The Hunter Valley, just two hours drive north of Sydney, is
well known as one of Australia’s most visited wine regions.
What is perhaps less well known is that the Hunter Valley is Australia’s oldest continuous grape growing region, with the first vines planted here in the 1820s by families whose names live on today in some of the best wine brands in the country, including wine forefather Audrey Wilkinson. Yes, Audrey Wilkinson was a man, but we’ll come to him later.
The Hunter Valley is home to more than 130 wineries producing a wide array of exceptional wines. It is recognised as a world leader in dry white wines made from Semillon. Hunter Valley Semillon is regarded as Australia’s unique white wine. In addition to its great wines the Hunter Valley region is a must for fine dining, quality
producers and a busy calendar of food and wine events. It is also renowned for its national parks, spa retreats and great golf. An easy drive from Sydney, a day trip is possible but an overnight stay will allow you to relax and immerse yourself in the surrounds.
Enjoy a scenic drive into or through the Hunter Valley. Wine tasting requires lazy afternoons, so before heading to Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard and Cellar Door, wind your way through the Hunter Valley’s picturesque villages and make a stop at the historic village of Morpeth.
For shopping check out Peppers Creek Village for fabulous antiques at Peppers Creek Antiques, get lost in wonderful local crafts at the Australian Alpaca Barn and taste some oils and vinegars at the famous Pukara Estate Tasting room.
If cuddling koalas is your thing, then a stop at the Hunter Zoo in Pokolbin is a must, where along with our furry friends, you’ll be able to see Australian native animals up close.
Afternoon - Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard
The 270-acre Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard and Cellar Door is one of the oldest wineries in the Hunter Valley wine region.
A man named Audrey? What were his parents thinking? Yet, in spite of his name and aged only 15, with his father having died, Audrey assumed the daunting role of running the family’s vineyard. Audrey was blessed with a wonderful sense of taste and produced some of the finest wines in Australia, planting the first vines in Pokolbin in 1866. Audrey’s legacy of ‘it’s all about the taste’ is at the centre of
everything the winery continues to do.
Today Audrey Wilkinson is owned by the Agnew family, who bought Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard in 2004. With a background in law, the family’s shared ambition to own and build a family business led them to the wine industry and to producing award-winning Semillon. Rated a five-star winery by Australian wine critic and vigneron James Halliday, Audrey Wilkinson has been named in the top 10 wineries to visit in Australia by Gourmet Traveller Magazine.
After a day of discovery in the Hunter Valley enjoy an Overnight Vineyard Experience at Audrey Wilkinson.
Be greeted with a bottle of wine on arrival and a continental breakfast hamper in the morning.
Alternatively choose one of the many other accommodation and dining options in the Hunter Valley such as Chateau Elan at The Vintage or the Cellar Restaurant in the Hunter Valley Gardens Village.
Enjoy a relaxing start to your day before your Picnic Among the Vines experience at Audrey Wilkinson at noon. See the history, taste the wine and then immerse yourself in the vines to enjoy your private picnic. You will feel as if you have the whole vineyard to yourself.
2 hour Picnic Among the Vines experience - $75 per person*
Take a self-guided tour of the onsite museum, followed by a master class and premium tasting, conducted by an in-house wine expert.
Collect a bottle of handpicked wine and gourmet cheese picnic hamper and choose your perfect location among the vines to savour the experience.
Can’t bear to leave? Then before heading back to Sydney go behind the scenes at Audrey Wilkinson. Meet the winemaking team for a look at the wine making process conducted in their working winery.
Behind the Scenes Winery Tour - $120 per person*
Meet the winemaking team for a behind the scenes tour of the wine making process.
Taste wine from different stages of the winemaking process and learn about a grape’s journey from the vine to the bottle.
Finish with a wine tasting in the barrel room accompanied by a cheese plate.
You may even be lucky enough to taste a pre-released fortified wine straight from the cellar.