I was in Sydney for a few cool days in July, a trailing spouse attending the US-based College Music Society International Conference, and I wanted to see a bit of the countryside while visiting the city. The Hunter Valley Wine Tasting Tour was a perfect escape to the rolling hills of nearby wine country. I booked with Viator, which was easy. Within hours, I received an email confirmation along with a pickup time and location, which was a mere five-minute walk from the Intercontinental, our hotel.
Our driver and guide, Paul, was informed and engaging, and he helped make the drive jovial, especially with a full house of 17! I enjoyed seeing small towns, schools, and churches along the way, and I particularly watched for the special striped cows known as Belted Galloways. Paul kept his eye open for kangaroo for those of us who weren’t able to see the zoo while in Sydney. We were pleased to take a few pics of a group of kangaroo, sunbathing on a hillside near the vineyards.
My favorite vineyard was Cappercaillie, where our group sat in a circle in the cozy tasting room and learned about the flavors of several wines, along with food-pairing ideas. I bought a Verdelho here and wished for more room in my suitcase for the Semillon and the Chambourcin. I grabbed one of the Woodpecker aerating and pouring tools while at Capperciallie, a wine pouring and aerating tool, and I think I paid $24 Australian as a Christmas gift. I later found the same product on Amazon for $4.95!
Lunch was included in the tour, and with a variety of food choices, everyone came away from lunch happy and ready for the afternoon. The tour also includes a cheese tasting and a chocolate tasting. How can we taste anything more?
I managed to select a favorite cheese without much difficulty – I highly recommend the Binnorie Dairy Labna.
Many of the wines we tasted are made with hand-picked, hand-juiced grapes, and many are not widely marketed, which makes the wine tour even more special. Prepare to experience a magnificent day of celebrating your taste buds. While in Sydney, I highly recommend you make time for the Hunter Valley Wine Tour.Travel with Donna