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“The best wine tour I've been on - expect the unexpected!”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Wine Country Tours

Wine Country Tours
Ranked #3 of 89 Food & Drink in Sydney
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Your host is Richard Everett, the only Oenologist (or winemaker) conducting a small group or private wine tour of the Hunter Valley Wine Country. His guests get a unique behind the scenes insight into how the best wines of the Hunter Valley are made, with private guided tastings of the top wines at the best & most interesting of the 140+ wineries. Richard conducts the wine tastings, not the sales staff at the wineries, so you are spared the heavy sales pitch of their commercial wines & get to experience many wines not offered to the general public. Morning tea is at the famous Peppers Guesthouse & lunch is at the award winning Muse Cafe. Tours are available ex Sydney or from within the Hunter Valley.
sydney
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“The best wine tour I've been on - expect the unexpected!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 9, 2012

I joined Richard on a tour to the Hunter Valley in mid 2010. Having been on a few tours of the Hunter Valley, I was looking forward to doing a tour that I had heard was particularly unique.

Other tours I have been on have had a pretty disinterested driver, you visit a few vineyards with the odd bit of commentary on the way about some local folklore and you are left up to your own devices at each vineyard.

During an enjoyable drive from Sydney, Richard took the time to learn about our individual knowledge of wine, our interests, what we were looking to take away from the experience and gave us a great insight into the history of wine making in Australia.

Through the course of the day, we spent time in private cellars of some of the most well regarded wineries - literally so private that it was just Richard and his group. We tasted many wines that are not available to the general public and got behind the scenes seeing wine in its different stages of production. It was the equivalent of the vineyard owner hosting a tasting for their personal friends. I was blown away.

Richard is not a bus driver, he is a wine maker. I understand no other wine makers run tours in the Hunter Valley, this makes the experience unparalleled to any of the other (4) tours that I have been on.

If you want a bus that takes you to get sloshed at vineyards, it's not the tour for you. If you want an insight into the process of making wine, the history of the Hunter Valley and to try some of the best wines the Hunter has produced, this IS the tour for you.

Well done Richard, I will be back!

Visited May 2011
Helpful?
Thank Rob M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richard E, Owner at Wine Country Tours, responded to this review, April 12, 2012
Thanks Rob for your very kind feedback. Given your prior experience with 4 other tours to the Hunter Valley, I am glad that you enjoyed the personalised approach that I take to give my guests the best opportunity to enjoy the unique wines of this region.
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384 reviews from our community

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Port hacking
1 review
“Refreshingly Enjoyable”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 9, 2012

Richard's trip was complete, his knowledge, and ability to explain to a very mixed group made the entire package enjoyable.
We learnt so much and the behind the scenes touches were eye openers for us all.
We amazed ourselves, especially the "girls" with the tasting sessions, appreciating the wines from all aspects.
Thank you Wine Country Tours, from the pick up point, to the wineries shown and finally drop off time, a complete package.
John and Denise-Port Hacking

Visited September 2011
Helpful?
Thank johnatt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richard E, Owner at Wine Country Tours, responded to this review, April 14, 2012
Thanks John & Denise for your positive feedback. I am glad that you enjoyed the 'behind the scenes' experience of seeing how fine wines are crafted & then tasting them in a private setting.
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London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Not your ordinary wine tour”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 9, 2012

Went on this tour with a couple of friends expecting to do the usual stop at a few wineries and try a few wines. This was a more intimate tour than I have experienced previously. While all the regular tour groups are doing the traditional tasting at the cellar door. We were able to experience a private tasting room at one of the great wineries in the Hunter Valley including back vintages. The tour guides knowledge of the wines was exceptional. The food on the tour was great, a quick cake in the morning at a nice cottage and then lunch at an amazing restaurant. Will be going again when I visit Australia next.

Visited May 2011
Helpful?
Thank Tony T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richard E, Owner at Wine Country Tours, responded to this review, April 14, 2012
Thanks Tony for your enthusiastic posting. I look forward to hosting you & your friends again next year, with further private guided wine tastings at the very best & most interesting of the 140+ wineries in the Hunter Valley.
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Belfast, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
24 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“great experience, highly recommended”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 9, 2012

Although we booked this tour planning to join a small group, on the actual day (the week before Christmas) my husband and daughter and I were the only participants. The day was great from start to finish. Richard made us feel very relaxed and conversation flowed easily. In fact I have never heard my husband talk for so many hours to a stranger in the 26 years we have been married!
The winery visits were outstanding as was Richards knowledge of the subject matter and the general area.
Morning coffee was provided at a stunningly beautiful venue and we caught our first up- close sight of local wildlife with kangaroos lying under the hedges in the garden. Its was breathtaking !
We then traveled onward and began the more serious task of learning about wine tasting. Given that we were complete novices who whilst highly skilled at drinking wine could only recognize which wine was 'white' and which was 'red' we were somewhat anxious. However, Richard was superb and gently initiated us into the world of wine tasting. He also proved himself a great photographer, taking our camera and snapping many photos of us enjoying the day.
All in all it was a great day and truly made the holiday. I can only recommend the Wine Country Tours for their great service from initial booking to the relaxed and knowledgeable hosting on the day of the event. Great service I would score as 'five star'. Great value for money ! .

Visited December 2011
Helpful?
Thank Linda T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richard E, Owner at Wine Country Tours, responded to this review, April 16, 2012
Hi Linda, thanks for your kind feedback. See what lots of good wine does to loosen Alan's tongue!
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Mountainside, New Jersey
Level Contributor
26 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“A fun, informative tour - what an amazing day!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 9, 2012

Every step of our Wine Country Tour was amazing. From the minute we booked until Richard dropped us off at our hotel in Sydney, we couldn't have asked for anything more. I would recommend Richard's tour to anyone staying in Sydney and looking for a day trip to Hunter Valley.

Richard's tours are not the typical bus ride from winery to winery. He gauges your knowledge of wine, and tailors the day to make sure you get the most out of your tour. He gives you an intimate look into the history, process, and (of course) the tasting of Hunter Valley wines. His knowledge of Australian wine is seemingly endless, and is eager to share his wealth of information with you.

The day begins with Richard picking you up at your hotel early in the morning. His van is comfortable for the ride to Hunter Valley where your first stop is for breakfast at a beautiful local inn, on the veranda overlooking the rolling fields with the local wildlife (more kangaroos than we saw on our safari tour!) The second stop was Tyrrell's winery where we got and up-close and personal walk-through of the wine making process. After the tour, it's time to taste! Richard walks you through different varieties, and teaches you about each wine, it's flavors, and how it ages. Afterwards Richard guided us to Muse, the restaurant at Hungerford Hill for a delicious gourmet lunch, and a pop quiz on what we learned that morning (I FAILED!) Then, more tasting of Hungerford Hill wines before the trip back to Sydney.

We could not have asked for a better day in Hunter Valley, and we have Richard to thank for it. Feel free to send me a message if you have any questions!

Richard, I'm sorry. I tried, but I still don't fully understand Cricket. I suppose it will always be a mystery to me...maybe it's better that way!

Visited January 2012
Helpful?
Thank gregstrick9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richard E, Owner at Wine Country Tours, responded to this review, April 10, 2012
Thanks Greg for your kind thoughts ...... as regards you 'failing' the guess the grape variety game, don't worry, its easily remedied by lots more practice! Cheers, Richard.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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