If you like wine and fancy a fun day out whilst in Sydney – like we were (or surrounding area) why not take a trip to the Hunter Valley to taste some lovely authentic home-grown Australian wine! We booked our AAT Kings Tour via Viator for a fantastic bargain price of £47.50 each (benefitting from a limited time 50% discount). This day trip does mean an early start – 7.00am however the tour does include (selected) city hotel pick ups. Following hotel pick up everyone is taken to the Star City Casino where you join the rest of your group for the trip you have booked. Each tour has a guide to ensure that you get on the right bus so don’t worry if you find the hundreds of people and the 10 bus stops daunting.
The journey to the Hunter Valley, from Sydney, takes around 2 and 1/2 hours (traffic dependant). Unfortunately, the majority of the ride is via motorway so not great views I’m afraid but once there the glorious sight of the Hunter Valley makes the journey worthwhile. We visited on a warm, clear October day and the views of the vineyards were stretching out in front of us as far as the eye could see.
The first stop was at the Draytons Family Wines. Great first stop. We tried white, red, rose, port (dark and white(!)) and my favourite white chocolate liqueur. Cheese and biscuits are provided to cleanse the pallet between drinks however they are not substantial enough to make up for missing breakfast therefore I’ll admit I was feeling a tad tiddily (hic)!
The second stop was at Lindeman’s (which I’ll be honest was the only one I had heard of prior to our trip). This time we tried a lovely fizzy wine, some red, white and rose. This added to my tiddliness – good job the next stop was lunch!
Lunch was provided at the Hunter Valley Resort. Unfortunately I did not like my mine (eeek) that was nothing to do with the portion or quality of it (my husband thoroughly enjoyed his) it was my own fault for picking something I knew I wasn’t that keen on. Never mind, it meant that I could buy and eat a big, fat, Smartie cookie guilt free (yum)! At the Hunter Valley Resort there is also the option to try locally crafted beers (for an extra cost) I imagine they are lovely but I thought it unwise to mix the grape and the grain especially as we still had one more wine tasting to go.
The last wine tasting was at McGuigans Wines. I was surprised to see quite a large percentage of our group ducking out of this tasting session saying they had, had enough wine! Now don’t get me wrong I could tell I had, had a drink but not to the point where I didn’t want to try more. The samples are small – 2/3 sips at most so in reality even if you have all the wines on offer you probably only have 3 full glasses, maximum. Here we tried around 12 different reds, whites and roses (smaller samples here) – lovely stuff.
We arrived back in Sydney around 6.00pm that night. Fantastic value for a fantastic day. The only negative I can think of is that you cannot order wine and have it shipped home (in our case the UK). C’est la vie it wouldn’t stop me taking this trip. Highly recommended fun day out!