TASTINGS of 2014 vintage Penfolds Grange alongside same-vintage top Hunter reds, a Mediterranean-style lunch among Broke vines and olive groves and a cook-off competition pitting two Hunter chefs against Sydney top-notchers.
They are just part of the month-long 2021 Hunter Valley Wine and Food Festival during June, which features more than 30 daily and weekly events offered by Pepper Tree, Tintilla, Winmark, Hungerford Hill, Wandin Estate, Andrew Thomas, Tulloch, Scarborough, First Creek, Bimbadgen and Tinonee.
Events include gourmet lunches and winery dinners, wine blending and cellaring masterclasses, wine and food pairings and cooking classes.
The festival, sponsored by Wine Selectors, will be held in a COVID-safe format. For the full program and bookings, visit winecountry.com.au
Here are some key events:
Grange Versus Hunter Tastings at Winehouse, 426 McDonalds Road, Pokolbin. It allows visitors to compare the 2014 vintages of Grange, the Brokenwood Graveyard, the Silkman Reserve Shiraz and the Mount Pleasant Maurice O'Shea shiraz reds. Held daily between 11am to 5pm from June 1 to 30 at $96 a person.
The 100 Metres Meal: $120 a person at Margan Family Winery and Restaurant, 1238 Milbrodale Road, Broke, from 2pm every Sunday in June. Chef Joey Ingram takes guests on a tour of the one-acre kitchen garden, followed by a three-course lunch in which everything on the plate and in the wine glass has been grown within 100 metres of the hatted Margan restaurant table.
Whispering Brook Olive Long Table Lunch: $189 a person at Rodd Street, Broke, from noon to 4pm on Saturday, June 5. After a walking tour of the Whispering Brook vineyard and olive groves, followed by an al fresco four-course lunch provided by chef Frank Fawkner of EXP Restaurant matched with estate wines, live music and a presentation by guest speaker Patrice Newell.
Hunter Culinary Association Food Fight in which the Hunter's Mitch Beswick of Muse Restaurant and Sam Alexander of Yellow Billy Restaurant cook off in a four-course June 28 lunch against Sydney's Alex Prichard of Icebergs Restaurant and Andrew Wandless of Una Ms at Coogee Pavilion. It's $195 per head from 11am at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley.
Leogate Cheese, Charcuterie and Chardonnay Flight at Leogate winery, 1693 Broke Road, Pokolbin, daily from June 1 to June 30. At a cost of $35 a person, guests will explore different styles of chardonnay produced by Leogate, accompanied by cheeses.
SPAIN TO HUNTER GLEE
FROM a grape that makes 90% of Spain's white wines, this Hunter Margan 2020 Albarino has green-tinted straw hues and ginger aromas. The front palate shows crisp kiwifruit flavour, the middle palate grapefruit, ginger, star anise and gunmetal and a slatey acid finish. At margan.com.au, the Broke winery and Dan Murphy's and other wine stores.
DRINK WITH: tapas.
AGEING: four years.
RATING: 4 stars
JUICY ORANGE CABERNET
THIS fine-value Tulloch 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon is from Orange grapesand has 14.1% alcohol and is purple-tinged crimson. The nose has quince paste aromas, the front palate juicy blackberry flavour, the middle raspberry, peppermint and mocha oak. Dusty tannins show at the finish. At tulloch.com.au, the De Beyers Road cellar and bottle shops.
DRINK WITH: lasagne.
AGEING: six years.
RATING: 4 stars
WITH 13.5% alcohol,this Hunter classic-style Scarborough 2015 Black Label Shiraz is bright garnet and has forest floor aromas and spicy plum front-palate flavour. The middle shows Morello cherry, briar, mint and cedary oak. Ferric tannins play at the finish. At the Gillards Road and Hermitage Road, Pokolbin, cellar and scarboroughwine.com.au.
DRINK WITH: osso bucco.
AGEING: seven years.
RATING: 4.5 stars
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