Christmas Celebrations in the Hunter Valley

Love it or loathe it Christmas & New Year are just around the corner.  It's time to plan those end of year celebrations, staff parties, family celebrations, end of year retreats & get-aways and New Year's parties. 

Where do you start? Does this responsibility fall on your shoulders? Are you time-poor, needing some ideas & incentive? 

Some of you may have great ideas but not know how to plan & execute your ideas; others love the planning but really don't know where to find that great idea; some of you just don't have the time.

Why not take the pressure off & outsource some, or all, of the tasks?

Two people or 100 people, a specialist will have suggestions & solutions for relaxing memorable celebrations & escapes.

The Hunter Valley offers a wide range of options. Here's a few ideas, or why not have something personally designed just for you.


  • Pre-Christmas get-togethers, staying in local cottages with an in-house caterer
  • Christmas Day in the Hunter Valley with a feast at a local restaurant
Hunter Valley picnic


  • A weekend of fun, wine & food
  • A leisurely long table lunch in a local restaurant or a winery
  • A catered picnic with games
  • An early morning balloon flight with a long leisurely sparkling brunch in the vines


  • A cocktail party
  • A grand dinner in a winery
  • A day outdoors for your team & their families with a picnic and games 
  • Helicopter flight to a secret destination for a day of pure indulgence
  • Hands on experiences such as cooking schools, winemaker masterclasses, cheesemaking or golf hosted by winemakers
  • An end of year team awards night
  • A corporate retreat
Hunter Valley Dining

You might wish to include other services such as Nannies to look after the kids, transport to & from the event, a guest Winemaker, corporate gifts for everyone, entertainment & theming. 

We can even bring the Hunter Valley to you with Winemaker & Chef experiences at your venue.

Don't put your head in the sand, bite the bullet & get planning!

I'd love to help you, email or phone 04181 148 283 & we'll start planning a memorable celebration.

Music throughout the Vines

Hunter Valley Wine Country has a great reputation for hosting International concerts, but did you know you can relax amongst the vines every weekend & experience some of our local talent?

Here's a heads-up for a weekend of wine, food & song.

You can listen to live entertainment with a

Had enough wine? Why not grab a local craft ale & tunes at

  • Harrigan's Irish Pub
  • Potters Brewery

Or watch the golfers finish their day on the course as you take in tunes & a glass of wine at Cypress Lakes Resort in the Bodega Bar.

If cocktails & dancing are your thing enjoy the alfresco atmosphere at Goldfish Bar & Kitchen.

How about a personal performance at a function venue or your accommodation or your choice?

Oyster - Hunter Valley - Bespoke Hunter

Oysters & Semillon are a perfect match, throw in some live music at Peterson House Oyster Bar on a Sunday from 11am & you won't want to head home from your Wine Country music filled weekend.

Contact venues directly for their program & bookings, or pop in & be surprised at the depth of talent we have in Wine Country.

Need someone to do all the hard work for you & plan your weekend escape? I'd love to help you create your perfect Wine Country escape or experience.

Cosy fires, hearty meals, snow, rich warming red wines - Winter Escapes in Wine Country

Okay so it doesn't snow in Wine Country, but it is a great time to indulge in hearty food, rich red wines chocolates & to toast marshmallows on an open fire. It's a little quieter & takes on a more leisurely pace, the winemakers are relaxed, the vines are being pruned; pack your scarves, gloves & winter jackets & join us.

Snow, winter, winecountry

One of the biggest advantages of visiting in Winter is the opportunity to learn a little more about the importance of terroir, in particular the soils. The leafless vines leave the soils exposed clearly showing the varying colours & soil profiles. The rich red clay loam that feed our shiraz, the sandy alluvial riverbeds that are home to our world renown semillon & the chocolate podsols create a colourful patchwork of winter colours throughout the valley.

There are plenty of cottages, self contained accommodation & guest houses with open fires (either in your room or in a book laden common area or bar). Bring marshmallows, purchase a local cheese platter & a Hunter Valley Shiraz or organise delivery of a fully catered meal to make the most of the warm country atmosphere & snuggle in for the night.

