Travel Advice

Following eased restrictions announced by the NSW Government, Hunter Valley Wine Country is open for business to Regional NSW residents. For opening hours of individual Wine Country businesses, please contact the business direct. Please ensure you stay up-to-date with the latest travel advice and current restrictions by visiting the NSW Government website.

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HUNTER VALLEY BLOG

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.

Eat & Drink in the Hunter Valley, al-fresco style!

Cover image credit: Hollydene Estate

Fresh air, wide open spaces, country charm and breathtaking vineyard views – it’s all on offer in Hunter Valley Wine Country. As the days get warmer and longer, and restrictions start to ease, it’s the perfect time to indulge in long lazy lunches outside and take advantage being able to eat and drink outdoors.

We’re busily preparing to safely welcome everyone back soon so you can start to reconnect with family, friends and loved ones. Take in the views as you relax in outdoor seating areas, taste wine and let lunch roll into dinner.

Check out some picks below of venues offering great outdoor dining and tasting experiences.

STOMP! WINES

At Stomp! Wines you can book an outdoor wine tasting experience accompanied with a cheese board or fresh fruit platter with chocolate dipping sauce. Have with your wine tasting or save it to enjoy anywhere on the property after your tasting concludes. Looking for something fun while you sip and taste? Try your hand at a game of bocce or Giant Jenga, both of which are available on the property.

All bookings require a minimum of 48hours notice to prepare the platters. Only $24 per person, which includes the wine tasting fee. Visit their website for more information and to book.

Stomp wines outdoor diningImage credit: Stomp! Wines

THE MIGHTY HUNTER VALLEY & FOGHORN BREWERY

Keen to get out and about after lockdown? So are we! Bring your family, friends, or just the doggo and kick back on the lush lawn at The Mighty Hunter Valley. Enjoy a lazy bevy from FogHorn Brewery and a tasty feed from the bistro menu.

Live music will be on again every Saturday and Sunday afternoon as restrictions ease and with the warmer weather making its return, lawn games will be available for the kids (and kids at heart).

To book a table call 02 4058 4155, head to their website or simply walk in for a spot on the lawn.

The Mighty HV outdoor diningImage credit: The Mighty Hunter Valley

SADDLER’S CREEK WINES

Saddler’s Creek Wines cellar door features outdoor tasting areas from seated table and chairs to picnic areas with lots of space to spread out. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday’s they host a food truck that provides a seasonal menu of casual eats. Wine & Chill among the grounds with a bottle of Saddler’s Creek Wine and treat yourself to delicious food.

For all bookings call 02 4991 1770 or head to their website.

Saddlers creek outdoor diningImage credit: Saddlers Creek Wines

HOLLYDENE ESTATE WINES

With restrictions now eased in the Upper Hunter, Hollydene Estate are back open and offering outdoor dining in their stunning al-fresco area. Sit under the arbour or on the deck, take in the breathtaking views towards the Wollemi National Park and enjoy life as it is meant to be.

Whatever you choose, be it breakfast, an a la carte lunch or a celebratory High Tea the stunning al fresco area, with plenty of shady and sunny spots and extensive lawns for the kids to go wild on, is the perfect place to catch up and reconnect. Go on - ditch the well-worn trackies of the last few months, frock up and linger a little longer. It will be worth it!

Visit their website for more information.

Hollydene outdoor diningImage credit: Vines at Hollydene Estate

MCLEISH ESTATE WINES

There’s plenty of places to experience an outdoor wine tasting at McLeish Estate Wines. Head out under the seated pergola for your wine tasting and then take a moment to explore the property. With so much space available, you can purchase wine and tasting plates to enjoy amongst the vines where you’ll find the perfect vineyard views to enjoy a refreshing, crisp Semillon. 

McLeish Estate have put together a range of charcuterie and cheese plates that are designed to share and pair with their wines. For something more substantial, there’s try their Regional Tasting Platter for two that can be pre ordered (24 hours’ notice). The McLeish family called on chef Matt Dillow from The Deck Café to design the uniquely Hunter Valley tasting plate. Created with fresh local produce, from homemade hummus and relishes, delicious zucchini and pine nut frittata, and paired with high-end McLeish wines.

Bookings are essential. For more details, head to their website.

McLeish outdoor diningImage credit: McLeish Estate

HUNTER EVENTS NSW

Save the date! Hunter Events NSW are preparing to bring outdoor events back with a bang. The inaugural Bar & BBQ Festival at Dalwood Estate will be held in January 2022 on the weekend of the 22nd and 23rd. The much-anticipated outdoor event will be a full-throttle weekend of the best BBQ, drinks (boozy & driver-friendly), food, entertainment & market stalls that the Hunter region has to offer. There will be plenty of outdoor seating and grassy areas with a mix of sunny and shady spots to enjoy the warmer weather in a comfortable setting.

But that’s not all. Hunter Events have partnered with Hunter Valley Wine Country to offer you, our wider Hunter Valley community, a special discount on adult, family and kids passes! Enter code: winecountry at checkout to receive $5 off tickets across the board (exc. booking fees or rides passes)! Simply head to the ticketing page, select your tickets, enter your code into the section that says 'Have an access/promo code?' and you’re good to go.

Hunter events nsw bar bbqImage credit: Hunter Events NSW

4 PINES AT THE FARM

Newly renovated with a new- on-site venue, 4 Pines at the Farm Hunter Valley, offers the ideal combination of relaxed indoor and al-fresco outdoor settings. With plenty of wide open spaces to enjoy a nice cold brew on a hot summers day paired with delicious cuisine, it makes for the perfect family, couples or singles day out.

Bookings are essential and can only be made online via their website.

