Wine-tasting and visiting vineyard cellar doorways is a whole lot of enjoyable. However what if you wish to dig a bit deeper and discover out extra concerning the trade generally and the wines and the vineyard particularly. Listed below are three Hunter Valley wine-tasting experiences that offer you a lot greater than a sip.
We’ve all stood on the counter of a vineyard’s cellar door, coveting the little samples we’re poured, eyeing the spittoon prefer it’s about to grab our wine away.
We’ve all listened to the winemaker discuss us by the wines we’re tasting.
Generally it’s an eloquent tapestry of a story, generally there’s a little bit of banter. Different occasions—on busy days—it’s clear the cellar hand is uninterested in repeating themselves, and you’re feeling dangerous about asking one other query.
These are at all times worthwhile experiences, however they’ll by no means actually go into that a lot element. You’re on a time schedule as a lot because the staffie is who’s pouring your wines.
An increasing number of wineries are realising we punters need extra than simply the regulation tasting expertise.
They’re creating every kind of how to indicate prospects their story in additional element.
These three wineries are nice examples of how one can dig a bit deeper and be taught a lot extra concerning the fascinating technique of wine-making.
1 hour – $25pp as much as 6 pax
Hunter By The Ages is a vertical tasting, which suggests you’re tasting the identical varietal from the identical winery however from completely different vintages.
At a superbly laid desk amongst the barrels of the intimate Members’ Lounge, you’ll discover rows of glasses arrange ready for you.
For us, the superb Steve, who’s been with McGuigan for a few years and is aware of the wine in and out, takes us by the expertise.
Steve leads us by the 2 styles of wine the Hunter and McGuigan are identified for: Semillon and Shiraz.
We’re proven how McGuigan’s award-winning Bin 9000 Semillon adjustments within the bottle through the years to develop into such a unique creature to its youthful self.
Transferring on to the Private Reserve Shiraz, we discover the adjustments on this nice instance of medium-bodied Hunter Shiraz over time as effectively.
Whereas we chill out with the wines and a cheese plate from close by Hunter Valley Cheese Manufacturing unit, Steve takes us by a number of the historical past of the vineyard and the completely different terroir of its vineyards.
He’s additionally open to any questions, and it’s this transparency that we’re seeing with increasingly more wineries now, actually letting prospects in.
90mins – $80pp
The final word behind-the-scenes expertise, Grape, Backyard and Graze takes you to a number of the less-visited elements of this impressively environmental vineyard.
First a tour of the kitchen backyard, the place a lot of the components utilized in Margan’s hatted restaurant come from.
Then you definately’re taken by to the vineyards and olive groves to see how the grapes are grown, harvested and was wine. You will have a sneak preview tasting of yet-to-be-released vintages from the tanks and barrels of the vineyard’s internal workings.
Lastly, you get to chill out within the lovely grounds of the Margan cellar door to take pleasure in a cheese and charcuterie board with a glass of your favorite wine from their menu.
And though we haven’t finished this expertise particularly, we had been at Margan in the course of the Hunter Valley Wine and Meals Pageant, the place we did one thing related.
90mins – $90pp as much as 8pax
The Scarborough household has at all times finished issues barely completely different to everybody else. Their common tastings are a lot extra private and thought-out than any others we’ve had.
However the Keepers of the Flame is admittedly a unprecedented expertise.
Not solely are you guided by the household’s new ultra-premium Chardonnay vary—Keepers of the Flame—in a vertical tasting, you get to discover past the cellar door into the vineyards.
And never solely that, you’re accompanied the entire time by both Jerome—the top winemaker and second-generation Scarborough, Liz Riley—award-winning viticulturist—or the cellar door’s supervisor and wine professional.
Jerome and his sister the exceptional Sally Scarborough take us spherical each the Cottage Winery and Gillard’s Street Winery, sharing every part from soil varieties to how they handle pests, the rootstocks of vines and even how the vineyard recycles a lot of its waste to fertilise the land.
It’s such a captivating expertise, and we be taught extra about wine on this brief area of time than we thought doable.
The Hunter Valley has some extraordinary wine experiences up its sleeves, with wineries actually tapping into our want to take our wine information additional but additionally to raise the curtain and see how issues work.
There’s nothing like seeing behind the scenes proper?
And for industries like wine-making, it not solely lets us as customers perceive extra, it makes us really feel much more related to the wine we’re consuming.