Monday, 8 June 2009

The Hunter Valley

Yesterday I visited the Hunter Valley with some friends and went on a little wine buying spree.

Our first stop was at the Audry Wilkinson vineyard. An independent operation it was a great first stop on our trip. Their vineyard is set in amongst some beautifully rolling countryside and the welcome was warm from the friendly staff. The Hunter Valley is best known for growing Shiraz and Semillon grapes. I enjoyed the red shiraz, but wasn't so keen on the semillon, buying an unwooded chardonnay instead.

Next up we went to Brokenwood which is a smart boutique vineyard. As well as growing grapes on their property, they also buy in grapes from other parts of Australia to create a greater variety of wines under their own label. I bought a bottle of the sangiovese, a grape I fell in love with after first tasting it in Greenwich a couple of years ago.

We bought some picnic goodies and ate them at Tyrrell's for lunch. Tyrrell's was the first big vineyard that we visited on the day. So far I thought the wines had been quite pricey, with no real bargains to be had. Tyrrell's had a range of wines at decent prices, so I splashed out on four bottles of plonk for the table.

Next up we visited the boutique vineyard of Moorebank. Much quieter than the other vineyards we had visited, there were geese, kangaroos, chickens and sheep roaming round the lawns. The wines were some of the nicest we tasted during the day and one of the few semillons that I genuinely liked. However, there were prices to match and for the first, and only, time during the day I decided not to purchase.

We moved onto another large commercial vineyard called Mount Pleasant owned by McWilliam's. They make a semillon called Elizabeth. My mother's name and the name of the house where I grew up combined in a single label. I was committed to buying a couple of bottle regardless of taste, which luckily was rather drinkable.

We ended the day at Pietersons which is another boutique vineyard in the Hunter Valley. One of Dave's favourite vineyards the tasting room had a cosy, almost club like feel to it. I completed the day with another bottle of shiraz and chardonnay.

It was a great day out in the autumn sunshine. There weren't as many bargains to be had as I had hoped, but it was good to taste some of the local wines and get a few bottles for the cellar. Below is a picture of Ali and I looking a lit bit squiffy from all the tastings.

1 comment:

  1. Mmm wine!

    I am currently tucking in to a nice supply that my former flatmate gave me as a leaving present. The Californian Cabernet Sauvignon is really hitting the spot!