Hunter Valley, The Birthplace of Australian Wine

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A short drive from Sydney, Hunter Valley is a dynamic wine country region filled with old delights and new surprises.

By ShuQi Liu

Hunter Valley is the birthplace of Australian wine. A short drive from Sydney, this is a dynamic wine country region filled with old delights and new surprises. As the oldest and most iconic wine region, Hunter Valley is best explored on a weekend to escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Synonymous with wine and food, it boasts a large collection of cellar doors, accommodation and restaurants. This is internationally recognised for its world class vineyards and dining experiences.


For classic Chardonnay lovers, the Hunter Valley’s take on this white wine variety is typically rich, medium to full-bodied. With crisp and fresh unwooded styles, it is characterised by peach, fig and tropical fruit-like flavours.

The Semillon is the white of the Hunter region. Also known as “Australia’s unique gift to the wine world”, this is a unique variety that ages well through an array of flavours. In particular, the Hunter’s dry white Semillon is highly regarded in the world. The classic variety is restrained, with piercing acidity and lemon flavours. Over time, it develops into richer and more honeyed characters.

For red wine lovers, Shiraz is the Hunter’s premium variety. It is also the most widely planted grape in Australia. The typical young Hunter Valley Shiraz is medium bodied, showing red and dark berries, spices and copious amounts of tannin. Over time, it becomes more complex, full-bodied and richly flavoured with some earthy tones.

The classic red variety of Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon is second only to Shiraz in Australia. In Hunter Valley, this can be medium to full-bodied. Elegant, well structured and powerfully aromatic, it shows blackcurrant, cassis with perfumed floral and herbal notes. Like the Semillon, this is a wine that ages well for many years.


First Creek Wines, a family-owned and operated winery, offers a contemporary take on winemaking. With a passion for wine, the team of winemakers aspire to transform the best fruit characteristics into premium varietal wine styles. This results in careful fruit selections and refreshing concoctions that appeal to both critics and consumers.

Australian family owned since 1858, Tyrrell’s Wines meld heritage and tradition into a mix of hand and machine picked production techniques. Obsessed with the Hunter Semillon, this multi-generational team of winemakers have been in existence for well over a century.

Exporting to more than 50 countries around the globe, cellar door sales is a walk down memory lane through well-preserved storage compounds, extensive facilities and comprehensive tasting tours.

For a great photo opportunity, Audrey Wilkinson is perched atop a foot hill of the Brokenback Mountain Ranges. With vast terraced vineyards and breathtaking views, this is a wine destination that emphasises a sensorial experience through picnics, tasting sessions, onsite accommodation and a fancy helipad for a pampering treat.

This story is part of a media junket organised by Destination New South Wales.