Welcome to Hunter Valley
The Hunter wineries – over 150 at last count – are refreshingly attitude free and welcoming to novices. They nearly all have a cellar door with cheap or free tastings.
While some deride the Disneyland aspect of the Hunter Valley, the region also offers everything from hot-air balloons and horse riding to open-air concerts. Accordingly, it is a hugely popular weekender for Sydney couples, wedding parties and groups of friends wanting to drink hard while someone else drives. Every Friday they descend and prices leap accordingly.
The Hunter Valley gets exceedingly hot during summer, so – like its shiraz – it's best enjoyed in the cooler months.