ways including a tiny rack, the leg and the breast served with carrot puree and cherry Jam. The presentation was extraordinary – a memorable feast! On our next visit it was easier to choose as we had already decided from our first visit. I ordered the Milly Hill rack of lamb. These lambs are milk fed and come from a property near Armidale. Ben states they are the best in Australia and I agree as I have never tasted lamb so tender in all my years of dining. This dish is served with carrot puree and potato foam. The latter looks and tastes amazing. Ros had the Kingfish Cutlet with broccolini and cauliflower puree. I needed to stop her licking the plate! We always share our dishes and we both left the restaurant claiming another memorable experience. The dessert menu also changes weekly, but please try the Blood Orange Sorbet with Verjuice if it is on the menu. You will never forget it. I believe the Pineapple and Lemon Curd Ravioli with coconut ice-cream as well as the Chocolate Fondant with yogurt foam and passionfruit sorbet are stunning.


1843 HARVEST CAFÉ @ LINDEMANS 1843 HARVEST CAFÉ on McDonalds Road opened earlier in 2012 with Craig Parkinson as the executive chef. He has been working in the Hunter most of his life and I have been very fortunate to have been able to experience his cooking skills over the past 15 years. There are both indoor and outdoor dining areas which have vineyards and mountains in the background. An ideal backdrop for a wedding! We were accompanied by a couple of foodies on the day we tried Craig’s new summer menu. This gave me the chance to review more dishes. We started with the Mezze Platter of eggplant caviar, beetroot pate and olive fig tapenade with flat bread. Very tasty! Then followed with the Smoked Salmon and Avocado Sformato with organic lavoush. These are ideal starters, light and very, very tasty! The Pizzas are wood-fired with home-made bases. They are oblong in shape just like those in Italy with minimum toppings. There are two sizes so be sure to check before ordering depending on whether you intend to order more courses. There are at least six toppings to choose from each day but these are my favourites. Puttanesca with white anchovies, baby capers and black olives with a blend of Australian and Italian mozzarella and the Chilli King Prawn with semi dried tomatoes, marinated fetta, confit of garlic and mango cheeks. Believe me they are mouth watering! Next we made the mistake of ordering four mains! We later admitted, sitting there feeling as you do when you have eaten too much, that it was a worthwhile mistake.

We started with the Crispy Smoked Trout and Prawn Ravioli with a fabulous sauce of fresh tomato and olive. The plate was wiped clean! The Capsicum and Goat Fetta Tart is wood-fired with a petite herb salad garnished with truffle oil. Very moist. I find all too often tarts can be very bland and dry – not this one. By this stage we looked at each other knowing we had two more to come. The Popcorn Chicken, served on iceberg lettuce and tomato salad with a blue cheese and butter milk dressing – WOW! The Milly Hill lamb loin is baked with lavender salt, parmesan potato (loved it) and wilted cavalo nero. We also tried the pork ribs - succulent and beautifully cooked in the pizza oven - we just could not get enough of them - even those of us who do not often eat ribs. A highly recommended dish. As we were about to call for the bill out came an assortment of desserts from Craig who by this stage had a big grin on his face. So we felt that we could not insult our host. Lavender Pannacotta with raspberry salad and Chocolate Marquis with fresh berries. Something we had not encountered before and all agreed was the winner was the White chocolate and Macadamia Spring rolls served on rum and raisin ice-cream. I’ll leave you to decide! The last was the Lemon and Passionfruit Meringue Pie with candied popcorn and vanilla yoghurt gelato. Consequently, my next experience was a very healthy light breakfast the next day!

