Visit NSW Wine Country to find some of the best Hunter Valley wineries to suit every occasion.
A comprehensive guide to the best wineries in the Hunter Valley is going to be as diverse as the varietals the region produces. The first vines were planted in the region in the 1860s and a growing patchwork of wineries has extended around the Hunter Valley ever since. These days, the Hunter is best known for its shiraz, which is grown around the lower slopes of the Broken Back Range and its semillon, chardonnay and verdelho. But it’s also making a name for its merlot, cabernet sauvignon, sangiovese and tempranillo. Here are 25 of the best places to drink wine in the Hunter Valley.
1. Scarborough Wine Co.
When a winery sits in a landscape as special as the award-winning Scarborough Wine Co. it’s easy to get a sense of the terroir. And if you thought wine tasting was only for couples, think again. Scarborough Wine Co. does a great job of presenting the Hunter Valley as a family-friendly destination.
Scarborough Wine Co. offers an intimate wine-tasting experience. (Image: Jasper Avenue)
The sun-splashed tasting room is popular with parents who like to toast their good fortune that their children are happy playing giant Jenga and chess and kicking a ball about while they sample Scarborough Wine Co’s very best.
Go for: The tutored sit-down tasting with Mr Obsessive himself, Ian Scarborough.
Where: 179 Gillards Road, Pokolbin
Although Boydell’s is a relatively small boutique brand in the Hunter, the seven-hectare property run by Daniel and Jane Maroulis dates back to 1826. The small-scale vineyard located in East Gresford, near Maitland, is planted with hectares of shiraz, pinot noir, merlot, verdelho and chardonnay.
Pop into Boydell’s cellar door for a wine tasting. (Image: Dominique Cherry/Boydell’s)
Discover which wines best suit your palate at the cellar door housed in an old slab hut in Morpeth or at Boydell’s rustic restaurant next door (which made it onto our list of best Hunter Vallery restaurants). Our personal favourite is the Boydell’s Reserve Shiraz Pinot Noir 2020, which is a deeply rich purple in the glass.
Boydell’s Cellar Door and Restaurant is a must-visit.
Go for: A truly memorable wine tasting in Boydell’s restaurant near to the large, open fireplace.
Where: 2 Green St, Morpeth
Brokenwood is our Hunter Valley crush pad of choice. There’s a cellar door experience, a restaurant, a wine bar, live music and winery tours. You can bunker down at a tasting pod hosted by the cellar door crew.
Nab a seat in the elegant dining space at Brokenwood Wines. (Image: Destination NSW)
Enjoy a seated wine and food flight with bite-sized canapes matched with Brokenwood wines. Or you can go behind the scenes as the vigneron rolls out the barrel for a bespoke tasting.
Brokenwood is open for alfresco dining. (Image: Cody Adams Media)
There’s also a soil-to-cellar experience where participants can level up on their knowledge of ‘Icons of the Hunter Valley’ during a four-hour premium food and wine flight. The excursion is punctuated with tutored tastings.
Go for: Sign up for a behind-the-scenes tour with the Ultimate Winery Experience, which includes a pre-release tasting of wine straight from the barrel.
Address: 401-427 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin
4. Hanging Tree Winery
Take a moment to breathe in the countryside air at Hanging Tree Wines’ cellar door, which is housed within an old cow shed fitted with antiques. Gaze out over the smooth folds of the Broken Back Range to really feel the synergy of the place which sits on a rich parcel of red loamy volcanic soil and clay.
Visit the pet-friendly cellar door to taste the terroir in a range of hand-picked, limited-release chardonnay, semillon, shiraz and cabernet sauvignons. Factor in a wander around the rose garden where you can enjoy a picnic or tastings by the fire in winter. Visiting the Hunter Valley with the kids? Take them for puppy cuddles with the resident labradors Muscat, Bundy, Kahlua and Sambuca.
Find flowers blooming at the entrance of Hanging Tree Wines. (Image: Destination NSW)
Go for: A picnic or a local cheese platter paired with wines and olive oils produced at the Hanging Tree Wines’ estate.
Where: 294 O’Connors Road, Pokolbin
5. Briar Ridge
Call ahead and ask cellar door manager Steven Pike to curate your own tailor-made tasting experience at Briar Ridge, the storied Hunter Valley estate voted No. 12 in Australia as the Best Value Winery. The cellar door staff’s passion and enthusiasm for showcasing the Briar Ridge wines is palpable and the playlist they’ve curated is inspired.
