Pokolbin, Hunter Valley, NSW
New South Wales' Hunter Valley is Australia's oldest wine growing region. It is also renowned for its fine dining, cooking schools, galleries, health spa retreats and golf courses. Here you can sample local cheeses, hand-made chocolates, charcuterie, dairy goods, sourdough breads and olive oils direct from the producers. Join a wine tasting master class; or sample a broad selection of wines at one of more than 150 cellar doors. After your epicurean indulgence, escape to the great outdoors with a game of golf, hot-air balloon or helicopter ride or shopping for antiques and local artworks in the region's many galleries.
The first vines in the Hunter Valley were planted by families in the 1820s, making the Hunter Valley the oldest wine region in Australia. Hunter Valley semillon is widely considered the iconic wine of the region, but the Hunter also produces wine from a wide variety of grapes including shiraz, chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon and verdelho. Visit the internationally-acclaimed Wyndham Estate, one of Australia's oldest vineyards, which hosts Opera in the Vineyards each year. The historic 1866 Audrey Wilkinson winery has a museum with original wine making equipment on display.