The long rolling hills of the Hunter Valley are close enough for a weekend retreat (just over 2 and a half hours drive from Sydney) but feel a world away from the rush and stress of the big city.

Perfect when you start craving the tonic of wildness but maybe don’t have the inclination or time to go full bush.

It also helps that the Hunter is one of Australia’s most iconic and oldest wine-growing regions, with all the gourmet food experiences you can imagine to match.

Here you’ve got expansive luxury country estates and charming B&B all nestled between the endless picture-perfect rows of vineyard grapes ripening on the vines of the 150 wineries that call this haven home.

Indulgence rules here and it’s little wonder that couples and pleasure-seekers of all types flock to the Hunter to spoil themselves with pampered long weekends.

And there is no better time to visit than in May and June. Each year around this time the chefs, winemakers and artisans that call this haven home come together for the Hunter Valley Wine & Food Festival, a full-on 2-month schedule of epicurean treats designed for maximum enjoyment with a side of education.

These are 5 events we can’t wait to sink our tastebuds into…

Krinklewood Vineyard: Meet The Growers

Saturday 6th & Saturday 13th May 2017

Krinklewood Vineyard
712 Wollombi Road, Broke, NSW, 2330
+61 2 6579 1322

There’s honestly no vineyard quite like Krinklewood and you’ll realise this as soon as you drive through the gates and down the tree-lined road towards the vine-covered cellar door and spot the peacocks basking in the sun.

This is another world where the romance of provincial France meets the dusty sun-blasted Australian landscape, a place where pigs, peacocks and ducks roam freely amongst the vines to fertilise the soil with life-giving nutrients and where the rhythm of the vineyard moves in tandem with the moon cycle in-line with Krinklewood’s famous biodynamic principles.

Outland Denim jeans in 'Isabel' @outlanddenim + Zulu & Zephyr linen shirt @zuluandzephyr
Up close and personal with the vines with Krinklewood winemaker Peter Windrim.

We don’t pretend to know too much about the ins and outs of sustainable viticulture but what we know for sure is they make the most delicious Chardonnay that tastes all that much better because of their philosophy that the entire vineyard are part of a holistic eco-system. You’re literally tasting the spirit of the land itself.

Sample a glass, walk the vines and hear about this complex and fascinating process with Krinklewood founder Rod Windrim and his son Peter Windrim at the Meet The Grower weekends in May.

Meet The Growers

Saturday 6th & Saturday 13th May 2017

Krinklewood winemaker Peter Windrim with vine guard dog Minty.
Outland Denim jeans in 'Isabel' @outlanddenim + Zulu & Zephyr linen shirt @zuluandzephyr

Margan Estate: 100 Metre Meal

Every lunch in May and June / $70pp

Margan Wines
1238 Milbrodale Road, Broke, NSW, 2330
+61 2 6579 1317

We all live in a time where convenience is king and mega-supermarkets spend big bucks shipping and transferring out-of-season frozen produce across the globe in a matter of weeks. While we’ll admit that an avocado in the middle of winter is a nice treat to have, we consider it a massive luxury to be able to enjoy food that’s been prepared locally, with love and with minimal chemical intervention.

Which is precisely what Margan’s 100 Metre Meal is all about.

This aptly named event serves up exactly what it says it will, whereby literally everything served on your plate and in your glass has been grown on-site and within 100 metres of your table.

Vanguard Jean by Outland Denim @outlanddenim

Like Krinklewood, Margan are leaders in the region for their sustainable farming practices, thanks in no small part to the efforts of 65-year old horticulturalist Pat Hansson, who has tended every leaf and bulb in the estate garden for over 9 years (and who you can’t help but think of as you polish every skerrick of garnish on your plate at risk of wasting her tireless passion and efforts).

Legendary Margan horticulturalist Pat Hansson.

This combined with the talents of renowned chef Thomas Boyd, previously of The Ledbury in London’s Notting Hill, you’ve got a recipe for the most soul and stomach nourishing meal you’ve ever tasted.

100 Metre Meal

Every lunch in May and June

Margan Estate: Meet The Farmer 5-Course Dinner

Saturday 17th June 2017

Five courses with matched wine / $150pp

Margan Wines
1238 Milbrodale Road, Broke, NSW, 2330
+61 2 6579 1317

Mixing everyone’s favourite pairing, great wine and conversation, the Meet The Farmer dinner is not surprisingly a fast seller every year.

This foodie must-do sees Margan bring together an all-inclusive 5-course menu created in collaboration with farmers from the local area for the ultimate paddock-to-plate experience.  

Make new friends while enjoying all the flavours the Hunter has to offer as farmers tell tales of life on the land.

Meet The Farmer 5-Course Dinner

Saturday 17th June 2017, 5 courses with matched wine for $150pp (book in now to avoid disappointment)

Zulu + Zephyr Dust Tassel Playsuit @zuluandzephyr
Dust Tassel Playsuit by Zulu & Zephyr @zuluandzephyr

Whispering Brook: Olive Long Table Luncheon

Sunday 3rd June 2017 from 12pm / $144pp

Whispering Brook Winery
165 Hill Street, Broke, NSW, 2330
+61 2 9818 4126

The team at Whispering Brook know their olives and nobody knows how to cook with them quite like Andrew Wright from The Cellar in Pokolbin. Wright spent much of his career working throughout Europe and travelling through Greece, cultivating a love of the simple and uncomplicated way the traditional recipes let the ingredients tell the story.

This year he’ll marry his love of European fare and quality Australian produce, treating 4 tables-worth of diners to a unique and exclusive flavour journey, set amongst the romantic olive orchard behind the Whispering Brook cellar door.

Olive Long Table Luncheon

Sunday 3rd June 2017 from 12pm / $144pp

Chef Andrew Wright of The Cellar in Pokolbin speaks about his travel journeys through the menu of the Olive Long Lunch.
Chef Andrew Wright.

De Iulliis Shiraz Masterclass

Every Saturday in May & June 2017

De Iuliis Wines

1616 Broke Road, Pokolbin, NSW, 2320
+61 2 4993 8000

There’s something about De Iuliis Shiraz. In recent years this boutique vineyard has racked up more than its fair share of accolades for their bold full-bodied reds, including ‘2015 Hunter Valley Winemaker of the Year – Michael De Iuliis’ and ‘2016 Hunter Valley Cellar Door of the Year’.

And the secret? Mike says “the beauty of Shiraz is you can shape and mold it according to the goal you have in mind and push it in all different directions” (kind of like trying to pronounce De Iullis after a few vinos).

Winemaker Mike De Iuliis.

Every Saturday during the Hunter Valley Food & Wine Festival the team at De Iuliis will take you on a bracket tasting of their most awarded wines, offering you the opportunity to find out why everyone’s got De Iuliis on the tip of their tongues.

De Iuliis Shiraz Masterclass

Every Saturday in May & June 2017 / $30pp

Produced in collaboration with @huntervalleyWC #HunterValley
Visit for full schedule

Meg & Dom

Tags: Dining Out, Hunter Valley

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