Be sure to check out this award-winning winery. (Image: Briar Ridge Vineyard)
The location is also a real draw: you will feel your shoulders soften while looking out over the rolling hills laid out over the landscape like a patchwork quilt. Sit on the bright and breezy wine deck to enjoy a picnic pack or kick back on one of the outdoor lounges in the Wine Garden.
The Radica Premium Tasting is a must. (Image: Briar Ridge Vineyard)
Go for: The Briar Hill wines and stay for a tasting paired with a gourmet Binnorie Dairy cheese platter.
Where: 593 Mount View Road, Mt View
6. Winmark Wines
Winmark means ‘Fields of Wines’ in Danish, the native tongue of owner Karin Adcock. And, wines aside, there are a lot of stories that intertwine with Karin’s heritage and make this lovingly restored property worth a visit. The 52-hectare property is now home to 12 hectares of premium chardonnay vines overlooked by the buttery-hued Yellow Rock Escarpment, making Winmark Wines a top spot for a tipple.
Stroll along the scenic landscape at Winmark Wines.
Winmark Wines, established on the Pooles Rock Vineyard property, was named Hunter Valley Cellar Door of the Year for 2023 and Shortlisted for Best New Winery 2024 in the Halliday Wine Companion. The 2019 Winmark Rusty’s Run Chardonnay is a great example of the subtly oaked classic Hunter Valley fruit the estate is dedicated to producing.
Have a tipple at Winmark Wines.
Go for: The wines, rose garden, sculptures, art gallery, and cellar door housed in rustic wine storage sheds.
Where: 189-229 Wollombi Road, Broke
7. Usher Tinkler Wines
It’s fitting that an old church in Pokolbin has become somewhat of a gastronomic temple in the Hunter Valley. Every wine tasting at the quirky Usher Tinkler Wines cellar door is accompanied by a platter of local cheeses, salumi, honey and house-made pickles.
Refuel at Usher Tinkler Wines. (Image: Destination NSW)
Next-gen winemaker Usher Tinkler pushes the limits when it comes to winemaking, blurring the boundaries between innovation and tradition. The whole experience of sampling wines at Usher Tinkler Wines is an epiphany. Usher is a third-generation farmer whose wines are a blend of traditional and contemporary winemaking techniques.
Enjoy a cheese plate at Usher Tinkler Wines. (Image: Destination NSW)
Go for: The experience of sipping on wines in the faithfully restored church, built in 1905, or the VIP tasting room.
Where: 97 McDonalds Road, Pokolbin
8. Vinden Wines
Never judge a wine label by its cover unless of course, it falls under the umbrella of the Vinden Wines brand. Trailblazing second-gen viticulturalist Angus Vinden has taken over the reins of the family-run business and given it a refresh under the Vinden Wines label, which produces traditional Hunter-style wines as well as more experimental minimal-intervention wines under the Headcase and lignée labels. The estate presents like an idyllic Tuscan farmhouse, albeit one run by real-deal Hunter Valley hipsters.
Stop by Vinden Wines for a drink.
Go for: Wines that are an evolved expression of the Hunter Valley accompanied by a killer cellar door playlist.
Where: 138 Gillards Road, Pokolbin
9. Wild Ren Wines
You will see the familiar through fresh eyes at Wild Ren Wine Room cellar door, which presents more like a sophisticated bar than a cellar door in the country. Owner Renee Burton (ex-Gundog Estate and known as Ren to her friends) couldn’t resist branching out in this evocative sandstone building in Peppers Creek Village.
Snag a spot in the chic drinking den at Wild Ren Wines. (Image: Wren Wines)
The chic space, which has new navy cabinetry and halo lights, is matched by the bold and beautiful designs splashed across each label. Ren sources her fruit from around the Hunter Valley and collaborates with winemaker Kiri Irving who operates production out of Tyrrell’s Winery.
Raise your glasses at Wild Ren Wines.
Go for: The experience of popping in and out of all the dinky boutique businesses dotted around Peppers Creek Village.
Where: Peppers Creek Village, 1946 Broke Road, Pokolbin
10. 1813 Wine
The 1813 Cellar Door is one of the must-dos when it comes to Hunter Valley wineries. Arrive here in the early afternoon when the sun is bursting over the Yellow Rock sandstone escarpment and linger all afternoon in the elegant steel-framed glass atrium, which is so close to the vines of Tinonee Vineyard Estate you could offer to help out during the annual harvest. The cellar door feels like it fell straight out of The Hamptons via Manhattan and, as well as producing quaffable drops, is a dreamy destination in its own right. All wines are estate grown and the 1813 Reserve Shiraz The Governor, is the flagship.
