We had 48 hours to explore the best of the Hunter Valley. Day 1 saw us taste-testing our way around the region. Pokolbin, Mount View and Cessnock brought delights to our plate that left us nearly rolling back to our accommodation. Day 2, I was on a Moscato Mission! I could drink Moscato till the cows come home, and although Curtis teases me about my 'lolly water', I'm just not quite adult enough to like the full spectrum of wines that the region has to offer. But each to their own and I was certainly not disappointed, this region supplied surprises that literally blew me away!
So here are the highlights of our Hunter Valley day trip...
Mikayla's Moscato Mission - To Find The Best Moscato In The Hunter Valley
We wanted to visit smaller Hunter Valley vineyards that were family run and a bit unique. We weren't at all interested in the 'big guys' or anything too luxurious and pricey. Our first stop for the day was the Hunter Valley Information Centre which was a hub of knowledge and direction! They gave us maps and a dozen names of small wineries and what made each one unique. In the centre they also have various wines from all over the region that you can try there. This is a great way to try a few wines before driving out to each winery. It's a fantastic first stop for any Hunter Valley day trip. We were quick to have a hand full of maps, pamphlets and best Hunter Valley Moscato recommendations in the Pokolbin and surrounding region.
My Pick: The Sparkling Zibbibo and The Sparkling Moscato
This is a small cellar door, owned by the renowned Petersons Family. Peterson's wine is famous for being some of the best wine in the Hunter Valley Region, with most wine tours including this cellar door on their itinerary. We had excellent service, getting a wonderful insight to the workings of the winery and background to some of their wines. They have an incredibly unique drop called Zibbibo. This beautiful sweet sparkling wine is exclusively unique to this cellar door in the Hunter Valley. Their Sparkling Moscato is a classic! It's exactly what I expect in a Moscato and I love the subtle pink colour.
402 Mount View Rd, Mount View NSW 2325
Ernest Hill Wines
My Pick: Luna Rouge and Moondance
This cellar door is placed at the back of the property, allowing for an incredible drive through a rolling plain of grape vines. This is definitely the spot to get that Instagram shot! Ernest Hill Wines have a large selection of dessert wines which had us tasting way more than was probably appropriate. It was the largest variety of dessert wines we saw on our Hunter Valley day trip. If you're after a bit of a kick and something to take your dinner party to the next level, try Ernest Hill's Muscat. It was incredible! Thick, gooey, sweet, rich and dark! As it went down warming me from stomach to the tips of my fingers, I could imagine it poured over a dark chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream. The 2 sweet wines we settled on taking home were the Luna Rouge and Moondance. Both wines are very similar to a pink and white Moscato, but come in exquisite long slender bottles. Adding a bit of class to the classic dessert wine!
307 Wine Country Dr, Nulkaba NSW 2325
My Pick: Moorescato and Spicy Grape Sauce
This little estate has an incredibly authentic homely vibe, felt hollisticly across the whole property, service and products. They run off traditional recipes from 'Grandma Moorebank' and are a proud family run business. You may have heard of these guys from being featured on various TV Programs such as Harry's Practise. Sheila the Sheep is allowed free-reign of the property and often comes in to keep guests company in the taste-testing room. Moorebank Vineyards' Moorescato is definitely the best Moscato in the Hunter Valley, maybe even the best in Moscato in Australia, that I have ever tasted. It has an extra level of definition, with a rich purple colour making it stand out among the rest. Moorescato is named for the reason it's very hard to stop at just one or two glasses. This delicious New South Wales moscato is complimented wonderfully with their Spicy Grape Sauce. A traditional recipe passed down the family, this sauce has a mouth-wateringly sweet, barbecue flavour that goes perfectly on home-made pizzas!
150 Palmers Ln, Pokolbin NSW 2320
My Pick: The Late-Picked Verdelho and Verscato
This vineyard has a level of excellence and class to it. We did feel a little bit out of place. It wasn't a place I would've picked to try out on my little Moscato Mission but I'm glad we did! While having lunch the day before at Harrigan's Irish Pub, I asked for the best glass of local Hunter Valley Moscato. The bartender informed us that they didn't have any plain Moscato but something better. Well, something better than Moscato? Hmm... I was skeptical. But then my lips touched the bubbles of Tulloch Wines uniquely blended Verscato. My life was changed. I can honestly say this was actually better than plain Moscato! It has so much flavour and really can't be considered 'childish lolly water'. This wine is a blend of Moscato and Verdelho wine and is totally unique to this Australian winery. So the next day we put Tulloch Wines on the top of our things to do in the Hunter Valley. Another great drop is the Late-Picked Verdelho, which has a deep flavour taking it to a level just above Moscato.
638 De Beyers Rd, Pokolbin NSW 2320
Have you been to the Hunter Valley region in NSW Australia? What was your favourite spot?