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TWINE RESTAURANT @ WYNWOOD ESTATE TWINE RESTAURANT (formerly Golden Grape) on Oakey Creek Road opened in September 2012 with owners and executive chefs Matt Dillow and Adam Ireland. Matt has been in the Hunter for about seven years at The Verandah Restaurant and Adam has returned from touring the world and catering for some very famous names such as Madonna, AC/DC, Rod Stewart, Paul McCartney and many others. The dining areas have a lovely ambience, inside and out with magnificent views overlooking vineyards and mountains. We started with the Oyster Platter – one of their signature dishes. This is made up of six oysters prepared in six different ways including vodka pomegranate and lime capriosa, smoked salmon, creme fraiche and salmon caviar and tempura with Asian crab salad. We loved it! The platter can be shared depending on your dining partner. When we arrived we were informed that they had just taken delivery of some live mud crabs to be done Singapore chilli style. Of course we chose this for our next course. This was served on a tower with the crab (cracked for us) and spiced rice. It was brilliant with mild chilli flavour . We were also provided with a real cotton towel, moist and hot. Make sure you are not wearing pale clothing – the only way for me to enjoy this style of crab is ''hands on''.

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Our next visit introduced us to the Chefs Mezze Plate which is a trio of items created by the chefs and compiled into an entree. These dishes will change every few days

subject to the availability of fresh products and the mood of the creators. This caters for frequent visiting clientele. It was beautifully presented and the flavours were excellent. There are several main courses to choose from such as the Braised, Pulled and Pressed Lamb Shoulder with potato and silverbeet hash, golden eschallots and rosemary jus. So tender, but be sure you are hungry. I’m yet to taste the handmade Butternut Pumpkin Ravioli. Monday to Thursday there is a Lunch Special – Chefs Mezze Plate and a main course with a glass of wine or a locally made beer on tap. Excellent value! I must be honest we were unable to sample the desserts, but I asked Adam and Matt which were the most popular. The Raspberry Semifreddo with pistachio praline and flamed Italian meringue together with the Baked Belgian chocolate torte with mandarin sorbet and honey crumble. The latter sounds like me! We do hope that you enjoy your stay in the Hunter, especially our wines and hopefully some of the dishes that we managed to share with you. If you happen to see The Lunch-mobile out and about, please come and say hello! Bon Appetit,

Sir Lunchalot

Peter Firth AK A


TOP DROPS GARTELMANN WINES 2010 MERLOT

Gartelmann Wines in Lovedale have built a reputation for producing quality wines that have gone on achieve a range of accolades. The 2010 Merlot is from 12 year old vines on a clay-loam-sandstone mixture, with a slight slope giving good drainage and mineral input. The fruit was lightly pressed to make a lesstannic wine and was kept in a mixture of new 500 litre puncheons and new to 3 year old hogsheads, some American, some French for 14 months. Cellaring: Drink now cellar until 2020.

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Tasting: Deep purple in colour with aromas and flavours of Cassis and Blackcurrant. Velvet tannins give structure to a soft and rounded palate. This is a wine that is made for food.

TOWER ESTATE HUNTER VALLEY SHIRAZ 2011

Established in 1999 by the late Len Evans, Tower Estate has been rated as a 5 Star Winery in the Australian Wine Companion each year from 2005. The fruit for this wine was sourced from a vineyard planted in 1993 in red brown earth and located in the western flank of Pokolbin on a southerly facing slope. Cellaring: Drink by: 2025 Tasting: Deep purple in colour with incredibly fragrant, bright mulberry and blueberry fruit on the nose with some dried cherries, along with spicy notes of cardomon, star anise and cinnamon. The palate has exceptional length but is equally soft and fresh with voluptuous fine tannins backing a generous framework of juicy fruit whilst still being medium bodied. This wine is well matched to Miso Duck Breasts with Pomegranate Glaze, Ginger and Sesame Potatoes.


TOP DROPS TYRRELL’S VAT 1 SEMILLON 2006

Tyrrell's Wines has grown since 1858 to become one of Australia's largest and most prestigious winemakers. First produced in 1963, Vat 1 is arguably Australia’s finest Semillon. The 2006 vintage has been awarded 8 trophies, 16 gold, 9 silver and 11 bronze medals and rated 96 points by James Halliday (2013 edition). Tasting: A classic Hunter Valley Semillon, incredibly youthful in colour with a vivid green hue. The nose shows rich citrus aromas with a hint of toasty/waxy development just starting to appear. The palate is all class with a seamless structure that is only seen in classic vintages. The tension between the powerful citrus fruit and acid is the key to this wine with a wonderful soft texture in the mid palate connecting the two. Cellaring: This wine will happily stay another decade in the cellar.

