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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.

Romantic retreats to Hunter Valley Wine Country: Home of your heart’s desire

Fan the flames of romance with an intimate escape to Hunter Valley Wine Country, and the thrill of vintage in full flight. Re-ignite your sense of adventure together, exploring vineyard-fringed wine tasting trails, foraging for indulgences from local cheese-makers, chocolatiers and smokehouses, and ballooning-up to meet the sunrise. Delight your date with a loved-up lunch at a hatted restaurant, or crack a bottle of bubbles and take in the sunset spectacle of rugged mountain ranges glowing gold. Then snuggle down in a hidden-away haven, or lavish your special someone with a five-star stay that caters to every whim.

Whatever your heart’s desire, it’s ripe for the picking, right here in the Hunter.

Go Barefoot at Broke and savour seclusion

Let your hair down, kick off your shoes and settle in for some sensual seclusion at this contemporary-country getaway on the tranquil side of the Hunter. Barefoot at Broke is flanked by family-run vineyards, with spectacular vistas to the majestic Yengo mountain range.

The starlit skies are breath-taking here, so stay-in and self-cater in the well provisioned kitchen for a romantic evening to remember. You won’t need to venture far to try and buy some very interesting and distinctive local wines, at nearby cellar doors or even the well-stocked Village store. A must on weekends is lunch or dinner at Margan Restaurant, just down the road, where the food on your plate and the wine in your glass, is the fruit of their on-site kitchen garden and winery.

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A serene, spa suite retreat at Spicers Vineyards Estate

Creating an atmosphere of anticipation, the highlight of an amorous stay at Spicers Vineyard Estate in Pokolbin is pavilion-style dining at Botanica Restaurant. It’s a short stroll from your luxurious Spa Suite at The Hunter Valley’s most awarded destination for romance. The chic, boutique retreat commands a stunning, hilltop setting, shaded by eucalypts. Pre-order a private picnic and steal away for some fun together on electric bikes provided.

The estate’s Spa Anise offers a Couple’s Day Spa Experience, for feet drenched in invigorating spearmint and gingko, hands softened with raspberry, rose and guava, and full body massage.

A glass of sparkling goes without saying!

You’ll be tingling by the time you swing open the French doors of your spa suite, to savour a satisfying glass of award winning Hunter Shiraz in your private courtyard. For a tantalising, finishing touch, stop in at Cocoanib artisan chocolates for a box of luscious, hand painted Bonbons.

Leaves Fishes boat house

Love-it-up at The Boathouse in Lovedale

Like a couple of castaways, cocoon in a beautiful Boathouse villa at Leaves and Fishes in Lovedale, where it feels like you’re floating over lily-pads on the peaceful pond below. Breathe out and step into a blissfully private oasis that promises sheer indulgence; a glass of Hunter Valley sparkling in the freestanding stone bath with lush natural outlook, robes for lounging about, and a well-stocked, complimentary mini-bar. The on-site restaurant menu is fresh, smart, simple and stylish.

What could possible tempt you to venture out? Lovedale Road is Hunter Valley mecca for highly personalised cellar door experiences, where you’re likely to meet the winemaker and find wine styles to be excited about. Before you bunker down, be sure to stock up on moorish, locally smoked charcuterie, tempting terrines, relishes and pates from Lovedale Smokehouse and Gourmet Pantry, and lash out on local cheeses, direct from Binnorie Dairy.

After feasting and sleeping in heavenly surrounds, you may feel motivated to explore Molly’s Mountain range on horseback with Hunter Valley Horse Riding.

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Be totally indulged at voco Kirkton Park Hunter Valley

If ease and elegance is more your style, be swept off your feet by a Hunter Romance Getaway in the immaculately manicured grounds of voco Kirkton Park, complete with scenic helicopter ride.

Relax those shoulders! The moment you arrive, via the tree-lined driveway, absolutely everything is taken care of for you. The stuff of dreams, you’ll wake to luxurious linens in your King Superior Room and while away the morning wrapped in your robe, enjoying seriously good coffee and breakfast for two on your sun-dusted balcony. Get comfortable, the package includes guided wine tasting and a $200 dinner credit, including cheese board, cocktail, a bottle of wine and two beautifully presented courses, selected from a paddock-to-plate inspired menu. Alive with romance, right down to the detail, even the salt is infused with rose from the estate’s 45 year old bushes.

