Hunter Valley

Posted by jay on Dec 10, 2007 in married life |

November 19

Hunter Valley is known for it’s great tasting wines. It produces around 10% of Australia’s premium wine, so it’s a pretty big deal (probably similar in output as Napa, though that’s a guess only). We had a great tour guide pick us up and lead us through the day.

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Before getting our wine tasting on, we made a stop at a nature preserve that’s purpose is to help nurse animals back to captivity. This meant there were kangaroos and emus running around like crazy. We also got to see and take a picture with a koala bear, which was pretty darn neat.

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The first stop - Brokenwood - was a blast. The girl giving us tastings was really informative and explained how to taste, what to look for, etc. She also poured us 12 or 13 different wines to try to understand the differences. This got us in a good mood to purchase 3 bottles - what a sales tactic.

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The second stop - I forget the name of the winery but they make Blue Tongue beer - involved lunch and more wine tasting. The foods were paired perfectly with the 2 reds and 2 whites that they had for us to taste. We also got to mix 2 single grape wines to make a blend (cab and shiraz). It was pretty neat, because it fully explained why wine makers mix things up. Single grapes only are tasted by 1 part of your tongue. By mixing, you can touch multiple parts of the tongue to fully round out the palette. Neat, but not life changing.
Since they made Blue Tongue beer, we decided to do beer tasting instead of more wine. They give you a paddle with 6 small tastings on it. Of note was their ginger beer. It tastes like really gingery soda, but with alcohol added. I’d love to have that hanging around the house!

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The last stop, Coopers, was uneventful. We were running behind on time, so they literally rushed us in and out with drop sized tastes of a couple of their wines. They did mix the tastings with cheese, which was cool.

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We also stopped at some place famous for Jungle Juice as well as a chocolate maker. We bought small memories of both.

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Lastly, we learned about the Convict Trail, which was a main road up from Sydney built entirely by convicts. It took something like 7 years and 900 men to build, but paved the way for what is now the Hunter Valley Wine Region.

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After all that excitement, we got back on the bus for the 2+ hour drive back to Sydney. Overall, it was a very informative and pretty fun trip. We’d recommend it for anyone visiting the Sydney area.

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