Zip away from the city and cruise into the rolling hills and vast vineyards of the Hunter Valley, one of Australia’s most renowned Wine Country regions and the ultimate wine tour destination.
Aside from the picturesque views and delicious food and wine, you may be wondering: are wine tours worth it? Whether you’re experienced with vintages or just starting out on your wine journey, a Hunter Valley wine tour offers invaluable insights that can transform your experience of wine forever.
Just as the old saying goes, knowledge truly is power when it comes to wine. It’s one thing to enjoy your favourite vino, but immersing yourself in Wine Country culture cultivates a completely different wine drinking experience.
Hunter Valley wine tasting tours invite you to learn about wine and the winemaking process in a relaxed, intimate setting that highlights the art behind the glass. You’ll speak to winemakers and Cellar Door crew members, wander through vast barrel rooms, breathe in the fresh country air and stroll through lines of vineyards busy growing that season’s budburst right before your eyes.
We spoke with our Cellar Door Supervisor, Martelle, to find out the real benefits of our wine tasting experiences.
‘It’s amazing just to be here,’ Martelle smiles. ‘We’ve built our new Cellar Door so that people can enjoy every aspect of winemaking. They can be here all day. And a tour is really one of the best ways to experience what we’re all about.’
In short, a Hunter Valley wine tour allows you to develop a unique appreciation for wine. You’ll come away with an understanding of the different varietals, notes, scents, flavour profiles, vineyards, grapes and fermentation processes specific to that winery. Your palate will broaden, and you’ll look with new light on wines that may never have taken your fancy before.
While it’s fairly common knowledge that certain regions produce particular wines (Champagne hails from France, Chianti from Italy), the intricacies of region-specific wine is not as widely understood.
As with many wineries in the Hunter Valley, Brokenwood Wines takes a grass-roots approach to our food and wine tours. We specialise in certain vintages thanks to the Hunter Valley’s unique soil and climate, and our winemaking history has led us to produce premium quality wines in a range of popular varietals.
A wine tour can expand your knowledge of the Hunter Valley as ‘a place that makes great wine’ into something more sophisticated and nuanced. ‘When you visit our Cellar Door and taste the wines from our vineyards, you’ll have the chance to see exactly how and why these specific wines are just so good!’ says Martelle.
Take our award-winning 2022 Hunter Valley Semillon, for instance. ‘The Hunter Valley is well-known for its Semillons as it’s the only place in the world in which a single vineyard Semillon can age up to twenty years in the bottle,’ Martelle tells us. This is due to a complex yet beautiful equation of climate, grapes, growth and natural acidity in the wine, all equalling an unmatched quality vintage.
A wine tour can also shed light on the local produce, nearby farms and foods that are celebrated in that region. Most tours, including our Match, Journey and Soil to Cellar experiences, include food and wine pairing sessions. These sessions include premium select wines with perfectly matched dishes and canapés featuring the best local produce. When done properly, as with a wine tour, pairings can transform a wine’s taste and drinking experience completely.
Wine tours have the power to broaden your palate and open up a world of new possibilities, but they can also go one step further: they can change your perspective.
‘People come to us with likes and dislikes,’ Martelle says. ‘Someone might say they don’t like Chardonnay, but by the end of the tasting experience, they’ve changed their mind.’
Tours can help you to pinpoint what you do and don’t like about particular wines and offer a range of others within that variety to cater to your taste. Chardonnay is a great example that Martelle sees quite a lot.
‘All Chardonnays are different, they’re all made differently,’ she says. ‘We can show you the winemaker’s art and how they craft each vintage. It’s rare to see and really impacts how you drink the wine..’
This is why keeping an open mind is essential for all the best Hunter Valley wine tours. With the experience of your guide and endless possibilities before you, there’s every chance that you’ll become a Chardonnay drinker after your tour!
When looking at the benefits of wine tours, it’s great to remember that it’s not only about the wine. Food plays a major role and can often transform a wine’s taste or texture.
‘Food enhances wine more than a lot of people realise,’ says Martelle. ‘Especially with our Journey and Match experiences, the canapés we serve as pairings really highlight the different flavours in the wines. That’s something they might not have noticed without those precise food pairings.’
Your Brokenwood team member will dissect each dish and sip as you try them, instructing you on which bites to sample with which wines and what to look for when tasting them.
This on-site knowledge and experience of food and wine has far-reaching benefits that can change every future wine you drink. ‘The pairing knowledge is so valuable,’ Martelle insists. ‘People can take that with them.’
It’s a great feeling to be able to use your insights beyond the Cellar Door. Whether at home or at a restaurant, you’ll know what to pair with a variety of wines to enhance the taste, delight the senses and elevate your wine drinking experience.
Want to know the real secret to transforming your relationship with wine forever? Get a slice of our Hunter Valley passion.
‘We love what we do,’ Martelle says with a smile. ‘When you join us for a tasting or tour experience, you join the Brokenwood family.’
This passion and deep love for winemaking is felt region-wide, and it’s infectious - the dedication to craft and joy for great wine is palpable as you walk from Cellar Door to vineyard.
Despite being one of the largest Cellar Doors in the Hunter Valley, Brokenwood’s tasting tour experiences are also incredibly personalised. ‘We’re the only place in the Hunter Valley that offers this entire range of experiences,’ says Martelle, ‘but every experience is personal and intimate, only in very small groups. We like to get to know people, have a chat, and really share our passion.’
Even if you’re already a wine lover at heart, we promise that this immersion in Wine Country and the Brokenwood family will deepen your appreciation for great wine. Once you’ve experienced that passion, your wine journey will truly transform. And that’s just the beginning!
Ready to delve into the wonderful world of Hunter Valley wine tours? We have plenty of options to suit every palate and occasion.
Pop in for a casual Taste experience or indulge in an exclusive VIP Soil to Cellar tour to get all the most magical insights behind the scenes at Brokenwood.
Book your tasting tours on our website, or purchase as a gift for someone special.