Hunter Valley Wine tours, wine tasting tours, winery tours and vineyard tours
With so many wine tour options in the Hunter Valley, making the best choice of winery to visit and tour, can be tricky.
Or is it?
We have done the hard work for you, and summarised all the details,so you may choose which winery tour style, is most suited to your taste.
The thing that confuses most first timers is knowing the difference between the tour options.
The majority of wine tourists refer to a wine tour, as a wine tasting tour, or “wine drinking tour”.
A winery tour, wine tasting tour and vineyard tour all differ a little. If you are after a wine tasting tour, know that Australians usually refer to this as a Cellar Door.
So you’re probably wondering: How do they differ?
The difference between a Wine Tasting tour, a Winery Tour, and a Vineyard Tour
The above tours may be combined in any number of ways, depending on what is available.
The best part is:
Most tours will end in a taste testing session of the wines and give you the opportunity to purchase at the cellar door, to enjoy later.
Plus some of these Hunter Valley wines, are only sold the the Cellar Door (or through private wine clubs) so they make great souvenirs and gifts.
And if that’s not enough:
Let’s look at differences between a Vineyard, a Winery and Cellar?
- A Vineyard grows grapes (a plantation of grape vines grown for wine making). The vineyard may sell their grapes to a winery or use them in their own winery.
- A Winery produces the wine. They may, or may have a vineyard. Wineries may be contracted by vineyards to make the wine, or buy grapes from a vineyards to produce the wine
- A Wine Cellar or “Cellar Door” is where finished bottles are stored and aged. Finished products, ready for consumption by the public, and where wine taste testing can take place in order to promote the wine sales.
By the way:
If you wanted to get all this in one place, you may be able to tell from the name. If the winery calls itself an Estate, it will have it all.
An Estate Winery means the whole process, start to finish, from growing the grapes, through fermentation and even bottling has been controlled by one company, in the same grape growing area (or wine appellation).
So there it is:
Now you have the details on the subtle differences between the wine tour options. Got questions? We are quick to answer, so please ask away.
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Still thirsty for more?
This is just the beginning. Now that you know which wine tour style you want to experience, its time to find out more about Hunter Valley wine tours.
Get the lowdown on:
Price, location, duration, travel options, recommendations and reviews.
Check out one of these more in depth wine tour guide pages below.
- Wine Tasting Tours in the Hunter Valley
- Wine Vineyard Tours in the Hunter Valley
- Winery Tours in the Hunter Valley
Hunter Valley Winery Tours
A Winery tour is a behind the scenes, how it is made, tour of the operation.
The winery tour is more about discovering how the wine is made, similar to a brewery tour if you have ever been on one. Wineries are all about the processing of the grapes into wine.
The winery tour, may include a walk around of the premises. You may view things like the fermenting vessels, the grape press (crusher or stomper), get to view the barrels or thanks where it is stored for the aging and flavouring process.
The winery may bottle the wine onsite, so you may see the bottling room , and see the process, of how the bottles filled and capped (or Corked) and boxed for transport, or cellared.
A good guide will explain each stage in detail, talk about the history and unique qualities of their winery and perhaps have a joke or two to mix in. And you can be sure they have an answer ready to any questions you have.
One would assume or hope, for a little bit of sampling at the end, and the opportunity to purchase.
Not all wineries grow their own grapes, so you may go on a winery tour,and not see any grapes growing in a field outside (a vineyard). If you were interested in the vines you would be wanting to have a vineyard tour.
Hunter Valley Wine Tasting tours + Cellar Doors.
A wine tasting tour, this is where you sample, discuss and purchase wines. The host educates you about the wines, style of wines, their winery history, and the general how to of wine consumption. The newcomers can learn plenty, how to pour, swirl, sniff and discard. Typically you get a couple of mouthfuls in a glass (30ml), and try at least a few varieties. This is where you will see the is a bucket for you to spit the wine into, to preserve the pallet, or to avoid becoming intoxicated.
A good wine tasting host will keep you entertained as well as educating you. They will not judge, love to teach the absolute beginner and will share knowledge and teach you the absolute basics like swirling and smelling. In Australia we refer to this as a cellar door. You typically will not see the grape presses, or barrels, but have a good sampling from with a bar setting, table and chairs setting, or everyone just standing around a barrel.
Some of the wines you have at the hunter valley wine tasting tours, are only available for purchase from that cellar door, or through their wine club. This makes a unique and valuable experience for you the tourist, and also gives added value to the winery, makes their club membership valuable, and allows them to set the price they need or want, without the pressure of getting squeezed by the middle man (avoiding retail or being their own
Wine tasting tours allow you the opportunity to visit one or many wineries in the region.
Hunter Valley Vineyard Tours.
A vineyard tour is an agricultural experience, a farm or plantation tour.
So what will you get to do?
On a vineyard tour you get to stroll among the vines, see up-close, how they’re pruned and what the different varietals look like.
And that’s not all:
Some vineyards offer a self guided tour, others have guided tutored tour where you learn about how wine grapes are grown, watered, fertilised, the types of and history of the vines, types of grapes grown and style wines it can produce, the harvesting methods and more.
You're probably wondering: What's the best time to go on a vineyard tour.
If you plan your trip to the Hunter Valley around harvest time, (December to February) you will see the grapes in full bloom. You may even have an opportunity to handle the grapes, and experience cutting the vine, and tasting the grape.
Accommodation on a vineyard?
Some vineyards offer accommodation
There are many smaller vineyards in the Hunter Valley that do not make their own wine as they do not have a winery or offer grouped vineyard tours, but they do offer accommodation on site, so you can spend the night right on the vineyard.