To celebrate my birthday this year, we rented a car and drove down to the Hunter Region on a Friday, a couple of hours from Sydney. The region is famous for its wineries and nice food, and is a popular weekend destination. We rented a small bungalow in Polkolbin, which was lovely. The porch opened up on a lovely view of fields, a pond, and rows of grape wines.
There was a tiny Shetland pony walking around in the field, and Mike decided to open the gate and go to say hello. The pony seemed friendly at first, but when Mike stood up it bit him in the leg! He got a big bruise, but found it very funny.
Mike had arranged to have a couple of rental bikes dropped off at where we were staying, and after a lovely breakfast in the sun we got on the bikes and went on a little tour.
There’s about 150 wineries in Hunter Valley, and a lot of them offer drop-in wine tastings, either for free or for a $5 fee. We found a nice little loop to do on our bikes that would take us past loads of them, as well as some nice food shops. We ended up wine tasting at 3 different wineries and I think we ended up tasting 15 different types of wine. However I can’t say I remember anything that we learnt – I know as little about wine now as I did before. But we did get two very nice bottles of wine at the second winery – one of which I’m saving for my actual birthday on Tuesday.
Fudge & chocolate factory
Right next to the second winery, there was a Chocolate & Fudge factory. The shop was huge, with lots of delicious choice. Mike bought a chocolate and salted caramel fudge which didn’t taste like fudge at all, but rather like a very delicious soft of chocolate.
Smelly Cheese Shop
Apparently the Smelly Cheese shop is a bit famous in Polkolbin, and they had a very impressive selection of cheeses available. Mike did a little tasting, he loves cheeses with chili or anything spicy, and ended up buying three types of cheese. We also had lunch there, a sausage roll and a chili dog.
After that we biked home past lots of wallabies on a golf course. We ended the day with a lovely BBQ with some nice meat that Mike had bought specially from a butcher in Sydney. (It’s his new thing.)