Wine tasting through the Hunter Valley

Leaving Newcastle today to head to Harrington, near Taree amazingly being picked up by Neolie who I haven’t seen for about 10years since her being in England. Before we leave she gives me a quick tour of Newcastle as she went to uni here, so hear how it’s changed so much with new buildings, the train station closing and even a murder in the nearby park area which is really interesting.

I also get to meet Darcy and Gemma her kids who are both super cute and being very good in the car considering Neolie has and will be driving so far.

The original plan was to go home via waterfalls, but decide to go via Hunter Valley region instead and do some wine tasting. First one we go to is called Capercaile in the lovedale region and the lady in here is really friendly and welcoming even offering cheese to try with our wine. Neolie can have a little, so wanting to make it count she only goes for ones she likes such as chardonnays and verdellohs. So the one we both like here is the 2014 Chadonnay which I end up buying a bottle at $32 as a treat for us at dinner – it’s so smooth to drink and light but not too dry.

The 2nd visit is to Petersen House vineyard for sparkling pink blush wine that is a very pretty one with a chocolate shop, which looks and smells amazing. The kids both get strawberries dipped in chocolate and I’m very tempted by the colourful coloured mouse filled truffle, but don’t give in lol. This winery part here is very flashy as even has it’s own merchandise section of teddy bears, t-shirts and bags. The ques are very big so we head onto another one.

Before we head to our third winery we go to Hunter Valley Gardens for lunch after the sugery feast of the chocolate shop just grabbing some pizza and chips. We have a quick walk around there looking at some of the unusual shops like christmas shop.

The next winery we head to is a new one Roche Estate , which is a complex of different shops with a deli shop, 2 cellar doors, restaurants and even a nightclub all looking very flashy and bling but a bit sterile needing a burst of friendlieness injected into it. One of the wine tastings Tempus Two was better as had no $5 tasting charge and seemed more established and elegant with cute merchandise like patterned bottle bags made to look like handbags. The other one Meerea Park we didn’t do any tastings due to the charge.

Intended to be the last one, but wasn’t quite as we stop at Kevin Sobels that I really like as has a more family run atmosphere about it and the lady is really helpful and informative about the process for making the wine mentioning that a company like yellow tail who mass produce will take any leftover bad grapes to meet demands rather than here only use good ones . I end up buying another wine as never seen it before and its nice – a Quartet of Sauvignon, Verdello, Chenin Blanc, GewurtzTraminer and think overall this is my favourite one. It also seems to have good rwviews online, so one I would recommend doing a tasting with.

The final winery DeBortoli was also the cheapest I think because they are bigger producers of wine with 2 other wineries so more well known and stocked more places. They have a shop here aswell as tadtings and I am tempted to buy some fizzy rose I hold back as spent enough on wine already.

21st January 2016

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