– An Afternoon Sipping Wine in Hunter Valley, Australia –
Because I couldn’t fly 14 hours to Australia and not try the Shiraz straight from the source, we booked a wine tasting tour from Sydney to Hunter Valley.
Our tour was through Hunter Valley Wine Tours, which back in 2011 was around $100 a person. The tour is an all day thing, you leave early in the morning and don’t get home until the evening (Hunter Valley is about 2 hours outside of Sydney, but the drive is pretty mellow) and you stop at four wineries to taste.
Our first stop was at Savannah Estate, which reminded me of a quaint farmhouse. It’s a really small operation run by the sweetest couple. They wanted to make sure we were all having a good time and kept pouring lots of different tastes for us. The wine was good, but not fabulous enough to pack home and pay customs on, so we didn’t get a bottle.
A bit further down the road was our second stop, Poole’s Rock. It is home to several different labels of wine, none of which we enjoyed. I rarely ever pour out a wine, even if it’s not my favorite I still drink it because why not try and get a little tipsy, but this stuff was so horrible I couldn’t bring myself to swallow it, and by no means am I a wine expert or snob.
Outside of this winery I had a run in with a magpie bird that I still talk about today. Right after I took the photo of Devin above, I felt a sharp pain in my head, I was under a tree so I thought maybe something fell from it and landed right on my head. I didn’t think much of it until Devin told me I was bleeding. At that point I was very curious as to what could have fallen from the tree to make me bleed. And then I saw it, a magpie swooped down from the tree and pecked another tour member walking to the bus in the head. Apparently these birds look for the whites of your eyes and attack you during the spring when their chicks are hatching, I promise I am not making this up! So while the wine wasn’t remarkable my encounter with the magpie was!
Our next stop was at a larger commercial winery Tempus Two, which is a wine that is readily available all over Australia and I believe distributed by some larger online wine websites. The grounds here were gorgeous and the wine was good and not too expensive. We brought a few bottles back home because I could not resist the copper labels.
Our last and final stop was Bluetongue Brewery at Hunter Resort. They had beer they brewed on tap and some wine to taste also along with lots of food options. Since I have an equal love for beer tasting we got a few of their beers to try and they were good!
Overall the tour and tasting was a great experience, I recommend it to everyone traveling to Sydney. It is well worth the money to not have to worry about driving after wine tasting, especially on the other side of the car and road!