Wine nerds might dream of a weekend at a Hunter Valley Winery.
Hunter Valley, NSW
Corner Hermitage and Deasys Roads, Pokolbin
Phone: (02) 4998 7500
The Location Wine nerds might dream of a weekend at a Hunter Valley winery. Food fanciers would be equally impressed at sleeping right above one of the Hunter's newest and most acclaimed restaurants (with a hat in The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide 2013). Keith Tulloch Winery is slap bang in the heart of Hunter Wine Country, so nerdy food and wine opportunities abound.
The Place The Manager's Quarters is a two-bedroom upstairs apartment with a wide verandah looking onto the winery and cellar door. It's attractively furnished with a large living area, a simple kitchen nook and a bedroom at each end. The biggest disadvantage is one very small bathroom, not really reflective of the accommodation's well-above-average price. Basic breakfast is provided, but a Muse Kitchen brunch (from 10am weekends) is worth sleeping in for.
The Experience Take advantage of the location and start, or end, your cellar-door trawl with a Hunter semillon, chardonnay or shiraz at the very spiffy Keith Tulloch tasting room across the lawn. Then there's Scarborough Wines opposite 02 4998 6538), famous for its chardonnay. A short walk uphill brings you to Binnorie Dairy (02 4998 6660), renowned for its excellent selection of cheeses, while lunch at Beltree (02 6574 7216) is a pleasant option. By car, head for Cafe Enzo (02 4998 7233) for coffee and all-day eating. The Hunter has a winery for every persuasion, but the Small Winemakers Centre (02 4998 7668) goes a little off the beaten track, offering specialised tastings. Wine nerds, rejoice.
Don't Miss Lunch at Muse Kitchen (02 4998 7899) includes stunning Med-inspired dishes. Otherwise splash out at the Muse mothership (Hungerford Hill winery; 02 4998 6777) for one of the finest regional wining and dining experiences in NSW.
Need to know
Cost: $410-$430 a night, minimum two-night stay.
Distance: 180km (2.5 hours' drive) north of Sydney.
Wheelchair access: No.