Fireside Hunter Valley

Fireside dining is available at The Cellar Restaurant, Muse Restaurant, Cafe Enzo, Margan, Circa 1876 Restaurant and Il Cacciatore to name a few. Don't just think dinner, it's a great way to enjoy a long leisurely winter's lunch.

Love the warmth of the kitchen? At Emerson's Restaurant you can book the Chef's Table in the Kitchen (book well in advance this is highly sought after), or take a seat at the "pass" watching the heat in the Kitchen at EXP. Restaurant.

EXP. Chef's Bar

EXP. Chef's Bar

Tasting red wine fireside is a must & we have plenty of Cellar Doors that are happy to oblige. Oakvale Wines, Ascella Organic Wines, Tulloch Wine, Keith Tulloch Wine, Whispering Brook, Gartlemann Estate are a handful of the many that offer this experience.

Some love the fresh, bracing winter air. Rug up, take in that clean fresh, crisp air with a wander in the Hunter Valley Gardens (& experience "Snow time in the Gardens"), play a round of golf or try your luck at Aqua Golf, snuggle up to a Koala at Hunter Valley Zoo, take a long leisurely walk or cycle through the vines.

Not the outdoor type? Try a cooking school, indulge with a chocolate tasting, visit a Day Spa (and stay the day), relax at your accommodation with a great book, magical winter views or a hot spa bath.

The frost covered mornings offer a great excuse to stay in bed longer to snuggle & sleep in, I could go on forever ... visit us in Winter, you won't be sorry.

Imagine waking in your country cottage, fire still burning to this beautiful frosty scene in Broke Fordwich.

Imagine waking in your country cottage, fire still burning to this beautiful frosty scene in Broke Fordwich.

Need help planning a memorable Winter Escape or experience? Bespoke Hunter is your destination specialist, phone Rowena 0418 148 283 or 




Family escape to the Hunter Valley

School holidays are on the doorstep & Wine Country is a great destination to escape with the family; its a rural setting with plenty of room for kids, & adults, to run & play.



There is a range of places to stay.

  • Resorts with the benefit of onsite services & activities; pools, kids clubs, baby sitting services. In the Valley we have several with two & three bedroom apartments so everyone can stay together; or with interlocking rooms for older kids.
  • Self contained cottages and farm stays offer plenty of room in a rural setting, options to self cater meals so you don't need to head out at night; some include billiard tables, tennis courts, ping pong tables, pools & more to keep the whole family entertained. Renting a couple of cottages on the one property is a great option for extended families for a week in the country.
  • Rent a house at The Vintage, located on the Greg Norman designed golf course (perfect for a few hours adult escape). They have plenty of room & fabulous entertaining areas, often have a pool & there are great resources within the village.
Holiday Rental with pool & virtual golf at The Vintage

Holiday Rental with pool & virtual golf at The Vintage


There are a myriad of options for children of all ages.

  • Hunter Valley Zoo has a daily program of Keeper Talks, you can meet & pat a koala, feed the kangaroos & petting zoo animals, & picnic onsight. For the bigger kids (over 12yo )there are Meerkat & Marmoset encounters (be sure to book.)
Meerkats (with their babies) at Hunter Valley Zoo

Meerkats (with their babies) at Hunter Valley Zoo

  • Hunter Valley Gardens has plenty to keep the kids busy & is looking stunning with a colourful display of Spring Blooms. There are dinosaurs, treasure hunts & jumping castles to mention a few of the activities.
  • If you haven't tried Aqua & Putt Putt golf they are a must. A big favourite in our family, this covers everyone, with prizes for those with good aim or a bit of luck on their side.
  • For the energetic adventure lovers there is bike riding, horse riding & bush walks.
  • Many of our Cellar Doors understand that if the kids are happy, the parents will relax & enjoy their tasting. A few of the places with activities for the kids are Briar Ridge Vineyard (basket full of balls, hoola hoops & outdoors games), Scarborough Wine co. (colouring & puzzle books) and Gundog Estate (wi-fi for the iPad).
  • There are also Babysitting Services that take care of the kids at your accommodation, or join you on the day to look after the kids as you visit various cellar doors and restaurants; and kids clubs at the resorts.