POKOLBIN ESTATE HUNTER VALLEY RIESLING 2011

Pokolbin Estate Vineyard is a boutique vineyard located in Pokolbin. The 2011 Riesling is a single vineyard wine grown on forty-year old vines. The fruit was lightly pressed to minimise phenolics, cool fermented in stainless steel using a neutral yeast to enhance fruit purity. Tasting: This newly minted Riesling is a pale, yellow green with an abundance of primary fruit characters. Light floral fruit aromas suggest green apple, honeysuckle with a hint of peach. Firm acidity with a smooth, long finish making it ideal to drink in the first year or two after harvest. A great food wine that goes well with Crab Briks with roast garlic aioli, whole baked baby barramundi or scallops. Cellaring: Drink now and over the next 5-15 years.

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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 Sandalyn Estate St Clements Estate Tatlers Wines Wandin Hunter Valley

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CELLAR DOORS WITH RESTAURANTS

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Emmas Cottage Vineyard Gartelmann Wines St Clements Estate Tatlers Wines Wandin Hunter Valley

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RESTAURANTS Emmas of Lovedale Harry’s at Tatlers Leaves and Fishes Lillino’s Bar Trattoria Magpie Café Mojos on Wilderness 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 Mojos The Deli Sabor in the Hunter Dessert Bar Sandalyn Estate

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MAP G5 I4 H3 E3 E5 A2 E4 D5 F4 D5

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MAP E3 F4 E5 D5 E5 E5 B1 E3 A6 D5

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Things to See & Do Lovedale Long Lunch

A 'progressive lunch' where visitors work their way though participating wineries, enjoying the quality food, wine, music and entertainment at all of the venues. Plan ahead for accommodation. Always the 3rd weekend each May.

Take in the scenery on horse-back

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

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

symbol symbol

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If you’re up for a bit of adventure then Hunter Valley Horse Riding & Adventures in Talga Road is the place to find it. Here you will find trails for both the beginner and the experienced rider...all with spectacular valley views. It’s advisable to book ….phone 4930-7111

HOW TO USE WINE & DINE


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THE OLIVE TREE RESTAURANT

Wyndham Estate’s history dates back to the early 1800s and the original homestead of George Wyndham (circa 1830) still remains and forms part of a new Heritage Walk around the property to finish your day.

Wyndham Estate, Branxton PH 4938 1831 www.olivetreerestaurant.com.au janet@olivetreerestaurant.com.au

OPENING HOURS BREAKFAST

Sundays 10AM—12NOON

LUNCH

Sat & Sun 12NOON– 3PM Closed Christmas Day

GROUPS

MAP REF: A6



Contact us for details

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The Olive Tree Restaurant offers alfresco dining in a spectacular country setting. The rustic Mediterranean menu is designed around the region’s abundance of fresh seasonal produce and meals are served on beautiful antique crockery. All tables have views across manicured vineyards and further afield to the Hunter River and the stunning countryside of Lambs Valley in the distance. The ambience relaxed, friendly and welcoming, making it the ideal venue for a long leisurely lunch with family and friends.


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Breakfast at Restaurant Cuvee Salt&Peppa review

We may be spoilt for choice when it comes to restaurants in the Hunter Valley, but when it comes to breakfast, you will be hard - pressed to find a better spot to enjoy a leisurely breakfast. Housed within the beautiful sandstone building of Peterson House - renown for their sparkling wines and with its exquisitely exposed aged timber beams and iron work, Restaurant Cuvee is a highly popular restaurant for both breakfast and lunch. Seating is either inside or outside on the recently extended terrace and being a lovely and cool morning we decided to sit outside. There is much to like about the menu which has something for everyone and also includes vegetarian options. For the kids there is a separate children's menu which included typical favourites of scrambled egg with bacon or sausage and also cinnamon pancakes with apple compote and ice cream.

