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With more than 150 wineries and cellar doors, 65 restaurants and 180 comfy accommodation places to stay, where do you start?

Follow our insider tips by the people who know best… the locals. We ask talented winemakers, chefs, farmers, brewers and journalists to blog about their favourite places and experiences in this fertile wine region.

3 things you need to know about the Hunter Valley today

​1. It's spring, which means it's budburst time

This means the grapevines are sprouting their first green shoots for the season (they lose their leaves over winter) and the countryside is slowly transforming into fields of green. It's an important time in the annual cycle of the vines and social media is full of winemakers' posts as they take pics of the first of next year's crop.

​2. There are lots of new places to visit

If you can't get by without a regular sugar hit, you need to visit The Stick Pasty Kitchen, which recently opened at Tulloch Wines, for Insta-worthy sweet treats that have gone viral for good reason. There are also a couple of new breakfast, brunch and lunch spots including Fawk Foods Kitchen & Bakery at Pokolbin Village – the second eatery opened by Frank Fawkner from E.X.P. Restaurant. The bacon and egg rolls are a local fave.

Another to try is The Red Apron at Mount Pleasant with tasty treats to eat in or takeaway – and cooking classes for passionate home cooks. You can learn how to make pasta from scratch which Nonna would be proud of on September 7, 15 and 23, as well as the perfect pizza on September 8, 16 and 22. All classes finish with lunch and a glass of Mount Pleasant wine.

On the wine front, Glandore Estate Wines has a stunning new cellar door, 1813 at Tinonee Vineyard Estate in Broke has recently renovated its cellar door and Dalwood Estate (previously Wyndham Estate), the oldest vineyard in Australia, has reopened after being closed for five years. Brokenwood's new tasting and dining complex is really taking shape too and due to open later this year.

​3. The weather couldn't be better

No, seriously. There's a reason that the wedding and concert seasons start in spring – the weather warms up into balmy average daytime temps of 22° Celsius and there are more sunny days thanks to the longer days and shorter nights. Fresh breezes are blowing, flowers are blooming and it's the perfect time for a weekend recharge with nature. As Robin Williams said "spring is nature's way of saying 'Let's party!'" 

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