Weekend Eatinerary: Hunter Valley hangs | The Gourmand & Gourmet

Weekend Eatinerary: Hunter Valley hangs

Winter giving you a case of the blahs? Breathe some fabulosity into your life with a cheeky wine weekend in the Hunter Valley, a destination that’s all about decadence.

With more than 150 wineries, restaurants aplenty and vines for days, there’s more to explore beyond the cellar door (although, let’s be honest, that’s where you’ll find us most of the time). Make it your mission to go beyond the big name wineries to discover boutique vineyards and say cheers to the good life.

We’ve done the “research” (it’s tough, but someone’s gotta) and put together the ultimate itinerary for an epic wine weekend in the Hunter Valley, including the best cellar doors, dining hot spots and cosy cottages to rest your wine-weary head for the night.

Usher Tinkler 

One of the young guns of the Hunter, Usher Tinkler uses grapes from the family estate in Pokolbin to create some amazing avant-garde wines. Visit the hipster cellar door for a modern approach to wine tasting, complemented by salumi and cheese plates. This cellar door is super popular, so it’s recommended to book ahead, particularly on the weekends.

Gundog Estate 

Mosey next door to Gundog Estate, a welcoming cellar door where you can perch up at the bar and indulge in a brilliant tasting from a range of premium and single-vineyard wines. There’s also a Gourmet Pantry packed with tempting goodies and excellent coffee to keep your designated driver happy.


The Hunter Valley’s most spectacular cellar door, Brokenwood has recently unveiled its new wine centre, which includes multiple tasting rooms and two dining hot spots. With a mind-boggling choice of tasting options, choose a single vineyard tasting to compare wines from premium single sites from Brokenwood’s best vineyards – it’s a non-negotiable on your Hunter Valley wine weekend.


One of the most beautiful cellar door experiences is this French inspired boutique winery in Broke. If your motto is yes way to rosé, then you’ll love Krinklewood’s Francesca rosé, a standout from the wine list. Not only are Krinklewood’s wines certified biodynamic, every aspect of the vineyard is managed in an organic, holistic and sustainable way. We’ll drink to that.

Greenway Wines

Seek out this hidden gem in Broke. You won’t find Greenway Wines in bottle shops, so why not try something special, straight from the vineyard (you’ll be a hit at your next dinner party). Greenway Wines is a small family-owned and operated boutique vineyard and it’s cute as a button.

Café Enzo 

There’s a lot to love about Café Enzo, namely, it’s perfect all year round. Soak up the sunshine in the courtyard or inside by the cosy fireplace in the cooler months. Cruise in for a takeaway coffee or book ahead for delicious eats, like the homemade gnocchi with sugar snaps, peas, leek, baby spinach, burnt sage butter and parmesan – ah-mazing!

Bistro Molines 

If you don’t squeeze the iconic Bistro Molines onto your weekend eatinerary, you’re missing out. Robert and Sally Molines have been welcoming guests to the Hunter Valley for over 40 years. Bistro Molines is like being transported to the South of France, with rustic French provincial dishes, wrought iron chairs and courtyard dining overlooking the vines.

Margan Restaurant

For refined dining, head to Margan Restaurant, part of the award-winning and family-owned Margan winery in Broke. Chef Thomas Boyd has an idyllic acre of kitchen garden, plus orchard, olive grove, honey, free-range chickens and lamb at his disposal to select the freshest seasonal produce to incorporate into Margan’s divine menu. Save room for dessert: Boyd’s milk parfait with Margan honey, macadamia and thyme was the winner of the recent Hunter Culinary Food Fight, part of the annual Hunter Valley Wine & Food Festival shenanigans.

EXP Restaurant 

EXPect to be amazed at EXP Restaurant. This chic and intimate dining experience is next level, with the restaurant decked out with handcrafted local furniture and a drool-worthy menu by chef Frank Fawkner. If you’re after more casual eats, hit up Fawkner’s cheekily named offshoot Fawk Foods with an epic all-day breakfast menu if you’re easing into the weekend.

Muse Kitchen

In the dreamy surrounds of Keith Tulloch Wines courtyard, Muse Kitchen serves up regional European-style fare by Chef Sean Townsend. It’s intended to be the more casual dining experience to the award-winning Muse Restaurant with simple and sophisticated dining offerings like roast chicken with Tuscan kale and borlotti beans.

voco Kirkton Park 

Stay at the stylish voco Kirkton Park for a true country-estate style getaway. Comfy rooms with sweeping countryside or rose garden views have been given a mini-makeover following the rebrand to voco. Feast on the impressive breakfast buffet or superior high tea for an indulgent gourmet interlude.

Tinonee Vineyard Estate 

If you’re travelling with an entourage, then pick a house with space for entertaining the gang. The Residence boasts six bedrooms, and can sleep 14 of your BFFs. With a private swimming pool and an enormous living room with a fireplace, it’s perfect for a group getaway all year round.

Hunting the perfect getaway has never been so easy.


Image credits: Hunter Valley Wine & Tourism Association / Usher Tinkler / Cafe Enzo / Tinonee Vineyard Estate

Words by Sally Scott of Alluxia
- the gourmet who was a guest of voco and Tinonee