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Luxury Boutique Wine Tours
Boutique Wine Tours
Enjoy the day out in the amazing Hunter Valley in luxury! We take up to 4 people with a exclusively designed itinerary depending our your tastes and we offer the following packages. Private wine tour licence held.
With our knowledge of the area and contacts we offer the best of the best wine tastings, cheese sampling, olives and chocolate choices. We selectively pick the best wineries depending on your tastes and requests ad can offer the following packages.
Full Day VIP Wine Tour – From $450
Pick you up from your Hunter Valley accommodation at 10.30am
Up to 4 guests
Visit the best Boutique Hunter Valley Cellar Doors and Vineyards
All tasting fees included
Pick your own lunch spot at your own expense and we can book for you
Can be customised to suit your requirements
Return to your accommodation at 4pm
Closed Monday. For more information, please call Phillippa Sutton 0429088020.
Hunter Valley Wine Tours
Wine tours are a fun, informative and delicious way to experience the Hunter Valley, Australia’s oldest wine region. You’ll visit cellar doors and taste wines made from the iconic grape varieties, emerging varieties and exciting new blends. There are gourmet food delights to savour as well.
One of the wonders of wine is subtle changes in grape flavour from year to year, vineyard to vineyard, and vine row to vine row. On the tours you’ll learn more about the valley’s unique terroir as well as gain insights into wine appreciation and winemaking, from the vineyard to the bottle.
From the exceptional heritage to the exciting innovation, you’ll discover acclaimed wineries with family lineages dating back to 1800s, boutique wineries, and organic and biodynamic vineyards. You’ll meet the winemakers and, importantly, you’ll taste some of the best wines in the world. Arranging a tour directly with a winery means that you’ll usually have to find your own way there, but it does offer you the choice of where you want to visit. An organised tour provides transport and expert commentary. The Hunter Valley is renowned for fresh produce, cheesemakers, chocolatiers, gourmet providores and award-winning restaurants, such as Bistro Molines, Muse Restaurant, Muse Kitchen and Margan.
What happens on a Wine Tour? Tips for a great day
There are several aspects that go into having a successful day in the Vineyards:
A wine tour is a learning experience. So if you don't know anything about wine before you go, that's OK. While most wine tours are filled with others who want to learn, it's easy to feel intimidated the first time you attend one. Knowing the proper way to taste wine may give your confidence a boost.
When you enter the wine tasting room, your host will greet you with several samples of wine. The host will pour one sample and describe both the smell and the taste. Hold the glass up to the light and notice the color. A bright, clean color signifies quality. Tilt the glass slightly to the side. Younger wines will maintain uniform color throughout, while older wines will lose their coloring and become translucent close to the rim.
Smell the wine before drinking. The scent of vinegar or prunes signify that something went wrong with the aging process. The wine is either too acidic (vinegar scent) or has been exposed to air and has oxidized. Wine that has oxidized will develop a prune-like scent and an off taste similar to cough syrup. Smells of flowers, vanilla, coconut, oak and even toasted bread all signify quality wine. Take a small sip of the wine and let it spread through your mouth. Concentrate on the different flavors of the wine. Listen to how the host describes the flavor and compare that to how it tastes in your mouth.
Next comes the part that many people find awkward: Do you swallow the wine or spit it out? Either is perfectly acceptable. They'll be spitting buckets available, but you can swallow also. Over the course of one day, a person on a guided wine tour may end up sampling 12 to 18 different wines, so many people refrain from swallowing all of the samples. The host will begin the tasting by offering samples of dry white wines and move to dry reds. The dessert and other sweet wines are saved for last. Wine tours are great fun, and there's no reason to worry about a stuffy atmosphere. If you show up prepared to learn and are interested in broadening your wine tasting horizons, you're sure to enjoy yourself.
Group Size has a major factor on what sort of day you should be planning for 2-7 people - With this size group you can run your day as you please as long as you are happy just to taste at the public bar within wineries. Most wineries require groups of 8 or more to book but smaller groups are welcome to just drop in spend as long or as little time with them before moving onto next venue. 8-12 people - Bookings are a MUST HAVE, with this size group you will have to allow 1-hour minimum at each winery & 1.5 to 2 hours for lunch
We make all bookings for you and take care of the timings.
