Why is it that the paradise on our doorstep tends to get overlooked? If the Hunter Valley was in Burgundy - or Margaret River for that matter - Sydney-siders would be beating a path to its lush vineyards, world-class restaurants and jaw-droppin surrounds .... all just 2 1/2 hours drive away.
Instead the region is doing it tough. The high Australian dollar has driven down export sales and a glut of grapes has scene winemakers forced to multi-skill.Peacock Hill Vineyard in Pokolbin. We've been keen members of George and Sylvi's wine club for several years now and are devotees of their
individually-crafted boutique wines.
They have 20 hectares of vineyards planted with Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Cabernet Franc grapes. Their wines have been showered with awards.
Our favourites are their Godfather Chardonnay, Shiraz and their distinctive fortifieds. These are dedicated craftspeople following their passion, swimming against the mainstream and producing wine of true elegance.
They've even installed extensive rain-water tanks and solar-panel grids as part of their commitment to make their operation more sustainable.
They also have some lovely accommodation options. This is country hospitality at its best. We stayed in the spacious, two-bedroom apartment above the tasting room.
Wonderfully comfortable beds, large shower with great water pressure, flat screen TV, iPod and a chef's kitchen stocked with everything you need for a hearty cooked breakfast.
.. and a wonderful view overlooking a citrus orchard.
Isn't time to revisit the Hunter?