I recently went to the Hunter Valley for a girls weekend. I’ve been there a few times now but I really enjoyed this time because we went to wineries that I hadn’t been to before.
We stayed at Harrigan’s Irish Pub which was a great choice as it meant we didn’t have to travel far for food or a bottle-o, plus they offered buffet breakfast for an extra $15 which we definitely took advantage of.
We arrived late on the Friday afternoon, walked down to the bottle-o to get some drinks then settled into our room with a healthy dinner of cheese, crackers, wine and drinking games. We then made our way to the pub for some more drinks and enjoyed the live music.
The next morning we were off for our wine tour and were picked up by our driver at 10:30am. We hired a driver for the day so we wouldn’t be worrying about how to get around and it was the best decision ever (full credit goes to my friend Lauren as she had done this in the past). We used Hall’s Private Transfers and I HIGHLY recommend them – Peter is so lovely and he has so much knowledge about the Hunter Valley, we put our full trust in him on where to go. He always took our wine to the car and would book ahead for us before each stop. Between four of us, it was really affordable to hire him for the day.
Our first stop was Hanging Tree Wines which is so beautiful – definitely the prettiest winery I’ve ever been to! We sat on a picnic bench outside in the sun overlooking the vines to taste their wine. I’m a lover of sweet and sparking wine so I ended up buying their Moscato (the first Moscato of many).
Next stop was Gundog Estate which was really cute! (Can’t go wrong when your logo is a doggo). Our host was hilarious and their wines were good too. They also sold heaps of cheese platter elements and condiments which were very tempting. I walked away with a Semi-Dry Semillon which was a surprise to me as I’m not usually a fan of dry unless it’s a really nice Rose.
Our third stop was Savannah Estate which was probably my favourite out of this day. Savannah is the youngest granddaughter of the Petersons family (if you are unfamiliar with the Hunter Valley, Petersons is well known) and the winery was created for her when she was five years old. She’s now in her twenties and when we visited she was overseas in wine related training. Our host was LOVELY and they also served some cheese and crackers on arrival (we were starving by this point so we devoured them before the first wine came out). This is where we found some fab Moscato – so fab that my friend who hates wine liked it so much that she actually bought it! It’s probably the nicest Moscato I’ve ever had, so of course I now don’t want to open mine because then it will be gone (good enough excuse to go back, right?!).
For lunch Peter booked us into Two Fat Blokes which was super delish and it had really nice vibes with some live music. I had some pulled pork sliders and they were so good, exactly what I needed as we were so bloody hungry.
The next place we went was Binet Family Wines as they had a variety of chillies to try as well as wine but we didn’t really enjoy it. The service wasn’t great despite the fact that we were the only ones there apart from another couple. We were in a cute courtyard but we were just sort of left there for a while so we decided to cut it short so I got a cute outfit pic while my friend tried their chilli then we left.
It was then on to the Hunter Distillery! It was super busy because it was the end of the day but we didn’t have to wait too long. We were able to pick whatever vodka we wanted which was cool. Every one of them burned my throat but I survived – they would taste good mixed with lemonade.. except the chilli, that’s not my style.
We had 20 minutes to spare until Peter was going to drop us back Harrigan’s so he took us to Tempus Two. This was the only winery of the day that I had been to so was happy to go there. Again, I love their Moscato and they serve it at a local RSL.
The next morning we checked out and went to brunch at Peterson’s House, sparkling wine is their specialty. I had been here a few times as well but not for brunch. Before we ate we looked around the chocolate shop and did some wine tasting. The food was amazing! We then walked around the vineyards and we were on our way home.