Colourful settings for the kids & outdoor dining at EXP

Colourful settings for the kids & outdoor dining at EXP

  • A family BBQ in your self-catered accommodation (BBQ packs are available from a few local caterers & delis or bring your own)  
  • Fine dining - make sure you mention you have children in your group when booking & they'll provide high chairs, colouring or wifi & kids menus. At EXP they have fantastic colourful table settings to really make the little ones feel special. Want to leave the kids at home while you have a "grown-ups dinner"? Call in  a babysitter - we have some great local services
  • For something special - why not organise an in-house Chef to come to you - great for a large group, will include the clean up & means you don't have to worry about driving (not available at all accommodation)
  • A dinner picnic - if you've had a big day, order a picnic & have it at your accommodation. You can grab one while you are out, or with a small, additional charge have the picnic delivered so all you have to do is relax & enjoy
  • Stock up with local cheeses, olives & a bottle of wine & relax taking in the beautiful scenery from your balcony
  • For lunch, pick a restaurant or cafe with a sunny courtyard (there are lots to chose from), the kids can run & play while you relax. Cafe Enzo & Mojos The Deli have some great toys & activities for kids.
Ten pins al fresco at Mojos The Deli on Wilderness Road.

Ten pins al fresco at Mojos The Deli on Wilderness Road.

If you'd like help planning, booking & creating a unique escape call Rowena 0418148283 or email.

Cellar Doors to Dine

Planning your Hunter Valley Itinerary can be difficult; there are so many Cellar Doors & wine companies (over 140 in the Hunter Valley).

Why not dine at one (or two) of the Cellar Doors throughout your day, pop in first & sample their wines; stock the cellar on the way out.

Oakvale Wines, 1596 Broke Rd, Pokolbin - EXP Restaurant - Lunch Wednesday - Sunday; Dinner Wednesday - Saturday.  Book a table at the Kitchen Bar interact with & watch Chef Frank & his team as they prepare your meal.

Oakvale Wines - EXP Kitchen Bar

Oakvale Wines - EXP Kitchen Bar

Bimbadgen, 790 McDonalds Rd, Pokolbin - Esca Bimbadgen - Lunch daily; Dinner Wednesday - Saturday. Dedicated to the art of food & wine matching.

Hungerford Hill, 2450 Broke Rd, Pokolbin - Muse Restaurant - Lunch Saturday - Sunday; Dinner Wednesday- Saturday. Our very own SMH two-hatted restaurant.

Tallavera Grove, 749 Mount View Rd, Mount View - Bistro Molines - Lunch Thursday - Sunday; Dinner Friday-Saturday. Endless views, a beautiful setting & one of the region's best known & loved Chefs.

Stunning views at Bistro Molines, Tallavera Grove

Stunning views at Bistro Molines, Tallavera Grove

Adina Vineyard, Lovedale Rd, Lovedale - Emerson's Restaurant - Breakfast Saturday - Sunday; Lunch Wednesday - Sunday; Dinner Thursday - Sunday. The degustation dinner is a must, Chef Emerson even makes his own plates!

Emma's Cottage - Nanna Kerr's Kitchen.

Emma's Cottage - Nanna Kerr's Kitchen.

Emma's Cottage, Wilderness Rd, Lovedale - Nanna Kerr's Kitchen - Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Thursday - Sunday. Wholesome, homemade & delicious, one of the region's newest restaurants.

Ridgeview Wines, 273 Sweetwater Rd, Pokolbin - Ridgeview Restaurant & Cafe - Breakfast Friday - Sunday; Lunch Thursday - Sunday; Dinner Thursday - Sunday. Mediterranean, Middle East inspired.

Calais Estate, 151 Palmers Lane, Pokolbin - The Verandah Restaurant - Lunch Thursday - Sunday; Dinner Thursday - Sunday. Tapas style menu.

Wynwood Estate, Oakey Creek Rd, Pokolbin - Twine Restaurant - Lunch daily. Dinner Friday - Sunday.

Gartelmann Wines, 701 Lovedale Rd, Lovedale - The Deck - Breakfast & Lunch Monday - Sunday; Dinner Saturday - Sunday. A great casual option when touring the Lovedale area.

Margan Winery, 1238 Milbrodale Rd, Broke - Margan Restaurant - Breakfast Sunday; Lunch Friday-Sunday; Dinner Friday-Saturday. Seasonal cuisine fresh from their kitchen garden.

