Our guide to unique wine experiences in the Hunter Valley
While visitors to the Hunter Valley are spoiled for choice when it comes to wine tasting opportunities, sometimes the sheer number of cellar doors can be overwhelming. How do you distinguish one wine tasting from the next?
To help you out, we’ve created a guide to wine tasting experiences in the Hunter Valley that are a little out of the ordinary, so you can change it up on your next trip to wine country.
While most cellar doors in the Hunter Valley are only open during the day, Audrey Wilkinson opens up on Friday nights for its Twilight Tasting Experience. Watch the sunset from the alfresco deck overlooking the valley while you taste a selection of Audrey Wilkinson wine. If you’re feeling peckish, don’t worry – your tasting comes with either accompanying cheeses or chocolates.
Where: 750 De Beyers Rd, Pokolbin
Penfolds Grange is Australia’s most revered wine, and the opportunity to taste it doesn’t come along all too often. Unless you head to Ben Ean, the only cellar door in New South Wales to offer a Grange tasting. A tasting of this iconic Australian wine at Ben Ean’s Pokolbin cellar door will set you back $65.
Where: 119 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin
Are you an oyster fan? Matching oysters with the right white wine is one of the best ways to enjoy them, and Bonvilla Estate have capitalised on this iconic pairing with its oyster and Semillon tasting. Sample Bonvilla Estate’s single vineyard Semillon while you eat Port Stephens grade A Sydney rock oysters.
Where: 534 Oakey Creek Rd, Pokolbin
Combine a tasting with a wine blending masterclass at Gartelmann Wines in Lovedale. You’ll get to create your own Hunter Valley-inspired white blend of Chardonnay, Semillon, and Verdelho, and learn all about how and why wines are blending. Follow up your newfound expertise with a tasting of Gartelmann wines.
Where: 701 Lovedale Rd, Lovedale
Bring out your inner artist with Art n Sip in the vineyard at Greenway Wines. While we love the regular paint and sip class, sipping wines at the vineyard where they were grown while you paint is pretty special. This experience at Greenway Wines includes a vineyard tour, wine tasting, cheese and charcuterie platters, and painting your very own masterpiece.
Where: 350 Wollombi Rd, Broke
Hungerford Hill shares a building with Muse Restaurant, and the winery has made the most of this relationship by offering a mini degustation of Hungerford Hill wines paired with bite-sized dishes by the two-hatted restaurant. It’s perfect if you can’t get to Muse Restaurant for dinner (they aren’t open for lunch), and for $60, we reckon it’s a steal.
Where: 2450 Broke Rd, Pokolbin
If you’re after a more low-key Hunter Valley wine tasting, we love the ‘Taste at Your Pace’ experience at Krinklewood. You’ll get five Krinklewood wines to try, each in their own mini bottle, for you to pour and sip as you please. Check out the provided tasting notes and challenge your friends to get all the notes right – you’ll be wine connoisseurs in no time.
Where: 712 Wollombi Rd, Broke
Margan is known for its estate-grown, estate-made philosophy, which applies to its wines, right through the food cooked in the restaurant, nearly all of which is grown onsite. So, a visit to Margan is best when it is all-encompassing – try the Grape, Garden & Graze Experience which takes you on a tour of the huge kitchen garden and the winery, where you’ll get to try not yet released wines straight from the barrel.
Where: 1238 Milbrodale Rd, Broke
After undergoing a significant renovation in 2022, Mount Pleasant offers one of the most elevated cellar door experiences in the Hunter Valley. Take things up a notch with the wine and food pairing, which matches four of Mount Pleasant’s iconic wines with snack size dishes crafted by Head Chef Kyle Whitbourne.
Where: 401 Marrowbone Rd, Pokolbin
Don’t get us wrong – we love a good cheese platter or chocolate selection with our wine tasting. Want to swap out the usual cheese or chocolate at your next wine tasting? For something a bit different, try the gelato and sparkling wine tasting at Peterson House, available seven days a week.
Where: 2457 Broke Rd, Pokolbin
Are you craving a cocktail after tasting all that wine in the Hunter Valley? At Saltire Estate, you can switch things up. The team at Saltire have concocted four cocktails featuring Saltire Estate wines and spirits from all over, and they’ll show you how to get your cocktail blend just right before you taste.
Where: 113 Wilderness Rd, Lovedale
In a stroke of genius, Savannah Estate has paired its wines (including emblematic Hunter Valley varietals like shiraz) with housemade pies by pastry chef Steve Bampton, which also feature the estate’s wines. Pies and wine? For $25 per person, it’s a winning combination.
Where: 312 Mount View Rd, Mount View
Have you got the Mediterranean travel bug? Head to Tulloch Wines in Pokolbin for a fresh take on the charcuterie board – the seacuterie board! With tinned fish popping up on menus all over the country, Tulloch Wines have taken advantage with this tasty offering, featuring premium Italian sardines, Spanish mussels, and accompaniments, paired with six Tulloch Wines varietals originating from countries across the Mediterranean, like Tempranillo and Vermentino.
Where: 638 De Beyers Rd, Pokolbin
Tyrrell’s is not only one of the oldest wineries in the Hunter Valley, but in Australia, and is home to some of the most awarded wines in the country. Its Sacred Sites range is made only from dry-grown vines that are more than 100 years old and on their own roots, and the Sacred Sites Experience is your opportunity to taste these exceptional, rare wines.
Where: 1838 Broke Rd, Pokolbin