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The breakfast specialty at Restaurant Cuvee is the Bubbly Breakfast which comes with chocolates and a glass of sparkling Peterson House Wine. Other options include the deliciously described Eggs Benedict topped with hollandaise sauce, Buttermilk Pancakes with apple compote, local honey and ricotta and the aptly named Piccolo which, as the name suggests, is a smaller

breakfast option consisting of bacon and free range eggs with thick cut toast. I personally liked the sound of the ''Light Start'' which consisted of organic muesli tossed in apple juice and yoghurt served with a berry compote. However, being hungry we decided on the Vegetarian option and the Magnum Breakfast. While waiting for our meal we enjoyed a complimentary ''taster'' of Swiss Bircher Muesli with red berries absolutely delicious. The vegetarian dish arrived looking superb with two poached free range eggs, sautĂŠed button mushrooms, asparagus, tomato relish, spinach, hash browns and thick cut toast. The Magnum came with two perfectly fried eggs, a generous serving of bacon, beef sausage, tomato relish, hash browns and thick toast. The servings are large and it is worth noting that the eggs were cooked perfectly and just as we requested with the fried eggs spending just the right amount of time in the pan without being too hard or too soft. After three cups of coffee I believe the coffee deserves a mention. I was reliably informed that the coffee was Piazza D'Oro and it really is that good. A great atmosphere... and an even better start to the day ...


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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 Tallavera Grove

CELLAR DOORS WITH RESTAURANTS Briar Ridge Tallavera Grove

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Amore Cheese Nulkaba Hatchery

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


Things to See & Do

HOW

Take a Cheese Making Class. New to Mount View Estate in 2013 is Amore Cheese. Learn how to make a variety of cheese and enjoy a gourmet lunch and wine tasting. From February 2013.

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:

Take in the view. A visit to Tallavera Grove will delight your senses with arguably the best view in the Hunter Valley..and some pretty great wines too! All year.

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

USE

WINE

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DINE

= White Wines

= Sparkling Wines

= Red Wines

= Fortified Wines

Restaurants– will display the Providores— will display the

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Hunter Valley Wine & Food Month For the entire month of June the Hunter Valley showcases and celebrates Hunter Valley wines and fresh local produce. Throughout June.

TO


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 sSs BBQ BARNS

4 Wollombi Rd, Cessnock PH 4991-4700

We have recreated a relaxed and inviting casual ambience that is truly Country with full on service and a smile. Visitors to the sSs BBQ Barn expect to get a little country magic— it's a phenomenon that has captured the hearts of city and country folk alike. Brighter than the flashy neon sign out the front, the sSs credo clearly shines through to create the experience. There is almost a mid-west feel about the place. It's the swinging doors, it's the neon beer signs, it's the timber floors and it's the music. The décor is typically country. Our choice steaks come from prime stock - many specifications are met including ageing, young premium quality and grading. This, and the sSs cooking process ensures tenderness on the plate. There is more to the sSs menu than thick, tender steaks. The variety comes from the entrees - many spicy if you dare - the main meal alternatives (and they're many) and the desserts that are so good they're almost criminal. All this served with hearty taste and size you soon come to recognise as the sSs trademark

www.sssbbq.com.au Cessnock@sssbbq.com.au DINING STYLE Casual familydining OPENING HOURS DINNER 7 Nights 5.30PM-LATE Closed Christmas Day & Good Friday GROUPS We have a selection of great party menus available and we also cater for lunch group bookings SPECIALITIES & AWARDS Tender baby back ribs and awesome steaks. Since opening in 2003 SSS have won numerous awards in Restaurant & Catering Awards including Best Steak Restaurant and Themed Restaurant on both regional and state levels PRICE GUIDE Main meals from $22.95 to $38.95

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Image Courtesy of Mount View Estate


