The following is a guest post by Suzanne Sheldon.
It is almost common knowledge these days that the Hunter Valley in Australia is a fantastic place to visit to connect with winemakers and taste some of the best hot climate wines that down under has to offer. What you may not know is just how many activities you can do beyond just tasting wine that will impress your other half. If you are looking to put together the perfect romantic getaway in the Hunter Valley where you can reconnect and get the romance sizzling, then try these activities that are sure to impress.
I’m only going to mention this one briefly as most people know you can, of course, taste a variety of wines in this region which boasts over 40 cellar doors and almost 150 vineyards. Not all wine tasting experiences are created equal so in order to get the best from your tasting try these quick tips:
Concentrate on boutique producers and avoid the big names
If you can find a particular brand in Dan Murphy’s or your local bottleshop then give it a miss. The cellar doors from the smaller boutique wineries will have blends and even unique wine creations that are new for you to try. Are you curious about Chambourcin? Or Luna Rouge? Or Scarlett Bubbles? Discovering something new together is the perfect way to connect with your partner.
Look for VIP wine tastings
If you arrange to visit some cellar doors with a local tour guide, you can leverage their connections to get access to VIP tastings. You can choose a private tasting for just the 2 of you or you can make things a little cheaper and join with a few other couples. Either way, you can taste the full selection of wines on offer (usually 8-10 samples but some cellar doors will show you up to 15 wines over a 2 hour period!), enjoy your own presenter in a quiet space and even some cheese and biscuits or local chocolates. Which wine goes perfectly with blue cheese? Your presenter can show you with accompanying samples.
If you visit a small cellar door your wine expert may even be the winemaker or owner of the vineyard which is the perfect scenario for an intimate and memorable tasting event. There are some tour guides that specialise in wine tours of the Hunter Valley for couples so this option is worth checking out to ensure you get a well-organised experience that will impress where you don’t have to worry about the driving – there is nothing less romantic than being put off the road by the police for drink-driving!
Horse and Carriage Rides
What could be a better way to propose or simply treat the special person in your life to a day they will never forget than slowing things down and peacefully enjoying a horse and carriage ride through the Hunter Valley? Hunter Valley Horses can help you spoil someone special with a private carriage that picks you up directly out the front of your local Hunter Valley accommodation and spends the day at your beck and call. You can sample wines, local cheeses, and handmade chocolates and even enjoy lunch at a gourmet restaurant. Forget the clock and simply go at your own pace on this tour!
Hot Air Balloon Rides
On a Saturday morning, you can treat your loved one to the magical experience of watching the sunrise above the clouds aboard a hot air balloon whilst sipping champagne and taking in the rolling green hills of Hunter wine country. An hour of unrivaled freedom and views your Go Pro will die for await you if you can brave the early morning freshness (the perfect time for a warm hug from someone you love).
Pro tip – you might want to wait until a few days before the date you have in mind to book. The Hunter Valley does get its fair share of windy days and if rain or high winds are on the horizon then your planned balloon flight may not go ahead due to safety concerns. You will get a voucher to do the flight again on another day however this may not be much use to you if you have had to travel from outside of the area and you have limited holiday time. Check your phone’s weather app or the Bureau of Meteorology’s website and see the weather forecast for the next few days before you book. While anything can happen at the last minute, this reduces your chances of disappointment!
If you are the adventure loving couple who isn’t into the customary romantic activities, why not challenge your partner to a grape stomping competition? In traditional winemaking, grapes were crushed by enthusiastic humans tossing their shoes aside and stomping on the grapes repeatedly with their bare feet. This enabled the grapes to release their juices and began the fermentation process.
Jump in an open quarter oak barrel, lock arms with your partner and hold on tight for this fun and cheeky activity where you can make your own bottle of juice at the Hunter Resort. You can challenge each other or it’s way more fun when you challenge another couple to see who can produce the most juice and fill the bottle the quickest. Some delicious boutique wines are on offer as prizes so get those feet stomping and your toes smushing through the grapes!
From the traditional to something different, a visit to the Hunter Valley will offer you the perfect romantic getaway where you can indulge and relax amongst the gorgeous scenery or make new friends and have exciting experiences.
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