After a successful first year in 2018, with over 6000 people enjoying the delights of the Hunter Valley, the Hunter Valley Cheese & Chocolate Festival returns to Hope Estate on 6+7 July, 2019. We’re lucky enough to claim Hunter Valley Wine Country as our backyard playground, and it’s sometimes easy to forget that the Hunter Valley is a major tourist destination in its own right with a growing number of reasons to visit. Of course, there’s the wine, the food and an ever-increasing foray of live concerts – but increasingly it’s festivals such as this that are attracting visitors who are looking for different experiences and to maybe learn something new.
“We already know that large concerts, such as the Red Hot Chili Peppers, bring in thousands of visitors for the weekend, but what we are learning is that there is also an appetite for lifestyle events,” says Hope Estate owner, Michael Hope.
“People are travelling to the Hunter Valley for more reasons than just filling their car boot up with wine. In creating the cheese and chocolate experience within Wine Country, we are exposing the Hunter to a broader market. I am a big believer that we need to evolve to survive.”
Lifestyle events enable many local businesses to showcase their products to not only Hunter residents but also those travelling from Sydney and regional NSW.
“Cheese & Chocolate 2018 was an incredible event,” says Jason Chesworth of Hunter Belle Dairy.
“Never have we seen crowds in such large numbers that were all seeking gourmet artisan products. We sold out of cheese twice and after two quick trips back to restock; we were left amazed by the level of expectation amongst consumers with our premium products our best sellers.”
“Hunter Valley Cookies had one of the biggest single days trade from any event we have attended in 20 years last year,” said Sheryl Machain of Hunter Valley Cookies.
This year attendees will find more vendors and lots of activities for the whole family to enjoy! The Festival will showcase the talents of many local and national cheese makers, bakers, and chocolatiers, including local legends Hunter Belle Dairy Co, Hunter Valley Chocolate Company, Binnorie Dairy, and Donarch Fine Chocolate to name a few.
As well as the sweet and savoury vendors, attendees will be able to watch demonstrations from guest chefs, chocolatiers and cheesemongers. Adults can experience a guided tasting of Hope Estate beer and wine and relax on the amphitheatre with live entertainment.
Attendees can also enjoy a cheese or chocolate masterclass in the Great Cask Hall or enhance their experience further by treating themselves to the 3-course VIP lunch overlooking the vineyards!
Visit www.hopestate.com.au for tickets.