Hunter Valley Wine Yards in Australia

Wineyards of Hunter Valley

Wineyards of Hunter Valley

Initially, we scheduled just 3 days in Sydney. However, a good advice of a friend from Australia was hunter valley, with the quote “if you have enough time”. Well, we didn’t have but we created. This cost us the famous Ayers Rock of Australia, but everything has a price right?

We woke up at a perfectly bright October morning once more in Sydney. Our tour guide and transportation today was from AEA Luxury Tours. It was a two hours drive from Sydney, but took a bit longer with a stopover at Australian Reptile Park, which you can read from my previous post.

Hunter Valley is a very wide valley of wine area, with which there are hundreds of wine yards to visit and some local stores to buy local or international food, art work, natural pharmacy, clothes and stationary.

Yummy stores

Hunter Valley Smelly Cheese Shop is a yummy store

Tasting some cheese

Tasting some cheese

Our first stop at the valley was to Cellar Door to taste some cheese and wine, with a lovely view of the valley. Pity that, it is impossible to carry the cheese, all the way back home, but we bought some coconut pastes and oils, with different kind of nuts and some crackers with various flavors from Hunter Valley Smelly Cheese Shop.

Visiting Tempus Two

Visiting Tempus Two

And the first cellar to visit was the Tempus Two Cellar Door.

Lovely weater

Lovely weather

Exploring

Exploring

The clouds and the grape fields, the blue sky and already a bit drunk, we left the area for our next stop for lunch.

I want to write another post about Bimbadgen Estate, where we had a very nice lunch, but for know, let’s go on with the afternoon.

Pepper tree shop

Pepper tree shop

Our first stop in the afternoon was Pepper Tree Wines, this time tried some white.

Tasting white wine at pepper tree

Tasting white wine at pepper tree

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Everywhere so nicely taken care of

Everywhere so nicely taken care of

Flowers so colorful

Flowers so colorful

Our final stop of the day was at Hunter Valley Gardens shopping village where there were many fine art shops, a bookshop, a chocolate shop, many restaurants and cafes and a pharmacy. All worth to visit.

Shouldn't be missed

Shouldn’t be missed

 

 

Mosel river with Riesling tastes

Remember our super car adventure and our road trip to Germany. After a long and a fun day at Koblenz and tiny towns of Rhein, we decided to drive next day, further West from the shores of river Mosel. Mosel river meets, Rhein in the very center of the city of Koblenz. And both rivers provide scenic route to drive especially in late August and early September, when every little town organizes a local festival. Colorful people, tasty junk food on street, music and riesling wines. What on earth would a traveler ask for?

It was a nice but cloudy Sunday morning when we started our drive from our hotel in Unkel. We did not have any specific plan, except to drive by Mosel river and stop wherever we find interesting, until we reach to Trier. Our first stop was Alken, a very cute town by the river. But the main reason to stop was the “Apfelstrudel” sign on the main road. Well, as you may guess it was a perfect excuse to stop. I already loved Apfelstrudel but it was our son’s first time ever taste of it, and guess what! He is now a fan of it too.

Grapes everywhere

Grapes everywhere

Grapes everywhere

Grapes everywhere

After a very tasty Apfelstrudel, with cream and ice cream on top, and a nice coffee escorting it, we found some little shops and little streets to walk around. Then we drove further to find new towns on the way.

We passed again very nice little towns, but when we reached to Cochem, there was a huge crowd, music and nice smells. This is it, we said and parked our car to enjoy the music. Every little “Piazza” of the town was settled like a film set, colorful flags all around, a stage for the band to play and street food kiosks everywhere, with Riesling wine kiosk in the middle, surrounded by long wooden banks and tables. My choice was various garlic breads and “the boys'” choice were hot dogs with different kind of sausages, again with some Riesling wines.

 

Little towns of Mosel river

Little towns of Mosel river

After a few hours we left our hearts in Cochem and went back to our car, as our target was today to reach to Trier. Trier is a big city, which is as every big city, not so fancy to visit on Sundays. The streets were rather empty, except some crazy tourists like us and the shops were closed. So just like many tourists do we went to the Pont Negro (A huge stone building, mainly black, used as the main entrance of the city in the past) and took the touristic train to explore the city faster. (Since we travel with our son, it is always easy to take these trains, instead of forcing him to walk.) Than we stopped at Hauptmarkt, which is the main Piazza of the town, with some interesting shops (like the oldest Pharmacy) and sounds of Sunday church bells. After eating some snacks in a wine house, at about 6.00 pm, we started to drive back to Unkel.

On the way back, our navigation took us directly somewhere close to Unkel, but on the wrong side of the river!! With a little panic of what we will do, we found out that, we were headed to the ferry to cross the river. Thank god, it was not a rocket science to take the ferry. The tickets were sold on the ferry itself, and it was very often. So it was just the right time to have a fine dinner at our hotel, when we finally reached to Unkel.

Next: We will drive to North: Holland, but not Amsterdam

A visit to a Michelin adviced restaurant

As you can read from the “about us” section, we prefer enjoying wine and dine in our travels, instead of budget traveling. Not every evening, but at least one evening of our travel, we look for a more elegant restaurant, with local wine variaties and dishes. The recent Geneva trip was not an exception. After eating 2 nights at a moderate Italian restaurant “Casanova”, just by our hotel, in our final night, our choice was Les Cepages, a very elegant looking, Michelin Adviced restaurant.

First I should tell you how we got there:

Staying 4 km to Thoiry, and getting lost twice with our BMW Navigation-not knowing the street of our hotel, we passed through the restaurant a couple of times and tought that a dinner there would be nice to have. So in our hotel we asked the reception guy about the restaurant, and he said, it is very pricey therefore he would not recommend. Well, a Saturday evening, and third night in the same Italian restaurant does not fit in our travel expectations, so we asked him to make a reservation in Les Cepages. After asking a couple of times if we were sure about it, he made our reservation. But instead of the prices, our concern, was if it would be suitable to get in there with our Jeans:-)

Well, everything went well. (Almost everythng let’s say), we went to the restaurant, selected our courses form a French manu, which we did not understand any of the words, and surprisingly, everything we have selcted were perfectly good.(well, almost everything). The only exception was our son’s choice. Actually, it was not his choice, because he could not find anything to choose from. So we asked them to make something with chicken. However, the chichken he got was with a nice souce (nice for us, not for him) and some nice vegetables (Again, nice for us, not for him). Thanks god he likes to eat olive oil and bread, so that was all he could eat:-)

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A perfect pastry stuffed with very well cooked beef, with a perfect souce and some vegetables.

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Nicely decaorated table, and a perfect wine list

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Best escalopes we had ever had in our lives

The result is;

Well yes it is pricey, not because the prices in the list are high,but because the portions are, how can I say, very “French”:-)

Well, yes, it was a bit too much to expect a 10-year-old to eat these.

Well, yes anyway it was worth it.