Tyrrell's Vineyard cellar door
After lunch at Harrigan's, we moved into the home stretch of our Hunter Valley how-much-wine-can-you-drink-in-one-day trip.
Our final vineyard was Tyrrell's, one of Australia's oldest and most successful wine families whose vineyards were first planted in 1858 by English immigrant Edward Tyrrell.
Feeling somewhat sloshed by this point though, I was more interested in the skips filled with grapes out the back, their juices slowly leaching out in the summer heat.
Even more exciting was watching a skip full of grapes being tipped into the grape crusher, the juice dribbling down a funnel, the dry stalks shooting out the side completely stripped bare.
Grapes going into the crusher
My online searches of the web included numerous references to a fantastic dairy factory called Binnorie. Despite only being three years old, owner Simon Gough has won plenty of awards for his boutique range of soft cheeses. Of course I insisted we visit.
After driving past the place twice (there and doubling back), we eventually found ourselves a locked door with the following sign:
Sign on the shop door
So it was with much giggling that we picked our way along the path and knocked on the factory window (and I quickly took a photo, of course). A worker put down his cheese, removed his gloves, walked back to the tasting room and unlocked the door to offer us a six-course tasting of their various cheeses.
Binnorie cheese factory (through the window)
We sampled a herb fromage frais, mascarpone, labnah (a yoghurt cheese made from cow's milk), marinated fetta and blue torte (cows milk with gorgonzola).
I take home a tub of duetto, a divine creamy mixture of gorgonzola dolce with mascarpone cream. It's delicious on a cracker or with fruit.
Blue Tongue Brewery
Our final stop is Blue Tongue Brewery: all that wine needs to be balanced with beer.
The showroom is actually a cafe/bar that serves food and beer. Tasting paddles are $7.50 for four, or $10 for six. Both come with a free middy (presumably of your favourite). We hedge our bets and get four tastes and a middy of another, meaning we only miss out on tasting one flavour (the Nobby's Premium Light).
L-R: Premium black ale, premium draught, traditional pilsener and alcoholic ginger beer
The ginger beer is definitely alcoholic with a distinct taste of hops. The pilsener and draught are good, but as usual I have a preference for the black ale, which is rich, malty and almost caramelly in flavour.
B likes his lager, and this one is full-flavoured with a touch of bitterness.
So we make our way to our hotel for a quick rest before dinner. Four vineyards, three cheeseshops, a brewery and an olive centre. Not bad for a day's work in the Valley.
Tyrrell's Wines Cellar Door
Broke Road, Pokolbin, Hunter Valley
Open Monday–Saturday: 8:30am–5pm
(tastings finish 4.30pm on Saturdays)
Winery tour 1.30pm Monday - Saturday
Tel: +61 (02) 4993 7000
Tuscany Wine Estate
Corner Hermitage Road and Mistletoe Lane, Pokolbin, Hunter Valley
Open Tuesday - Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 10am-4pm
Tel: +61 (02) 4998 6660
Blue Tongue Brewery
Hunter Resort, Hermitage Road, Pokolbin, Hunter Valley
Open seven days for breakfast, lunch and dinner
Tel: +61 (02) 4998 7777
Related GrabYourFork posts:
Hunter Valley 2008/1: Maitland Gaol tour
Hunter Valley 2008/2: Morpeth Pie Man and Morpeth Sourdough
Hunter Valley 2008/3: Dinner at the Newcastle Travelodge Hotel
Hunter Valley 2008/4: Vineyards and cheese tasting
Hunter Valley 2007/1: Cessnock
Hunter Valley 2007/2: Vineyards, cheeseshops and an olive centre
Hunter Valley 2007/3: Lunch at Harrigan's Irish Pub
Hunter Valley 2007/4: A vineyard, cheeseshop and beer brewery
Hunter Valley 2007/5: Dinner at Chez Pok
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2/17/2007 03:10:00 pm