Ahhh, wine tasting. My favorite hobby on a Friday night. If you’ve ever wanted to have a jolly good time, consider any of the Hunter Valley wine tours. From the tranquil Bimbadgen estate to the lush, sprawling grounds of De Bortoli Wines, Hunter Valley’s the place to be.
Thus, you can imagine my excitement at the thought of spending a WHOLE weekend wine tasting in Hunter Valley, Australia. This post will focus on wine tasting tours for beginners, so you won’t be overwhelmed by all that posh stuff. In fact, the wine we liked the most was the cheapest of the lot.
While our mission was to drink as much wine as we possibly could (mission accomplished), we still soaked up helpful information on these Hunter Valley winery tours.
Whether you’re a group or a solo traveler in Australia yearning for an incredible wine tour, Hunter Valley has got you covered.
Hunter Valley Wine Tasting Tours with Friends
Our group consisted of our tour guide for the weekend and fellow couch-surfer Warren, Dariuz from Poland, Gloria (G-Tran) from the U.S. of A, and Linda from the Netherlands (although you would swear she wasn’t with her perfect English and lack of Dutch accent), and little old me.
We left Sydney at the crack of dawn on Saturday morning (ahem, 09:00, but still way too early for my liking) and headed towards the wonderful Hunter Valley, arriving just as the wineries opened at 10:00. Morning brunch was of the liquid variety, namely two reds, three whites, and some dessert wine. Mmmmm, dessert wine… you’ve got to love that Botrytis Semillon.
Warren had us on a strict schedule—no more than 25 minutes in each winery in order to see as much as possible. Some people would call this rushed, but we looked upon it as a marathon—a wine tasting marathon—and we were very happy indeed.
Tip: Want to join in on the action with your friends? Try out this Hunter Valley Wine Tasting Tour with lunch.
We continued on to winery after winery, from Tempus Two, Harrigans, Pepper Creek, David Hook, Oakvale, and Keith Tulloch to Tyrells and many more. Some shared the premises with sky-diving centers (a few glasses of wine and anyone would jump from a plane, I guess!), others with churches and convents.
The wildlife was also abundant, as we discovered in Hope Winery, where we proceeded to scare away about ten huge kangaroos!
It was one of the best days of my Australia trip. It was great to be out of the city with an awesome group of friends, spending the day drinking absolutely delicious wines. Oh, and did I mention it was all for free? All the wine tastings were free (up to six wines in each winery, but they always offered us more).
Whenever we got hungry, we would detour to a cheese factory or chocolate shop. We dabbled in champagne and sparkling wines and even ended up at the BlueTongue Brewery, where we tasted six beers, of which we all agreed the ginger beer was the best.
By 18:00 on Saturday, we were absolutely exhausted, so we headed to our home for the night—a nearby campsite.
Once inside, we decided to chill out with… you guessed it… a bottle of wine. It was one of the many we had purchased.
We brought two more along to the BYO Thai restaurant that evening, but as hard as it is to believe, we could not finish the first bottle between the five of us. Bed was calling.
Up bright and early Sunday morning, we again opted for a liquid breakfast. We’re hardcore like that. We fit in about seven wineries before lunch, including:
- The beautiful Bimbadgen estate;
- McGuigans cellar and cheese shop;
- Peterson Champagne house; and
- De Bortoli.
Want to try some of these places for yourself? Let’s take a closer look at some of these fabulous wineries and vineyard tours below.
Wine Tours in Hunter Valley
We were welcomed wherever we went and were never made to feel uncomfortable for not purchasing (although, to be fair, we did buy A LOT of wine). The wildlife was amazing, the scenery stunning, and the wine… don’t get me started on those mouth-watering wines…
Bimbadgen Estate Wine Tours, Hunter Valley
First up, the ever beautiful Bimbadgen Estate.
Located in the heart of Hunter Valley, Bimbadgen is one of the most visually striking vineyards in the area. Unsurprisingly, its indigenous name means “Place of Good View,” and we were certainly treated to good views.
