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“Top class wine tour & tasting!”
Review of Wine Country Tours

Wine Country Tours
Ranked #4 of 92 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.
Reviewed March 30, 2013

I am a lover of fine wines so during our trip to Australia was keen to enhance my knowledge of as many of the wine regions as I could. A trip to the Hunter Valley was therefore an essential part of our time in Sydney. We selected Wine Country Tours from a tourist information booklet. I was attracted by the idea of having a wine professional conduct the tour - particularly when so many of the other tours seemed aimed at perhaps a student crowd.
This was to be a last minute booking but was easy to arrange - they answered my call quickly & we were booked in. They were very quick to answer subsequent emails & enquiries.
Richard arrived in his minibus right on time - we were lucky enough to be the only couple that day so it ended up as our own private tour. Richard is a great raconteur so the two hour drive to the Hunter Valley was interesting & entertaining. We learned as much about Australian culture, politics & current affairs as we did about wine!
When we arrived in the Hunter Valley we enjoyed a relaxed morning tea at Peppers Guest house before heading off to Tyrells winery for some serious tasting. It was harvest time so there was plenty of activity at the winery & Richard took us on a full tour explaining the various processes & encouraging our interaction. We then moved on to the tasting room for a tutored tasting conducted by Richard himself. We sampled a wide variety of Tyrells wines with the opportunity to compare & contrast various varietals & vintages. The focus was much more on the appreciation of the wine rather than simply an assessment of whether it was any good or worthy of purchase. Plenty of time was allowed for this so we did not feel rushed. Once finished we headed up to Muse restaurant @ the Hungerford Hill winery for a late lunch. The food was truly exceptional & far better than would usually be expected as part of any tour. Clearly Richard has designed a package to suit the discerning palate. We concluded the day tasting some of the Hungerfod Hills wines before the journey back to our hotel in Sydney.
I thoroughly enjoyed this tour - the structure of the day was far better suited to the enjoyment of good wine than the alternative of simply visiting cellar door after cellar door. I would recommend this tour both for the novice & the keen amateur alike - you will end the day having gained a considerable knowledge of Australian wine.

Thank Technog0at
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed March 14, 2013

We were picked up at 7am by Richard in his Wine Country tour mini bus. It was a very comfortable trip, (about 2 hours) and we arrived at Peppers Guest House for morning tea. What a lovely place, we sat out on the porch with lovely linen table cloths and serviettes. The service was excellent and the coffee and dates and fruit & walnut bread all of a very high standard.You could call it the time to put a lining on your stomach.
We then drove a short distance to Tyrells Vinyard. I was under the impression that Tyrells was a large conglomerate of a winery. I was very pleasntly surprised to find that it is a small family owned winery. In fact the family are so hands on that there was a Tyrell on the forklift.

The pressing of the 2013 McClarenvale Shiraz was in process as we arrived, so the winery was a hub of activity. We were allowed to watch the process, touch, feel, and all with Richards expert tutorlidge. We then to went to a private dining room for a private tasting. It was filled with the history and descendants of the Tyrell family. It is very rare to find so much history related to one family in the same place.

We tasted 15 of Tyrells top wines, we were taught how to judge a wine, color, look and taste and how to make tasting notes. One of us was good at this, the other not so good. We were both so impressed with the wines and our new understanding of them, we ordered 3 dozen to be sent back to Melbourne.After they arrived home 2 days later, we again tasted and I rang back and ordered another 2 dozen of the Pinot. I cant wait to taste thier premium Pinot Noir next time they make it.
We then went to Roberts for lunch. Lunch was lovely, expensive and good, but in this day and age I find you actually get what you pay for. And this was one of those cases.

After lunch we visited Hungerford Hills winery for a very short stop. Again we were taken to a private room, where we tasted 3 gorgeous cold climate reds from the Snowy. We did not have enough time to purchase here, but I grabbed a brochure and order form on the way out. Due to time constraints of returning to catch our flight to Sydney, we had to run.

I have done many wine tours before, mostly private ones, Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula, Bellarine Peninsula, Barossa, Eden Valley, Coonawarra, Langhorne Creek, Mclarenvale, Clare Valley and napa valley, and have never had such expert tutorlidge or knowlwdge passed on to me before. Richard is passionate about his wine, and his business, and this just flows throughout the tour.
Worth every penny!

Thank marsy007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 14, 2013

Richard picked us up on time in Sydney with another couple and provided interesting conversation to and from Hunter Valley. Another couple joined us in Hunter Valley. Richard has considerable experience with wine making and marketing. He took us to Tyrrell's Wines where we tasted 15 wines in about 2 hours in a lovely, old dinning room and heard expert commentary from him. The wines were fabulous. We then had a late lunch at Hungerford Hill with wines selected by Richard to accompany what we ordered. Then we tasted four more wines.

Thank TruthfulCriticofFood
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 11, 2013

What an amazing experience! We spend two days with Richard tasting, but also learning so much about wine. The Hunter Valley was beautiful and the wineries he selected to visit were lovely and a perfect sampling of the areas' wines. Richard is a thoughtful and engaging host, and our time traveling in the van was filled with lively conversation that added much to the whole experience.

Thank Houstontwosome
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 10, 2013

I've been to wine tastings and wine tours in France, South Africa and Chile before that and I must say that this tour was probably the best I've been to so far. I learned a lot. Roeslers' review (below) summarises it pretty well. Anyway here are my two cents.

The distinguishing feature of this tour is that it is focused on wine (15 different bottles tasted in the morning, 7 more in the afternoon), with one major aim : "what is this wine good for?" So, no snobbery here about finding 10 different kinds of flowers in a Semillon, or choosing between a mark of 93 or 93.5 for a given bottle. More like : how do you percieve it? how, when and with whom would you drink it? good for what?

Other distinguishing feature : there is NO cheese tasting, NO chocolate tasing, NO olive oil or whatever : this wine tour is focused on wine. For good.

Of course, if you engage Richard about how a Verdelho is more like a pineapple, compared to Sauvignon Blanc which tastes more like passion fruit, he is your man. But it never gets intimidating, so you are ensured to learn much, and remember the best part of what you learn,

This allows for serious wine amateurs as well as more novice people to enjoy what Richard has to offer. Why? Because his intent is always pedagogic, and willingly uses comparison as a way to make you aware of what's to be percieved in a wine. We tasted therefore 3 different chardonnays, 5 different shiraz etc. in order to see how soil, exposure to sun, vine age, etc affect the wine - and they obviously do.

Richard, as you may have read from other reviews, is a wine professional. He really knows his stuff, and is also an agreeable host in the 2-hour drive from and to Sydney, where we talked about Australian economics, the hospitality business, college prices etc. (And a bit of French cork bashing : le poor me).

The day is spent as follows : drive to Hunter Valley, coffee and (really excellent) cakes upon arrival, then visit of Tyrell's estate, comprehensive visit about how the grapes become wine. Best part then follows : a first tasting of 15 vintages of all types, As I said, pedagogy, comparison, and usage.
Then (it's around 3PM) lunch at the Hungerford Hill restaurant - very good also - with a glass of wine for the hosts to guess what it is.
Then another tasting at Hungerford Hill - and I must say they manage to achieve impressive vintages. The Chardonnay from the Epic series notably.
And then it's back to Sydney. Pick up was 7:45 AM ; arrival 7:15 PM.

A good day then, and at 150 AUD it looks to me like a bargain. Thank you Richard!

Thank npeirani
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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