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Hunter Valley Wine Tours - Texan Wine Lovers Discover The Hunter Valley Wine Country

Today I hosted Marvin & Gloria from Houston in Texas, on a 2 day Hunter Valley Wine Tasting Tour.


The Bimbadgen winery is quite typical of what was the style in the 1970's, open plan & using gravity to advantage. It still makes good sense in 2013!


Greg Norman designed the course & still hosts the NSW Open here each year.


Gloria enjoyed their vegetable risotto with a glass of the Bimbadgen Estate Gewurtztraminer - she declared it a perfect match!


Marvin & Gloria enjoying Keith Tulloch's best very red wine, his Kester Shiraz. He joined us for a chat about the progress of the 2013 harvest, which is now all in the cellar ...... as he said; "the safest place for the grapes to be".


A gourmet lunch was enjoyed by Marvin & Gloria on the verandah of the Esca Restaurant.


In the fashion of the current era, the open kitchen at the Esca Restaurant is a part of the theatre of the dining experience.


The new Keith Tulloch winery showcases the local sandstone & hardwood timbers in its construction.


How is this for a view from the verandah at the Esca Restaurant at the Bimbadgen winery looking north across the Hunter Valley towards the Barrington Ranges?


Marvin & Gloria stayed at the classy Chateau Elan at The Vintage Golf Resort. Its all about relaxation & a healthly lifestyle ....... deep in the Hunter Valley Wine Country.


The Audrey Wilkinson winery is perched high up the ridgeline overlooking the valley.


So what has golf & wine got to do with weddings? I don't know, but a 'destination wedding' is apparently what the current crop of young people choose ...... so The Vintage assists them with what looks like a century old sandstone chapel in their resort - clever!


Marvin had the 'white tasting plate', partnered with a glass each of the Bimbadgen Estate 2012; Semillon, Pinot Gris & Chardonnay.


Here are piles of marc (pressed out red grapes skins) & stalks (from destemming white grapes) decomposing in the Hunter Valley vineyards.


Audrey was apparently a quite usual name for a man in the mid 1800's!


The Esca Restaurant ....... minimalist & stylish!


Gloria & Marvin imbibing in the best red wine made by Bimbadgen Estate - a 2005 estate Shiraz, which at 8 years of age was just entering its mature stage, so great with a fine beef steak!


The spectacular vista from the Audrey Wilkinson winery looking north across the Hunter Valley towards the picturesque Barrington Ranges.


Modeled on the successful golf resort destination properties of Florida & Arizona, The Vintage was opened about 10 years ago & hosts the New South Wales Open each year. I can tell you from personal experience its a silly course, ....... unless you play off par!


Founded in 1866 & 'reborn' on the 1970's, Audrey Wilkinson is one of the most stylish wineries in the region, making a range of wines from affordable right through to high end.


Gloria checking out Keith Tulloch's rose garden within the courtyard of his new winery.


I had the confit of duck leg with lots of fresh seasonal fruits to accompany ....... but unfortunately no wine to match (as I was driving). A nice Pinot Noir or an elegant Sangiovese would have been perfect!


Wine branding is all about being consistent in what image the proprietor wants to communicate to the potential customer. The architecture of Keith Tulloch's new winery says it all; "stylish but not prissy!" ...... just like his wines!