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Hunter Valley (Australia) wineries and wines?

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I will be visiting Australia shortly for my honeymoon and am spending a couple of days in the Hunter Valley region (our B&B is inside Kelman Vineyards, if that is helpful). We will be doing some wine tasting, etc. Does anyone have any recommendations for good places to visit, both for general atmosphere as well as the wines specifically?

I would probably prefer to taste more Shiraz and other reds than whites. Otherwise, unless there is a good reason to do otherwise, I prefer places that are less touristy (having no sense of how it is in the Hunter, I'm only imagining this in the Napa Valley/Sonoma context).

Also, any tips on how the Hunter is best approached would be appreciated. For instance, what approach have you taken with respect to buying wines - does it make sense to ship back to the U.S., or just take whatever you can on the plane?

Thanks in advance.

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  1. Well, Hunter is actually best known for its semillons, Tyrell's making one of the most famous (vat 1). This is unfortunately a white varietal, which you may not enjoy.

    I think Rosemount will have a tasting room in the Hunter, and they make a variety of good wines. Otherwise, I am at a loss as to which wineries have tasting rooms in the Hunter.

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    1. Hi Jonas,

      I took a wine tour in the Hunter Valley a couple of years ago. We decided to go there mid-trip so everything was planned on the fly. We did a one day tasting tour - no idea what the company name was, I dont think there are that many, the HV is not nearly as commercial as Napa. My fav vineyard was Ivanhoe. The tour was also really nice because driving "backwards" is a little scary even before a few wine tastings! I carried back all my wine purchases - shipping to the US was double the price of a case of wine. The hotel we stayed at provided shipping cases for us which held up really well. There are a couple other vineyards that we visited that I cannot remember the names of - I will look at home to see if i still have them somewhere. Another fav was a winery in a huge lavendar field - they had an excellent port....will look for the name tonight. Anewton is right Semillons are the star in this region, when I visited, I was primarily a red wine drinker, but ended up bringing home mostly Semillons.

      The most memorable meal we had in the HV was at The Cellar Restaurant. http://www.winecountry.com.au/dining....

      Enjoy!

      1. Didn't do a Hunter Valley tour when I was in Aus (but did a great wine tour at Tamborine Mtn, just inland from Gold Coast). However, I do think a great Hunter V. wine is Yarraman's chambourcin. Don't know the location or what the winery is like, but worth looking for.

        As for bringing back wine...good luck. You'll need some sort of insulated container to put it in cargo, because the silly security laws mean no more wine in the cabin (luckily when I was there you could still do it, so I've got a nice stash of Witches Falls cabs...)