Are you planning a trip to the Hunter Valley, NSW’s premier wine region? You are in for a treat! Not only is the region known for its wines it is also famous for its gastronomic delights and incredible scenery.
Every time I visit the Hunter Valley I always find something new and exciting to do.
I have lost count of the number of times I have travelled to the Hunter Valley. When I was younger and working at Sydney Airport I used to run helicopter tours for lunch followed by wine tastings. As you can imagine they were very popular with such a short travel time and no issues with drink driving regulations.
My article covers:
Hunter Valley Wine Tours
Hop on Hop off Bus Hunter Valley iHop
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With over 150 cellar doors in the Hunter Valley, you are definitely spoilt for choice on wine tastings.
Do you have a favourite wine? The Hunter Valley is known for its Semillon, Shiraz, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Verdelho.
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McGuigans produce some excellent non-alcoholic wines, a favourite of mine is their Zero Alcoholic Sparkling. They are also producing gin and vodka, liquor creams, espresso and cosmo’s. I always visit McGuigans for their Rose.
Tempus Two has some great wines and now gins as well – Prosecco Gin, 100% Shiraz Gin and Wild Botanicals Australian Native Gin.
If you love Shiraz, in my opinion, you can’t beat Pig’s Peake.
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Let’s check out the best wineries in the Hunter Valley and their tours
Best Wineries in the Hunter Valley and Tours
Audrey Wilkinson purchased the property back in 1866. He certainly was a pioneer back then developing cement fermenters and steam-powered crushers and hoppers. The vineyard was sold to the Agnew family in 2004.
Icons of the Hunter Valley – Audrey Wilkinson, Tyrells and Brokenwood Wines – Picnic Amongst the Vines
For 6 hours you will be enjoying the best of the best. Starting at 10 am at Tyrell’s you will enjoy their VIP Premium Tasting Tour of current vintages and aged released wines. Tyrells has been producing wines in the Hunter Valley for over 160 years.
12 noon – you will visit Audrey Wilkinson for a self-guided tour of their onsite museum before attending a masterclass and premium tasting experience. Collect your hand-picked bottle of wine to enjoy with your picnic hamper overlooking the 270-acre vineyard.
2 pm you will enjoy an ‘intimate tasting’ of 6 Brokenwood wines (3 white and 3 red) with canapes. You will meet the chef of the Wood Restaurant who will discuss with you wines and food matching. At the end of your Brokenwood visit, you will have the opportunity to visit the barrel hall and taste pre-release Brokenwood wines direct from the barrel.Book Now
Picnic Amongst The Vines
Visit the onsite museum at Audrey Wilkinson before attending a masterclass and premium wine tasting.
Collect your individual picnic hampers and choose your wine to accompany your picnic in the vineyard.Book Now
Wine and Wildlife Tour – Audrey Wilkinson
Two exciting adventures in one. A 60-minute premium wine tasting paired with local cheeses at Audrey Wilkinson at 750 De Beyers Road Pokolbin.
The 2nd exciting adventure is tickets to the Hunter Valley Wildlife Park at Lomas Lane Nulkaba. You can enjoy visiting on the same day as your premium wine tasting or keep them for the next day. The Hunter Valley Wildlife Park has koalas, kangaroos, lions, giraffes, meerkats, lemurs and more.Book Now
Fortified and Fromage Tour
One of Audrey Wilkinson’s unique tours where the tasting takes place in their heritage-listed museum. Enjoy tasting premium wines as well as 3 fortified wines direct from the barrel where they are aged all matched with cheeses. As a bonus you are able to take a bottle of fortified wine home with you (one bottle between two).Book Now
The first vines of Semillon and shiraz were planted back in the mid-19th century. Some of the vineyards are now over 100 years old and the Tyrell’s family now spans 5 generations. Tyrells have won over 330 trophies and 5500 medals for their outstanding wines. A visit to Tyrell’s Winery is a ‘must-do’ for everyone who visits the Hunter Valley.
VIP Premium Tasting Experience
Enjoy several of the best wines from Tyrell’s current and aged releases that has been selected by the winemaker from the family’s private cellar.
