When I visited Sydney, Australia, I was extremely fortunate to have some local friends who took me on a couple day trip excursions to delightful destinations outside of the city. Not having rented a car, my mobility was limited to where I could get via public transit. In a city like Sydney with amazing public transportation, I was able to go to a lot of places and see a lot of things without a car, but when it came to some of the more rural destinations away from the city, my options were more limited.
Thankfully my Australian friends were absolutely amazing hosts and took us out for the day to some truly awesome places. I’m so thankful for that. One of those places was the Hunter Valley Wine Region. This is an area of New South Wales that one can reasonably drive to in a day trip out of Sydney. It’s a beautiful, rural area full of wineries and sweeping views. I had an amazing time tasting delicious wines and eating fantastic foods.
While there are many awesome wineries in this area, our livers only allowed us to visit a few before the alcohol consumption reached a level that was no longer unsustainable. Here is where we went:
Despite the somewhat silly name, the wine at Cockfighter’s Ghost was really quite delicious. I especially enjoyed their Verdehlo and bought a bottle for myself to enjoy later on that evening back in my hotel room in Sydney. I was dismayed to find that I wasn’t able to find this wine in any of the shops back home in California, so if you’re like me and you’re from the U.S. and you find yourself traveling in Australia, definitely give this variety of wine a try. It was deliciously refreshing (I would say if you’re a fan of sauvignon blanc you’ll probably like this one as well), and since it seems to be unavailable in the states, you’ve got to try this one while you’re there! I only wish I had bought more bottles to bring home! Someday I hope to make a triumphant return to the land down under. You can be assured next time I will do the proper thing and buy as many bottles as they will let me ship home to myself.
Moorebank Private Vineyard Estate
Moorebank is a family owned winery that has been around since 1986 and has some great wines. I especially enjoyed their Chardonnay Verdehlo and their Semillon, both of which are hard to find in the states. They also had a great Shiraz and a sparkling merlot that I really enjoyed. The grounds at this winery are quite beautiful and charming, and this winery is awesome as it has a really relaxed atmosphere for visitors. I really enjoyed my experience here.
Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard
The Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard really was a stunning property. Rows of vineyards and beautiful trees off in the background made this a relaxing place to hang out. One of the oldest wineries in Australia, this place is teeming with wine making history, and their award winning wines just make it all that much better. I especially liked their Semillon Sauvignon. They also have a wine making museum which is free and open to the public to browse at any time, and I highly recommend that you do.
Hunter Valley Cheese Company
If you’re like me and you love cheese, you will love this place. The Hunter Valley Cheese Company was a delightful little place that offered cheese tastings. What could be better? I had some of the most delicious, flavorful cheeses I had ever tasted in that little cheese tasting room and I often find myself lamenting the fact that I am now back home, which is halfway around the world from this little cheese shop. If I was closer, I would definitely make this a regular stop in my routine.
All in all, it was a really lovely day out in wine country. The area was beautiful, I had some great wine, and I left feeling a little buzzed but definitely happy. If you’re in New South Wales and you’re a wine lover, the Hunter Valley is definitely somewhere you’ll want to visit.