Winery Tours from Newcastle to the Hunter Valley
Winery tours from Newcastle to the Hunter Valley wine country tailored to suit your requirements.
If you would like to go to one winery for lunch or visit many different locations for wine tasting, we are more than happy to accommodate you and your friends.
Already in wine country ?
We will happily pick you up from your accomodation in any of these areas
Pokolbin, Lovedale, Rothbury, Broke, Nulkaba, Cessnock, and Maitland
Included in your winery tour from Newcastle
Shepherd Bus Tours will work with you to create some Winery Tours that we know you will be happy with.
- You will enjoy the comforts of a bus that has full standing headroom, coach seats,head rests and seat belts on all seats.
- A rear secure luggage locker, so your wine purchases are safe and out of the passenger cabin
- Assistance if needed with planning and booking your day in the vineyards.
- Transferred safely to and from your door or agreed departure point
- The bus is exclusively your for the whole time of booking for all your transport needs.
- You will enjoy worry free winery tours with travel taken care of between wineries, breweries, distilleries, restaurant or pub lunch.
Bookings are not essential at all cellar doors but for the majority it is desirable to ensure you are catered for.
Phone us on 0438563307 for bus reservation or assistance.
*Note the above prices are bus transport only.
*Prices are based on minimum 6 people private booking
*Call for a customized quote if needed.
9:30 am – Our driver will arrive to pick you up from your local accommodation in the Hunter Valley area (Cessnock, Pokolbin or Lovedale).
Alternatively, we can pick you all up in Newcastle at a central pre-arranged location at 8.30 am.
10:00am-4: 00 pm – Visiting four cellar doors/wineries in a day will allow for plenty of time to enjoy private group tastings of the many reds and whites on offer.
Should you decide to take the opportunity to buy a bottle or two of the best Australian wine available at reduced cellar door prices, our driver will be happy to assist you to place the purchases in our unique, behind the passenger's, storage area for safekeeping and your safety.
Enjoy a lunchtime booking at 2.30 pm can be enjoyed at the Potters Hunter Valley, and for approximately $25 to$ 35, you will be able to eat a delicious meal from the comprehensive menu Brazier menu.
After lunch, we can visit the chocolate factory as the perfect way to round of the day
4:00-4: 30 pm – We will drop you back to your local accommodation or start our return drive to Newcastle.
We know you will have had a fabulous day discovering some of the pleasures the Hunter Vally vineyard region has to offer.
LUNCH OPTIONS PLUS MORE
Potters Old Brickworks Brasserie
Sit and enjoy lunch chosen from a range of delicious menu options.
The Potters Brickworks Brasserie has it all with both indoor and outdoor dining areas, or if in winter sit beside the roaring open fire.
The Brasserie can cater for a wide range of reservations, from an intimate table for two, to parties for birthdays and family get-togethers, with a casual dining ambiance and proximity to the fabulous children's playground, Potters suits everyone's needs.
Also on the same site is the Potters Hotel famous as it is fabulous for its great atmosphere and great beer!
Located in the heart of Wine Country, Potters offers a casual place to rest from the activities of the region, to sit and enjoy a perfectly brewed ale or lager from our Brewery - the Hunter Beer Co.
Sit back in the comfortable chesterfield couches, at the Bar, or in the beautiful Beer Garden and rest.
You've earned it!
DISCOVERING THE AREA
As we travel on one of our bespoke winery tours from Newcastle , it is good to reflect on some of the general histories of the area we are visiting. The winery growing sector of the Hunter Vally was not always a smooth one hours bus ride from Newcastle.
In 1797 over two hundred years ago two convicts during an escape attempt stole the government of the day's, best and largest boat.
The first lieutenant John Shortland gave chase. While sailing North towards Port Stephens, he entered the estuary of the Hunter River seeking shelter. While there he noticed the river and for the first time it was given the name Hunter River. The chosen name was a tribute to the governor of the day, John Hunter.
He also made a hand-drawn sketch of the harbour as well as retrieving some coal. The coal led to the river being nicknamed the coal river for many years instead of its official name the Hunter River.
John Hunter once wrote in a letter to his father that he thought his river discovery would one day be a great asset to the early settlement. How right he was.
Of course it may have been a discovery for John Hunter, but in reality, the whole Hunter Valley area had long been home to the Wonnarua people ("people of the hills and plains"). Their history can be traced back over 30,000 years with many sacred sites located in the Hunter region and also traditional knowledge stories dating back to the start of the Dreamtime.
Mt Yengo to the west of the wine growing region is particularly important as being the place from which Baiame (Baayami or Baayama), a creational ancestral hero, jumped back up to the spirit world after he had created all of the mountains, lakes, rivers and caves in the area. Baiame flattened the top of Mt Yengo when he jumped skyward and the flat top is still visible today.
OPENING THE AREA UP
A man named John Howe was the first person to make a path overland to the Hunter region in 1820.
Soon after his discovery, a one hundred and seventy-four-kilometer road, constructed by convicts along his path, was finished connecting Windsor to Singleton.
Known as the Putty Road, it allowed for the area to be opened up to the favorite past time of cattle rustling.
Branching off at Wollombi is also the original road traveling east to Newcastle through Cessnock and Maitland.
All the roads original convict-built roads were completed in eighteen thirty-six and many of the original convict-built features are visible today.
Initially, much of the land was held by convicts with little to no interests in either growing grapes or drinking wine. Additionally the British were also not wine drinkers, unlike the Europeans.
History does not record who planted the first vines in the Hunter valley however it does show that by 1832 ten small vineyards approximately 20 acres, had been established by gentlemen of substance and grapes were finally thriving. Formerly it had been challenging to grow vines primarily as the imported European varieties did not do well in the hot, dry environment.
Today's plants are the descendants of an original 433 cuttings gathered from various locations across Europe in an attempt to establish which were suitable for growing in the harsh conditions.
Records show that by 1843 the Hunter had a total of 26 acres growing grapes which produced 16,472 gallons of wine and 140 gallons of Brandy. Seven years later the number of acres dedicated to grape growing had exceeded 500 acres.
Today from humble beginnings the Hunter Valley wine growing area boasts many internationally recognized award-winning wines. Many wineries cater for tourists, weddings corporate functions and cellar door wine tastings. In the lower Hunter Valley wine growing region known as Pokolbin, there are more than sixty wineries for you to visit.