Located just two hours drive from Sydney is the internationally renowned Hunter Valley. Offering a selection of bespoke wineries, regionally distinct wines and breathtaking scenery, the Hunter Valley is the ultimate retreat.
Whether it’s for a week or a weekend, the gorgeous Hunter Valley is packed with elegant and trendy places to unwind and sample some of the best wine Australia has to offer. The Hunter Valley is also home to some of the country’s most passionate winemakers who are simply waiting to impart their knowledge and share their love of the region with anyone who stops by.
In an area as jam-packed with wineries as the Hunter Valley, it can be difficult to know where to start. We’ve put together a list of 16 of the best wineries in the Hunter Valley so you can design your own Hunter Valley wine tour, going as fast or as slow as you like through the region, without missing any hidden gems.
At Audrey Wilkinson, one of the oldest wineries in the entire Hunter Valley, the entire staff is dedicated to overarching philosophy that ‘it’s all about the wine’. Located in the foothills of the Brokenback mountains, the winery produces a selection of elegant, regionally distinct wines that truly shine.
The picturesque winery, offering 360° degree views of the Hunter Valley, is particularly renowned for its award-winning Semillon and for its 5-star rating by Australian wine critic James Halliday.
Visit the Cellar Door for an intimate wine tasting where you can chat to Head Winemaker Jeff Byrne before wandering through the museum, housed in the original winery. A visit to Audrey Wilkinson winery is not simply a wine tasting stop; it is an interactive educational experience.
750 De Beyers Road, Pokolbin NSW 2320
At the base of the picturesque Mount View is Briar Ridge Vineyard. The vineyard and winery has been producing distinctive Hunter Valley wines since 1972 and, like many of the drops it produces, it is only getting better with age.
A visit to Briar Ridge’s Cellar Door will make you feel immediately at home. Just ask the enthusiastic staff to talk you through their flagship wines. For a true Hunter Valley wine, have a sip or two from the single vineyard range. While you can enjoy these beauties now, if you can resist temptation, take a few home with you to cellar – time will reward you with a magnificent wine.
Briar Ridge is a perfect example of what can happen when passionate winemakers inject their love of wine into a physical space. Stop by and taste the difference.
593 Mount View Road, Mount View NSW 2325
Brokenwood is one of Australia’s most reputable wine labels, having gained a strong following for its premium Hunter Valley wines and fun-loving approach to winemaking.
Established in 1970, Brokenwood is now overseen by Director Iain Riggs and supported by winemakers Stuart Hordern and Kate Sturgess.
401-427 McDonalds Road, Pokolbin NSW 2320
When a winemaker has more than 50 successful vintages to his name, you know he’s doing something right. This couldn’t be truer of David Hook, the expert viticulturist and winemaker behind the eponymous winery.
You can see what all the fuss is about at the Cellar Door, located in nearby Pokolbin. The sandstone building is home to a cafe and tasting centre, allowing you to enjoy a full afternoon of indulgence. Pop by for a vino-themed culinary adventure, with three different ranges to choose from.
David Hook Wines goes above and beyond what’s expected, delivering the traditional Hunter Valley varietals as well as a few unexpected drops. With a boutique Cellar Door just a hop, skip and a jump away from Sydney, it’s well worth the trip.
Corner Broke & Ekerts Road, Pokolbin NSW 2320
When Joss and Anna De Iuliis purchased their Hunter Valley property in 1987, they set a new path for four generations of their family, creating an empire that would become known as De Iuliis Wines.
Michael De Iuliis now holds the position of Head Winemaker, but he was still in school when his grandfather and father planted the first vines. These days, Michael and his expert team run a five-star winery, as awarded by James Halliday’s Australian Wine Companion.
No matter where the grapes are grown, Michael’s philosophy remains the same: balance and harmony. In achieving balance, he believes the vine needs to look right – the amount of fruit needs to be in balance with the amount of leaves and the size should be in proportion to the amount of vigour and growth.
All of these ideas unite under the De Iuliis winemaking name to produce unique drops that balance strong Hunter characteristics with the maximum amount of varietal features. You’ll see what effect Michael’s minimalist approach has on the wine when you stop by the Cellar Door.
1616 Broke Road, Pokolbin NSW 2320
There’s no better declaration of love than naming a wine after a special someone. At the family run Gartelmann Wines, every bottle shares a name with one of the Gartelmanns, showing just how important they are to the entire process of winemaking.
