Monday, January 5, 2009

My Favourite Hunter Valley Wineries

So after a long hiatus of not posting anything I thought I might put up some choice parts of our family Hunter Valley trip :) I wanted to share my favourite wineries because of their excellent service and choice of wines ^^ Though there are so many in the Hunter these are 2 I would recommend any one to go to - Tempus Two and

Tempus Two

This place looks amazing from the outside! Modern, sleek and pumps out the grooviest music ie Ministry of sound. Not only has it got a cellar, but a wine room, cafe, japanese/thai restaurant and also a deli called the Smelly Cheese shop - talk about your diversifying :P Anyways the thing that really caught me about this place is that they were the first to ask us what kind of wines we liked. Notoriously my sister, mum and I love sweet wines and really the lady that looked after us showed us a host of wines that hit it right on the head. She started with a sort of rose called Aja blush, moved then to a muscato white wine, then 2 dessert wines - their labelled tempus two semillion and a honey port which ws very much sweeter.

Stash number 1!

Busy Day

Pretty lights ^^

Drayton Wines

It is just so nice when the actual owners of the winery service the customers and takes a very active interest in how their wines are tasted and bottled. Robyn Drayton who is the 5th generation Drayton heiress and her staff were absolutely beautiful! They showed us a few of their reds and whites just because they recommended them before we got to try their infamous ports. Their wines were a bit to dry for me but their white port and limited edition tawny port were absolutely amazing :D They squeezed a lime with their white port which puts an interesting twist on their wine and some orange juice with their tawny port. Definitely scooped a bottle of both - she even poured us a brand new bottle on the spot. Their devonshire tea was suppose to be excellent so I do recommend going there in the afternoon for it - but we unfortunately didn't have the time ><
The tasting bar - spit buckets included

Port port port - signed by Robyn Drayton!



tomatosalsa said...

T and I loved Drayton's as well..but didn't go to Tempus Two winery. We did however go to the Jap restaurant that was there...and was very disappointed. Bad service - forgot all about our meals - and prices were outrageous...and servings were tiny.

Other places in Hunter Valley that are worth mentioning in my opinion would be Kevin Sobels, Hungerford and Coopers :)

Miss Honey said...

Ooo the Hunter Valley! I'm very jealous of your trip! I agree, you should definitely see Drayton's, I think they have the oldest vines in the region? Kevin Sobel's is always on the list for us, as is Scarborough (for Chardonnay) and more recently De Iuliis. McGuigan's is generally a popular one also.

Anonymous said...

Oh it's been ages since my last trip to the Hunter Valley but I love going there! :) I don't drink much wine except for dessert wines but I really love tasting those (like your mum and sister) and I agree Tempus Two is certainly an eye catching building! We always go to the Smelly Cheese shop too :)

cupcake said...

Re tomatsalsa:

Yes I didn't even go in there!! To be honest the hunter region is notorious for terrible and expensive asian food! - I am yet to find a really nice one. Will let you know if I do ^^ Ooooo I haven't heard of Sobels but yes def on the Hungerford and Coopers!

Re Miss Honey:
McGuigan's does have very good wines and provides for many of the major funcitons in newcastle. This Sobel's is now on my list lol (2 mentions!) O yes De luliis omg I tried at Cracked Pepper (their restaurant)a verdelho and my goodness it was the best I have had in ages ^^

hahaha yes the sweeter wines are always on my checklist for wines. I only got into the other wines the last year but my first wines were all dessert wines - but one I always have stock of at home is de bortoli noble one semillion. Omg how good is the smelly cheese shop - amazing range of stuff and the gelato ^^ - makes me so happy walking through that store! Did you go to the cheese shop at mcguigan's?? - their cheeses are amazing!!!

Hampers said...

Lovely introduction to the Hunter Valley Wine Region. It is great to start with the hustle of the big Wineries and their retail outlets on the main strip at Pokolbin, but don't forget there is a plethora of small boutique wineries should you choose to drive just a little further off the beaten track. Unfortunately, since the roads are in such poor shape, all roads must seem like that for out of towners...

skye_huntervalley said...

As a local, I can only recommend one Asian restaurant & it is Chinese. The Weston Chinese Takeaway & Restaurant. It is one of those hidden gems that you don't expect much from but once you try it you wonder what took you so long!

My pick is the chicken with ginger & shallots. It's amazing. The shop is your standard Chinese restaurant deal decor wise but it's clean & the staff (family run) are friendly & attentive. We eat there fairly regularly & even on a quiet week night they have a constant stream of people collecting take away!

There's nowhere decent for Thai or Japanese locally & the only good Thai I have had in the whole valley was in Darby Street in Newcastle (Chat Chai Thai). The Indian in Maitland (Zaraffas I think) is great & do a lot of GF options is required but that about the only decent Indian in this area. There is Raj's Corner in Hamilton though which is fabulous! No good Japanese. Go to Sydney for that. No Vietnamese that I've even seen.

Hope this is useful for your next trip!!!!!

skye_huntervalley said...

I recently visited the Dungog area...I'll never complain about the roads around Cessnock again!!!!!