Hunter Valley wine tour

This is actually more of a wine class in the Hunter Valley versus a tour, but still great.  Our guide, Richard, runs Wine Country Tours and has extensive knowledge of the area and Aussie wine industry which made it quite the educational day.  I had been expecting the usual light touch hop on & off kind of thing I was surprised at the end of the day when we only hit two spots – but we did go indepth at both.

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It’s a long haul from Sydney to the Hunter Valley, so it was nice to escape the van when we stopped for tea at a small inn near the valley – we even spotted some kangaroos!  But then it was off to our first spot, Tyrrells.

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Richard gave us a full tour of the winery & vineyards – the family owns most of the land in the area but only grows vines on a small percentage of it which is interesting.  Some of the vines go all the way back to the 1860’s…

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We tasted some freshly picked grapes, peeked into barrels and then sat down by ourselves for an extensive tasting – 14 wines plus tips on how to taste and evaluate.  wow.  What was great was the way Richard grouped the wines together for us to taste and compare as we worked our way through the options.

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With so many choices we settled on the Stevens Shiraz for our bottle to tote home before heading to lunch.

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After lunch our only other stop was at Hungerford Hills where Richard taught us about the alpine effect and thoughst on the future of wine-making – it’s interesting to think about climate change and how it affects so many little things.  We also bought a shiraz here.  What a day!

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