Events NSW Travel

Top 10 Picks for Hunter Valley Wine & Food Month 2015

Hunter Valley Wine & Food Month is a month long of celebration of food and wine that make the Hunter Valley a gourmet destination. Running throughout June, the festival offers a variety of events to wine and dine, indulge in decadent tastings, join a masterclass and take a break from the bustle of city life.

Hunter Valley Wine & Food Month
Hunter Valley Wine & Food Month

With so many events to choose from, here are our top 10 picks for the Hunter Valley Wine & Food Month 2015:

1. Dine with the Dynamic Duo at Muse Restaurant

Muse Restaurant, Hunter Valley
Hunter Valley Partridge

Highly acclaimed Muse Restaurant in Pokolbin is holding a one day only Dynamic Duo lunch with 2014 Australian Young Restaurateur of the Year, Chef Troy Rhoades-Brown and Gourmant Traveller Young Winemaker of the Year, Gwyn Olsen of Briar Ridge Wines. The menu features 4 tantalising courses, each matched to wines: Sashimi of Hiramasa Kingfish; Jerusalem Artichoke, Malfroy’s Honeycomb, French Brie and Hazelnut Butter; Hunter Valley Partridge with salt baked beetroot, black fig, Binnorie goats cheese and the exquisite Muse Coconut.

Mark your diaries for this lunch as we think this event will sell out fast. Read our full review of Muse restaurant here.

When: Sunday 14 June 2015, 12 pm
Where: Muse Restaurant, 2450 Broke Rd, Pokolbin
Cost: $125 pp

2. Experience Viva Verdelho at Tulloch Wines

Hunter Valley Wine & Food Month
Viva Verdelho at Tulloch Wines

How well do you know your Verdelho? #VivaVerdelho is an informative session that will take you on a tasting journey with five styles of Verdelho by Tulloch Wines, each expertly matched to canapes. The tasting includes the NV Verscato, a Moscato style Verdelho and the fortified Creme de Vin made using the solera system.

  • 2014 Tulloch Verdelho is paired with labna with olive oil and chilli
  • 2014 Vineyard Selection Verdelho is paired with Thai beef salad
  • 2014 Late Picked Verdelho is paired with mango chutney with Greek yoghurt
  • NV Verscato (low alcohol sparkling) paired with Turkish delight
  • NV Creme de Vin (fortified Madeira style) paired with sticky date pudding

When: Every Mon to Friday in June – 10.30 am, & 2.30pm
Where: Tulloch Wines, De Beyers Rd, Pokolbin
Cost: $10 per person

3. The Original Margan 100 Metre Meal

Hunter Valley Wine & Food Month
Alf & Pat Hansson

Margan Winery is a stunning estate in Broke and aside from the imposing facade and interior, it boasts a produce garden at the back that would make any gardener green with envy. Pat Hansson and her husband Alf tend to the vegetable garden that has an adjoining a chook pen, with produce being picked and prepared for the table in just a few hours.

Margan Winery is holding their Original Margan 100 Metre Meal where everything is grown on site within 100 metres of the restaurant. Enjoy the estate grown Suffolk lamb served with heirloom garden vegetables and accompanied with a glass of White Label Barbera.

When: Daily during June from 12pm – 3pm
Where: Margan Restaurant & Winery, 1238 Milbrodale Rd, Broke
Cost: $50pp

4. Lunch at Whispering Brook’s Olive Long Table Luncheon

Hunter Valley Wine & Food Month
Whispering Brook*

There’s so much to love at Whispering Brook in Broke and during Hunter Valley Wine & Food Month, you can enjoy Lunch at Whispering Brook’s Olive Long Table Luncheon set amongst the olive groves.

Start with a canapé of Duck confit rillette with cornichon and sourdough with Whispering Brook extra virgin olive oil paired with Whispering Brook Sparkling Blanc de Blancs or Sparkling Shiraz.

The entrée is BBQ octopus and prawns with saffron aioli, roast pimento and smoked almonds with Whispering Brook lemon myrtle olive oil. This is served with Braised pepper tart with white anchovies, olives, Jamon and Whispering Brook extra virgin olive oil and paired with Whispering Brook Chardonnay or Rosé.

For main course, it’s Moroccan braised lamb with dukkah and tahini yoghurt, Whispering Brook chilli olive oil. Farro, barley and Israeli cous cous, preserved lemon, pistachios, almonds, cherries and coriander served with Whispering Brook Chardonnay or Shiraz.

Dessert is Rum baba with Whispering Brook lemon myrtle olive oil, mint crème fraiche and Muscat syrup served with Whispering Brook Port. Finish with freshly-brewed coffee, a selection of premium tea and biscotti.

While you’re at Whispering Brook, don’t miss out on taking home a bottle of their excellent lemon myrtle olive oil and Touriga Nacional wine.

When: Saturday 6 June 2015, 12 pm
Where: Whispering Brook, Rodd St, Broke
Cost: $125pp for members; $139pp for non members

5. Learn The Art of Gnocchi at Il Cacciatore Restaurant

Hunter Valley Wine & Food Month
Gnocchi Making Class at Il Cacciatore

Located in lush surrounds at Hermitage Lodge, Il Cacciatore restaurant is a slice of Northern Italy offering a hands-on gnocchi making class. Learn how to make gnocchi dough from scratch, how roll it into shape, cook it and the various ways it can be used in recipes. Best of all, you get to eat the fruits of your labour at the end of the class.

