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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.

Wine-tasting with a view: 10 Insta-worthy cellar doors you won’t want to miss!

If you're on a mission to find first-class vinos and views, look no further. Here are 10 sensational spots with cinematic views that are every Instagrammer's dream come true… with lip-smacking Hunter wines to sample and snap too.

The panoramic views from this historic Pokolbin cellar door has made it one of the most likeable shots in the Valley. Founded in 1866 by a pioneering bloke called Audrey, it's one of the oldest vineyard sites with a museum and 360-degree views from its hilltop perch on a foothill in the shadow of the Brokenback Range. But it's the sprawling skyline views over the vines out front that really wow the crowds.

After posting your amazing arrival view, you can head indoors and treat yourself to an array of wines from Semillon and Shiraz to Gewurztraminer and Tempranillo… or book their picnic among the vines experience and lap up even more of the landscape around you
Set your sights on the summit of Mount View if you want to capture one of the most photographed views in Wine Country.

The verandah of this relaxed cellar door is another dream location to snap a selfie with a gorgeous backdrop of sloping vines and pastures stretching as far as the eye can see.

You'll need to be quick to grab an outdoor table, but thankfully the huge glass doors mean you won't miss out on the views if you taste at one of the indoor tables or prop yourself at the timber bar. You can sip on Hunter classics, but for something a little adventurous try the Loveable Rogue series (only available at the cellar door), which includes some tasty Italian varieties including Vermentino, Verduzzo, Aglianico and a smashing savoury red called Sagrantino. Neighbouring Bistro Molines shares the courtyard and epic views.

​Known for its gutsy reds and gaggle of geese who meet and greet visitors, Ivanhoe is another scene stealer. There's an oversized chainmail hand sculpture out front that attracts attention, but the back verandah is where those-in-the-know head to when they want to sip and swirl with a stunning natural backdrop.

There's a patchwork of terraced vineyards rising behind the cellar door to the mountain range that's picture perfect – and if you can stay for the sunset it's well worth it. But it's a relaxed setting to sample luscious wines made from 50-year-old vines any time of day and you can even arrange to have a bottle of your favourite wine engraved with a personal message – a great gift idea for that hard-to-buy-for person.

LEOGATE ESTATE WINES

This Pokolbin cellar door has a lot to roar about.It's an impressive set-up with a striking white cellar door, restaurant and function centre that oozes opulence with a beautiful close-up outlook of the Brokenbacks. It also boasts vines first planted in the 1970s by the legendary Len Evans and made into opulent wines today by talented winemaker Mark Woods.

You can savour the sustainably made wines in the lavish surrounds of the tasting room, which overlooks the manicured grass courtyard with its large tiered fountain, but in summer there's the option of an alfresco tasting under the shady colonnade.

MOUNT VIEW ESTATE

The sign on the road at the entrance to Mount View Estate says it all… "wines with a view".

You'll get a good look at the terraced vineyards as you drive up the hill to this boutique cellar door, but the best place to take in the incredible views are the timber tables out the back of the cellar door. It's a serene and scenic spot to enjoy an open-air wine-tasting of the boutique wines made from 40-year-old vines, all handcrafted on site.

SCARBOROUGH WINE CO.

If you're after a view of one of the prettiest skylines while having a glass of rich, creamy Chardonnay you'll want to put this family run winery on the bucket list. They're unashamedly obsessed with Chardonnay (they make three), but also craft quality Hunter flagships Semillon and Shiraz, as well as an experimental Offshoot range including a refreshing Vermentino.

At the Gillards Road cellar door (they have two) you'll also find eye-catching views over the vines to the craggy mountain range beyond. To help you get that perfect Instagram shot, they've installed a #scarboroughwine Instaframe in front of the Chardonnay vines – just jump inside and pose for a pic.

THOMAS ALLEN WINES

The covered terrace is the place to drink wine at this Pokolbin property. The outside area is pooch friendly so gets the thumbs up from both dog lovers and wine lovers, with sprawling views of rolling hills and the 40-year-old Moon Mountain Vineyard.

The unique selling point here is that all wines are bottled under cork and they have a few wines that break the rules, like a Chardonnay Sauvignon Blanc blend, and some mystery quaffers where you're asked to guess what grapes they've used to make the blends. It's a wine-tasting guessing game that's loads of fun.

ALLANDALE WINERY

This Lovedale winery has exquisite views out front overlooking the Semillon and Chardonnay vineyards to the Brokenback Range on the horizon.

It's a one-stop shop for delectable Hunter drops – the aged Semillon is a favourite – with some easy-drinking blends and other varieties from further afield. Throw in spectacular sunsets with stunning late afternoon light and it's Instagram magic.

Credit: Photo by Howard Archbold, courtesy of Lovedale Chamber of Commerce.

KRINKLEWOOD BIODYNAMIC VINEYARD

If you're a bit of a preening peacock on social media, head to this vineyard at Broke to get some tips from the real deal.

Krinklewood's flock of peacocks love to strut their stuff around the stunning French-style cellar door, charming visitors who share their antics online. It's a beautiful destination offering a compelling mix of wines and photo ops of roaming chooks, ducks and cattle with that ubiquitous mountain backdrop.

TWO RIVERS WINES

Shrewd Instagrammers head off the beaten track to get that one-off shot. That's one of the reasons you should head north to this boutique vineyard, nestled on the banks of the region's two major waterways – the Hunter and Goulburn Rivers – near Denman in the Upper Hunter.

As well as the terrific Hunter tipples, there's a viewing platform overlooking the cattle grazing paddocks and sun-strafed hills, as well as a unique collection of handcrafted sandstone sculptures that glow golden in the afternoon sun.

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