Animals, Chocolate, Cheese, Wine, and Beer!

Trip Start Jan 01, 2013
Trip End Jan 30, 2013

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Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Wednesday, January 16, 2013

As mentioned, on our way to the Scubar on Monday night when we met Sam the tour guide, we took him up on his offer for the Hunter Valley Winery Tour. We again met up with him and the rest of our tour at 8am in Central Sydney; our first stop was a wildlife park where we again got to pet/feed the kangaroos, koalas, wallabies, and emus! The park even had morning tea and biscuits for us which was perfect since we were so tired from waking up early. The koalas at this park were much cuter and friendlier (aka not so sleepy) and even had softer fur! We enjoyed our short time here because it was so quaint and it felt like the animals were on their on turf as opposed to locked up in cages.

Our next stop was a small little chocolate factory in the Hunter Valley; the factory imported chocolate from Belgium, and would mold it themselves with their own ingredients. The chocolate maker had a small spread of chocolates for us to taste: chocolate covered espresso beans, chocolate rock candy, three types of fudge, chili chocolate bark, and pieces of their plain dark, milk, and white chocolate. Everything was very delicious!

Next was a small boutique winery (meaning they only sell to customers as opposed to wholesalers, and sell about 7,500 cases a year) called Wallagong Winery (Wallagong meaning hills in aboriginal language - the vineyard is set on many, many hills). We tasted many local flavors and tried some new wines that none of us had ever had before like Verdelho, Duriff, and Shiraz. We liked the Sparking Moscato Rosè so much that we ordered 6 bottles to be delivered to us while we're in Brisbane! We figured it would be a good poolside wine, and one we can give to our host family as a gift.

Around lunchtime we headed to the Smelly Cheese Factory and Tempus Two for a cheese and wine tasting as well as lunch. We tasted 5 different cheeses ranging from fettas, to creams and goat cheese. Each of us got a baguette sandwich from Smelly Cheese and ate it out on the vineyard. Tempus Two is a winery that is considered a wholesaler winery (meaning we could find their wines in local bottle stores), and we also did a tasting there. The wine was good but I did prefer the smaller wineries because it reminded me of the Cape May Winery that I went to once with Andrew.

We headed on over to our third and last winery of the day, and another boutique, Wynwood Estates. We had another private tasting and we tried more wines here than anywhere else (not to mention the trainee was pouring some hefty glasses!) and it was an in between from the first two wineries; it was sort of commercial, but still not as big as Tempus Two. We really enjoyed all of the wine today!

Last but not least, we headed to Potters Brewery to try some of the beer made in the Hunter Valley. Their lager actually won second place in an international competition! Grove and I split 4 tasters of their Specialty beer, Kolsh, Wit Bier, Pale Ale, and Lager. It was delicious! I wish we could've taken some home! After the tour, we headed back home to cook some dinner and relax for the night. We're heading to Bondi beach (pronounced bond-eye) tomorrow!
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