Hunter Valley Australia: Australian Fine Wines, Award-winning Australian Wines

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Hunter Valley Australia - Australian Wines

Sydney Australia Gourmet Excursions and Day Trips - Hunter Valley

Heart of the Hunter
by Bruce Holmes - Part 2

Wondering whether there's anything more active to do after all this wine and food in Hunter Valley, Australia?

Try going with Grapemobile Bicycle and Walking Tours, a Hunter Valley Tourism Award winner, and work off the weight between winery stops. Catch the view from a hot air balloon. Or jump out of a plane and experience tandem skydiving. Too hectic? Then play a round of golf at Cypress Lakes Resort and watch the ducks glide by.

For a more colorful way to get around ride in a Paxton-Brown carriage drawn by two purebred Haflinger horses. The likable Barry and Eve have imported some of these beautiful horses from Tirol in Austria and are breeding them here. Feel the breeze as the horses break into a trot. They do know their way to the next winery, of course.

The grapes have inspired a number of festivals and special events throughout the year. They are picked from February to April during which time therešs a celebratory Harvest Festival.

October sees Jazz in the Vines at Tyrrell's Long Flat Paddock, an annual outdoor event drawing thousands of spectators, and Opera in the Vineyards performed in the amphitheater at Wyndham Estate.

Accommodation is plentiful with a wide choice of styles and prices. If you're thinking of visiting the Hunter Valley get a copy of the Wine Country Visitors Guide from the Information Center and make your own decision.

Things to do and places to stay, but all of it driven by the fruit of the vine. And when you consider that the climate is hot in summer and the grape yield relatively low it might surprise some people that the area produces quality wines at all. Ironically the comparatively low yields ensure greater intensity of flavor which means better wine, judging by the stream of wine show successes and the booming export market for Hunter wines.

Wines from Rosemount, Tyrrell's, McWilliams Mount Pleasant (sold as Barwang in the USA), Wyndham Estate (Orlando Wyndham), Rothbury Estate (Mildara Blass) and Brian McGuigan Wines are being uncorked around the world.

Australian tourism statistics show a substantial increase in the number of overseas visitors to the Hunter Valley Region, with Americans particularly drawn to the wine country.

So perhaps next time you raise that glass of Australian wine you'll see yourself sitting in the vineyards of the Hunter Valley, watching the sun set over the Brokenback Mountains.

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Article copyright © Bruce Holmes
More information on Bruce Holmes, Internationally published Australian freelance travel writer and photographer. He can be contacted about commissioned travel articles and photography at

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