There's always so much to love about Hunter Valley Wine & Food Festival season; and this year, it's even bigger and better than before as this special little corner of the world celebrates the good life with a program of food and wine experiences sure to tempt the taste buds of every visitor.
Spanning across May and June, the festival showcases the premium produce and wine the Hunter Valley is famed for all over the world.
Featuring more than 40 events from delicious gourmet dinners at award-winning restaurants to vineyard tours, wine masterclasses, hands on cooking classes and long lunches, this year's Festival has it all.
Presented by Wine Selectors, the program features 17 new events including Smokey Sundays at Matilda Bay Brewhouse, Semillon and Sushi Tasting at Briar Ridge Vineyard, Then and Now Tasting Event at Pepper Tree Wines, Organic Winemakers Dinner with Tamburlaine Organic Wines at the Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley and Scarborough Sensory Schooling at Scarborough Wine Co.
Complimenting these new events are iconic Festival favourites including the Hunter Valley Wine Festival, the 100 Metre Meal at Margan, Glandore Estate Burning of the Barrel, Music In The Woods at Stonehurst Cedar Creek and the Olive Long Table Luncheon with guest chef Frank Fawkner at Whispering Brook in Broke Fordwich.
A highlight this year will be the highly-anticipated tenth annual Hunter Culinary Association Food Fight on 17 June when leading Hunter Valley chefs go head to head with the best chefs on the Sydney restaurant scene.
There's also a host of vertical wine tastings and set-price lunches and dinners on offer during the Festival. Just a two-hour drive north of Sydney, the Hunter Valley is home to more than 150 wineries and is bursting with all the delights of its highly acclaimed food and wine culture.
With accommodation and experience packages for every budget, the Hunter Valley Wine and Food Festival is the perfect opportunity for a sumptuous winter getaway.
Here are just some of the highlights of this year's program:
- BURNING OF THE BARREL Glandore Estate Wines When the sun beings to set, Glandore Estate lights the flame on the annual Burning of the Barrel bonfire! Warm up beside the blazing bonfire with a drop of Hunter Valley Shiraz. Saturday June 29
- OLIVE LONG TABLE LUNCHEON Whispering Brook Wine and Olive Discovery A sumptuous Mediterranean-inspired menu with wine, live music, a tutored walking tour through the olive grove and guest speaker included. Guests will enjoy an incredible dining experience by EXP's Frank Fawkner. Saturday June 1.
- HUNTER VALLEY WINE FESTIVAL Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley The seventh annual festival held in the picturesque grounds of Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley with more than 60 exhibitors including wine, food, beer and cider. Saturday June 29.
- SEMILLON, SHIRAZ & CHEESE MATCHING EXPERIENCE De Iuliis Wines To showcase its award-winning wines, De Iuliis has paired two Semillons and two Shiraz with four sensational Hunter Valley cheeses from Binnorie Dairy and Hunter Belle Cheese. This is an event that will take your tastebuds on a journey you won't forget! Daily in May and June.
- OCEAN TO PADDOCK RidgeView Degustation Executive chef Donna Hollis draws inspiration from the local culinary offerings to bring you a seven-course degustation feast matched with RidgeView wines. A gastronomic journey from the Ocean to the Paddock. Saturday June 22.
- HARVEST LUNCH SERIES Margan Restaurant Margan joins forces with local producers to present a delicious five-course lunch showcasing the best Hunter Valley produce and the people behind it. Sunday 30 June SMOKEY SUNDAYS Matilda Bay Brewhouse Roll up those sleeves and tuck into good old' fashioned comfort food with a slow-cooked Texan barbecue, matched with brews. Every Sunday in May and June.
- TULLOCH WINE AND GOOSE ON THE LOOSE Salami and Wine Pairing Tulloch Wines have partnered with Australia's finest artisan salami makers Goose on the Loose for this fun and interactive wine tasting experience. Daily in May and June.
- HUNTER CULINARY ASSOCIATION FOOD FIGHT A highlight this year will be the highly-anticipated tenth annual Hunter Culinary Association Food Fight on 17 June when leading Hunter Valley chefs go head to head with the best chefs on the Sydney restaurant scene. Monday June 17.
- OAKS AND VINE MASTERCLASS Oaks Cypress Lakes Resort A culinary masterclass experience lead by award winning Executive Chef Praveen Leelavathy and Head Chef Viktoria Markwell Burgmann. Prepare your own two-course meal accompanied by a glass of bubbles to finish. Every Wednesday in May and June.
- VINEYARD TOUR, WINE TASTING & BLENDING WORKSHOP Briar Ridge Winery Immerse yourself in this 2.5 hour experience from vine to bottle. A guided vineyard tour, wine tasting matched with cheese, blend your own wine then finish off with a blind-tasting judged by our own winemaker. May 11 and June 22.
To find out more about this year's Hunter Valley Wine & Food Festival visit www.winecountry.com.au/festival
This selection of world-class experiences positions the Hunter Valley as a leading destination in the wine and food space, and this year Hunter Valley Wine & Tourism Association is proud to announce that Wine Selectors are once again, this year's official partner of the Hunter Valley Wine & Food Festival.
Wine Selectors has been exploring Australian wine for over 40 years. From small beginnings in the Hunter Valley in 1975, Wine Selectors now proudly delivers the very best in Australian wine to over 200,000 customers throughout the country.
Today they continue to share our passion for the Hunter Valley by uncovering new styles, sharing regional favourites and telling the story behind every bottle of wine so that their members are inspired to keep discovering everything the Hunter Valley has to offer.