Not only did we enjoy picturesque views of its sprawling lawns, but we indulged in some delicious wines too. If you prefer something fresh and a bit zesty, try out their 2019 Semillon white wine. In the mood for something dark and mysterious instead? Sip on their bold berry 2019 McDonalds Road Shiraz.
Check out their impressive winemaking facility and view their operations, or sip and learn at their Cellar Door.
Address | 790 McDonalds Road, Pokolbin, Hunter Valley
Lindeman’s Wine Tasting, Hunter Valley
There’s no better way to experience wine than by tasting it at the vineyard or winery that produced it, and Lindeman’s is proof of that.
Founded in 1873, they have over 175 years of experience in making fine wines and are recognized as one of the top Australian wines in various countries.
Some of their best wines include their Hunter Valley Reserve Semillon (another zesty favorite) and their medium-bodied Hunter Valley Shiraz.
Got a friend who’s trying to cut down on their alcohol consumption? No worries. The renowned winery produces an alcohol-free Cabernet Sauvignon that contains 0.5% alcohol by volume. This alcohol-free beverage is not just low in calories; it’s perfectly smooth too.
While we focused on, ahem, liquid meals, their Cabernet Sauvignon pairs well with a delicious steak.
Address | 119 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin, Hunter Valley
Tip: From Newcastle? Check out these Hunter Valley winery tours from Newcastle.
McGuigan Wine Cellar Door and Cheese Shop
This impressive, family-owned winery is perfect if you’re seeking a food adventure and want to explore your surroundings.
Depending on your preference, you can do wine tasting here either as a group activity or as an individual activity.
Wine tasting is not only about drinking (though just drinking is perfectly fine), but it’s also about appreciating the taste of wine and understanding what makes it so special. That’s what you’ll get to experience at the McGuigan Wine Cellar Door and Cheese Shop. From deliciously tart sparkling wines to full bodied red wines, there’s something for every palate.
Plus, you can learn about the McGuigan family during a unique wine tasting experience, where you’ll also enjoy a behind the scenes look at their working winery.
Address | McGuigan Wines Cellar Door, 447 McDonalds Road Corner of, Broke Rd, Pokolbin
Peterson House, Hunter Valley Winery
Known for its signature Pink Blush Rose sparkling wine, Peterson House offers a Hunter Valley wine tasting tour unlike any other. Their Cellar Door boasts over forty different kinds of sparkling wine that are available for you to sip and indulge in with your pals.
You may be wondering what the difference is between “normal wine” and the sparkling variety. Well, sparkling wine is a type of wine with bubbles. Sparkling wines are made by adding a second fermentation to still wine. This process is called the Méthode Traditionnelle.
Despite being perfectly suited for a girls’ trip, Peterson House caters to many demographics too. This includes their kids’ ice cream tasting experience (which is as sweet and cute as it sounds) and a unique biltong and sparkling wine experience.
With an atmosphere as fun and light as their signature bubbles, you’ll certainly enjoy a delicious lunch in this picturesque setting.
Address | 2457 Broke Road, Pokolbin, NSW
Tip: From Sydney? Check out these Hunter Valley tours from Sydney.
Hope Estate, Hunter Wine Tours
Oh, we had a blast here.
This all-in-one wine estate is located right in the heart of Hunter Valley and produces some of Australia’s most prestigious wines.
Not only is Hope a family-owned winery, but its estate also boasts Australia’s largest vineyard concert amphitheater. They host a number of iconic performers each season, making this a fun venue to hang out in the wine region.
Back to the wines—their Cellar Door treats estate tasting guests to delicious wines, from their crisp and sweet Sauvignon Blanc to their full-bodied Merlot. On the other hand, their premium tasting tour offers guests a wider variety of wines from their Hope Signature and Virgin Hills ranges.
Address | 2213 Broke Road, Pokolbin, Hunter Valley
Note: Hope Estate no longer accepts cash payments, so remember to bring your card.
