Without a doubt, the Hunter Valley produces some of the best wines in Australia. But unfortunately, if you're currently visiting our beautiful region, you’ve probably already discovered that many of the Hunter Valley’s wine gems can only be purchased directly from the cellar door, and some are even reserved especially for the wineries members and can’t be purchased by the general public at all.
So, what happens when you finish that last bottle from the case you hauled home from your last trip to the Hunter Valley? Well you could (and should) come back of course, but joining a wine club could also be the answer.
Wine clubs take the guesswork (and inconvenience) out of purchasing wine. While buying wine at the Cellar Door comes with the benefit of taste-testing before purchasing, unless you live in the area it’s a long trek to stock up for your impromptu dinner party.
Bottle shop buying can be more convenient, but you don’t get the chance to taste what's on offer, and it’s difficult to find knowledgeable, personal service (unless you find a retail assistant who has tried every wine in the store!)
You could stare blankly in front of a shelf full of your favourite wine varieties and end up taking a punt on a wine that leaves you disappointed.
That’s where wine clubs come in handy – offering the best of both worlds. Wine clubs connect wine lovers with winemakers. They are a hassle-free way to purchase wines from your favourite wineries at discounted prices, delivered to your door at regular (or irregular) intervals. Let’s face it – life is busy enough – so if you’ve dreamt of always having great wine at hand for dinner or to give as a gift without having to stress about racing out and buying it – then join a wine club!
If you’ve visited the Hunter Valley previously, then you probably already have firm favourites when it comes to wine – and you’ve possibly already picked up a membership or two. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t step out of your comfort zone and try something new, with most wine clubs offering different benefits to members. Here are a few of our favourites…
Tamburlaine Organic Wines
The good folk at Tamburlaine have created a couple of different Wine Club memberships to help visitors choose one that best suits their tastes and lifestyle. The Reserve Members Club is for those looking for something extra special. Members are the first to get their hands on their very own tasting sample of Tamburlaine's latest Reserve wines, enjoy special pricing and gain special access to events like the Winemaker’s Dinner and can elect to receive one or two tastings annually. A case purchase from Tamburlaine automatically entitles the purchaser to become a Wine Lovers Member. It’s great for those just looking to sip and savour without the commitment of an annual delivery – shop whenever you like to receive special pricing and enjoy VIP access to exclusive member events, specials and offers. For more information visit www.tamburlaine.com.au
This gorgeous Cellar Door located in (yep you guessed it) Pokolbin, boasts a large range of Hunter award-winning wines, available only through the Cellar Door and Wine Club. At Pokolbin Estate, Platinum Wine Club Members are an important part of their extended family, and as such, members enjoy extra benefits and privileges. Members enjoya dozen award-winning wines delivered each March and September, the ability to choose their own wine, detailed tasting notes, free delivery anywhere in Australia, 25% discount on additional wine purchases, access to the beautifully appointed private tasting room and special cellar release wines not sold to the general public and invitations to Pokolbin Estate events and Degustation Dinners. For more information visit www.pokolbinestate.com.au
The Matilda’s Club at Constable Estate offers members exclusive access to the members-only on-site accommodation as well as a very palatable $5 off each and every bottle of wine purchased. With free use of the championship tennis court and special VIP wine and cheese tastings for Matilda Members and guests year round, members are asked to purchase six bottles of their favourite Constable Estate wine every six months (delivered in Autumn and Spring) and promise to savour the wine and to visit whenever they are in the Hunter. Done! Signup at www.constableestate.com.au
The appropriately named Tintilla Estate Cellar Door Club is a wine club with added benefits like discounts on golf at The Vintage Golf Course, accommodation and tours. With a 20% discount, no annual fee and free delivery within Australia, members are kept up to date with a monthly newsletter and invitations to special member events. Members receive the first option on limited releases and back vintages and can choose to receive either a dozen wines twice a year or a six-pack four times per year. For more information visit www.tintilla.com.au
The Liquid Lounge Club at Ridgeview gives members access not just to new vintages, but also to award-winners from back vintages that are no longer available. In addition, every six months (June and December), members receive a 6-pack Winemakers Selection with the option to request ‘Just Reds’ or ‘Just Whites’ or upgrade the 6-pack to a case (12 wines). Members also receive a 20% discount on case sales and 13 to the dozen in person at the cellar door, and because Ridgeview also boasts an amazing restaurant and on-site accommodation, members receive a 10% discount at both. Barrel tastings, grape picking during vintage and winemakers dinners round out the offering – which gives visitors the chance to experience the cellar door lifestyle. Visit www.ridgeview.com.au for more information.
Wine clubs are a great way to start exploring new wines, especially if you’re a beginner. For this reason, gifting a wine club membership to someone from a tried and tested Hunter Valley winery is also a thoughtful Christmas gift for a loved one. It’s also a guarantee that you’ll be offered great wine when you next visit!