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“Extremely competent guide and excellent wines!”
Review of Wine Country Tours

Wine Country Tours
Ranked #3 of 90 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.
Oslo, Oslo, Norway
1 review
“Extremely competent guide and excellent wines!”
Reviewed January 6, 2013

We have been to wine tours before in countries such as Italy or South Africa, but we have never had such a knowledgeable guide who is so passionate about his field. We liked that it felt more personal than the typical "mainstream" wine tours, and we also learnt a great deal about wine making as well as tasting and describing wines. This wine tour comes highly recommended!

Visited December 2012
Thank AnnKristin30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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394 reviews from our community

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Washington DC & San Diego CA
Level Contributor
94 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
“Veteran of wine tours says: best wine tour ever”
Reviewed December 28, 2012

I am a native Californian who has been to the Napa Valley and to France for wine tours many, many times, as well as in New Zealand and Australia (Barossa & Rutherglen). During these trips I have attended at least 3 to 4 dozen (possibly many more) "winery tours" and more wine tastings than I can count. If you are looking to deepen your wine knowledge and appreciation of wine, Richard's tour was BY FAR the best one I have ever taken, anywhere, hands down. When in France we had a very good tour at the hands of a "wine expert" which is what made me really start thinking about paying a premium to find a wine tour operator that is "a cut above" the norm---and in Richard, we found just that.

IMPORTANT to note is that we took Richard's tour on the first day of our Hunter Valley vacation, and then we went on a different wine tour the second day. Yes the second tour took us to a lot of wineries, and it was a pleasant enough tour: yes, in just one afternoon we visited three (allegedly "boutique", which apparently in HV just means "small" or possibly "family-owned") wineries, a cheese shop and a chocolate shop. Unfortunately, not one of these had wines I would consider buying. By contrast we bought a lot of wine on Day 1: even though other tour operators derided Tyrrell's for being a "big operator", they did not take us anywhere where the wines were nearly as good, even at higher wine prices. And please note: as the veteran of many wine tours, I know that if you visit more than three wineries in an afternoon and you are seriously tasting, you will get snockered; which means by winery #3 you may very well buy any wine that is set in front of you.... and then, after you get it home, wonder what you found so enchanting about it.

If you simply want to see a lot of Hunter Valley wineries, this is not the tour for you. However if you are more interested in quality of wineries vs quantity and are serious about good wines, then Richard knows where to find them. First of all, as others have noted, with Richard you will possibly only visit two wineries. Although I have made some suggestions to Richard about picking up the cadence, I didn't really feel that this detracted from the overall tour (for all of the reasons listed above). Secondly, the beauty of Richard's wine tour is that it is for serious wine drinkers and novices alike; we had two novices with us and ALL of us learned a whole lot and really enjoyed the tour. Richard is extremely patient in answering questions; his knowledge is deep and thorough. Let me repeat this: EVEN IF YOU ARE A WINE NOVICE, it is well worth paying the small premium to begin your wine education at Richard's hands, tasting excellent wines instead of taking your chances with hit-and-miss wineries.

Richard worked for many years in the wine industry and we happily paid a premium in order to have someone of his expertise show us the Hunter Valley (remember that on many other tours, your guide will be a bus driver who grew up in the locality). It is true that there is a lot of "wine appreciation" included but all of us on this tour were very, very interested to hear Richard's insights as an actual maker of wine.

The stop at Pepper's Guest House was fantastic. From beginning to end, everything about this tour was top-notch. We too did not get to lunch until about 3 PM, but the tour was so fascinating that we didn't realize it; at lunchtime we thought it was only maybe 1 PM, the time just flew by! As I mentioned, I have made some suggestions to Richard regarding the cadence of the trip; I recommend you speak with him if your have concerns, or simply pack yourself a light snack of fruit and water to tide you over if you get hungry. (A little hunger is a small price to pay for a tour of this quality, is easily remedied, and most of us won't die from missing one meal anyway.)

And even if you don't go with Richard, go to Tyrrell's: their wines are terrific and their prices very good value.

Visited December 2012
1 Thank roeslers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
2 reviews
“Excellent time!”
Reviewed November 20, 2012

My partner and I had been to several wine tours before, however this one was indeed very different and by far the one that we learned the most from. Richard spoke very passionately and shared his extensive knowledge while we tasted some very nice wines and explored the vinyards. He gave us more insight into how the wine is made than we had ever before seen and was happy to answer even the silliest questions. He additionally had a lot of personality to bring to the table and made my mum and her friend (both from Eastern Europe, so their English was not great) feel very comfortable. I would recommend this trip for people who want to learn more about the making of wine and for those who would like to learn how to assess the wine. This part was particularly interesting and we all left the tour with a new appreciation for the industry.

Visited November 2012
Thank Vanjy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
“great immersion in hunter valley wines”
Reviewed November 18, 2012

richard has great in-depth knowledge on wine-making and the hunter valley as well as australian wine-making business. this is a great way to level up from your basic in wines. we tasted more than 15 wines but the knowledge gained was invaluable, most certainly something you would not get from a mainstream wine tour. this is definitely worth every bit of the extra tour premium. two thumbs up!

Visited November 2012
Thank Melvchea
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong
2 reviews
“Fantastic Wine Tour”
Reviewed November 4, 2012

We found Richard on Trip Advisor and he was everything the reviews said he was. From the start, we were impressed with his prompt responses over email when we were planning the trip from HK. We were very lucky to be the only 3 people in our small group tour (which in effect turned into a private tour). Richard picked us up from Sydney on time and we had a great nibble at a cute little country cottage before getting down to serious wine business. Like all the other reviews, we only went to 2 vineyards but we tasted quite a lot of wine and learnt more about wine in a few hours than we could ever do from attending other typical wine tours. All 3 of us knew nothing about wine (other than how to drink it) and Richard managed to teach us how to wine-pair within the span of a few hours. There was no pressure to buy any wine afterwards. Lunch at the Muse was just absolutely fantastic (still craving for that entree bread and spread platter). Richard was great company. My bf is not from Australia, so Richard also told him a lot about how Australia works. Overall fantastic wine tour and would recommend it to everyone.

Visited October 2012
Thank Jessjessli
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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