Liz Jackson is responsible for making the magic happen. One of the Hunter’s most talented vintners, she’s been Gartelmann Wines’ Chief Winemaker since 2008, helping to craft their specific style of wines.
With so many wineries in the Hunter Valley, it’s hard to stand out. Unlike other labels that rely on famous vineyards and wineries, Gartelmann allows its wines to speak for themselves. With plenty of industry recognition it’s easy to see why Gartelmann Wines has become a Hunter Valley favourite.
701 Lovedale Road, Allandale NSW 2320
Since its first vintage in 2008, Gundog Estate has continued to produce high quality, distinctive wines that tell a story of their terrior. The addition of the Hunter Cellar and Gourmet Pantry in 2011 has seen the boutique winery establish itself as mainstay in one of Australia’s best wine regions.
If you must choose only one Gundog drop to try, the Wild Semillon is it. A very aromatic wine, it offers notes of lemongrass, peach and herbal teas and has a slight residual sweetness. It pairs well with spicy and salty Thai-style dishes, as well as lighter poultry dishes.
Gundog Estate’s focus on quality and regional distinctiveness has seen it develop from a small winery to a boutique producer of quality wines that tell a story of its growers and region. With the recent addition of the Hunter Cellar and Gourmet Pantry, Gundog offers a Hunter Valley experience like no other.
101 McDonalds Road, Pokolbin NSW 2320
Margan Wines and Restaurant isn’t just another Hunter Valley winery. The 20-year-old venue, located in the wine sub-region of Broke Fordwich, is home to hectares of beautiful vineyards, a state-of-the-art winery, a striking Cellar Door and an award-winning restaurant, creating an unmatched hospitality experience in one of the Hunter’s lesser-known areas.
Margan is a renowned innovator and was one of the first wineries to plant the barbera variety of grapes in the Hunter region. It has become one of their signature wines, winning numerous awards and gaining critical acclaim. Margan has also pioneered the Spanish white variety albarino, as well as the field blends of shiraz mourvedre and tempranillo graciano.
For a complete food and wine experience, it’s hard to beat Margan Wines and Restaurant. Stop by the Cellar Door and restaurant to admire all that is good about the Hunter Valley, and drive away with more than just a boot full of wine.
1238 Milbrodale Road, Broke NSW 2330
Oakvale Wines has been producing complex, rich and regionally distinct wines since it was established all the way back in 1983. The talented team of winemakers at Oakvale continue to combine traditional and innovative winemaking techniques to create premium quality wines.
These exceptional drops are available for tasting and purchase at Oakvale’s Hunter Valley Cellar Door, nestled at the base of the Brokenback Ranges. Stop by for an afternoon of wine tasting and enjoy one of the oldest, most beautiful wineries in the Hunter region.
If you’ve got a little more time, book in for dinner at on-site EXP. Restaurant for a unique and experimental dining experience.
1595 Broke Road, Pokolbin NSW 2320
A geologist walks into a winery. He purchases it, adding to his current collection of vineyards, and begins to craft some of the country’s finest drops, all under the name Pepper Tree Wines.
Dr John Davis is said geologist. Over the last 20 years, he has acquired, nurtured and grown vineyards across the Hunter Valley, Orange, Wrattonbully and Coonawarra, developing a portfolio of grapes from which to make beautiful wines. You can try the full range of these wines at Pepper Tree’s Cellar Door. Set amongst beautiful gardens and a picturesque landscape, it’s home to a team of friendly expert staff who can lead you through the winery’s complete collection of premium wines.
Pepper Tree Wines is not a one-trick pony. A collection of wines, each with varying tastes and textures, sits by a boutique coffee roaster, creating a fantastic hospitality venture that’s sure to impress.
86 Halls Road, Pokolbin NSW 2320
Petersons Wines has hit upon a recipe for success: tradition and continuity. Wine lovers and critics have been charmed by the winery’s quality drops since the first vintage in 1981, and the accolades haven’t stopped since.
The story began when Ian Peterson and his family bought an old dairy farm at Mount View, Hunter Valley and established 10 acres of semillon grapes to supply a nearby winery. As the vines flourished, new varieties were planted, including chardonnay, shiraz, cabernet sauvignon and pinot noir, and Ian hired a cellar hand to help him produce his first wines. Today, Ian’s son, Colin, runs the winery, maintaining his father’s legacy.
