The Hunter Valley is the oldest, continuous wine growing area in Australia. The region is a food and drink lovers paradise, with vineyards, cheese factories, chocolate shops, micro breweries and gourmet food around every corner. There are day trips from Sydney to the area but we decided to drive up there to get the full Hunter Valley experience. The scenery is awe inspiring; a patchwork of green and fertile hills interwoven with row up row of vines. Long gravel driveways lead to small, boutique vineyards offering cellar door tastings of their home grown produce.
In order to experience the region properly and stay within the legal limit for drink driving, we decided to join a day tour. We paid AU$55 each for a tour with All Around The Vines and were delighted with the service we got. We were driven around to six different vineyards and had private tastings of around eight wines in each vineyard. The staff at the wineries gave us expert advise on how to taste the wines and what to enjoy them without any pressure to purchase. We also visited a cheese factory for tasting and a gourmet chocolate shop.
The following day we left the valley fully stocked with cheese, wine and chocolate, wishing we had more time to spend in the area. The wineries we visited were just the tip of the grapevine and we could have easily found enough food, drink and enjoyment to last a fortnight.