The 1813 Cellar Door is one of the must-do’s.
Go for: The romance of lingering at a Hunter Valley cellar door with a difference.
Where: 1273 Milbroadale Road, Broke
11. Comyns & Co
Devote an entire weekend to visiting the cellar door at Comyns & Co, a Hunter Valley winery run by Scott Comyns (winemaker) and his wife Missy (cellar door manager and self-appointed ‘positive vibes manager’). Sit at the bar, linger in the lounge, or book a tasting around a table with friends to sample Comyns & Co’s stellar Hunter Valley wines made from small-batch parcels of locally grown fruit. The Comyns have made their mark since they first opened in 2016 by producing vintages that are increasingly complex. This cellar door is one of the sexiest in the Hunter Valley. Sample the Sparkling Grüner, Popsy, named in honour of the couple’s two daughters Polly and Topsy.
The Comyns have made their mark since they first opened in 2016. (Image: Mjk Creative)
Go for: The impassioned discussions about wine in the stylish and contemporary cellar door, which is filled with local artworks.
Where: 1946 Broke Road, Pokolbin
12. Mount Pleasant Wines
It’s impossible not to pause, in silent meditation, when standing in the Luchetti Krelle-designed space dedicated to sampling Mount Pleasant wines. We’re not here to ogle the artworks, but if we were, this Hunter Valley winery doubles as a gallery space with framed works by artists such as Bill Henson, Tracey Moffatt and Rosemary Laing. It’s a lot to take in so you might need to sink into one of the leather chesterfields to fully appreciate the experience. The cellar door at Mount Pleasant Wines is one of the most civilised in the Hunter Valley. Enjoy the birdsong from the resident bellbirds. Feel the warmth of the sun flooding into the space. And immerse yourself in the history of the vineyard established more than a century ago by Maurice O’Shea, one of the founding fathers of modern Australian winemaking.
Go for: A tasting of food and wine in an idyllic rural setting.
Address: 401 Marrowbone Road, Pokolbin
13. Margan Wines
Andrew and Lisa Margan are regarded as hospitality heavyweights in the Hunter Valley with good reason. Together, the dynamic duo have built a five-star winery and developed 100 hectares of sustainably farmed vineyards while maintaining the status of a hatted restaurant and award-winning cellar door.
The winery has been awarded five stars by James Halliday every year since 2009 and the passionate couple are justifiably proud of their achievements.
Visit Margan Wines on your trip to Hunter Valley. (Image: Destination NSW)
The cellar door is just one part of the experience here as wine enthusiasts consider Margan Restaurant as somewhat of a clubhouse for their quaffing. Sit on the terrace of the rammed earth restaurant to look out over the parcel of land that informs and inspires the award-winning wine label and restaurant.
Dining at Margan Wines is a truly indulgent experience.
Go for: The pleasure and conviviality of a degustation menu paired with wines made with environmental concerns front of mind.
Address: 1238 Milbrodale Rd, Broke
14. Thomas Wines Winery
However you choose to spend your day in the Hunter Valley, make sure you allow some time to visit the Thomas Wines Cellar Door. The winery is dedicated to the Hunter Valley’s two signature drops – semillon and shiraz – and has a range of structured tasting experiences designed to showcase the range.
Pour a glass of Braemore Semillon at Thomas Wines Winery.
Owner and winemaker Andrew Thomas has more than three decades of experience winemaking in the Hunter Valley and is known for championing top-shelf examples of shiraz and semillon, the Hunter Valley’s signature varieties.
Owner and winemaker Andrew Thomas in the Braemore Vineyard.
Go for: The fruit-forward semillon, an easy-drinking wine, or the shiraz, which is perfect for cellaring.
Address: In Estate Tuscany, Corner Hermitage Rd and Mistletoe Lane, Pokolbin
15. Running Horses Wines
Get a taste of the good life at Running Horse Wines overlooking the iconic Yellow Rock escarpment and undulating folds of the Broke Fordwich Valley. The striking architecturally designed cellar door made from shipping containers provides ringside access to a property that is dedicated to caring for wine and thoroughbred horses in equal measure. The intent of second-generation winemaker David Fromberg is to combine his two loves of horses and wines at the secluded property without compromising on the integrity of either. Learn about Fromberg’s commitment to producing highly vigorous vines at the property with minimum intervention, which results in fat, flavourful grapes and exceptional small-batch wines.
