I received a complimentary double pass for the preview on November 6th
The Christmas Lights Spectacular is back again for its ninth Chrissy season! Hosted by the Hunter Valley Gardens in Pokolbin (Wine Country!), it runs from 8th Novmeber through to January 26th (excluding Xmas day itself) with gates opening at 6:30pm, and lights on from 7:30 til 10pm each night.
There are food stalls with pizza, pasta, gelato, churros and more, and Hunter wine available for the grown ups. $7 a glass for this Tallawanta Shiraz.
Santa is available for photo packages, and I think I saw Olaf wandering around for selfies!
There synchronised 12 days of Christmas was impressive! No-one could help singing along!
Live entertainment will help you make a family night of it.
Christmas Lights Spectacular ticket prices:
Children (4-15 yrs) $22
Children 3 yrs & under FREE
Family (2 Adults + 2 Child) $85
Day + Night passes available
I had the VERY fortunate experience of heading to a trade and media tasting of award-winning Hunter Valley wines last week, and WOW they are amazing.
Among the tastes to savour, there were many 2014 Shiraz on offer – such as the Pepper Tree and the Brokenwood Kats & Dogs Shiraz, and the 2015 Semillons from wineries such as McLeish, First Creek and Brian Ridge would be AMAZING this summer (all coming out in the next few weeks at the cellar door). And, I’ve never had “Vermentino” before, but wow, lovely variety that, like Temperanillo (Thanks to Audrey Wilkinson) works well in the heat of the Hunter.
I am so keen to head up to McLeish, Tyrell’s and Bimbadgen to reconnect with the winemakers who enlightened me so much on the night, and to of course try more of their wares with a friend!
Hunter Valley Uncorked
If you’re in Sydney this weekend, try to get out to Hunter Valley Uncorked at Balmoral Beach Esplanade, Mosman.
You can immerse yourself in the Hunter Valley way of life and unearth the tastes, sights and stories of the beautiful wine soaked haven. wander through the myriad of stalls and sample gourmet delights, or just sit back in the sunshine and enjoy the free entertainment amongst a exquisite fusion of wine, food and good company. Indulge in a delectable ‘picnic lunch plate’ by Hunter Valley restaurants from $15 per plate. Fresh lemonade, coffee and gelato are also available.
A $10 souvenir wine glass is your key to enjoying wine at the event. Or own your very own piece of specialist glassware, a signature Hunter Valley Riedel wine glass, for only $15 available exclusively to event visitors. Entry is free!
FREE SHUTTLE BUSES operating approximately every 15 minutes from Mosman and Spit Junction to Balmoral Beach during the hours of the event (11am-5pm, last drinks 4:45pm)
The wineries on show are:
Allandale Wines, Bimbadgen Wines, Briar Ridge Wines, Brokenwood Wines, De Iuliis Wines, Eagles Rest Wines, First Creek Wines, Glandore Estate, Hungerford Hill Wines, James Estate Wines, McLeish Estate Wines, Mount Pleasant, Oakvale Wines, Pepper Tree Wines, Peterson House, Ridge View, Saddler’s Creek Wines, Tallavera Grove, Tulloch Wines, Tyrrells Wines, Wynwood Estate. Yum!
We went on a spontaneous trip to the Hunter Valley Smelly Cheese Shop in Pokolbin, partly to eat yummy cheeses, but also to give B’s car a good run on the expressway.
Overwhelmed with options, we bought a takeaway platter with a creamy blue, a cheddar, brie, washed ring cheese, labneh and feta for $30. Oh and a wedge of Hunter Belle Cheese’s Blue Moon because the local IGA doesn’t seem to stock it any more! :(
We then do a smidgeon of wine tasting in the next shop, Pokolbin Winemakers Outlet, a little boutique selling only wines made in the Hunter from Hunter grown grapes. I ask to try the Audrey Wilkinson 2011 Shiraz and the Pinot, and the lovely woman in the shop suggests we try the, equally priced, but on her recommendation better, Ferraris Estate 2011 Shiraz.
Having not heard of Ferraris Estate before, I needed to know more! They are a very small business, growing only 2 grape varieties – Shiraz and Chardonnay, and producing only three wines – Shiraz, Chardonnay, and a Shiraz Rose, all very dry. They had a great crop in 2011, which they picked at the right time, while Audrey Wilkinson apparently slightly missed the right harvest time that year. So, we took home the delicious Ferraris Shiraz for $22.
Hunter Valley Smelly Cheese Shop
Hall of Food
Pavilion G, Tempus Two Complex
2144 Broke Road Pokolbin NSW 2320
p. +61 2 4998 6713
Pokolbin Winemakers Outlet
2188 Broke Road
Pokolbin, New South Wales
(02) 4998 6929