Friday 15 April 2011


If you're being dragged into winter kicking and screaming in fear of hibernation and nothing to do, this upcoming event in the Hunter Valley will warm your heart with excitement.  The fifth annual Hunter Valley Wine and Food Month this June is promising an even bigger and better line up of over 70 events ranging from small intimate experiential affairs to large celebrity laden festivals, letting you get a taste of simple sophistication!

A Tourism NSW Regional Flagship event, the Hunter Valley Wine Industry Association will proudly present a series of themed activities that includes mouth watering dinners with leading Hunter Valley winemakers and chefs, an array of fun and interactive classes to fine tune those culinary skills, a showcase of local premium wines and fresh produce matched to perfection, and delectable tasting experiences by a roaring fireplace.

This year, the festival has introduced self guided tours unveiling the excellence of Hunter Valley Trophy, Gold winning and Heritage Vineyard wines.  And if that's not enough... roll out the you'll get an exclusive chance to blend the 2011 reds with the wine masters themselves.

Hunter Valley winter lifestyle would not be the same without a weekend cheering on the Pokolbin Reds, join the locals and cheer on our winemakers in the local Rugby Union competition.

All these activities provide a chance for visitors to meet and become a part of the local community and share their Hunter Valley wine and food culture along with all the other wonderful things the region has to offer. Get in quick and make this June one to remember!  Winter... what winter?    

The Edible Experience:

If you day dream about getting away from it all as you sip a glass of wine amongst the vineyards, enjoying warm bread dipped into fresh olive oils whilst perusing your indulgent degustation menu for the day... look no further, this series is just for you.  Events to date include:

·         FlavourFest at Hunter Valley Gardens, a 3 day festival featuring Masterchef stars Callum Hann and Alvin Quah.

·         Australian Regional Food Store and Cafe will offer a native flavours luncheon that will make you feel patriotic!

·         McWilliam's Mount Pleasant Elizabeth Cafe White Wine and Red Wine Tasting Plates.

·         Whispering Brook Olive Grove Long Lunch – delve into the world of olive oil over a long leisurely lunch.

·         Scarborough Wine Co regional tasting plates.

·         Moorebank Wines picnic cheese and condiment platters and Divine Grape Vine Produce Tasting.

In the Hunter Valley we love long leisurely lunches and dinners centred around shared dishes, a range of great wines and of course good company. As part of this series we have introduced 'Restaurant Week', from Friday 17th June to Sunday 26th June, when several restaurants will feature a series of set priced grazing menus paired with wines so you too can sample this relaxed way to spend a wintery day.

Class Is In:

For those who want to explore their 'inner foodie. Learn how cheese is made, what to look for in a quality olive oil, and most importantly how to really impress your friends in the kitchen!

·         McWilliams Mt Pleasant match makes at "The Wine and Cheese Marriage: tips for avoiding a nasty divorce".

·         Hunter Valley Cheese Shop hosts cheese appreciation and wine matching classes perfect for 'the connoisseur'.

·         Margan Restaurant shows you how to select from your own garden and then cook with those fresh delights.

·         Join a Goldfish Hunter Valley Cocktail School and make wine based cocktails.

·         Learn the art of combining flavours at Tempus Two & Smelly Cheese Shop's premium wine & world of cheese workshop.

The Winemaker's Table Series:

This series of lunches and dinners is hosted by leading winemakers in their wineries or their favourite restaurants. It's a great chance for them to raid their cellars, launch their latest vintages and create an amazing line up showcasing the wines of the region. Working closely with Hunter Valley Chefs, they create menus that pair perfectly with their wines to ensure a memorable food and wine experience; its a favourite event on their calendars as they share their love of Hunter Valley wines.. Bookings are essential. 

·         McGuigan's Wine Dinner – held amongst the barrels in the winery with menu prepared by highly awarded Chef Jean-Marc Pollet paired to McGuigan's wines and hosted by Neil McGuigan and his team.

·         Tower Estate Wines at Robert's Restaurant with Winemaker Samantha Connew.

·         Winemaker Scott McWilliam of McWilliams Mount Pleasant at Redsalt Restaurant Crowne Plaza.

The Pure Wine Indulgence:

For the aspiring 'wine master'... Hosted by Hunter Valley winemakers and wine educators in small groups, guests will have the opportunity to understand Hunter Valley wine in depth and ask those questions they have always wanted to from the winemakers they admire! 

·         Self guided Hunter Valley Trophy, Gold and Heritage Vineyard wine tours will dazzle your pallet.

·         Barrel & Blending Weekend will make you feel like a winemaker yourself as you assist the winemakers in the winery.

·         First Creek Winemakers Challenge get a team together and spend the day learning the art of blending; finish the day joining the winemakers challenge with barrel rolling, wine spitting and grape stomping

·         David Hook Wines Tutorials will assist you to understand different wine varieties and the advantages of aging a wine.

Fireside Indulgence Series:

A series of indulgent experiences set by the open fire at guest houses, cellar doors and restaurants; the perfect way to indulge on a winter's day; a perfect way to relax, slow down and feel the gentle pace of country living.  Afternoon tea by the fire, cheese and fortified wine, or canapés before dinner, are just some of the delights that await.

Delicious warming Soup, crusty bread, cheeses & wines to match by the fireside at Mistletoe Wines.
High Tea fireside at Tower Lodge.

If you want to be with us to launch the month join us at Goldfish Hunter Valley, our newest and favourite cocktail bar, on Friday 3rd June for an evening of wine, canapés and entertainment.

For those wanting to take a mini break, there are some fabulous accommodation offerings.  From rustic cottages, to luxurious award winning resorts such as the Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, the region offers romantic getaways for two or a chance to holiday with family or friends.  With so many great wine and food activities on throughout June, these options will be popular and we recommend you book your accommodation now.

For a full month's program, individual event details, and information on how to book tickets and accommodation visit

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