Address: 1838 Broke Road PokolbinBook Now
Sacred Sites Wine Experience
A very unique and special wine experience tasting the Sacred Sites wines which have been made from dry-grown vines that are over 100 years old. For 3 hours at the Ashman property, you will be tasting some of the ‘rarest’ wines in the world. Included is an in-depth winery tour and barrel wine tasting with a charcuterie board.Book Now
Vat 1 Vertical Experience – Tyrells
Are you a lover of Semillon? Since 1962 Tyrells VAT 1 Semillion has been Australia’s most awarded Semillon. For 2 hours you will be enjoying a winery tour, 6 vintage vertical tastings of VAT 1 Semillon that have been paired with some of the finest cheeses in the Hunter Valley.Book Now
From Sydney Hunter Valley Wine Tasting Tour – 10 hours
This tour includes
- guided wine tasting
- cafe lunch with hot and cold options and a glass of wine
- A visit to an artisan cheese outlet
Award Winning Full Day Wine & Food Experience
This tour is 7 hours in duration and includes:
- visits to boutique wineries cellar doors
- food pairing to match wines tasted
- learn how wine is made
- tastings at a local distillery
- lunch with a glass of wine
- artisan cheese and chocolate tastings
- free transfers within 12 km of Pokolbin
How To Get Around The Hunter Valley
If you don’t want to drive or get a taxi a great solution is the iHop Hop on Hop Off Bus. With limited Uber drivers and taxis that are busy, this is the best way to get around the Hunter Valley. iHop has cool boxes available on board to store your wine and purchases!
You can view the timetable here.
iHop Hop on Hop Off Bus
iHop Bus visiting Tempus Two and McGuigan Wines
Tempus Two and McGuigan Wines are within walking distance of each other. Tempus Two is located at the Roche Estate where there are restaurants, a cheese shop and cellar doors.Book Now
Tempus Two Wine Tasting
Enjoy one of our favourite wineries located in the Roche Estate. Tempus Two has a range of wines as well as gins for tasting and purchase.
McGuigan Wine Cheese and Chocolate Tasting
This was a hit. All three of my favourites in one tasting. The cheese was from the Hunter Valley Cheese Shop beside McGuigans and the Chocolate is from Cuvee chocolates.Book Now
How about a Group Tasting at McGuigans with family or friends:
For one hour in your own private area enjoy a selection of sparkling, white and red wines from their premium cellar door exclusive collection.Book Now
Hunter Through The Ages with McGuigan Wines
They open their reserved Show Stock just for you.
Experience multiple vintages of our award-winning Bin 9000 Semillon and Personal Reserve Shiraz as well as other premium cellar door wines. Relax in our newly renovated member’s room with a tasty cheese plate from our friends at the Hunter Valley Cheese Factory.Book Now
McGuigan’s Personal Reserve Package
Taken from their tour description:
Includes a guided tour of our working winery, exclusive private premium wine tasting and a bottle of our award-winning Personal Reserve range.
* Enjoy a fun and informative tour of our working winery and barreling room
* Relax in our private member’s lounge and let your personally dedicated wine expert help you explore the exceptional wines that have made us one of the most awarded wineries in the World
*Take home a bottle of our Personal Reserve Shiraz, Cabernet, Chardonnay or Dessert Wine – (valued up to $100).Book Now
97/100 Rose Celebration Special – McGuigans Winery
The 2001 Hunter Valley Rose is my favourite rose from the Hunter Valley.
Celebrating the 97 out of 100 rating of our 2021 Hunter Valley Rose this midweek offer includes a premium wine tasting in a private tasting area, a cheese platter from the artisans at Hunter Valley Cheese Factory and a free bottle of our 2021 Hunter Valley Rose to take home.Book Now
iHop Taste & Graze Tour
Commencing at 10.15 with a 11.00 start from Lovedale, Pokolbin, Cessnock, Nulkaba and Rothbury.
Your 6 hours tour includes:
- Boutique cellar-door wine tastings paired with local cheeses
- A visit to a cellar door and restaurant for lunch enjoying the Chef’s signature tasting plate and desert
- Wine tasting paired with artisan chocolate
- A visit to a local distillery
Wine & Fork Twilight Tour with iHop
Commencing at 2.45 pm with pick-ups from Lovedale, Pokolbin, Cessnock, Nulkaba and Rothbury for a 3.30 pm start.
Your tour with iHop includes:
- Cellar door tastings with premium Hunter Valley wines
- Guided wine tasting with a cheese platter and condiments
- 2-course dinner – choice of main meal and beverage, dessert with dessert wine, tea or coffee
- Cool boxes are available for your purchases
iHop 4 Boarding at PokolbinBook Now
iHop Boarding at Tamburlaine Organic WinesBook Now
iHop Boarding at Ben Ean EstateBook Now
I hope you have enjoyed our article on the best Hunter Valley wineries. We will be returning to experience more Hunter Valley Wine Tours and will add them to this article. There are so many wineries in the Hunter Valley do you have a favourite?
More wine regions in Australia to enjoy:
Best Barossa Valley Wine Accommodation
Review of staying in Borrodell Winery Orange
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