Timing your tour is important. During a busy weekend tasting rooms can be crowded and the pourers may not be able to spend as much time talking shop. If possible schedule your tour during the week, when the winery staff will have more time to spend with each customer. If you are touring on the weekends, we will suggest the best places to go for the VIP service.
We plan your route depending on what sort of wine you prefer and confirm the wineries you would like to visit on the day you plan on visiting.
We call & book your group into the places we suggest. There is nothing worse than turning up to a cellar door only to receive sub standard service or be turned away, as this does happen to some groups unfortunately. This is totally avoidable by simply letting us do the ground work for you.
Be polite. Yes, this seems obvious, In a smaller winery, you are likely to be in part of someone's home and possibly talking to the owner. And you're probably getting wine free, or for a small charge. Be nice, and show them the respect they deserve. They love when you like the wine enough to buy a bottle.
Remember that it's a tasting room, not a bar. If you want to drink a big glass of wine, buy a bottle and have a picnic. And even if you are not driving, be very careful about how much you're drinking. People who have had too much to drink ruin the tasting experience for everybody. Remember we are restricted in the area with liquor licensing so many are unable to sell by the glass.
On the day of your tour leave the perfume at home; you don't want the smell of your favorite fragrance interfering with your ability to taste the wines. Make sure you eat and have plenty of water. It is important to stay fed and hydrated while tasting wine.
Don't let the fancy jargon and spit bucket intimidate you. Wine makers and for the most part anyone who works at a winery does so because they are passionate about wine. They love to talk about how wine is made, in particularly how their wine is made and the just about anything to do with the wine business.
Have an answer to the question, "What kind of wine do you like?" Tasting-room personnel tend to ask this reflexively as an ice-breaker, but many people who aren't totally comfortable with wine find it hard to answer on the spot. In any event, we'd be hesitant to answer it directly because we don't want to try only the kinds of wines we already know we like. Even if you think you only like dry wines, you should try some that are sweet, and vice versa. Think about saying something like, "I enjoy all kinds of wines. Which would you start with?"
Ask questions. Don't be shy. If you ask simple questions like "Does this look like it will be a good year?" or "What food goes best with this wine?" the person behind the counter will appreciate your interest. Don't try to show off with questions like, "Did this get any ML?" unless you really, really care about malolactic fermentation. There are no stupid questions.
Take Notes. Although it is certainly optional, most wine tastings involve taking notes at each step. Otherwise, by the time you've tried two or more wines, you will probably confuse which impressions went with what wine! Most wineries have a tasting sheet with the winemakers notes. This is a great place to start, although I like to make my own appraisal prior to reading the description. I don't want to be influences by the flowery descriptions.
Get an empty box for wine. Grab one at your local wine store, or think about buying a Styrofoam wine carrier from the shipping store. Trust us on this. You are going to start buying bottles of wine that will rattle around in your car unless you've brought a box. You'll thank us for this advice when your box is full (and this might have an added benefit; see below). We supply crates and a small fridge for cheese and produce.
Remember to write your name on your wine purchases. At the end of the day, it can be mayhem when the bottles do not have names on them.
We will be waiting for you when you're finished in each winery and a tasting normally takes 45 minutes to an hour.
Keep wines out of the hot car. A car that's sitting in the sun will cook your wines in no time flat. Find a way to avoid that.
WINE TOUR ETIQUETTE
Don't chat with others while the host is explaining the wine-making process.
Don't monopolize the host's attention with your own questions.
Never touch anything unless the host invites you to do so.
During the tasting, keep in mind that no one likes every type of wine. Don't offer your opinion on a particular wine unless you're specifically invited to do so.
If you don't care for a particular sample it's perfectly acceptable to dump the remainder of your glass into the spit bucket.
If you really like a particular wine, it's acceptable to ask for one refill. But proper etiquette dictates that you then purchase a bottle before leaving.
If you use the spit bucket, lean directly over the bucket and be neat. No spitting on the table, floor or your neighbor.