Feel like getting out of Sydney for the weekend? Or even the day? Why not head to the beautiful Hunter Valley, only 3 hours north of Sydney. Regardless of whether you are a lover of wine or you just need a dose of nature, why not grab a few friends and take them on a mind soothing retreat to reduce the stress of the city. We went with a few friends, although its still worth doing solo for the number of like-minded, wine-loving visitors you’ll meet while there.
The Bigger, The Better
We kicked off our Hunter Valley tour with a visit to McGuigan Wines. I believe this is one of the largest wineries within Hunter Valley! We had a tour of the factory here, which was super impressive to see the process of how wine is produced. We then had a private group tasting session, sampling a variety of wines produced on their premises.
But this tour isn’t just for tasting – we learnt some vino facts along the way. McGuigan Wines, for example, holds up to 1 million litres of wine at a time, with each barrel holding over $100,000 worth of wine. Crazy right?!
For The Insta-Obsessed
If you’re more into the ‘grammable goods than tastings and tours, then these beautiful wineries should be high on your hit-list.
Take in the beauty of Cypress Lakes with a complimentary drink and plenty of eye-catching features for the gram. The location was beautiful, giving us incredible views over a golf course, swimming pool and pond with a fountain.
If you’re looking for something on the smaller side, Iron Gate Estate is the perfect winery for you. The building was so beautiful, built with evident European influences. As the wine tasting takes place outside, you are graced with incredible views across the vineyards, the perfect backdrop to capture your new Insta pic!
A More Intimate Tour
Mount Pleasant, a short drive from Iron Gate Estate, is the best location to get an insider’s look into wine-making. A wine expert took us for a walk with one of the samples of red wine, showing us which vines were used to produce the drink in our hands. It was pretty cool to see and think about the long process it’s been through, from the vine all the way through to the smooth, deep red liquid in front of us!
The Best Time To Wine
Although wine can be enjoyed any day of the week, the best time to visit the wineries throughout Australia is around November to January. This is when the grapes are in full development and the vineyards are thriving, with rows and rows of lush green trees. Despite visiting in April, it was still beautiful and worth a visit, especially on a clear, sunny day!
More Info On Wine Tours
We went with an organised tour group called Colourful Trips, but there are plenty of options depending on what you want to get out of your day. Some Hunter Valley wine tours stop off at cheese tastings and chocolate factories as well as the wineries. Our tour with Colourful Trips visited three wineries, and included lunch too!
If you’re looking for something a little different to do near Sydney, I’d highly recommend a group day tour to the Hunter Valley! Ask at Wake Up! Sydney’s very own Travel Desk for advice and the best deals going to Hunter Valley today.