One of our favorite things to do out of Sydney is to head to the Hunter Valley, Sydney’s wine country. It’s just a short two hour drive from the city and the perfect weekend country escape. We made sure to visit some of our favorite wineries including Gartlemann, Ivanhoe and Piggs Peake.
Gartlemann is a small boutique winery nestled in Lovedale. On the day we arrived, they had live music playing on their outdoor patio. After a tasting inside given my the winery owners, Jan & Jorg Gartlemann, we grabbed a bottle of sparkling shiraz, ordered a cheese platter and enjoyed the music on the patio.
Ivanhoe is another boutique winery that has the quintessential winery location with the idealic scenery of rolling hills and vineyards with nothing else around. Ivanhoe is one of the very first wineries we ever visited when we first went to the Hunter Valley back in 2005. Every trip, we find ourselves going back again and again.
Piggs Peake, while not having the greatest country setting and a rather off-putting name, is another boutique winery which by far produces the best wines we have ever consumed. The House of Bricks Shiraz is outstanding and our absolute favorite. While we were in Sydney, we were members of the wine club and we made sure to always get a case of the House of Bricks Shiraz delivered to our door. This time when we went back, the winemaker, Steve, (who remembered us, yay!) had just released the 2008 House of Bricks Shiraz and of course we had to snap up a case immediately.
Steve was also kind enough to take us back to where he makes the wine and showed us some of his processes. He was in the middle of making zinfandel and allowed us to press some of the grapes and taste it. He had recently added sugar the mixture allowing it to ferment. It tasted really good!
Of course after tasting all that wine, we needed to fill up our bellies and so we went to our favorite place in the Hunter, Leaves & Fishes. It’s a unique, sylish, family owned establishment producing top quality cuisine. It’s chic without being pretentious and is always our go-to place when in the Hunter. Of favorite thing to get there is the seafood platter of prawns, oysters and crab complete with a trio of dipping sauces and a bottle of local wine. There’s nothing finer than dinning on their outdoor patio on a glorious weekend.
We were in heaven the entire weekend… so relaxing… ahhhhh.