Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Hunter Valley

We made a "detour" trip to the Vineyard Country on the weekend as opposed to going to The Ponds.  There you guessed it, this post is not going to be related to our building journey at all :)

But I guess we could use a little change every once in a while and a family holiday is also something that we need.   I have to say that this trip would probably one of the most decent family holiday that I have in years.  I mean I really enjoyed it.  Not because you get to go wine tasting, enjoying the vineyards view or even the fact of going on a road trip.  This is because in this holiday, the kids BEHAVED!  Sure there were some occasions where they fight over a toy but that's kids, they do that and generally they were behaving.  I am still in amazed by this.  They eat their meal by themselves without us having to feed them, they stay close to us whenever we are out and about, they listened when we told them not to touch breakable stuff and to top it off we get to enjoy ourselves!  I think this will easily be one of most the unforgettable moment in my life

I'm not much of a drinker, alcohol wise anyway.  I'm more of a drink-only-when-you-have-to type but otherwise I'll avoid alcohol totally. So I don't purposely go out and buy all the wine that money can buy.  Yes we bought a couple of bottles of dessert wine but we don't venture to every vineyards purposely looking for them. 

The majority of people may go there for the wines but I think that you can find the Hunter Valley wines here in a lot of the bottle shops anyway.  You can even order it online and they will send it to you free of charge (depends on how many you buy of course). 

What I do like about having a trip to Hunter Valley is the scenery and the sheer relaxation that it brings.  I think I mentioned it before, but photography is one of hobby and that is one of the activity that I enjoy doing the most whilst in Hunter Valley.  I'm no professional photographer but I do have a camera that could be classified as an enthusiast photography.  There are still a lot of skills and techniques that I need to learn and I've only been doing it by lots of reading.  I think a proper workshop is needed but I hope this method will get me by for now.

I've been there only twice but I think I've chosen bad time on both occasion.  I wanted to go there when just before the harvest time so that I can get some decent and proper vineyard scenery for my gallery collection.  However all I see was this:

Where are all the grapes?
Click on the image to view the larger version

We went to Emma's Cottage Vineyard where we got our first dessert wine.  Emma's Cottage is located in Lovedale and is probably one of the smallest vineyard in the Hunter but nevertheless I would recommend getting one of their dessert wine called Perfect or Pirate's Treasure.  Again I'm not much of a drinker and I don't really like the taste of wine, however Perfect has some sweet taste in it and doesn't taste much like a wine at all.  We have never taste the Pirate's Treasure as they always seemed to go really quickly.  I guess anything that goes quickly can't be that bad.

We were recommended by the people from Emma's Cottage to try the moscato at Ballabourneen as our family friend was looking for one.  They say the moscato there are to die for.  So we would like to see what the fuss is all about.

Ballabourneen Wine
Click on the image to view the larger version

They were right and we were not disappointed.  I wouldn't go as far as saying it is to die for, but we all know that I don't drink alcohol.  However the taste of the moscato was even better than we had at Emma's.  The difference though, this is a sparkling moscato.  Maybe it was the soda that makes the difference?  They produced a brand new version of moscato that they haven't list on their website yet.

We went for a bit of wonder around the area that includes the cheese factory, near where we stayed and the Hunter Valley Chocolate company shop, on the Broke Rd.  I must say that the price that they put on the shelves for their chocolate is way overpriced.  It feels none other like the Darrell Lea shop in Sydney or the more big brand company like Haighs.  However if you feel that you can't resist the sweet juicy chocolate sensation, then I'd suggest to head down to their factory which is up further near where Emma's Cottage is.  Not only the price difference between the shop and the factory was huge, you can also see how they make their chocolate.  Obviously the note written on the shelves was "Factory Second" but nevertheless it taste all the same.

There is a free map that you can get at every accommodation place that you are staying and ask them where can you find the Hunter Valley Chocolate factory.  I'm sure they'll be happy to tell you where it is.

At the Chocolate company shop I found some more object that interests me.

Click on the image to view the larger version

Click on the image to view the larger version

Click on the image to view the larger version

An old cart, lying in the middle of nowhere.  It looks like the cart that they use in the old wild west civilization long time ago.  This would probably another thing that I like about Hunter Valley.  It is not just vineyards that you see here but it also has this historical atmosphere.  The images above are just parts of the cart.

Like I said, I am in no way a professional photographer and that this is one of my many hobbies.  You can pretty much say that I am a photography enthusiast.  I hope I can get better but there is a lot of knowledge to photography that I keep discovering.  I guess I'll just have to keep on learning.

My bundles of joy - Diamonds in my life

My bundles of joy - Diamonds in my life

Hopefully we can give some more updates on our dream house next week.  Until then, I wish to thank you for reading this far.

Yopz - Skypiea


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