The historic Hunter Valley is renowned for outstanding wine, fine food and scenic surrounds. Just a two-and-a-half-hour drive from Sydney, it’s the perfect spot for a relaxing (and indulgent) weekend away. Once you’re done sampling shiraz from the 150 wineries, vineyards and cellar doors in the region, tee off a round of golf, shop a local boutique, or simply lie back and relax.


STAY

Spicers Vineyard Estate
555 Hermitage Road, Pokolbin, Hunter Valley
1300 192 868
spicersretreats.com/spicers-vineyards-estate
An opulent, five-star guesthouse set among rolling vineyards and bushland. The guesthouse’s luxury spa rooms feature open fireplaces in the living areas and king-size beds. Unwind with massages and facials just a few steps from your room at Spa Anise, then meander over to Restaurant Botanica for a romantic dinner for two. Complementary minibar on arrival (including local wine and beer) is a welcoming touch.


EAT & DRINK

Muse Restaurant & Café
Hungerford Hill Wines
Broke Road, Pokolbin
(02) 4998 6777
musedining.com.au
Reserve your table well in advance at this award-winning contemporary Australian restaurant. Housed within the Hungerford Hill vineyard, chef Troy Rhoades-Brown serves locally sourced, seasonal produce with flair. The dining space is sophisticated, the service top notch, and the wine list extensive.

Restaurant Botanica
555 Hermitage Road, Pokolbin
(02) 6574 7229
spicersretreats.com/spicers-vineyards-estate/dining
This modern-Australian restaurant features an award-winning wine list and stunning views over its private vineyard to the Brokenback Range. Much of the herbs and vegetables are sourced from the restaurant’s own kitchen garden – right next to its pet Berkshire pigs, the very friendly Bacon, Crackle and Salami2.

Sabor In The Hunter
319 Wilderness Road, Rothbury
1300 958 850
saborinthehunter.com.au
Indulge your sweet tooth with Sabor’s rich Portuguese mousse, decadent cakes, pastries and chocolate. Try the Medley Tasting Plate for a variety of flavours (opera slice, mini lemon-curd meringue, strawberry mousse and mixed berry compote, mini gianduja layers and a caramelised nut triangle tart) paired with a glass of the Sabor Botrytis Semillon.

Hunter Valley Smelly Cheese Shop
2144 Broke Road, Pokolbin
(02) 4998 6713
smellycheese.net.au
Stinky cheese lovers can get their fromage fix from both the Pokolbin Village and Tempus Two Complex, the later of which features a cold cheese room for guests to browse local and imported cheeses for purchase. The shop is also home to the Hunter Valley Gelato Company, which uses imported Italian ingredients and a 200-year-old recipe to produce gelato that is queued for.

Hunter Valley Chocolate Company
Shop 5, Hunter Valley Gardens, Broke Road, Pokolbin
(02) 4998 7221
hvchocolate.com.au
Visit one of the Hunter Valley Chocolate Company’s four locations to sample handmade chocolate and fudge made with fine Belgian couverture chocolate and Australian dried fruits and nuts.


THINGS TO DO

Butterflies Gallery
1616 Broke Road, Pokolbin
(02) 4998 7724
butterflies.com.au
Butterflies Gallery features contemporary and traditional work from Australian artists. Landscapes with a local flavour are in abundance, plus seascapes, nudes and native animals.

Hunter Valley Gardens
Broke Road, Pokolbin
(02) 4998 4000
huntervalleygardens.com.au
Walk off all that cheese and chocolate with a stroll through more than 60 acres of display gardens. The eight kilometres of walking paths through 10 different feature gardens will provide a much-needed break from the driving and wineries.

Wine
Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard
DeBeyers Road, Pokolbin
(02) 4998 1866
audreywilkinson.com.au
Audrey Wilkinson’s vineyard is as impressive as it is majestic. Perched on top of a hill with a view over the Hunter Valley, this vineyard, which dates back to 1866, is a must-visit on your wine tour. Friendly staff and exceptional wines.

Tempus Two Cellar Door
Corner of Broke & McDonalds Roads, Pokolbin
(02) 4993 3999
tempustwo.com.au
Tempus Two is a premium wine destination created by Lisa McGuigan, fourth generation of the famous McGuigan wine family. Choose from its three labels: the distinctive and elegant Pewter and Copper, or Varietals (also called paper), its affordable range made for “easy drinking”.