Peterson House, Broke Rd, Pokolbin - Restaurant Cuvee - Breakfast & Lunch Daily. Bubbly breakfast the best way to start a day of Wine Tasting.

Vinden Estate, 138 Gillards Rd, Pokolbin - Bistro Vinden - Lunch Saturday - Sunday. Al fresco on the terrace overlooking the vines.

Keith Tulloch Wine, Cnr Hermitage & Deasys Rds, Pokolbin - Muse Kitchen - Lunch Wednesday - Sunday; Dinner Saturday. Seasonal produce and seamless service.

The following have dining establishments within the same complex 

David Hook Wines & Cafe Enzo at Peppers Creek.

David Hook Wines & Cafe Enzo at Peppers Creek.

  • DeIuliis Wines - Broke Rd, Pokolbin
  • Tempus Two - Broke Rd, Pokolbin
  • Meerea Park - Broke Rd, Pokolbin
  • Peppertree Wines - Halls Rd, Pokolbin 
  • David Hook Wines - Broke Rd, Pokolbin

It's the last weekend of Hunter Valley Wine & Food Month

I was one of the original committee that developed Hunter Valley Wine & Food Month, and I managed it for 5 years working for the local industry. I have a great belief in the Hunter Valley's wines, produce & ability to deliver memorable experiences centred around these.

This is the final weekend of events for 2015 & these are my picks.


  • I couldn't think of a better way to spend a Saturday in the country, than with a long (5 course), leisurely lunch of local farmgate produce, Hunter Valley wines, in a winery setting with the artisans sharing their story, passion & expertise. Be sure to arrange a stylish transfer, you won't want to drive back to your accommodation after this (think helicopter,  vintage car, limousine?)

The Salt & Pepe Show at Margan Winery - Saturday at 12noon - featuring Alex Olsson, Pepe Sayer, & Lisa & Andrew Margan. Bookings essential 02 6579 1372.


I'm torn between two events on Sunday (whichever one you take, you should book and stay an extra night & take a days leave to relax in the vineyards Monday).

  • Get your apron on & take a hands on class with Chef Matt Dillow of The Verandah Restaurant. Matt will teach you the tricks to making a tasty paella & those addictive churros; you'll be rewarded with the spoils of the kitchen, with your new found kitchen team (the other participants), with a sangria or two for lunch.

Pan to Paella - 9.30am at The Verandah. Bookings 02 4998 7231

  • Sunday is forecast to be a beautiful sunny winter's day; Peterson House will be joined by Savannah Estate, Peterson Wines & Lambloch Estate, there'll be desserts & chocolates rom the Hunter Valley Chocolate company & Sabor in the Hunter & live music. Sounds like a great way to relax & indulge in bubbles, lunch at Restaurant Cuvee & chocolates in a picturesque setting.

Bare Vines & Bubbles - Peterson House 10am -4pm

  • An opportunity not to be missed before the end of this event, is tasting a line up of some of the Hunter Valley's iconic shiraz' against Grange. Join a masterclass or taste them at your own leisure, it's your turn to be the judge!

Icon vs. Icon, Small Winemaker's Centre, 10am to 5pm

We all have different tastes & enjoy different experiences - what tempts you for this final weekend?

A Bespoke Itinerary for a Wintery Weekend

There are so many great things in in the Valley & Newcastle at the moment, I started dreaming about what I would do if I was visiting the Vineyards or the City for the weekend. Here are my thoughts for a Bespoke Hunter Itinerary for this weekend.


Hunter Valley Wine Country

Forecast - a chance of rain & cool.

Hunter Valley Wine & Food Month is currently underway, so deciding what to do this weekend is tough!



I'd book into a guest house with an open fire & views across the vines & mountains.

Friday Evening

Arrange to have a picnic dinner delivered to your cottage, pick up a bottle of wine from a nearby winery & stay fireside for the evening.

Saturday Morning 

Start in the Lovedale area by following the Lovedale Art Trail. View local artists works tasting a few wines, & meeting the growers & makers along the way.

Dorothee Heibel

Dorothee Heibel

Book into Adina Vineyard for their 11am Olive Oil tasting & tour.


