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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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call on 02 4998 7140.
If you wish to purchase wines to take home, a 'cash only' bar will be open for sales.
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.