Dining at Muse Restaurant a Salt&Peppa review

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As one of the most highly awarded restaurants in NSW, husband and wife team Megan and Troy Rhodes Brown have set about creating one of the most sought after dining venues in the Hunter and one of Australia’s best regional restaurants. When you book a dinner at Muse Restaurant, you know you are in a for an elegant treat, but it is advisable to book in advance as the restaurant is often booked out well in advance. Never-the-less we were fortunate to get a table at 8.30pm on a busy Saturday night. After being warmly welcomed at the door, we were shown to our table and introduced to our waitress for the evening ''Lydia'' who's professional and attentive service only added to the fabulous food and world class setting that Muse has become renowned for. The restaurant itself is impressively modern with a sleek industrial characters combined with glass, stone and timber features. The tables are well spaced and formally clad with starched white tablecloths. The kitchen is expansive with numerous busy chefs wearing crisp chef's whites and black hats. The Menu was very inviting with something to suit every taste and diners, depending on how hungry they are, can select between having two courses or three. Our first course consisted of Canadian Sea Scallops which was accompanied by squid ink gnocchi, fennel and orange and tasted as good as the presentation itself, the Nulkaba Quail Thyme Risotto was delicious served with buttered mushrooms and foie gras, but for me the Sashimi Yellow Fin Tuna was hard to beat. This is where simple meets delicious. The Tuna was

perfectly tender with a mild flavour served with truss tomato, olive, garlic and basil which together provided a wide variety of tastes. The wine list is excellent and extensive with a fantastic selection of Hunter Valley wines as well as those carefully selected from other wine regions around the world. Ben the Sommelier - one of very few in the Hunter Valley, was extremely knowledgeable and helpful with wine choice. After a palate cleanser consisting of coconut sorbet with green apple and ruby grapefruit we were more than ready for our main courses. I decided on the Slow Cooked Milly Hill Lamb which was prepared perfectly, tender, and served with delicious Jerusalem artichoke, broad beans, watercress and a sprinkle of almond juice. My dining partners selected the beautifully presented Crispy Skin Ocean Trout along with tomato, ketchup, garlic and chives and the Duck Tortellini, Slow Roasted Onion paired with baby beetroots, local Binnorie goats cheese and chervil. All delicious and masterfully presented on the plate. Side dishes consisted of my favourite - steamed broccolini served nice and crispy and a delicious serving of roasted butternut pumpkin. which I could have eaten all night. Never one for dessert, our table still found it hard to ignore the Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee which came with a taste of banana, date and real honeycomb and the exquisite Rocky Road which was a pure taste sensation and from looking across at neighbouring tables was a definite favourite on the night.


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. 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.

CELLAR DOORS

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Krinklewood Mount Broke Wines Nightingale Wines Stomp! Wines

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Nightingales at Nightingale 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

symbol symbol

Things to See & Do A Little Bit of Italy in Broke Now in it's 8th year, the

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festival that started out as a private dinner catered by an Italian chef has now grown into a celebration of all that is wine, food music, family and community coloured by the enthusiasm associated with the way we expect Italians to enjoy these things. 13 & 14 April 2013 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.

Views of Broke—photo courtesy of Catherine Vale

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


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Sparkling WINES Contributed by: Peter Went of Pierre's Wines at Branxton - Specialists in true méthode traditionelle sparkling wines

Fortunately, modern winemakers are able to manage the process and you can be confident in the quality of modern sparkling wines. The best, and most expensive wines are made by the methode traditionelle, which is how all French Champagne is made. With this method the effervescence for more complex wines is produced by secondary fermentation in the bottle itself.. The cheaper and less interesting sparkling wines are produced by a variety of methods - one being a process similar to making soda water. The aromas and flavours of true méthode traditionelle wines come not only from the variety of grapes used, but also from the yeast in the bottle. These yeast derived characters can be described as bready, doughy and toasty. The longer the yeast are in contact with the wine, the more intense and complex these yeasty characters will become. Whatever the occasion, we have adopted the habit of celebrating with sparkling wine and are reaching for the ''bubbly'' like never before. So brace yourself for the sound of enthusiastic cork popping as we get down to the business end of the bubbles. A little known fact, and something most appreciators of sparkling wine would not be aware of, is that sparkling wines were originally winemaking accidents.