4 pines at the farm outdoor dining

THE DECK CAFÉ LOVEDALE & GARTELMANN WINES

Recently renovated, The Deck Café boasts a beautiful outdoor dining area on the deck overlooking the dam and scenic grounds. It is an experience to remember, with local chefs and staff cooking with fresh local produce and serving café favourites with a Hunter Valley fine-dining twist.

That’s not all! The on-site Cellar Door, Gartelmann Wines offers wine tasting experiences outside on the deck as well cooking classes and wine masterclasses.

Bookings are recommended, head to the The Deck Café website and Gartelmann Wines website for more information.

The deck cafe outdoor diningImage credit: The Deck Café Lovedale

RESTAURANT BOTANICA AT SPICERS VINEYARDS ESTATE

Restaurant Botanica, hidden among grapevines and gumtrees outside of Pokolbin at Spicers Vineyards Estate, is perfect for couples looking for a romantic and intimate spot to wine and dine. With spacious and outdoor seating offering you privacy to enjoy each other’s company while indulging in 5-star cuisine paired with award-winning wines from their superb regional wine list.

Make a booking today via their website.

Restaurant botanica outdoor diningImage credit: Restaurant Botanica at Spicers Vineyards Estate

LEOGATE ESTATE WINES & THE GATES RESTAURANT

From intimate fireside tastings in winter to relaxing al-fresco tastings overlooking the ranges in summer, Leogate Estate are ready to welcome you whatever the season. Enjoy an elegantly presented meal overlooking the vineyards and sip award-winning wines as you bask in the summer sun. A great place to reconnect with family, friends and loved ones, it’ll be an experience to remember. Head to their website to book your next experience.

Leogate outdoorImage credit: Leogate Estate & The Gates Restaurant

RIDGEVIEW WINES & RESTAURANT

Set at the end of Sweetwater Road, in the heart of the Hunter Valley Wine Country, RidgeView boasts the best of everything. A family owned and operated venue offering award winning wines at their Cellar Door, a state-of-the-art Restaurant serving impeccable cuisine and on-site private self-contained cottages, what more could you want. For those looking for the full wine country experience in one restful location, you can’t go past RidgeView. Outdoor areas are aplenty, whether you’re dining, tasting or staying, there’s more than enough space for everyone to enjoy.

Head to their website today to find out more about this all-in-one venue.

Ridgeview outdoorImage credit: RidgeView

WINMARK WINES

Winmark Wines have converted the former Pooles Rock wine storage sheds into their new, yet authentic Winmark Cellar Door, ensuring the history of the property is cherished. The Cellar Door offers indoor and outdoor tastings both overlooking the vineyard so you can take in the stunning views. Pair your experience with a cheese plate and sip and taste in the courtyard as you take your time to savour the serenity at this stunning property. Book online via their website.

winmark outdoor areaImage credit: Winmark Wines

MARGAN WINES & RESTAURANT

Offering the full package, from garden to table and grape to glass, your trip to the Hunter Valley is not complete without a visit to Margan Wines & Restaurant. Relax in the stunning open-air courtyard as you taste your way through their award-winning wines. Feeling peckish? Take your pick from Margan’s seasonal menu, all produce is grown locally from their on-site garden or sourced from local Hunter Valley provedores.

Head to their website to check out their Spring menu or book in a tasting experience.

Margan Dom Cherry outdoorImage credit: Margan Wines & Restaurant by Dom Cherry

ENZO HUNTER VALLEY

Praised for its unique ambience and enchanting courtyard, Enzo Hunter Valley makes for the perfect mix of a relaxed atmosphere, casual dining and delicious food. Then there’s the coffee! Named one of the top 5 coffee spots in the Hunter Valley, you can catch up friends and family for morning and afternoon tea in this café style setting. Check out their website for more information.

Enzo Hunter Valley outdoorImage credit: Enzo Hunter Valley

MUSE KITCHEN HUNTER VALLEY

A European Bistro style restaurant, Muse Kitchen Hunter Valley is passionate about cooking with seasonal local produce to ensure their menu showcases the best produce of the season. Located on the picturesque grounds at Keith Tulloch Wines, Muse Kitchen has a gorgeous outdoor courtyard which takes full advantage of the stunning views and fresh air.

Well known for their relaxed atmosphere and long lunches, be sure to book ahead via their website to secure your spot at this popular restaurant.

Muse Kitchen HV outdoorImage credit: Muse Kitchen Hunter Valley

LEAVES & FISHES

Providing a fresh, smart and simple approach to informal dining, Leaves & Fishes takeaway-style menu focuses on seafood with an Asian twist served in a casual format. All containers are eco-friendly with single-use packaging which makes for the perfect blend of delicious food and casual eats. Stay on the grounds and relax among nature or head off to another beautiful area within the Hunter Valley to picnic in a more private setting.

Head to the website to place your next order.

Leaves Fishes outdoor dining areaImage credit: Leaves & Fishes

WE’VE GOT YOU COVERED WITH OUTDOOR AREAS TO SUIT ANY STYLES

Unsurprisingly, the Hunter Valley is filled with incredible places to taste and dine outdoors, with many venues offering outdoor dining and tasting areas so you can soak up the fresh air and enjoy the warmer weather.

Share in the good life at any of these great venues:

  • Restaurant Kawul
  • Sabor Dessert Bar
  • Restaurant Cuvee at Peterson House
  • Twine Restaurant
  • Esca Bimbadgen
  • The Mill Restaurant & Brokenback Bar at Estate Tuscany
  • The Cellar Restaurant
  • Roche Estate (Oishii Japanese & Thai Restaurant, Hunter Valley Smelly Cheese Shop, Goldfish Bar & Restaurant)
  • Exp Restaurant and Fawk Foods Kitchen & Bakery
  • Harrigan’s Hunter Valley
  • Oaks Cypress Lakes Resort Bistro

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