Edge Villa outside front

Loving the wow factor on the edge of Mount View

A favoured destination for honeymooners in the heart of breathtakingly beautiful Mount View, The Edge Villa is a unique, tri-level retreat, created with romance in mind. Nestled in gorgeous, rural surrounds with floor-to-ceiling windows in the master bedroom, you’ll wake to birdsongs and dappled light through towering forest.

Reconnect over a glass of signature Hunter Semillon on the generous deck, to the soothing flow of Cedar Creek below. You’ll find many a heavenly picnic spot by this sprint fed brook, or enjoy the outlook from your custom made, circular hydrotherapy bath with wet bar.

Edge Villa inside

Knowing you won’t want to drag yourself away once you relax into living on the edge, a lovely bottle of local wine, complimentary mini-bar and breakfast hamper for the duration of your stay are supplied. Indulgent add-ons include a tandem massage, decadent graze boxes, a Private Chef who’ll prepare you a feast for two, paired with premium Hunter Valley wines, or Stay n Sip evening of guided wine tasting. For truly red carpet treatment, a Fly, Wine and Dine Helicopter tour will whisk you from your own private landing pad, to your choice of some of the Hunter Valley’s finest restaurants.

Let Misty Glen Cottage cast its spell

As magical as it sounds, you’ll be made to feel instantly at home on arrival at Misty Glen Cottage. Set in pretty-as-a-picture country cottage gardens, this simply serene, three bedroom hideaway, is a place to relax, romance, picnic and play. Fur babies are welcome and will be eagerly greeted by fun loving vineyard dogs and cats.

Vanish into 16 acres of boutique vineyards, within a few steps of your private deck, and feel yourself relax into wine country living. An intimate tasting of estate grown wines can be arranged with the on-site cellar door, seated at rustic tables fashioned from French oak barrels. Pre-book a sumptuous picnic and surprise your love with a romantic afternoon of chilled Hunter rosé by the rose garden, a spot of croquet and a game of boules. Then take in the last rays of sunlight together around the outdoor fireplace.

Your self-contained cottage comes fully equipped with all the comforts of home, and a breakfast starter pack. With the many restaurants, bars, cellar doors and day spas of Pokolbin close by, you can choose to be as extravagant or reclusive as you feel, with your precious time together.

Birds-eye vineyard view for two?

This is exhilaration for lovers at first light, taking in the sheer magic or early morning from 5,000 feet above picturesque Hunter Valley vineyards. Beyond Ballooning launch loverbirds to drift gently through the mists, in a small balloon made for two. Book the Breakfast and Photo package and alight to a bountiful buffet breakfast at award winning Redsalt Restaurant. Included is a keepsake collection of digital images of you and your date flying high.

Lighten up with a little grape stomping

Surprisingly sensuous, squelching grapes between bare toes may be just the ticket to kick off fun times together.
Gape stomping has been part of the ancient art of winemaking since Roman times. Try it for yourself and get your feet deliciously wet in the oak barrels of Brokenwood Wines, or at Peter Drayton Wines, where you can also try your hand at grape picking during vintage.

Plan the perfect vineyard picnic

With no end of picture-perfect picnic spots to be found, in every corner of Hunter Valley Wine Country, Bimbadgen Vineyard Picnics are among the best. Unfurl your supplied rug in the spectacular setting of an amphitheatre, with 360 degree views to Barrington Tops. Tuck into a graze selection put together by Esca restaurant, complete with cutlery, plates, bottled water a lovely bottle of wine.

Take a magical stroll on Twilight

Warmer months at Margan estate are cause for celebration. Take a romantic, twilight stroll through their kitchen garden, with a refreshing, estate grown and made Vermouth Cocktail in hand. You’ll be treated to a behind-the-scenes tour of the winery, and enjoy a tank or barrel tasting, before settling in for a five course degustation dinner

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