Consistency is key at Petersons: wine trends may come and go, but quality will forever be in fashion. Maintaining the traditional techniques of his father, Colin steers the winery towards better wines with every vintage. With four cellar doors to explore, you’ll find something new on each visit.
552 Mount View Road, Mount View NSW 2325
In a region dominated by wineries, Tallavera Grove still manages to find its niche and remain truly unique. The winery is owned by second generation vigneron, Tim Davis, and was founded by his father, geologist John Davis. John’s wealth of understanding of the geological features of the property, partnered with Mount View’s delicate microclimate, creates a vineyard like no other.
One of the most picturesque vineyards in the Hunter Valley, Tallavera Grove features a Cellar Door where customers can sample the offerings while taking in views of the vineyard and rolling hills. As a small-batch boutique producer Tallavera produces limited quantities of each drop, meaning the Cellar Door is one of the only places the full range can be bought.
While you’re out exploring the Hunter Valley, be sure to detour through Mount View where the climate is special and the wine is even more so. Spend a relaxing afternoon among the vines and when you get peckish, pop next door to Bistro Molines for a beautiful dinner
749 Mount View Road, Mount View NSW 2325
Tamburlaine Organic Wines pays homage to Christopher Marlowe’s historical figure from the Genghis Khan era, ‘Tamburlaine the Great’. Notorious for being a fearless and inspirational leader, Tamburlaine’s spirit can be seen in the passion and drive for success of wines from vineyards in both the Hunter Valley and Orange High Country regions.
Enter the warm, relaxed space of the Cellar Door in the Hunter Valley to sample some of Tamburlaine’s exclusive wine range, among other products. There is also a stunning homestead-style Lodge on site, where the Tamburlaine team is able to host weddings, corporate dinners and other special events throughout the year.
Put Tamburlaine on your list for an informative and welcoming introduction to their organic wines, created with passion and precision in a magnificent location.
358 McDonalds Road, Pokolbin NSW 2320
In an industry with dozens of grape varieties, choosing to focus on just two is a daring endeavour. However, for Andrew Thomas and his team at Thomas Wines, specialising in Hunter Valley semillon and shiraz means they can concentrate on producing the very best of the bunch.
Over the past 20 years, Andrew has formed long-lasting relationships with a number of local growers, each of whom own and operate some of the Hunter Valley’s most distinguished vineyards. When grapes are harvested each year, they are kept separate and processed into distinctly different wines, showcasing unique regional characteristics that express a true sense of place.
By focusing on the signature varieties of the Hunter Valley, Thomas Wines produces exceptional wines with advanced regional characteristics. Thanks to the skills and hard work of Winemaker, Andrew Thomas, it’s sure to be putting the region’s best foot forward for years to come.
Corner Hermitage Road and Mistletoe Lane, Pokolbin NSW 2320
For more than 100 years, the Tulloch family has been dedicated to producing quality Hunter Valley wines. As a result, Tulloch Wines has established itself as a brand synonymous with the superiority and consistency that remains central to a Hunter Valley experience.
The award-winning winery sources grapes from premium vineyards throughout the lower and upper Hunter as well as independent growers further afield, with a particular emphasis on verdelho. However, the selection doesn’t stop there. Tulloch produces varietals known throughout the Hunter, including semillon, chardonnay and shiraz, together with other limited releases available from the Cellar Door.
The philosophy behind Tulloch Wines is drink better, a phrase that means more than just producing excellent wine. It means creating the best possible experience for customers by providing them with superior service, value and hospitality.
638 De Beyers Road, Pokolbin NSW 2320
Innovation, character and creativity remain at the forefront of everything Tyrrell’s Wines does. Now five generations and 150 years deep, it continues to preserve its individuality and commitment to quality.
The long history of Tyrrell winemaking in the Hunter Valley results in vines that have been around for centuries. This includes the semillon, of which two blocks are more than 100 years old. These days, the grapes are fermented in temperature-controlled stainless steels tanks, before being set to rest for five years. Once known as the ‘prince of white wines’, the Hunter Valley Semillon varietal continues to be a shining star of Tyrrell’s.
Tyrrell’s is a name worth remembering. Between its exceptional and extensive collection of wines, historic Cellar Door and five generations of winemaking experience, it’s a Hunter Valley legend that’s sure to continue for 150 years more.
1838 Broke Road, Pokolbin NSW 2320
If you find yourself feeling a little peckish during your tour, check out our guide on the best restaurants in the Hunter Valley here.
Did we miss your favourite Hunter Valley winery? Let us know.