When we were in Argentina, we had to do Mendoza.
When we were in Germany, we had do Alsace.
When we were in Italy, we had to Campania.
So when we were in Australia, we had to the Hunter Valley.
Stefan (like on every trip to date) bought himself a book on the region and its wine, reading the entire thing on his flight down from Hong Kong. Upon arrival, he emailed all his top spots to set up tastings.
First up was Brokenwood, home to the world famous Graveyard Shiraz. While we went to taste their specialty, they were completely sold out forcing us to settle for the region's other best known grape: Semillon - a dry white table wine.
I hate to say it: but it didn't tickle my fancy.
We were doing mostly spitting around these parts.
(Which - by the way - is very refined in the wine tasting world.)
Next up was Tyrrell's - one of the oldest family-owned wineries in the valley. Upon arrival, we showed ourselves into their barrel room to check it out and take shelter from the never-ending rain.
Their original barrel room had been left unchanged since it was built back in 1858 with its cellar dirt floors still intact.
Their tasting room staff was extremely welcoming and friendly and spent over an hour answering Stefan's questions about the wine and its history.
The whole property oozed old world charm.
Next on the list was Mount Pleasant - a must-taste recommendation from our fabulous Tyrrell's pourer.
Thanks to Stefan's very knowledgeable and poignant questions about their wine right off the bat, I think they (mis)took us for very big wine snobs with a propensity to purchase very large sums of wine. While all the other tasters in the room drank from small tasting glasses (like the one you see pictured below with our water in it), we were given a separate Reidel glass for each wine we tasted.
Stefan was in heaven.
After bidding farewell to Mount Pleasant (without a single purchase I hate to admit - we had carry-ons!), we headed to our last stop of the day: Pepper Tree. The wines were delicious, the staff superb, and the setting perfection.
Because we had some time to kill in between our last taste and dinner, Stefan took us on a kangaroo hunt. And while I couldn't spot a single jumper, he had a sixth sense for wallabies. He found them all over the place!
For dinner, we headed to another recommendation from our friend at Tyrrell's: The Cellar Door. With a table right next to the fire and delicious wholesome grilled chicken and steak, it was the perfect spot for a cozy dinner on a rain-filled evening.
While the Hunter's wines weren't our favorites of all time (we'll always love our California Cabs), the day was perfection.