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Hunter Valley Wineries & Tasting Days/Hours???

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Milwaukee, WI
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592 posts
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Hunter Valley Wineries & Tasting Days/Hours???

In searching the internet for the US, there is no quick site that will tell me what the tasting days and hours are of various Hunter Valley Wineries. We are hoping to make a trip to Hunter Valley but it would have to be either Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday since we are flying out Friday morning. Are most of the wineries open? Any suggestions for a great stay that is convenient to many? Or do you know of a website that could provide me with maps and info? Thank you!

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: Hunter Valley Wineries & Tasting Days/Hours???

Hi Kabahr. A couple of days in the Hunter Valley is definitely a good thing to do as a side trip from Sydney if you're interested in wine. There's some fairly nice scenery as well as all the obvious attractions of visiting a wine region. You might like to include a visit to beautiful Port stephens while you're in the area.

This link http://www.winecountry.com.au/ is the official local tourist information site. It might be worth asking them to post you a hard copy of their brochure as well so you can open up maps and flick through...much easier than navigating it all online.

Almost all the winery tasting rooms are open 7 days a week, roughly 9-5. Some of the smaller ones may close on weekdays, but the majority will be open. Im a wine buff and try to get to the Hunter a few times a year. My absolute favourite winery (both for the warmth of the cellar door staff and the quality of their wines ) is Peppertree. Their chief winemaker was named Hunter winemaker of the year in 2009. Next door is Tower Estate, winery of the late, great Len Evans who is seen as one of the all time masters of Australian wine. Most of their bottles are >$30 so not cheap, but their wines are very sophisitcated and worth every cent. For great views, seek out Ivanhoe wines. sitting on their balcony on a sunny afternoon is bliss.

Of the more mainstream, mass market wineries, the ones I would add to your list to visit are Brokenwood and Hungerford Hill. Skip Mt Pleasant (rude staff, bus tours and only the lower end of their range available for tasting) and McGuiggan Brothers - again, often swamped by bus tours and none of their good wines are on the tasting list, which is a shame because their high-end stuff is worlds apart from their nasty "black label" range.

Accommodation depends on your budget and the style you're after. There are a couple of 5 star chains with properties in the Hunter (Sebel, Crowne Plaza, Mercure) all of which provide predictable, comfortable, albeit bland, accommodation and services. There are a few high-end guesthouses such as Tower Estate and Peppers Convent, both of which probably have good mid-week specials. Tonic is a boutique hotel that gets fairly good reviews in the press and on TA. Then there are hundreds of other options including B&Bs and self contained cottages, farm houses etc. Bellbird Cottage is a favourite of mine, but it's a 20 minute drive to the wineries.

The Hunter Valley doesn't really have a defined centre or village, though the corner of McDonalds Rd and Broke Rd is a bit of a magnet and a good starting point to get your bearings and radiate out aolng various roads looking for wineries you want to visit. Accommodation is scattered throughout the whole region.

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2. Re: Hunter Valley Wineries & Tasting Days/Hours???

I live and have worked in the area. Mondays are the main days that some of the smaller vineyards and cafes close. You can still get accommodation, do wine tasting if you self drive. There are quite a few small tour operators that may not be available on Mondays.

Most things start to liven up from Wednesdays through to Sundays.

3. Re: Hunter Valley Wineries & Tasting Days/Hours???

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