One thing we were really looking forward to about coming here was our visit to Hunter Valley, an area about 90 miles out of Sydney packed with vineyards.
Hunter Valley is the oldest wine region in the country and is best known for it`s Shiraz and Semillon varieties. Some of the vines there have been going since the 1820`s! And it`s not just the grapes that thrive in this fertile land, Hunter Valley is also a region known for its cheese, chocolate and olives.
There were over 140 vineyards to visit but we were advised to select four or five from the very exciting visitors brochure we were given (we had to leave some time to visit dairies and chocolate factories too). We stayed in a cabin in a caravan park and relished having our own little kitchen area in which to cook delicious meals to enjoy with our wine & cheese purchases!
At one vineyard called Tyrells we met our `wine guru` - an enthusiastic Scot who showed us around the winery, demonstrating how wine is made and tested our knowledge along the way. At the end of the tour, he was determined to make us try as many different wines as he could, eager to educate us on different varieties.
It was frustrating (albeit good for our bank balance) that we couldn`t walk away with cases of our favourite wines, especially as there were some excellent deals.
The scenery in the Hunter - as it`s known by the locals - was spectacular too. Driving around from one winery to the next (I gallantly volunteered to drive and `spit` my wine) you are surrounded on all sides by rolling hills and miles of beautiful green fields and trees, as well as the occasional kangaroo.