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It would occur when the winemaker, whilst in the process of making wine, would bottle and seal the wine thinking the fermentation process was complete. But, when sugar was still present in the bottle, along with a few living yeast cells, a second fermentation would occur and because the bottle was sealed, the carbon dioxide gas would be trapped and when the bottle was opened the wine would be effervescent (bubbling) as well as cloudy from the yeast residue. While drinkers came to love the gassy wine, they were less happy with the cloudiness. However, the science behind the secondary fermentation was not well understood - sometimes the wines had insufficient gas, and sometimes too much gas resulting in exploding bottles!

At Pierre’s Wines we never release a wine with less than two years bottle maturation “on lees” and our range of sparkling wines are made by the authentic méthode traditionelle. In addition our wines are completely processed by hand. The attention to detail is shown by the delicacy and clarity of the aromas. By careful pressing in our stainless steel basket press we achieve a softness which allows our wines to be enjoyed without the addition of high sugar concentrations at disgorging. There is no compromise in our methods. Pierre’s Wines may be one of the smallest producers in the Hunter, but our range of sparkling and table wines is one that we are proud of. We usually have at least five different sparkling wines available for tasting at our cellar door, from zero dosage aperitif styles through to sparkling reds. At Pierre’s Wines you can talk with the winemaker and see how our passion for sparkling wines is reflected in the premium product. See Pierre’s Wines on Page 59.


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 Roberts Restaurant a Salt&Peppa review

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This was a dinner we were looking forward to as much has been written about the ''revamp'' of Roberts Restaurant and the appointment of the multi-award winning culinary heavy-weight George Francisco who joined Roberts at the start of 2012 as Executive Chef. Roberts Restaurant is in a word ''unique'' and without a doubt one of the most beautiful restaurants in the Hunter. Located amongst vineyards, you enter through the restaurant's original slab cottage (circa. 1876) also known as ''Pepper Tree Cottage' and walk past side rooms filled with magnificent antiques - giving the feeling of old world charm within a truly romantic setting. We were seated at a corner table and with a pre-diner glass of champagne in hand reviewed the extensive and varied menu which also included a full list of delicious sounding vegetarian options - not something you see too much of nowadays. The menu is complimented by an excellent wine list showcasing a formidable range of Hunter Valley wines as well as those from other wine regions within Australia and around the world. The sommelier was extremely knowledgeable and with his assistance selected a bottle of 2010 Tower Estate Chardonnay which proved to be an excellent choice . To commence with, we decided upon the Seared Scallops, Salt and Pepper Calamari and King Prawn which were presented in all their glory and accompanied by burnt avocado mousseline - an airy avocado and crème fraîche sauce, salmon roe and avocado roll. This arrived beautifully prepared and incredibly delicious with the salmon roe adding a delicate crunch to this luxurious dish. The second entree ordered was the Beef Bresaola, a dish originating from the Alps of Italy's Lombardy region

and consisting of sliced cured raw beef accompanied by watermelon radish, fresh mulberries, watercress and goats cheese. To me this was a perfect example of inspired cooking with great flavour combinations and a dish to be highly recommended. Again the presentation was stunning and the meat lean and tender. It's often the small things that impress and while waiting for our mains we were unexpectedly served a complimentary ''taster'' of foie gras - served in a ''shot'' glass and absolutely delicious. For our main dishes we selected the Roulade of Duck Breast with Jamon and the Roast Gold Band Snapper. The roulade of duck breast arrived elegantly served with pickled baby beetroot, braised beetroot greens and aioli which together presented a dish, full of depth and wonderful flavour. The roulade was tightly rolled and the duck succulent and perfectly cooked and just delicious with the cured ham / jamon. The roasted snapper also came perfectly cooked with the flesh firm and moist with a delicate flavour and served with crisp pancetta, pancetta foam, fregolone pasta and lolla rossa lettuce - all coming together to form an utterly satisfying meal. The fregalone was delicious and along with the lolla rossa lettuce gave the dish a nice Italian twist and a perfect accompaniment to this meal. The arrival of the complimentary ''pre-dessert'' Rocky Road had us looking forward to the dessert menu. A Crème Broulee is always hard to refuse and this one with its caramelised pineapple, passion fruit and crispy filo pastry is up there with the best I have ever had. All the more so when paired with a glass of 2009 Good Company wine from Peacock Hill Winery - a unique cross between an ice wine and a French Sauternes. The perfect end to a perfect meal.


