May 27, 2019 / By Rosie Stevens
For the first year ever, the iconic Hunter Valley Food and Wine Festival is running throughout May and June this year — and you certainly won’t catch us complaining. The festival showcases the region’s revered wine and food culture with a wide range of events and activities that provide a complete journey of the senses; so whether you’re wanting a winery tour, a winemaking masterclass or a lunch experience that will knock your foodie socks off, there’s something for everyone during this two month-long taste extravaganza. Here are our top picks.
All Things Wine
If you’re looking to expand your wine variety knowledge or know what goes into producing your favourite drops, these events are for you.
Hosted by the Tyrell’s family and their cohort of esteemed winemakers, this interesting winemaking masterclass and tasting will showcase 11 of the top 2018 exclusive releases that aren’t usually available to members of the public. If you needed something a little extra to sway you—the ticket price includes a cheese platter for each person.
When: Friday 17th and Sunday 19th May 2019, 11 am and 3 pm
Where: Tyrell’s Wines, 1838 Broke Road, Pokolbin
Featuring current and museum release wines accompanied by a grazing platter to enjoy in the comfort of the Pepper Tree Wines tasting area, this event will take your palette on a journey through time.
When: Daily throughout May and June, 10 am - 4 pm
Where: Pepper Tree Wines, 86 Halls Road, Pokolbin
This immersive experience at Briar Ridge takes you through the winemaking experience from vine to bottle, and you’ll be tasked to create your own special blend and a hand-drawn label before the blind-tasting by the whole group at the end!
When: Saturday 11th May & Saturday 22nd June, 1 pm
Where: Briar Ridge Vineyard, 593 Mount View Road, Mount View
Wine & Food Experiences
Enjoy fresh produce and the best local delights, served with a bountiful side of Hunter hospitality at these top food and wine experiences throughout the festival.
One of the festival’s most popular events, the Lovedale Long Lunch is a progressive lunch like no other. Set in the grounds of seven of Lovedale’s best cellar doors and vineyards, this event promises a weekend of premium wine tasting and a mouth-watering menu put together by some of the Valley’s most revered and creative chefs.
When: Saturday 18th and Sunday 19th May, 10 am - 4 pm
Where: Lovedale and Wilderness Roads, Lovedale
Cost: $124pp for Saturday, $79pp for Sunday
Burning of the Barrel (image above)
Another huge icon of the festival, the Burning of the Barrel brings together all of the Hunter greats; wine, cheese, music, families, fireworks, starry nights and of course, a huge fire nestled at the base of the Brokenback Mountain range on the Glandore Estate.
When: Saturday 29th June, from 3 pm
Where: Glandore Estate Wines, 1595 Broke Road, Pokolbin
Cost: From $40 - $120pp
For The Culture Vultures
If you’re after something a bit more artsy than food and wine (although we’re sure you’ll agree, they’re two of the purest art forms around), this event is for you.
Enjoy a day in the Wollombi Valley with live music, excellent wine and great friends. There will be three live bands amongst the poplar trees to dance along to, or you can relax beside the firepit in the woods with a range of Stonehurst’s award-winning wines (including mulled for the ultimate winter warmer!)
When: Saturday 8th June, 11 am - 5 pm
Where: Stonehurst Cedar Creek, 1840 Wollombi Road, Cedar Creek
Pull up a pew at one of these mouth-watering edible experiences, showcasing the very best that the Hunter has to offer.
Take advantage of this unique opportunity to enjoy the fine wines of Audrey Wilkinson paired with the exquisite food of Redsalt Restaurant in this five-course degustation.
When: Every evening throughout May & June
Where: Redsalt Restaurant, 430 Wine Country Drive, Lovedale
Cost: From $95pp
A signature event of the festival, the 100 Metre Meal is a truly unique dining experience at the heart of the Hunter. As the pioneers of ‘agri-dining’ in the Hunter, this meal showcases the provenance of estate-grown, estate-made produce. The idea is that everything on your plate or in your glass has been grown within 100metres of where you’re sitting, and you’ll enjoy the very best that Margan Family Wines has to offer.
When: Every Sunday in May & June, 11.15 am start
Where: Margan Family Wines, 1238 Milbrodale Road, Broke
Hunter Culinary Association Food Fight (image above)
Yup, a good, old-fashioned food fight! This sellout event sees four high-profile Aussie chefs go head to head creating a dish with premium Hunter Valley wine pairing, before being voted for by the guests! Ticket includes a four course meal with matching wines.
When: Monday 17th June, 11.30 am
Where: Crowne Plaza, 430 Wine Country Drive, Lovedale
This winter Solstice feast is like no other—and it’s the perfect excuse to graze your way through the shortest day of the year at the historic Glenmore Country Estate. There will be canapés, live entertainment and a delicious lunch in the charming barn of one of the Hunter’s oldest homesteads. When: Saturday 22nd June, 12 pm - 4 pm
Where: Crowne Plaza, 430 Wine Country Drive, Lovedale
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