Take a seat at the bar for your wine tasting experience
Wine tasting for most of us, let’s be honest, is mostly about getting a little giddy, enjoying some wines we’ve never tasted before and perhaps learning a little.See our handpicked guides to the HunterValley
Whilst drinking and learning don’t usually mix too well David, of David Hook Wines in Pokolbin, has managed to create a cellar door experience that blends
the drinking/learning experience beautifully. Without realising it, you're working out your Nebbiolos from your Barberas.
One of the most interesting tastings is the Age Release that David has introduced to the cellar door.
“We have age releases of Semillon since we moved to screw top, which was a long time ago, we can put these wines away with confidence and release them with 4 to 5 years of age and do what is called an individual wine tasting which is 100% from the old vines that are planted in the Hunter Valley.
"So you can try wines from 2016 and compare to the release of 2011 with the idea being that it shows you how the wine changes with age and what Semillon does when it ages.
“So all my Hunter Valley wines are usually made at home from my own fruit, but then I do buy little things from Orange, I’ve been making Orange Barbera now for 14 years and a few more of those cool climate wines like Riesling, Nebbiolo, but Barbera is one of my flagship Italian varieties.
“The others are more like play things for me to keep it interesting, you can’t make Pinot Grigio all your life.
“I have been making it for over 25 years, it was planted by my neighbour and it’s one of the earliest plantings of Pinot Grigio in Australia. We used to struggle to sell it in those days, now it’s very popular, it pays the bills [laughs]. It’s an easy drinking uncomplicated wine.”
In what would have to be one of the area’s most beautiful cellar doors David explains,
“We’ve been here for over 10 years, the building used to be an old winery, Peppers Creek Winery, and it also used to be an antique shop before we moved in.
“We really love it here and think we’ve created something pretty special for all kinds of wine drinkers.
“One of the attractions of coming into the cellar door is that you get to taste wines here that you can’t get anywhere else, we retail a few of our wines but most can only be tasted here at the cellar door.
“We can do small groups before lunch, but it’s mostly a drop in thing, and if we can’t fit you in you can always have a bite to eat at Enzo’s next door or a shop at Pukara Estate just across the grass there and come back when some seats are available.”