A Pawsome Weekend – Dog-Friendly Wineries in the Hunter Valley
We love our four-legged friends – and there’s nothing better than bringing them along for a trip to wine country. We recently teamed up with Gourmet Traveller WINE to put together a dog-friendly guide to spend a weekend in New South Wales’ Hunter Valley.
There’s no better introduction to the Hunter than the picturesque Briar Ridge Vineyard in Mount View. Thirsty pets are catered for in the courtyard with the Pooch Hydration Station; there are delicious human-friendly cheese and antipasto platters, and for the four-legged, there’s the Briar Ridge Pooch Platter, featuring goodies from Jollie Gourmet Dog Treats. Of course, we can’t forget about the wine, either! Dogs are allowed inside, so take your pick for a tasting either at the bar, or outside on the gorgeous wine deck and estate lawns.
Head to the hub of Hunter, Pokolbin with a stop at Hanging Tree Wines. If you’re lucky, you might even get a special welcome from the resident cellar door labradors Vodka, Muscat and Brandy. Enjoy the warming, rustic feel to the cellar door where you can enjoy a wine tasting inside with your dog, or linger a while with a picnic by the vineyards.
Next up is Vinden Wines where you’ll meet next generation Hunter Valley winemaker Angus Vinden. Settle in for the remainder of the day, soaking in the picturesque views of the cellar door and diving into a tasting of Angus’ crafts.
It’s time to head to the Hunter Valley subregion Broke, but first take one last stop in Pokolbin at Pepper Tree Wines. You’ll feel right at home in the charming cellar door, where there’s plenty of tasting experiences on offer, or book in for something special like the Coquun Shiraz Vertical Tasting.
Make your way to Broke, with your first stop Greenway Wines. Take a seat outside for rolling vineyard views, while enjoying a tasting of the estate-grown range. If you’ve got the time, book in for a Chocolate & Cheese Tasting or simply graze on an antipasto platter.
Finish your visit with an afternoon at the award-winning Margan Wines. The outside dining area of the hatted Margan Restaurant is pet-friendly, so be sure to book yourself in for lunch on the patio and prepare to be spoilt with seasonal, estate-grown produce. Wine-wise, set aside some time to taste through the Margan portfolio – a fantastic expression of the Broke subregion.
Where To Stay and Eat
For your stay, Sascha’s Retreat in Pokolbin is a pet-friendly, 100-acre farm cottage with plenty of room for playing catch and rolling in the grass. Or in Cessnock, you’ll find Flamingo House, a renovated cottage with a spacious deck and dog-friendly backyard and fresh produce garden.
In Rothbury, there’s Lindsay Hideaway, which is a luxurious property featuring gorgeous gardens, a pool and BBQ area. Dining wise, Fawk Foods Kitchen and Bakery has you sorted, with all day breakfast, a tasty lunch menu and a pet-friendly deck.
For a long lunch in wine country, book in at Bistro Molines in Mount View. The restaurant offers a dog-friendly patio with stunning scenery and a seasonal, French-inspired menu.
Gourmet Traveller WINE is Australia’s leading independent drinks journal and five-time winner of WCA’s Best Wine Publication (Consumer). Established in 1997, Gourmet Traveller WINE boasts an unmatched team of local and international wine experts dedicated to keeping you informed on the ever-evolving world of wine.