Headed to Broke Fordwich
While the Hunter Valley has long been synonymous with wine and weekend escapes from the hustle and bustle of Sydney or Newcastle, the Broke Fordwich region has emerged as the ‘tranquil side of the Hunter Valley’ away from the more touristic portions of the area.
As part of this push to become a region synonymous with good food, good wine, and a little peace & quiet – the Broke Fordwich Wine & Tourism Association have invited a number of food and travel bloggers along to explore the region and spread the good word.
I’m only too happy to have the opportunity to see more of the region that my family comes from.
A Confession About Wine
Anybody who knows me well will tell you I’m not exactly a wine connoisseur. My tastes and past experience don’t range much farther than the bags of Fruity Lexia I used to drink at college, in fact.
Armed with Wikipedia’s handy list of wine tasting terms, I’m hoping I’ll be able to at least pass muster as I try the best that the Broke Fordwich region has to offer.
Hmm… this has an oaky finish to it. Aromas of pine and… it’s earthy! How wonderful. *Cue droll laughter*
Our itinerary for the weekend includes visits to Whispering Brook, Ascella Pure Wines, Mount Broke Wines, Nightingale Wines and maybe even a little chocolate indulgence with our wine at Stomp! Wines. We’ll also get to pair our wine with organic cheeses and locally grown olives at Ascella, just to really drive home the decadence.
While it’s true that I may not know how to talk about wine, I do have an appreciation of the art. I’m not only looking forward to sampling the local flavours, but also being able to meet with the winemakers who call the region home and hear their stories.
More Than Just Wine
While it’s true that the Hunter Valley is perhaps best known for the many wineries in the region, it would be unfair to say that it is only worth a visit if you like wine. With an abundance of quaint little towns and beautiful surrounding landscapes, the Hunter Valley truly is a place to find a bit of serenity without having to drive too far afield.
Just a few hours from Sydney and Newcastle, the Hunter Valley offers city slickers an opportunity to hike, go horseriding, take a joy ride in a hot air balloon, play a round of golf, or just soak in the peace and quiet while doing a bit of shopping.
Our own itinerary affords us the opportunity to visit the beautiful Baiame Cave. In Australian Aboriginal mythology, Baiame was the Creator God and Sky Father, and his depiction in this cave makes it an invaluable glimpse into the history and beliefs of Australia’s ancestral inhabitants.
Our visit will see us accompanied to the ancient site by Elders of the local Wanaruha tribe, which is a real privilege.
Oh, and did I mention food?
A Foodie Paradise
While I may not be an expert in the art of wine, it’s fair to say that I have a good appreciation of all things food. One look at me and you’ll know that’s true.
Broke just happens to be home to the Australian Tourism Awards 2012 Best Restaurant: Margan Restaurant.
In a country with more than a few stunning restaurants and cafes scattered across the map, that’s fairly high praise. I’m excited to say that we’ll be dining at this renowned restaurant on our second night in the region. The restaurant has won numerous honours, but I’m most intrigued by its status as the reigning Sustainable Restaurant of the Year.
The quality dining experience doesn’t stop at Margan Restaurant, however. There are a number of well regarded restaurants in the region, and we’ll get to sample the food and wine alike at Nightingale Wines when we stop in for lunch on day two of our visit.
Our first night in Broke also sees us paying a visit to the Broke’s Promise winery, where we’ll be treated to the best local produce the region has to offer courtesy of Motty’s Farm Cuisine. I’m particularly excited by this opportunity, as we’ll have the chance to try locally grown and prepared foods!
I Can’t Wait!
In case you couldn’t tell from the above, I’m pretty excited about the opportunity. While I’ll be attending as a guest of the Broke Fordwich Wine & Tourism Association, I’ll be bringing my typical irreverent sense of humour and nose for adventure along for the ride.
Keep your eyes peeled next week as I review the weekend, the region, and the many places we’ll be exploring.
Have you spent any time in wine country?
Got any tips for an amateur wine taster looking to make an impression?