Jonathan Waxman (left), Colman Andrews, and Brokenwood wine education manager Damien Harrison, sampling what might well be the Hunter Valley's best sémillon in the winery tasting room.
Waxman tastes a barrel sample of Brokenwood's 2014 Graveyard Shiraz.
Andrew Thomas, named Hunter Valley Winemaker of the Year in 2014, calls his top-of-the-line Braemore sémillon a "dazzlingly bright, green/gold hued wine [that] flexes incredible tension, purity of fruit, and drive of freshening acidity."
Thomas talks shiraz with Waxman and Andrews in his barrel room.
The pioneering Tyrrell's Wines, one of the Hunter's oldest wineries, released Australia's first commercial chardonnay in 1971, and later discovered the aging potential of Hunter Valley sémillon (The winery's modest Latin motto might be translated as "Nothing is great unless it's good").
Waxman and Andrews walk the vineyards with Tyrrell's winery head Bruce Tyrell. The Hunter Valley and South Australia’s Barossa Valley, says Tyrrell, may be the world's largest repositories of ungrafted European vines.
Andrews and Waxman sample wines with Bruce Tyrrell in the winery's memento-filled tasting room.
Assorted charcuterie, smoked fish, smoked cheese, and locally cured and smoked olives at Lovedale Smokehouse.
Andrews and Waxman with Troy Rhoades-Brown, chef and co-owner (with his wife, Megan) of Muse Restaurant and Café, adjacent to the Hungerford Hill winery.
Former Californian George Francisco, a veteran of Jeremiah Tower's Stars in San Francisco, talks with Waxman and Andrews about his sourcing of local products at Roberts Circa 1876.
Chef Michael Robertson's roasted lamb loin and braised lamb shoulder with smoked potato purée, beets, and charred leeks at the Margan winery restaurant.
Andrew Margan, co-owner with his wife, Lisa, of Margan Hunter Valley Wines, talks about his verdelho, made from a Portuguese grape variety that is widely planted in the Hunter.