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Burning of the Barrel

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by Irenke Forsyth (subscribe)
A writer sharing travels, experiences, a love of festivals & events. Life is a journey and I hope to inspire others. Visit my blog at
If you go to the Hunter Valley during winter, you want to be in a warm place and the annual Burning of the Barrel at Glandore Estate Winery will satisfy that need. It's a starry night of wine and cheese, craft beer, food, music and fireworks, with a massive bonfire.

This signature event is part of the Hunter Valley Wine and Food Festival, and a must-do evening. Gourmet Traveller Wine has featured it as one of the Top 50 Worldwide Wine Experiences and this year, the property owner/winemaker is upping the ante, with KaBoom Fireworks, planning something new and wild.

Nestled at the base of the Brokenback Mountain Range in Pokolbin, the winery produces a range of Chardonnays, Semillon, Shiraz, Pinot Noir and Tempranillo, to name but a few. They will have some cracking wines for you from the moment you arrive, whilst the guys from Hunter Belle pump out the cheese boards.

Newcastle's Grainfed Brewery will be pouring some tasty craft beers and Andy from The Cellar Restaurant will be on the pans dishing up a fireside menu with a Charcoal BBQ, a Soup Kitchen and a Paella & Pie Shoppe.

You can enjoy

Hungerford Meats Co gourmet sausages with crusty bread rolls and condiments
Delicious soups (3 to choose from) - including a roast pumpkin, cumin & yoghurt soup
Roast chicken, tarragon, leek & mushroom pie
Spanish Paella, calamari, prawns & chorizo
Roast mushrooms with tarragon, soft polenta and hazelnuts

The Marshmallow Hut will serve up treats, coffees and hot chocolates.

Music-wise, The Burning Stage will be stocked with some fantastic local musicians.

Kicking off at 3pm (with the ignition of the fire at 6pm) and concluding at 10pm, ticket prices are as follows

Adult $120
Teenager (13-17yrs) $65
Child (5-12yrs) $40
Toddler (under 4yrs) free

Your ticket includes

Entry to the event
Complimentary glass of wine on arrival
Souvenir picnic glass
Complimentary cheese board for two
Fireside Menu from The Cellar Restaurant
Live music
Marshmallow fire for the kids
Showbag for the kids
Fire lighting ceremony

Bookings are essential via Sticky Tickets.

But wait there's more. You can start your adventure of the palate at midday with the Firestarters Experience. Join Chief Winemaker Duane Roy on the Cellar Door deck as your taste buds participate in a 4-course long lunch.

A wood-fired menu by Chef Harry from Mulga Bill's will see you indulging in

A starter of velvet cauliflower soup with smoked walnuts & cheddar crumb sourdough baguette
A shared entree of quail 'a la plancha', radicchio salad & vinaigrette, and wood roasted stuffed tomato with basil risotto & feta
A shared main of slow cooked lamb shoulder, lemon & thyme flat brisket fat potatoes, parsley & sea salt Dutch oven roasted brussel sprouts, and lardons & parmesan charcoal baby carrots & fennel seeds
A shared dessert of camp style apple & cinnamon crumble with pure cream

Also included is a fantastic line-up of current and rare wines from the cellar, all beverages for the day and evening, all Burning of the Barrel activities and reserved seating for the main event.

This one will set you back $270. Bookings for this exclusive package are through the winery. You can email or call on 02 4998 7140.

If you wish to purchase wines to take home, a 'cash only' bar will be open for sales.

Getting there

Glandore Estate Winery is located in the heart of the Hunter Valley at 1595 Broke Rd, Pokolbin.

A bus service will operate with set pick up and drop off times around the Valley. You can book directly with Vineyard Shuttle by phoning 02 4991 3655. The cost is $20 per person, round trip.

Plenty of free parking is available onsite too, should you be driving to the venue.
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Why? For a cracking good time
When: 3pm-10pm, with Firestarter Experience from 12pm
Phone: 02 4998 7140
Where: 1595 Broke Rd, Pokolbin
Cost: From $40
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