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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 .


HUNTER VALLEY SAFARIS

PH 0458 875 502

Come on a safari with us! We can arrange an array of packages to suit your needs— Winery Tours, Horse Riding, Ballooning, Helicopter Rides, Golf Packages, Wine Tastings, Whisky Tastings, Beer Tastings, Cheese and Chocolate Tastings and Lunch or Dinner at Blaxlands Inn.

We also offer Airport Transfers, Concert Transfers, Wedding Guest Transfers, plus free pickup and drop off for dinner at Blaxlands Inn. Our safari vehicles seat up to 12 people. Bookings Essential

Operating 7 Days from 10AM 2198 Broke Rd, Pokolbin Www.blaxlandsinn.com.au info blaxlandsinn.com.au (Closed Christmas Day & Boxing Day)

TWO FAT BLOKES

www.twofatblokes.com.au PH 0414-316-859

Voted #1 Hunter Valley Tour operator 2011, 2012 & 2013 by the world’s largest travel community.. Tripadvisor.com Unique & personalised Wine & Food tours. 2-10 guests. 2 Full day tours and 2 half day tours to choose from.

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Image courtesy of Kelman Vineyard


The last word ‌. by Neil McGuigan International Winemaker of the Year 2009,2011,2012 and CEO Australian Vintage

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Growing grapes and winemaking in the Hunter, and in fact the rest of Australia, is a constant challenge and the wine industry is experiencing the toughest conditions in more than 20 years. Although total vineyard area in Australia has been decreased, it is too early to determine if it has had any impact on reducing the wine surplus. However there are still many problems for the industry to overcome. The high exchange rate continues to be an issue - reducing the number of international visitors, creating a barrier for Australian producers to remain competitive in overseas markets and making it more attractive to import wine. But things are slowly changing. The Hunter Valley is a popular destination amongst domestic travellers as well as wine and food lovers and remains a favourite destination in the minds of overseas travellers. Australian wine including that of the Hunter continues to gain popularity in overseas markets - most notably the fast emerging Chinese market which is now Australia’s largest export market for premium wine. Significant opportunities remain for high quality wine in China, and it is important for producers to be out there telling the story, mixing with the buyers and getting involved with the growing number of wine events and master classes. Here in the Hunter Valley we are collectively focused on promoting the Hunter Valley as a region, producing consistently superior wines and sharing in the

uniqueness of our history. This is evident in the many industry events such as Wine & Food Month that takes place in June each year - with winemakers and restaurateurs coming together to celebrate the unique wines and fresh produce that the region is now famous for. Now, more than ever before, we as a region also need to ensure that we continue to focus on the new and exciting varieties, not typically associated with Australia, but vital if we are to continue to be relevant to the domestic and overseas markets and remain in touch with changing consumer attitudes and tastes. As a region, our successes continue to grow which is evident by the ever increasing presence on the world stage and quality of our wines. In November 2012, McGuigan Wines was awarded the title of International Winemaker of the Year, for the third time in four years. This came on top of winning the White Winemaker of the Year 2012 at the International Wine Challenge in London. At the 2012 NSW Wine Awards, the Hunter Valley took away half of the trophies awarded, including the 2012 Wine of the Year. Another significant achievement was Hunter wines dominating the NSW Wine Awards with 22 of the regions top 40 wines for 2012 coming from the Hunter. These are just a few of the significant achievements that will see the Hunter Valley getting more attention from consumers of wine and more listings in our countries leading restaurants, wine bars and wine shops. See you at the cellar door.

Neil McGuigan



Wine & Dine Hunter Valley Summer/Autumn 2013