Whilst at Adina Emerson's Restaurant is perfect for a light lunch 


Its time to really relax. Indulge with a Spa Elysia treatment, or two


You'll have to have pre-booked, Dinner at the two hatted Muse Restaurant, ask for a table by their roaring fire & let Chef Troy & Megan really spoil your palate.


Tour the Vineyards in a Lamborghini Supercar.


Forecast - Wet & cool


I'd stay on the Harbour so I could watch coming & goings of the ships. Be sure to keep an eye out for the dancing tug boats.

Newcastle Harbour - Bespoke Hunter



Stroll & shop the Hunter & Gather Markets - this weekend they've been moved to the Bolton Street Carpark in the city to avoid any chance of being rained out. Boutique designers, artists, musicians, collectors & food. If you have spare time finish with a wander along nearby Darby Street.


Book a window table at Rustica Newcastle Beach or Merewether Surfhouse for a long leisurely lunch whilst whale spotting (it's migration season & they are often seen off our beaches) & checking out the surfers in action.


There is an amazing array of Australian Films being shown as part of the Travelling Film Festival.  Catch a film then bar hop a few of Newcastle's great bars & brewhouses for drinks & a light dinner.

Sunday Morning

Take a helicopter ride along the coast, over the Bay, Lake & Beaches & see if you can spot some more of those amazing whales!

Whale spotting

Easter Wine Tasting Escape- tips for groups

Easter is a time when groups of family & friends often visit the vineyards. Here's a few tips to ensure a great time.

Hunter Valley Group visit tips for wine tasting

It's busy in the vineyards, so plan ahead & be prepared to take your time to enjoy.

  • Some places are closed Good Friday & other days over the Easter break
  • Pre-book your restaurants for lunch & dinner to avoid disappointment; buy a picnic of local cheeses, small goods & breads & enjoy at one of the local picnic tables
The Cellar Restaurant

The Cellar Restaurant

  • Wineries generally require bookings for groups of 8 or more. Respect this & book ahead so they can make sure they give you the best experience
Tasting at Ballabourneen

Tasting at Ballabourneen

  • Some smaller wineries are not capable of hosting larger groups as their Cellar Door is too small & they don't have the Staff to cover groups - check in advance
  • Remember there are "Couples" also enjoying themselves, so don't over crowd them or be too noisy
  • Ensure you have an allocated driver that won't be drinking - shout them lunch as a thank you
  • Allow approx 3/4 hour to an hour per winery; four wineries in a day is generally a good guideline.
  • Throw in a cheese, olive oil or chocolate tasting
  • Try a mix of larger well known producers along with a few smaller, family owned wine companies to try something new
Tempus Two Winery

Tempus Two Winery

  • There are additional events & activities over busy weekends - outdoor cinema, kids activities, markets, concerts - book in now.
Markets with local Artisans

Markets with local Artisans

  • Relax - have fun & enjoy the beautiful scenery
Beautiful views from Ivanhoe Wines

Beautiful views from Ivanhoe Wines

Happy Easter

High Tea (and Local Secrets) with Mrs Woo

Rowena, Angela and Juliana Foong are three sisters behind the artisanal design collaboration of HIGH TEA WITH MRS WOO. Established in 2004, this small family business design and produce bespoke clothing and accessories for women, and now also for men, with printed textiles and natural fabrics from their inner-city Newcastle studio. Their meticulously curated flagship store on Darby Street in Cooks Hill is a visual delight not to be missed.

High Tea with Mrs Woo - Rowena, Angela & Juliana Foong - Newcastle

1. Our Hunter Story...

Our family migrated to Australia, arriving in Newcastle in 1988 and we haven’t left

2. The local secret (that we're prepared to share is)…

There really isn’t anything to keep secret - it’s not really all that great here. Quite miserable in fact - what with all the traffic, bustling industry, conscious local lifestyle, stretches of empty beaches, surf and scrub…!

3. Local life is …

…is exactly how you choose to be. Sometimes simple and easy, sometimes rich and riotous - it is not unusual to live a life of comfortably-busy here.

4. One thing that’s good to know when visiting…

…is to expect to meet someone really interesting and/or someone who knows someone or some other person you wouldn’t expect they’d know!

