Sunday, 10 August 2014

Hunter Valley vineyards

For those who don't travel much to the land down-under, bear in mind that Australia is a ginormous country for a tourist to tackle; it is in fact the 6th largest country in the world.  The two-hour drive from Sydney to Hunter Valley barely covers a hair of the country. 

November is a glorious time to visit Australia.  It is the start of the summer but before the arrival of the holiday crowd in December.  The gorgeous Hunter Region landscape could not be any more beautiful.  We stayed at a beautiful vineyard hotel at the center of Hunter Region, and surrounding us were miles of ripening grapes, winding country roads, and the occasional sound of vineyard machineries that looked very much like props for the Transformer movie. 

Over the course of three days we stopped by various wineries, where friendly proprietors and wine-makers sum up their oenological knowledge and passion in a glass of their finest product.  The Hunter wines that we have tasted are fragrant on the nose, astringent and fruity on the palette with an oaky aftertaste that favour pairing with cheeses and other local goodies.  In the younger wines, tannins are quite brought out but the older ones have mellow and velvety tannins that brings to mind Rhone Valley or the Savoie in France. 

Hunter Valley sits 160km north of Sydney and is well connected with the motorway.  Both the red and white varieties are worth trying, and allow a generous holiday of a few days to a week to explore the region.  Here is a website dedicated to Hunter Valley tourism:

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