Hunter Valley adventures: Part 2

I have always thought of myself as a bit of a city girl.  I feel like I thrive in a big city and love the convenience and excitement that you feel when walking down a busy street.  But something about waking up in our cottage that was in the middle of nowhere, leisurely starting the day with no where really to be and jumping on our pushbikes to ride down the empty streets made me realise that I also really love the countryside.

Our second day in the Hunter began with a visit to Peppertree as the first winery of the day, and the boys encouraged us to take a ‘shortcut’ that involved riding our bikes across a field, throwing them over a barbed wire fence and then scaling the fence.  Of course they thought it was a great adventure, and we continued on our scenic ride, stopping for impromptu photo shoots and admiring the beautiful flowers that seemed to flourish everywhere that we went.

Peppertree Winery is set on the most beautiful estate surrounded by a lush garden and of course plenty of grape vines.

After making our way through the tasting menu and stocking up on a few wines, we headed to another winery that came highly recommended, Audrey Wilkinson.

The vineyard at Audrey Wilkinson is so picturesque. From the cellar door you can gaze out at the rolling hills covered in grapevines, and the tasting area was filled with light, made all the more enjoyable by the friendly and down to earth staff who were just keen for a good time.

We had a good laugh when a sign was whipped out to tell our friends that ‘pashing at the bar is not allowed’ resulting in some serious embarrassment for the couple in question.

We were surprised by some of the wines and took a liking to the sparkling muscato and a dessert semillion, but ended up leaving with a bottle of port.  After all the wine we were in desperate need of some food, so headed to a Thai restaurant for a spicy curry and an Asahi (yes, we were drinking beer in Hunter Valley, but we knew there was more wine to be had later on).

We headed home for a quick relax (stopping for a quick photo shoot on the way) and to get our matching shirts in time for the Crowded House concert.

A couple of wines outside our cabin and we headed towards Hope Estate winery on foot.  Unfortunately our dSLRs were not allowed in despite their lack of video capabilities (yet I was allowed to take my point and shoot in, which records video, and they said it was for ‘copyright reasons’… go figure!), so we don’t have many pictures from the concert, but we enjoyed gourmet picnic hampers and glasses of wine while listening to Kate Miller-Heidke and enjoying the last of the sunshine, before Crowded House began… right on sunset.

I have been to so many concerts and festivals that I cannot count, and have experienced some magical moments, but Crowded House really was up there with the best.  Their voices and musical talents were mind-blowing and we danced the night away under the stars, with glasses of wine in hand.  It couldn’t have been more perfect.

When the night closed out with ‘Better be home soon’ and fireworks erupted over the vineyard, we stumbled through the dark fields back to our cottage, to consume another bottle of wine and start our bonfire.

The boys were struggling a bit trying to light huge logs just using a bit of cardboard from an old pizza box, so we gathered some dry small sticks and showed them how it is done.

Wow… that turned out bigger than expected… get me out of here!

We partied on into the wee hours of the morning at the local pub, reeking of bonfire, drinking very strong cocktails and dancing like no one was watching.  Needless to say, the next day was a little rough, and missing one shoe we headed back to Sydney.  We have a sneaking suspicion that the shoe may have been consumed in a late night bonfire session that involved the boys throwing on every flammable item in sight… but they won’t admit to it.

Rounding out a fabulous weekend, we flew home to Brisbane and tucked up in bed, dreaming of wine and Crowded House.

Photos from: my camera & taken by Kris

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