Having spent the last few years living abroad I now wish to rediscover my home city of Sydney to keep that 'travelling feeling' and share my findings with those that might want a bit of inspiration.
Published December 9th 2012
How to visit the Hunter if you need a nap after a drink
The only responsible way to go wine-tasting is to have someone else drive you. Why limit your tastebuds to only a tipple or two when multiple day-tours departing Sydney are available to shuttle you up to Wine Region, assist your commute between cellar doors, and allow you a nanna-nap on the ride home!
Now whilst this mightn't offer the most romantic or flexible method of winery visitation; it does offer affordability, additional service and the best thing of all; a chauffeur.
My previous trip over the course of a weekend to Wine Region had been somewhat of a failure as my companion did not have a license and I being a p-plater couldn't try any of the award-winning vintages.
Great Sights is a Sydney based tour company that does a full-day Hunter Valley trip. The price of $49 per person (booked through group buying website Scoopon) was more than reasonable and for what we received I would have happily paid the full $135 amount.
The tour commenced with a 7am meeting at the Star City bus terminal – (perhaps the most confusing activity of the day as we had difficulty locating the entrance); greeting by a jolly driver and the commencement of the drive. Passengers dozed throughout the journey until we reached our first destination; a Wollombi pub offering complementary tastings of Dr Jurg's Jungle Juice. I was not a fan of the juice but instead of the pub décor - heritage tables along the balcony were etched with visitors names. Might I suggest however that you venture elsewhere for your coffee as $3 for an instant machine coffee that tastes better at 7-11 did not fulfil the brief.
Next up we travelled to our lunchtime winery (McWilliams) where we were afforded a 2 course lunch along with tastings of several wines and a lesson on the process of wine production. Afterwards we moved on again this time to Lindemans and a private tutorial room for wine and cheese tasting to complement the outline of different wine styles. Our final stop was at the Hunter Valley gardens for a spot of chocolate tasting and boutique browsing before snoozing all the winding journey home.
Why drive from Vineyard to Vineyard and limit your palate when you could have been escorted by a well-informed guide and receive extra tutorials to boot. We found it the perfect mix of travel, relaxation and information.