What better plan on a stunning summer Sunday than a visit to a wine region to pick up some wine supplies for Christmas? An hour drive from Newcastle is historic Wollombi, a quiet Hunter Valley country town boasting the Wollombi Valley Wine Trail. After passing through Cessnock, the scenery on the drive into town is spectacular, with views of bushland and tree-covered hills from the car windows in every direction.
This visit wasn’t a comprehensive tasting exercise of all the vineyards on the trail. I have visited the Wollombi wine trail previously and thoroughly enjoyed it. Great wines, lovely people, always. Today’s focus was fun summer whites, rosès and sparkling wines for the Christmas season, so we chose Wollombi Wines and Stonehurst Wines.
The cellar door at Wollombi Wines features a spectacular view out over the vines and across to the hills. Tastings at this cellar door is always a very pleasant experience, and today was no exception. The tasting was relaxed, informative and fun. After trying the yummy selections on the tasting list, including Shiraz and Semillon, I purchased the White Splash (a favourite last Christmas) and the Rose. Made from Semillon grapes, the fresh, fruity and citrusy White Splash is perfect for a summer BBQ or party and Christmas get togethers. Obtaining some bottles of this lovely, fun white wine is the main reason for today’s visit to Wollombi. Another favourite Christmas wine is rosè. Wollombi Wine’s Rose is a soft, fruity, semi-dry rosè that I can see myself drinking quite easily this summer!
I have visited Stonehurst several times and I think I am still yet to taste a wine at the cellar door I haven’t liked. The outstanding wines are made with organic grapes, hand picked and pruned. Today’s tasting consisted of Semillon, Chardonnay, various sparkling wines and rosè. I purchased perfect summer/Christmas wines – Spritzig (the fruity, light sparkling rosè), the standard rosè and a different variety, 2013 sparkling Charmbourcin. Chambourcin is one of my favourite red varieties (behind Shiraz, of course!), and this berry driven treat screams summer!
I am so pleased to have stocked up on awesome, local Hunter Valley wines, direct from the cellar doors and the people who make them. This wine area has a completely different feel to Pokolbin and is well worth checking out.
If you would like to visit Wollombi and explore the Wollombi Valley Wine Trail, these are the places to check out – Millbrook Estate, Stonehurst Wines, Wollombi Wines, Noyce Brothers, Wollombi Tavern, Wollombi Village Vineyard, Undercliff Winery. Wollombi is a relaxed, welcoming town and well worth a visit.