During a recent visit to Australia, I had the pleasure of finally visiting the Hunter Valley. The Hunter Valley is one of the most visited places in Australia. An easy day or overnight trip north of Sydney, you can not only wet your palate with the various wines of the region, but you can enjoy local cuisine, golf, or a restful day at the spa. Wine tours and tastings can be set up in advance. They can be done by vehicle or even by bike if you are up for a pedal. Most of all, the Hunter Valley offers a taste of the countryside and the hospitality of the locals.
I was graced with the opportunity to travel with AEA Luxury tours for my wine tour. I love this company and typically use them when arranging my client’s tours. We visited four wineries my day out, beginning with Mount View Estates. We lucked out with an absolutely gorgeous spring day in Australia for our wine tasting. The scenery was spectacular, and they were able to have our wine tasting outside, looking over the vineyards. I am not a huge wine drinker, but I am always game when I travel to try anything once!
We were introduced to Melissa, who would be our hostess and “educator” for the tasting. The table was already set with glasses, spit buckets, and a lovely cheese and cracker plating with selections from the local area. As we began the tasting, she described the first white wine and remarked about how our palates change with age. I decided to raise my hand for a question, letting her know I had never really become much of a wine drinker and still preferred my wines to be sweet. She politely asked my age and discovered we were the same.
Her next comment was, “My friend, you have an immature palate, but that’s okay because we can fix that.”
I then became the example of the day, much to my fellow travel professional’s enjoyment, as she continued to make her selections. She had me keep an open mind and mouth as we went through the selections of the day. She had me try various things such as smelling the wine first, trying it from different size glasses, and holding my nose so I couldn’t smell it. She was good! By the end of our time with her, she had actually found me a red wine or two that I didn’t mind.
The best part, which made everyone laugh, was the homework she gave me. She said, “Dear, you need to drink more!” A roll of laughter erupted from our group as they knew I would have no problem following up with that assignment.
Our afternoon continued onto three more wineries that day, the last having a lovely lunch with pairings. Another lesson I learned on my wine tasting trip is to be sure to eat breakfast before you go. I spent most of the day inebriated to a high degree, and lunch was more than a welcome sight before we headed out to spend the night at a local homestead. The Hunter Valley experience was truly one not to be missed on your Australian vacation.
Lisa Rossmeissl is the owner of Boomerang Escapes, a home-based agency located in Old Bridge, New Jersey with agents in TN, MS, and WI.
She has been a professional travel consultant since 2008 and specializes in Australia and the South Pacific. Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Fiji, and Cook Islands are among the specialist certificates she holds. Her agency’s focus is on creating custom itineraries with their client’s wants, desires, and budgets in mind. She and her planners believe in getting to know the traveler to ensure they have a vacation to remember. With each planner specializing in a different market area, Boomerang Escapes can offer a wide variety of leisure vacation planning.
Leave a Reply