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Northern Exploration: Visit the Upper Hunter

Next time you visit Hunter Valley Wine Country, save some space in your itinerary to venture a little further and explore the northern part of the region. Known for open, green grasslands, stunning national parks, fine wining and dining and plenty of history, the Upper Hunter offers a memorable trip with plenty on offer to experience.

Delight your senses and indulge in experiencing some of the region’s most delectable wines that are grown and produced in Broke, a hidden treasure nestled at the foothills of the Brokenback Mountain Range just a cheeky ten-minute drive from Pokolbin. Travelling into this special pocket of the valley, you will immediately find yourself succumbing to a state of relaxation in this secluded, country charmed sub-region of Wine Country that boasts expanding grasslands, striking views and historical vines spanning across the land.

Residing twenty-five minutes from is Singleton, a quintessential country town with a delightful mix of old and new. Historic buildings… fine old mansions… museums… the picturesque Hunter River… throw in boutique accommodation, grand old pubs and a bustling farmers’ market, and this proud old mining town sure has a lot of appeal. Source a heritage walk brochure from the Singleton Visitor Information Centre and take a stroll around town at your own pace to check out some of the oldest and most beautiful cottages and homesteads. Then, of course, there’s the Singleton Historic Society Museum and the Royal Australian Infantry Corps Museum at the nearby barracks to visit, both filled with local history. Plenty of dining options are on offer from casual eats at one of the many of the eclectic cafes scattered across the town, to a meat and potatoes, hearty pub feed at one of the historical hotels, there is bound to be something for you.

 - Worn Out Wares Café and WOW Flowers

 - Singleton Historical Society and Museum

 - Australian Army Infantry Museum

 - Singleton Visitor Information Centre

Take the Golden Highway and head out of Singleton to the tiny rural town of Jerrys Plains where you will find cattle grazing on boundless green pastures, historical buildings such as the tiny police station, post office and churches and world-famous horse studs where some of the nation’s top stallions have come from. Nestled between the world-famous thoroughbred studs of Coolmore and Godolphin and with breath-taking views across the Wollemi National Park, is Hollydene Estate. Located on one of the Hunter’s oldest vineyards at Arrowfield, Hollydene Estate offers a large selection of wines in a rustic, modern setting complete with historic wooden beams from the original Bowman’s bridge that once crossed the nearby Hunter River. The award winning wines are made of grapes from three of the oldest vineyards in the Upper Hunter including typical Hunter stalwart varieties like Semillon, Chardonnay and Shiraz as well as lesser-known varieties like Gewürztraminer, Sangiovese and Tempranillo. The on-site restaurant, Vines at Hollydene, practices a paddock to plate philosophy, specialising in showcasing the region’s produce. Open 7 days a week for breakfast and lunch Vines at Hollydene has cemented its reputation for excellence at the 2020 Restaurant & Catering Awards NSW/ACT winning both the Tourism Restaurant and Consumer Vote categories. A one-of-a-kind destination to be shared with family and friends - perfect for all occasions!

Venture a little further past Hollydene and find Small Forest, a hidden Japanese influenced gem. Winemaker Atsuko Radcliffe is the first female winemaker in Japan, and the only Japanese winemaker to establish a wine brand in Australia. The name Small Forest is a direct translation of her Japanese family name and Wisteria is her family crest. With over 30 years in a career of winemaking, with hands on experience in the making of sake in Japan, Atsuko brings a unique sensibility to winemaking. Also, you have a rare opportunity to taste Sake with Atsuko, who is a Panel Chair Judge at The International Wine Challenge, Sake Division.


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