5. Three things you should do when in Newcastle...

  1. Enjoy a good walk along the Newcastle/Merewether coastline, including a little swim at one of the local ocean baths – Newcastle Ocean Baths, Merewether Baths or the Bogey Hole at the bottom of King Edward Park.
  2. Shop with us and other local businesses on Darby Street - and if you time your visit right, shop for local produce at the Farmer’s Markets and and excellent local artisanal products and design at the Olive Tree Markets and Hunt & Gather Markets.
  3. Take a bicycle ride along the wonderful Fernleigh Track - which takes you across an old rail tunnel through bushlands and wetlands, from Merewether to Redhead and all the way to Lake Macquarie.


High Tea with Mrs Woo, 74 Darby St, Cooks Hill, Newcastle.

These are a few of my favourite... views


Over the years I have been lucky enough to work with local winemakers showcasing the valley, & its wines to visiting media & dignitaries. We often begin one of these visits high up in the Brokenback Ranges, in the state forest looking over the valley. We welcome these visitors with a glass of fresh Hunter Valley Semillon & local Port Stephens Oysters, standing on a rocky outcrop, as the Winemakers explain the various soil types & lay of the land from a viticultural perspective. Of course I can't share this location with you - its Top secret - you'll just have to believe me ... its very special.

The Hunter Valley is incredibly picturesque with changing aspects & perspectives no matter where you go. I thought I'd share a few of my picks of the best views. Grab a glass of Hunter Valley Semillon or Shiraz, relax & take in one or two!

In no particular order (after all, how could you choose?)

Scarborough Wine Co. Gillards Rd

In the heart of Pokolbin, sit chardonnay in hand & watch the comings & goings in Pokolbin. Don't forget to stop on the drive out to take in the majesty of the Brokenback Ranges to your left or ahead to the Molly Morgan Ranges. Shhhh ... The Scarborough Hermitage Road Cellar Door also has amazing views.

From the driveway to the Brokenback Ranges at Scarborough

From the driveway to the Brokenback Ranges at Scarborough

The Molly Morgan Ranges from the Scarborough Driveway

The Molly Morgan Ranges from the Scarborough Driveway

Audrey Wilkinson Vineyards

360 degree views, out to the sand dunes of Stockton, overlooking the vines of the Valley or along the Brokenback Ranges. It even looks stunning on a cloudy day.

360 degree views at Audrey Wilkinson - this one is across their manicured lawns to the coast. Picnic anyone?

360 degree views at Audrey Wilkinson - this one is across their manicured lawns to the coast. Picnic anyone?

Ivanhoe Wines

Take in one of the most photographed vineyards in the Valley as you sit on the verandah. This view comes complete with free ranging geese, manicured lawns & vines, & beautiful standard roses.

Geese & red roses complete a perfect view at Ivanhoe.

Geese & red roses complete a perfect view at Ivanhoe.

Dine with a View at Bistro Molines. 

The Mount View area has many stunning outlooks. Relax with the amazing food of Chef Robert Molines as you look across Cessnock, to the Coast, take a drive & find a picnic spot with a view or stay in one of the cottages nestled on high in the hills.

Dine alfresco high in the Mount View hills at Bistro Molines.

Dine alfresco high in the Mount View hills at Bistro Molines.

Stay in one of the cottages dotted through the Mount View Hills

Stay in one of the cottages dotted through the Mount View Hills

Broke- yellow Rock

Escape to the hamlet of Broke for bucolic Australian Bushland scenery. The sandstone formation, known as Yellow Rock, proudly announces this region.

Yellow Rock - Broke - the afternoon sun highlights the sandstone, giving off a beautiful golden glow.

Yellow Rock - Broke - the afternoon sun highlights the sandstone, giving off a beautiful golden glow.

Spa Elysia, Golden Door

Perched on a foothill alongside Audrey Wilkinson, Spa Elysia has views looking back along the Brokenback Ranges to the Upper Hunter. What better place to unwind, relax & heal?

Spa Elysia, Golden Door views across the Valley & Brokenback Ranges

Spa Elysia, Golden Door views across the Valley & Brokenback Ranges

Talga Road, Lovedale

Talga Road is a lesser know road in the Lovedale area dotted with Guest Houses & Cottages. It offers a different aspect & is well worth the drive to the end!

