Five must-visit Hunter Valley wineries to add to your list
The moment you set your eyes on Brokenwood, we guarantee the first thing you’ll notice is the stunning wooden architecture of their new cellar door. Second, when you walk in, you’ll see a round tasting bar; this is where you’ll figure out exactly why this establishment is considered a 5-star winery; their wines are phenomenal.
If you love red wine, we highly recommend you ask to try their Graveyard Vineyard Shiraz; it has notes of rich dark plum, cherry, vanillin oak and needless to say, it’s an impressive and top-rated red wine of choice for many wine enthusiasts.
If you enjoy being treated like a VIP guest, you’ll want to book in for the Brokenwood Journey experience. You’ll enjoy canapes each paired with six wines in your very own private tasting room. Next, you’ll attend an exclusive winery tour, where you’ll finish up in their Barrel Hall and receive an invitation to taste some of their pre-released wines straight from the barrel itself. Pretty special right?
If you’re after a yummy but relaxed brekky, be sure to check out Cru Bar & Pantry, which is found next to their tasting station. Don’t miss the Vintage Board; this is what breakfast dreams are made of. Basically, this option gives you a little bit of everything; from sweet to savoury.
Scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, feta and dukkha, smashed avocado, crispy bacon with toasted sourdough. Hang on, that’s not all; fresh ham and cheese croissant, overnight oats, fruit salad and a small sweet-tart is also part of the Vintage Board.
If you happen to stop by around lunchtime, do yourself a favour and try their Hunter pizza; made with a Rosso base, chargrilled chicken, pesto, Spanish onion, feta and mozzarella. If we lived in the Hunter region, we’d be coming back for this pizza on the regular.
401-427 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin NSW 2320
(02) 4998 7559 https://www.brokenwood.com.au/
Margan Wines and Restaurant
Our favourite thing about Margan Wines and Restaurant? Apart from “everything,” this cellar door, winery and restaurant have one of the most beautiful sceneries in the Hunter region. It’s almost as if you’ve suddenly stepped into a vineyard estate owned by a wealthy French family who’ve graciously extended an invite for you to have lunch by their patio.
Speaking of lunch, do yourself a favour and book in for their 5-course degustation featuring produce from their very own garden. We recommend trying The Ultimate Margan Experience; you’ll receive a guided tour of their winery, vineyard, garden and hen coop; on top of your delicious lunch made by the team at their award-winning hatted restaurant. Pretty fancy right?
If you’re after something a little lighter and get excited by wines that are limited edition; we recommend you try Margan’s Hunter Heroes Food & Wine Experience. They’ve collaborated with local producers including Hunter Belle Cheese, Binnorie Dairy and Hungerford Meat Co to bring you a decadent wine and cheese pairing experience that’s perfect if you’ve only got 75-90 minutes to spare.
For a small $40 fee, you’ll have the opportunity to try 6 of Margan’s limited edition wines, alongside Margan’s home-grown olives, lavosh and focaccia, alongside a selection of cheeses and charcuterie to top it all off. If this is up your alley, remember to pre-book as walk in’s aren’t available during this time.
1238 Milbrodale Rd, Broke NSW 2330
(02) 6579 1372 https://www.margan.com.au/
Piggs Peake Winery
Do you feel like you’ve seen it all when it comes to Hunter Valley wineries? Then it’s time you break the boredom and head on over to Piggs Peake Winery; the destination that proudly breaks the rules when it comes to traditional wine-making.
Don’t worry, if you feel icky about breaking “tradition,” there’s something here for you too, they haven’t turned their back on the classics entirely, it’s just, they like to do things a little bit differently. If you’ve never heard of Moree Pedro Ximenez or Orange Zinfandels and this alone has you intrigued as it did us, you’re going to love this boutique, unique winery in the Hunter.
So what exactly should you do at Piggs Peake Winery anyway? We highly recommend booking in a session with the “Boss Hogg” Steve; he’s the one you want. Not only can he show you how their wines are made on-site as you taste, but he also provides cooking classes and jaw-droppingly delicious degustation lunch and dinner options, which are prepared at the dining table in front of your eyes.
Alternatively, if you’re dedicated to your food eating practice like we are, you’ll want to book in at their restaurant, Yellow Billy. Preparing food via their custom-made fire pit is their speciality and one that you’ll want to experience more than once.
Expect menu items like their whole smoked market fish cartoccio with pancetta & collard greens or perhaps you’d like to give their Pukara Estate lamb ragu pappardelle with pecorino a try. Either way, you won’t be disappointed, how can you be when you’re tasting food that has been prepared over the fire with ironbark, maple and mahogany woods? It has us feeling cosy and hungry just thinking about it.
697 Hermitage Rd, Pokolbin NSW 2320
(02) 6574 7000 https://piggspeake.com/
We don’t think anyone who visits the Hunter Valley forgets to visit the famous Peterson House, and for a good reason. Where do you think the famous Hunter Valley Bubbly Brunch was invented? Right here, of course.
Our favourite thing to do here besides their sparkling wines? Pairing oysters at their Weekend Oyster Bar…with their sparkling wines. The thing with oysters though, is you either love em or hate em. If you’re the latter, don’t worry, Cuvee; their on-site restaurant has a delicious brekky that you’ll want to experience while you’re there.
We recommend their french toast; made with Hunter sourdough fruit loaf, honey, fluffy mascarpone and thyme sugar. If you’re more on the savoury side, their corn fritters paired with caramelised balsamic rocket, creme fraiche and tomato coulis is a winner also. Don’t forget to add some Huon’s smoked salmon, though; it makes the dish even better.
Lastly, if you’ve organised a hot air ballooning ride with Balloon Aloft you can opt to have breakfast included at the Peterson House after your flight.
Broke Rd & Wine Country Drive, Pokolbin NSW 2320
(02) 4998 7881
Two Fat Blokes Gourmet Tours & Kitchen
Okay, so technically the Two Fat Blokes isn’t a winery per se, but what it is, is the best winery tour business in town. The hardest part will be choosing which tour package you’ll want to sign up for because all of them are very, very good.
If you consider yourself a foodie, then we highly recommend you check out their afternoon tour; Progressive Winemakers. Not only will you get to experience VIP service at four Hunter Valley winery restaurants, but you’ll also be treated to a 9-course degustation with matching wines for lunch.
If going behind the scenes at some of the Hunter Valley’s best wineries while tasting from the winemaker’s barrel is more up your alley, you won’t want to miss their Food and Wine Lover’s Package. G ranted, you’ll need an entire day for this VIP package, but it’s certainly worth it.
First, you’ll start the morning off with a champagne brunch; then you’ll be on your way to a collection of 4-5 boutique, small and large Hunter Valley wineries. While there, you’ll experience wines that aren’t available for tasting at cellar doors and a behind-the-scenes winery tour. To top it all off, you’ll also dine in for lunch at one of the local restaurants. (That’s if you’re not full from brunch earlier that day of course!).
691 Hermitage Rd, Pokolbin NSW 2320
0414 316 859 https://twofatblokes.com.au/tours/