A Wonderful Experience of Wine Country
Welcome to the 20th issue of Wine & Dine Hunter Valley! This new issue is celebrating twelve years of delivering the number one, quintessential guide to world-class Hunter Valley food and wine experiences through the biannual magazine and interactive digital tasting trails.
The Hunter Valley is not only home to some of the best wines in Australia and the world, but it's also an extraordinary culinary destination with some of the country's finest concentrations of food offerings. With the rise of gourmet tourism being one of the strongest travel trends globally, Wine & Dine Hunter Valley takes wine and food tourism to new heights, supporting the industry and the region by revealing the hands-on experiences, the hidden gems, unique wine tastings and the pockets of culinary excellence that only the locals know about, all in one place.
Wine & Dine Hunter Valley publishers Di and Quentin von Essen are passionate about the region and all that it has to offer.
"As lovers of good food and great wine, we were regular visitors to the Hunter Valley for over 16 years before we made the big move from Sydney," said Quentin.
"We opened a guesthouse and discovered that over breakfast every morning, we would be questioned by our guests about where they could find whatever they were looking for - where is the best sparkling, what restaurants are nearby, which cellar doors are worth visiting. With a background in publishing, it didn't take us long to recognise the need for a comprehensive guide to answer all these questions because there was nothing like that to make it easy for visitors.
"We were also inspired by the passion and commitment of each business we encountered toward ensuring visitors had a wonderful experience. As we got to know the local business owners, we could see how difficult it was to differentiate themselves with so many cellar doors and restaurants in the market."
What followed was a desire to provide a truly effective and affordable marketing tool for local businesses to be able to tell their story and attract customers.
"We weren't necessarily trying to attract more visitors to the Hunter Valley – but when they were here (or when they were planning their trip), we wanted to make it easier for them to get around and find those unique experiences that they might otherwise have missed," said Di.
"We decided to put a dedicated focus on the Hunter Valley's restaurants, cellar doors, gourmet produce, chefs and winemakers and assist people in finding and experiencing the best wine and food experiences the Hunter Valley has to offer while at the same time promoting each of the wine-producing areas of Pokolbin, Lovedale, Mount View, Broke Fordwich and Wollombi along with the history of each area.
"The navigable, interactive wine and food trails make planning your trip fun and simple and give visitors the confidence that they're getting the best out of the destination."
With over 1.5 million visitors to the Hunter Valley every year to explore the rich bounty of food, wine, gourmet produce, craft beers, ciders, distilled spirits and other specialty beverages on offer, Wine & Dine Hunter Valley has become an essential planning tool and marketing resource for the region. No matter what you're looking for, whether it's lovingly made sourdough, pastries, fresh handmade cheese or chocolates, locally picked olives, locally farmed lamb or perch, crisp Semillons or vibrant Shiraz – you'll find it in Wine & Dine Hunter Valley.
Originally a print publication, it has evolved to become available across multiple platforms that include print, digital, online and social media - with online booking facilities, digitally interactive indexes and trail maps, as well as specialty trail maps and a feature section on planning a wedding in wine country. The digital capabilities have been further enhanced so that users can make bookings and get directions directly from their mobile phone, making it handy for travellers who are navigating their way around over 150 cellar doors and more than 80 restaurants in the region. In addition, a digitally interactive version is now also sent in advance to thousands of people who have booked accommodation in the Hunter Valley.
Celebrating twelve years and with a wealth of knowledge about what the region offers, Wine & Dine Hunter Valley provides the best resource to explore the Hunter Valley. Pick up a copy at Visitor Information Centres, accommodation providers, cellar doors, restaurants and cafes or any other tourist attractions or for the fully interactive, digital version, visit www.wineanddinehuntervalley.com.au