Talga Road, Lovedale

Talga Road, Lovedale

Of course there are many more, and I haven't even started on sunsets, to be enjoyed from your balcony as you sip a Hunter Valley wine.

Sunsets in Pokolbin

Imagine a weekend totally planned around spectacular Hunter Valley views? Bespoke Hunter can plan an Magnificent Views Itinerary for you, why not include a Luxury Secret Location Experience with someone special.

Call Rowena 0418 148 283 or email 


Holly Marsh - Marsh Estate owner

Holly Marsh (in partnership with her husband Andrew) is owner of Marsh Estate & Marsh Trading co.

Marsh Estate is a boutique rain-fed wine company with onsite accommodation. Holly's company Marsh Trading co. creates amazing styling for unique events.

Marsh Estate - Hunter Valley


1. My Hunter Story...

I have been here since 2003 when I sold my restaurant in Sydney and moved to be with my future husband, Andrew.

2.    The local secret (that I’m prepared to share is)…

Tinkler’s Vineyard for fresh produce and Nulkaba Hatchery for free range chickens, ducks and quail. 

3.    Local life is …

Drunk and full of mad, artistic scientists (winemakers) 

4.    One thing that’s good to know when visiting…

Befriend a mad scientist  

5. Three things you should do when in the Newcastle/Hunter

    1. Taste wine

    2. Go to Redhead beach

    3. Have a bushwalk


Marsh Estate, Marsh Trading co.


Emma Duncan - Hair Stylist, Runner

Emma Duncan is a local Hair Stylist, a member of local running group "Night Striders", & a previous winner on The Biggest Loser.

Emma Duncan, Newcastle, Nightstriders - Runner

1. My Hunter Story ...

I was born & bred in Newcastle; I've lived in other places but always come home to Newcastle

2. The local secret (that I am prepared to share is) ...

We have amazing scenery & walks along the coastline & our beautiful beaches.

3. Local life is ...

Friendly with a fantastic community spirit

4. One thing that's good to know when visiting ...

Everything is close by ... from the wineries, to the beaches, to the entertainment centre with great shows

5. Three things that you should do when in Newcastle/Hunter...

    1. Walk/run our beautiful Newcastle Coastline & Harbour Foreshore

    2. Stay longer so you can take a day to visit the Hunter Valley wineries

    3. Enjoy a dining experience in Darby Street & on the harbour at Honeysuckle

Emma Duncan - Newcastle Snr Hair Stylist

Beaumont Hairdressing, Market Town, Newcastle.

Recent Newcastle Herald Story on the Nightstriders.

    Ken & Gwen Sloane - Mistletoe Winery

    Ken & Gwen own boutique Wine company Mistletoe Wines. This highly awarded wine company has an amazing art gallery & sculpture garden, making it a destination not to be missed on your next Wine Country visit.

    Mistletoe is a true family wine company; Ken & Gwen's granddaughter, Jessica, works with them in the winery & Cellar Door & will be studying winemaking next year; this means three generations actively involved in running the business.

    Ken & Gwen Sloane - if you visit their Cellar Door be sure to say Hello.

    Ken & Gwen Sloane - if you visit their Cellar Door be sure to say Hello.

    1. My Hunter Story ...

    This is our 26th year in the Hunter Valley, having started Mistletoe from scratch.

    Ken describes his journey of food & wine to the Hunter on their website, its a great read.

    2. The local secret (that I am prepared to share is) ...

    A picnic on the Brokenback Range is a must do, especially if visiting in late Spring when the vines have their new green foliage.

    3. Local life is ...

    As good as it gets. Great climate, peaceful, many great local industry mates & a genuinely supportive community.

    4. One thing that's good to know when visiting ...

    Allow plenty of time as there is so much to fit into a visit.

    5. Three things that you should do when in Newcastle/Hunter...

    1. Visit Newcastle Harbour precinct
    2. Picnic on the Brokenback Range
    3. Visit the smaller/family owned & operated wineries, you'll often get to meet the owner/grower/maker.


    Mistletoe Winery, Hermitage Rd, Pokolbin.