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  • Quentin Von Essen

Time to Enjoy the Very Best of our Wine Region

The Hunter Valley is a wonderful and welcoming place to visit at any time of the year, but Winter in the Hunter Valley has that special magical something – with its collection of quaint boutique accommodation, mountain and vineyard landscapes, cool nights and days spent rugged up in front of open fires, cosy restaurants and welcoming cellar doors.

In June, the Hunter Valley is full of events encouraging locals and tourists alike to explore the region’s bountiful offering of premium wine and fine food. It’s a feast for the senses, with opportunities to explore and taste all the Hunter has to offer, see the region’s master chefs in action, take a cooking class and hear the winemakers explain the process of taking wine from the grape to the glass.

For me, one of the most exciting events is Smokey Sundays at Matilda Bay Brewhouse, which takes place every Sunday in June.

Roll up your sleeves and tuck into good old-fashioned comfort food as Chef Phil Collis serves up Asian herbs, bastes and sauces with the best of slow-cooked Texan Barbecue.

Smokey Sundays kick off at noon with pulled pork burgers, blackened brisket burgers and the ultimate smoked meats board with 16-hour blackened brisket, smoked chorizo sausages, eight-hour smoked pork shoulder with smoked BBQ sauce and chipotle. This is smokehouse cuisine at its best, and it comes with the perfect beer match for those delicious smokey flavours as well.

Rug up, grab a picnic blanket and some friends and head out to Stonehurst Cedar Creek on Wollombi Road on Saturday 8th of June for Music in the Woods. Enjoy a day in the fabulous Wollombi Valley with fine wine as you dance the afternoon away with three incredible live bands set amongst 100 poplar trees or relax beside the fire pit in the woods as you sip from a range of Stonehurst award-winning wines, with mulled wine on pour.

Wine and cheese are old friends, with a strong affinity going back thousands of years and considered to be two of life’s true pleasures – especially when it involves a glass of the Hunter Valleys most iconic wines – Lovedale Semillon and Maurice O’Shea Shiraz accompanied by quality produce from the Artisan Cheese Room in Manly.

Each day in June, Mount Pleasant Wines are inviting wine and cheese lovers to enjoy three vintage vertical tastings of each wine served in premium Riedel glassware paired with some of the world’s finest cheeses.

But the party doesn’t end once night falls on June 29, with several other special events planned to cap off a month celebrating the Hunters premium wine and fine food.

Make your way to Glandore Estate for one of the most hotly anticipated evenings of the month – the traditional Burning of the Barrel.

Combining a massive bonfire with fantastic wines, cheese, food, live music and a fireworks display not to be missed, it’s no surprise that this event featured as one of the TOP 50 Worldwide Wine Experiences you must try with Gourmet Traveller Wine. Gates open at 3pm with the bonfire going up in flames at 6pm. A perfect winter night event – so get there early to grab a spot at the front of the fire.

For more information about what's hot and happening in the Hunter Valley this winter, including maps and guides, visit

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