Go for: The intimate experience of tasting wines at a boutique cellar door that reflects Fromberg’s minimalist approach to winemaking.
Address: 1133 Milbrodale Road, Broke
Squint at this French-inspired cellar door in Broke and you could be in rural France. With its formal Provencal-style gardens, carefully placed urns and fountains, elegant jumble of antique furniture and manicured hedges, the aim at Krinklewood is to immerse visitors in the landscape. Everything here whispers of a wine tasting like no other.
Set foot on the scenic grounds of Krinklewood Vineyard. (Image: Nikki To)
You can taste at your own pace. Picnic on the lawn. Enjoy one-off events such as an exquisite bespoke banquet. Or embark on a premium tasting of wines certified organic and biodynamic. There are cheese and charcuterie platters and sorbets available to purchase with your tasting.
Sample premium wines with charcuterie boards at Krinklewood. (Image: Nikki To)
Go for: A cheese platter and wine tasting in the sun-dappled courtyard replete with strutting peacocks.
Address: 712 Wollombi Road, Broke
17. Carillion Wines at Tallavera Grove Vineyard
It’s easy to be seduced by the magic of the Hunter Valley’s charms when ensconced at Carillion Wines at Tallavera Grove Vineyard. Watch birds engaged in aerial ballet. Watch the weather shift over a whitewashed sky. And go for a wander through the trees standing sentinel around the terraced vineyards.
The boutique winery was awarded 5 stars by Halliday Wine Companion 2023 for producing wines of “exemplary quality and typicity”. That may be so. And it’s a stellar reason for working your way through the list of best Hunter Valley wineries. But the main lure of the cellar door perched high above Tallevera Grove Vineyard is feeling the stillness of the region while overlooking the picturesque hills.
Drink and dine with a view at Tallavera Grove Vineyard. (Image: Destination NSW)
Go for: A wine tasting over lunch at the celebrated French restaurant Bistro Molines.
Address: 749 Mount View Rd, Mt View
18. First Creek
First Creek Wines was one of only 10 wineries shortlisted for 2024 Winery of the Year, which is a testament to its founders Greg and Jenny Silkman who bought the property back in 1998. Layers of tradition have since been laid down by the family, who remain anchored to the landscape after three decades of tending to the vines: Liz Silkman joined the business as chief winemaker in 2008 and brother Shaun is onboard as chief operating officer.
Scenic views at First Creek Wines.
The parcel of land abuts the important watercourse it’s named after, which lies like a coiled serpent across the valley and feeds so many historic vineyards in the region.
Sample First Creek Wines fresh from the barrel. (Image: Elfes Images)
Go for: The views over the valley from the cellar door and a tasting of the signature Silkman Chardonnay.
Address: 600 McDonald’s Road, Pokolbin
19. Tyrrell’s Wines
The Tyrrell family are titans of Australia’s wine industry with Tyrrell’s Wines, established in 1858, woven into the fabric of the region. Over the past 160 years or so, the family have been instrumental in establishing semillon and pinot noir as two of Australia’s favourite varieties.
Tyrrell’s Wines specialises in making semillon and pinot noir.
While the fifth-generation winemakers in the Tyrrell family have a deep respect for the traditions laid down by their forefathers, they also rely on state-of-the-art technology and innovation. The family, who own eight of the 11 oldest vineyards in NSW Wine Country, are ever guided by Edward Tyrrell’s motto: “Nothing is great unless it is good.”
Go for: The Ultimate Winery Experience Australia offers a Vat 1 exploration of Tyrrell’s that includes a winery tour and vintage vertical tasting.
Address: 1838 Broke Road, Pokolbin
20. De luliis
Hit up your mates and head off on a road trip to the Hunter Valley to sample flights of small-batch and handcrafted wines at De luliis. A search of ‘best wineries Hunter Valley’ will always bring up this pretty Pokolbin cellar door, where visitors can follow the winemaking process from grape to glass.
Experience an intimate winery tour of De Iuliis. (Image: Shan Rose Photography)
Purchase a few bottles and then stagger back to The Winemakers House at De luliis, a Hunter hideaway located just 30 metres from the cellar door. Wine has been a tradition in the De luliis (pronounced dee-you-lee) family for generations. Immerse yourself in the De luliis environment at a tutored tasting or head slightly further afield to attend various Hunter happenings and events.