De Bortoli’s Hunter Valley Wine Tour
The expansive De Bortoli Wines’ Hunter Valley Estate is a perfect way to explore the Hunter Valley and taste some of the finest wines in Australia.
It’s also a fantastic way to learn about the flavorful wine region and its rich history.
De Bortoli’s delicious wine tasting options include a general tasting of wines from the extensive De Bortoli range and yummy cheese, salami, and antipasto boxes.
Local producers from the Hunter Valley region make these delicious accompaniments to have with your wine. You can purchase them at the cellar door for a small fee.
If you prefer something else to fill your belly, you can purchase pies and sausage rolls on Saturdays only. Vegans and vegetarians need not despair as Vili’s Bakery has dietary friendly items you can purchase.
Address | 532 Wine Country Drive, Pokolbin, Hunter Valley
Pepper Creek (Pepper Tree Wines) Hunter Valley Tours
Pepper Creek (Pepper Tree Wines) Hunter Valley Tours is one of the leading providers of Hunter Valley tours and winery tours in the region. They are a family-owned and operated business, established over thirty years ago.
With this kind of experience, it’s no wonder the Pepper Creek team offers an expertly crafted option to suit all tastes, with a similarly tailored package available for large groups (costing an extra $AUD5 per person).
Visit their Hunter Valley Cellar Door and taste a selection of their Limited Release wines in a charming, natural setting. One of their wine tastings includes a deep, berry-filled Shiraz Pinot Noir while you snack on cheese from a beautiful cheese board.
This wine tasting tour is laid back yet fun, and it’s perfect for both solo travelers or small groups.
Note: It’s essential to make a booking before visiting their Cellar Door.
Address | 86 Halls Road, Pokolbin, Hunter Valley
Tempus Two Cellar Door, Hunter Valley Tour
Last, but certainly not least, is Tempus Two Cellar Door.
Tempus Two offers a wide variety of wine tasting experiences—up to seven—to cater to their customers’ different tastes and needs.
From their general (but not basic) wine tastings to their intimate and private lux tastings, they’ve got it all.
In fact, they have a memorable wine and sashimi tasting that includes locally prepared traditional Japanese sashimi paired with tastings of their iconic Semillon wines. This wine tasting tour in Hunter Valley includes fresh and succulent fish—from tuna to salmon carpaccio.
These taste combinations sure feel like a party on your palate, making this a welcome change from other Hunter Valley wine tours in Pokolbin.
Address | Corner of Broke Road & McDonalds Road, Pokolbin, Hunter Valley
Final Thoughts on Hunter Valley Wine Tasting
So, in summary, over the two days, we went to seventeen wineries, a smelly cheese shop, a chocolate shop, a brewery, and a champagne house. We tasted over 84 wines and lots and lots of delicious types of olive oil, basil dips, and other delicacies.
You don’t have to go as hard as we did, but I’m pretty sure you’ll have just as much fun with your group of friends. We had a deliriously good time in this charming wine region, that’s for sure. And we didn’t even have to pay much.
If you love wine tasting as much as we do, check out these wine tasting tours in Lanzarote.
But before that, go wine tasting in the Hunter Valley—it’s one of the best things you’ll ever do in this world-class winemaking region.
Table of Contents
- Hunter Valley Wine Tasting Tours with Friends
- Wine Tours in Hunter Valley
- Bimbadgen Estate Wine Tours, Hunter Valley
- Lindeman’s Wine Tasting, Hunter Valley
- McGuigan Wine Cellar Door and Cheese Shop
- Peterson House, Hunter Valley Winery
- Hope Estate, Hunter Wine Tours
- De Bortoli’s Hunter Valley Wine Tour
- Pepper Creek (Pepper Tree Wines) Hunter Valley Tours
- Tempus Two Cellar Door, Hunter Valley Tour
- Final Thoughts on Hunter Valley Wine Tasting