How Much Are Wine Tastings in the Hunter Valley?
An easy two-hour drive north of Sydney lies the picturesque Hunter Valley. As Australia’s oldest wine growing region and home to many world class vineyards, it is a firm favourite for mid-week escapes and indulgent weekends away to relax and enjoy award winning wines paired and incredible culinary experiences.
Is wine tasting free in the Hunter Valley?
Nearly all cellar doors charge a $5 per person tasting fee for wine presentations, with some cellars charging $10 per person and a small number charge $20 per person. Many cellars will refund tasting fees upon wine purchase; however, this is at the discretion of the individual vineyard.
Why are there charges for wine tasting?
There are several reasons that wine tasting fees have been introduced. Imagine all the wine consumed in cellar doors from wine tastings every day. That adds up to a lot of wine consumed and that costs the vineyards. Cellar doors are simply recouping their investment to produce their product, which is why you are there in the first place. After all, you would not expect to walk into your local pub and try all their beers on tap without paying, would you? Furthermore, your wine tasting experience will be hosted by friendly and knowledgeable cellar staff that guide you through your wine tasting, answering any questions you may have. They are passionate about what they do and love sharing their knowledge with visitors. Their time is not free nor any less valuable than your time is. Tasting fees are great value when you think that one small glass of wine at a bar will cost you at least 10 dollars.
Do you need to book wine tasting?
Due to high demand and government regulations, it is now important that you pre-book your wine tasting experience in advance to avoid disappointment. It still may be possible to walk into a cellar door for a wine tasting without a prior booking during off peak times and mid-week in some of the smaller vineyards and artisan outlets, however we do not recommend it. It is essential to book a wine tasting on weekends and during holiday periods, especially for groups of six or more, to avoid being turned away due to high demand and pre-booked appointments that have already been secured. Would you risk showing up at your favourite restaurant without a booking?
Travelling around the vineyards
The Hunter Valley boasts over one hundred and fifty vineyards, producing some of Australia’s finest wines. It covers an area of 19,578 km² in size and has 2,605 hectares of vineyards producing Shiraz, Semillon, Chardonnay, and Verdelho. Choosing the right wineries to visit can be difficult but you want to make sure you have an incredible time. To make the most of your time in Wine Country without the hassle of driving yourself, we recommend a guided wine tour.
Private guided Hunter Valley wine tours are the perfect way to experience some of the region’s best wineries such as Vamp by Lisa McGuigan, First Creek Wines, and Scarborough Wine Co. We also highly recommend amazing wine tasting experiences visiting some of the smaller bespoke vineyards such as Wandin Estate, Honeytree Estate and Stomp! Wines. You can also experience cheese or chocolate factory tours and unique spirits and liqueurs from artisan distilleries.
Play It Safe and Pre-Book
To enjoy your time in Wine Country, play it safe and pre-book all your wine tastings in advance. Individual cellar doors will advise you if they do not require a booking for your chosen arrival time and you can relax knowing you will get to savour the flavour of your favourite vintage at a time that suits you. Alternatively book a Hunter Valley wine tour with a private tour company and they will take care of everything for you. Private wine tours can help you plan an exciting itinerary based around you favourite wines and food, pick you up from your accommodation and drop you off safely at the end of the day, so you can spend an unforgettable day in Wine Country with you your friends.