Sample a selection of top drops and take your favourite home. (Image: Shan Rose Photography)
Go for: Sign up for the Signature Shiraz Experience to taste exceptional shiraz from the 2019 to 2004 vintages.
Address: 1616 Broke Road, Pokolbin
21. Alter Wines
Emma’s Cottage Vineyard has launched a new Lovedale boutique winery that will include varietals that are synonymous with the Hunter Valley. An extension of the Bimbadgen brand, Alter Wines has its own cellar door, 40-seat cafe, commercial kitchen and accommodation, offering the kind of complete Hunter Valley hideaway that makes for a popular weekend away in NSW’s Wine Country.
Bimbadgen winemaker Richard Done is behind the new brand which features a vibrant coloured label created by Australian fabric and wallpaper designer Annie Coop.
The interior of Emma’s Cottage Vineyard is chic and spacious.
Go for: A heady weekend in the Hunter tasting wines that express the subtleties of the Lovedale site.
Address: 438 Wilderness Road, Lovedale
The name Bimbadgen stems from the local Wonnarua Indigenous word that means ‘place of good view’. And the cellar door at Bimbadgen offers just that overlooking a big, crumpled quilt of vineyards stained yellow, or green, depending on the season. Sign up for a tasting experience in the winery production area at Bimbadgen where fellow oenophiles are seated shoulder-to-shoulder at the cellar door. The elegant space is filled with greenery and unfurls outward toward the tranquillity of the landscape, where vast swathes of red volcanic soil run through the entire district.
Pull up a chair inside the spacious dining interior of Bimbadgen Winery. (Image: Destination NSW)
Go for: A Day on the Green, one of the premier live music events in the Hunter or the Homegrown Markets.
Address: 790 McDonald’s Road, Pokolbin
23. Audrey Wilkinson
Olive groves, dairies, orchards and vineyards are dotted around the Hunter Valley. And while you can certainly go with the flow, and bounce between such gems, we’d recommend having a more singular focus to squeeze every last drop out of your weekend in the Hunter Valley.
Take in the verdant scenery at Audrey Wilkinson.
The Ultimate Winery Experiences Australia offers an array of unmissable experiences at Audrey Wilkinson. You can Picnic in the Vines, get your fill of Fortified and Fromage, and take part in an exclusive Twilight Tasting at sundown once the cellar door shuts up shop. Audrey Wilkinson planted the first vines in Pokolbin, so it makes sense to start your wine education here, at one of the best Hunter Valley wineries.
Audrey Wilkinson has an al fresco spot perfect for a sundowner. (Image: Destination NSW)
Go for: The cellar door, housed in part in the original sandstone and timber building.
Address: De Beyers Road, Pokolbin
24. Hope Estate
The Hunter Valley is an easy two-hour drive from Sydney. And while knocking on cellar doors is one of the most obvious things to do while visiting NSW’s Wine Country, you’ll want to bask a bit longer and drink in the bucolic scenery at one of Hope Estate’s annual events.
Cap off the day with a drink in hand at Hope Estate. (Image: Destination NSW)
The family-owned working winery, brewery, distillery and cellar door also plays host to a number of gathos near the grapevines, from the Hunter Valley Beer & BBQ festival to The Big 80s Party.
Go for: The mass karaoke sing-along at The Big 80s Party.
Address: 2213 Broke Road, Pokolbin
25. Peterson House
There are a lot of cellar doors jostling for attention for the title of best Hunter Valley winery. But the blind gelato tasting paired with sparkling wine at Peterson House is an experience that screams new and niche. While it’s not the only tutored tasting on offer at Peterson House, the sensory experience makes for an even more indulgent escape to the Hunter Valley.
The food service at Peterson House is impeccable. (Image: Destination NSW)
Get your bearings with a balloon ride before enjoying gelato with the gang paired with sparkling wine. The pick of the bunch is the Premium Sparkling Wine Tasting which celebrates some of the best wines in Australia.
Pair your gelato with indulgent wines at Peterson House. (Image: Destination NSW)
All up, there are five premium sparkling wines on offer as part of the package; it’s one of the most popular wineries for a girls’ weekend away in the Hunter Valley.
Enjoy your lunch amidst the surrounding picturesque vineyard. (Image: Destination NSW)
Go for: Champagne and oysters at the oyster bar adjacent to Restaurant Cuvee.
Address: Cnr Broke Rd and Wine Country Drive, Pokolbin