If you leave Sydney early, you’ll arrive in the Hunter Valley in plenty of time to enjoy brunch and your first glass. Peterson House will be the first winery you pass on your way into Pokolbin. Their restaurant Cuvee offers a bubbly breakfast. Plan your weekend in the courtyard.
There are many great wineries in the area of Pokolbin. They’re all located within a short drive. The Brokenback Mountains and Audrey Wilkinson are the backdrop to one of the Hunter Valley’s oldest vineyards. Tulloch Wines offers interesting tastings of its wines paired with chocolate or cheese. Scarborough Wine Co offers a wide range of classic wines, or you can choose to focus on chardonnays and reds. If you plan to visit multiple wineries on your trip, then a private tour would be the best option. Kings Hire Car can take you to the best wineries in the valley.
Check in at the exclusive Spicers Wine Estate. It has 12 suites with king beds, fireplaces, and spa baths. The hotel has a pool in summer and a fire pit in winter. There is also the eRemo, renowned restaurant and spa Anise. You can book Vineyards House if you are travelling with a large group. It is a four-bedroom private retreat located on the grounds of the hotel.
You won’t have time to drive far after a long first day. The contemporary Italian restaurant eRemo, located just steps from your hotel room, is one of the finest in the Hunter Valley. Begin with a dozen Coffin Bay oysters. Next, try the whole pink snapper with tomato, fennel and olives. Finish with a classic Tiramisu. Finish the meal by drinking a glass Brokenwood Sticky Wicket Semillon before retiring to bed.
Day Two: BROKEFORDWICH
Day Two Key Facts:
Margan Wines & Restaurant can be found at:
- 1238 Milbrodale Rd, Broke, NSW 2330
- Spicers Vineyards Estate is located just a 20-minute drive away (24km).
Start the day with a decadent morning tea at the Sabor Dessert Bar. Think fresh buttermilk scones, Belgian chocolate waffles and macarons in a dozen different flavours. Start the day with a delicious morning tea at Sabor Dessert bar. Think fresh buttermilk Scones, Belgian Chocolate Waffles, and macarons.
You’ll soon discover that the Hunter Valley is made up of many smaller areas, each with their own charm and character. You’re going to Fordwich today, which is only 20 minutes from your hotel. This historic wine region, located in the foothills the Brokenback Range and centred on the village of Broke, is known for its single vineyard, boutique and family owned wineries. This region is also known for its sustainability, with many biodynamic, vegan and organic wines available.
When you visit Krinklewood Biodynamic Vineyard or Talits Estate, you will feel as if you are in the south of France. Running Horse Wines features a shipping container-style cellar door. Winmark Wines produces chardonnay, while outdoor statue park makes small batch Portuguese wines. Whispering Creek also creates Portuguese wines. The Margan Restaurant, located just outside Broke, is a great place to grab a bite for lunch. Visit the kitchen garden and orchard to see what’s going to be on your plate.
Muse is the only Hunter Valley restaurant to be awarded two hats. This is fine dining at its finest. The five-course menu is set at Hungerford Hills Winery and Lovedale. It changes frequently and includes dishes such as salmon with apple and mint, woodfired chicken with celeriac, wattleseed and cumquat curd, or warm orange cake and cumquat custard. The wine list is a reflection of the Hunter Valley, and the staff will be able to recommend the best drop for your meal.
Day Three: Lovedale & CESSNOCK
Day Three Key Facts:
Beyond ballooning can be found at:
- Rydges Hunter Valley, 430 Wine Country Drive Lovedale, NSW 2300
- Spicers Vineyards Retreat is located 18km (17 minutes) away.
Beyond Balooning will help you start your day with the ultimate airborne treat: a sunrise hot-air-balloon ride. The early morning mist adds a romantic touch to the vineyards and hills. As rooftops and cows move beneath you, the landscape’s beauty is revealed. The Rydges Resort will be ready for you to enjoy breakfast and bubbly.
Book a session with spa Anise if you’re feeling a bit groggy after waking up in the morning. You’ll get a boost from the Vino Spa Ritual. This involves a champagne sorbet scrub followed by a facial featuring shiraz, chocolate and shiraz.
You can enjoy a last leisurely lunch in the courtyard of Bistro Molines. It’s the perfect place to enjoy classic French food with a picturesque view of vineyards and rolling hills. Menu staples include figs wrapped in prosciutto and asparagus tart. Also, there’s twice-roasted duck, lamb with artichokes, and lamb with artichokes.
There are two wineries near Cessnock, and the beginning of the highway. Briar Ridge Vineyard celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2022 by opening a larger, more spacious cellar door. Each wine tasting comes with a complimentary cheese plate if you still have room after lunch. Saddler’s Creek makes small-batch wine and offers tastings outside in the beautiful garden. The shiraz is known, as are the cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay.