While we like to think that we have our finger on the pulse of everything that happens in and around the Hunter Valley, we have to (reluctantly) admit that this one slipped past our eagle-eyes!
What we did know was that Boydell's is a boutique vineyard in East Gresford. Owned and operated by Daniel and Jane Maroulis, Boydell's produce premium Estate wines from the grapes grown on their picturesque property on the banks of the Allyn River.
Daniel has a long background in agronomy, working all over the country with a range of different crops and commodities. The couple both have a passion for good wine and decided, just over three years ago to combine both experience and passion and raise their family of four daughters on this pristine spot in the Hunter Valley.
The vineyard is steeped in history and is arguably the site of the first vineyard in New South Wales, having been settled by Charles Boydell in 1826. Boydell and wine veteran Dr Henry Lindeman first established wine grape production in the area and, like Charles, Daniel crafts quality, boutique wines from the grapes grown on this picturesque and historic farm. They have a great range of varieties on offer –- the sparkling Verdhelo is to die for.
So now to the part of this story we didn’t know. Boydell's is now home to Boydell's Escape – a very special tented campsite.
But if you prefer five-star lodging to a bit of bush-tucker in a swag – then replace the word camp with GLAMP, because at Boydell’s you’ll find a glamping experience that is unrivalled in the Hunter Valley.
Spend your stay within a luxuriously appointed eco African Safari Tent positioned not only for privacy but also to soak up the glorious views of both vineyards and lush grazing paddocks dotted with kangaroos. The tent is the real-deal – 100% authentic and imported from Africa.
“We wanted to make something very genuine, and that would withstand the Australian conditions. The tent is made with such integrity it is very comfortable in all Australian seasons,” said Jane.
“It was quite a process just getting it to the property. We then excavated an area of the farm with the most spectacular views of the Allyn Valley, built a very large deck out of recycled printer cartridges and plastics and then began the process of erecting the 52sqm safari tent. After the solar power and water tanks were installed, we furnished it with pieces from all over to give it a luxe feel.”
Think uber indulgent copper bath, luxurious toiletries and a peaceful nights sleep under a silk mosquito canopy over the king size bed that has been impeccably made using the finest of linen.
Daniel said the uniqueness of the wine produced by Boydell’s also inspired them to create an experience that is really different to anything else that is available.
“Our wine isn’t run of the mill, so neither is our accommodation. We wanted to give people an exclusive and unique experience. There really is nothing else like it around, and its popularity is soaring. We had lots of fun creating it and enjoy meeting the guests that come to stay,” said Daniel.
One would expect that such a surge in popularity might ignite the desire to add more tents to the property, but Jane says they have no plans to expand at this stage.
“Our guests love the fact they are the only guests who have access to wander through the vines, paddle down the river, or just enjoy the privacy of the Safari Tent on this 200-acre property. The benefits for the guests is that they have absolute privacy,” she said.
Packages include a delicious breakfast, accommodation for 2, a gourmet DIY bbq, a bottle of Boydell's wine, access to farmland for walks and the pristine Allyn River for stand-up paddle boarding and relaxing. Additional treats such as in-house massages, a private chef and wine tasting, picnic lunch hampers and special packages for proposals are available. The only limit is your own imagination.
For more information and bookings visit www.boydells.com.au