When: Sat 6, 13 & 27 June 2015,  1130am
Where: Hermitage Lodge, 609 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin
Cost: $115pp

6. Indulge in Sweet Decadence Chocolate and Wine Tasting at Pepper Tree Wines

Hunter Valley Wine & Food Month
Sweet Decadence Chocolate and Wine Tasting

Hunter semillon paired with milk chocolate? You be the judge. Brix Chocolate was created by Dr Nick Proia specifically for wine, and during Hunter Wine & Food Month, Pepper Tree Wines are holding a special tasting of wines paired with chocolate and their in-house roasted Contango coffee.

  • 2014 Alluvius Single Vineyard Hunter Valley Semillon paired with Brix Milk Chocolate (40% Cacao)
  • 2014 Limited Release Hunter Valley Chardonnay paired with Brix Smooth Dark Chocolate (54% Cacao)
  • 2013 Tallavera Limited Release Hunter Valley Shiraz paired with Brix Medium Dark Chocolate (60% Cacao)
  • 2013 Coquun Hunter Single Vineyard Valley Shiraz paired with Brix Extra Dark Chocolate (70% Cacao)

When: Daily during June (No P/H) between 1030am – 3pm
Where: Pepper Tree Wines, 86 Halls Rd, Pokolbin
Cost: $20pp

7. Eat Drink Run with Chef Matt Dillow

Hunter Valley Wine & Food Month
Chef Matt Dillow at First Creek Wines

Don’t be put off by the name of the event. Eat Drink Run would be more aptly named as “Eat Drink Bus”. The progressive lunch takes you to three restaurants by Chef Matt Dillow where you can enjoy specialties matched with Hunter Valley wines.

Eat, Drink, Run starts with a tour of First Creek Wines’ winery and a trio of oysters paired with Hunter Semillon. Next stop by bus is The Deck Café for canapes matched with Gartelmann Wines. Then onto The Verandah Restaurant for main course with wines from First Creek. Arrive at Twine overlooking Oakey Creek Valley and indulge in a selection of desserts before returning by bus to First Creek Wines.

When: Saturday 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th;  10am – 3pm
Where: First Creek Wines, 600 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin
Cost: $110pp includes food, matching wines, and transport between venues.

8. Bare Vines & Bubbles at Peterson House

Bare Vines & Bubbles
Bare Vines & Bubbles*

Peterson House is renowned for their premium sparkling wines and their popular Bubbly Breakfast. In June, they will be holding their Bare Vines and Bubbles weekend event where you can enjoy local wines, gourmet foods from stalls set up amidst the bare vines.

When: 27 & 28 June 2015 from 10am – 4pm
Where: Peterson House, Corner Broke Rd & Wine Country Dr, Pokolbin
Cost: Varies.

Read our full review of Restaurant Cuvee at Peterson House here.

9. Dine at Restaurant Botanica

Restaurant Botanica @ Spicers
Green Pea & Almond Pannacotta

Restaurant Botanica is set at Spicers Retreat in Pokolbin and while it is not included in the program, it is well worth putting on your radar. Boasting a romantic setting, with delectable food and a range of local wines to discover, a degustation dinner is your best option to enjoy the creative cuisine it has to offer. Read our full review of  Restaurant Botanica here.

Address: 555 Hermitage Road, Pokolbin NSW 2320

10. Stay at Chateau Elan at The Vintage

Chateau Elan Hunter Valley
Chateau Elan King Spa Room

For luxurious accommodation in a grand setting and tranquil surrounds, Chateau Elan at The Vintage is a true blissful retreat. During Hunter Valley Wine & Food Month, Chateau Elan is offering one night’s accommodation in their luxurious King Rooms with full buffet breakfast for two and a bottle of sparkling on arrival from Sunday to Thursday starting at $130 pp twin share. Read our full review of Chateau Elan here.

When: Sunday to Thursday in June 2015
Where: Chateau Elan at The Vintage, Vintage Drive, Rothbury
Cost: From $130pp twin share

Practical Information

  • The Hunter Valley is an easy 2.5 hour drive from Sydney. Follow the M1 north then at Kurri Kurri take the Cessnock Exit, then the B82 along Freemans Drive and follow the signs to Cessnock/Hunter Valley Vineyards.
  • Hunter Valley Wine & Food Month runs throughout June 2015. Bookings are essential for most events.
  • For more information on all the activities during Hunter Valley Wine & Food Month, visit the official website here.

Photography © by Kevin Burke for Gourmantic – Copyright: All rights reserved. Photographs with * are courtesy of Hunter Valley Wine and Tourism Association used with permission.

Gourmantic visited the Hunter Valley as guests of the Hunter Valley Wine and Tourism Association.

About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is a drinks writer, author of GROW YOUR OWN COCKTAIL GARDEN, SHRUBS & BOTANICAL SODAS and founder/editor of Gourmantic, Cocktails & Bars and The Gourmantic Garden. She has been writing extensively about spirits, cocktails, bars and cocktail gardening in more recent years. She is a spirits and cocktail competition judge, Icons of Whisky Australia nominee, contributor to Diageo Bar Academy, cocktail developer and is named in Australian Bartender Magazine's Top 100 Most Influential List. Her cocktail garden was featured on ABC TV’s Gardening Australia and has won several awards. She is a contributor to Real World Gardener radio program and is featured in several publications including Pip Magazine, Organic Gardener, Australian Bartender and Breathe (UK). Read the full bio here.