Over the years, it's not only Hunter Valley wine that has improved with time. The concerts, fairs and festivals have developed into a calendar of events that have something happening nearly all year round. Many of the events in the Wine Country have been features of the calendar for years and, as the dates roll by, the celebrations are becoming grander. It makes sense that people who are so dedicated to their crafts should also know how to seriously unwind.
The Hunter Valley Harvest Festival is held in April, after the really hard physical work is finished. Thousands of acres of vines are heavily pruned after harvest, leaving row upon row of stark stalks to lie dormant until spring. The region's wine show, a very important event when wines produced in significant quantity is judged, is held in August. The many small winemakers in the area have their own show in October, when the vines burst into bud for the new growing season. Jazz concerts and opera recitals are held in the vineyards in October. By December, when the vines are well and truly green again and laden with unripened fruit, there are Christmas Carols in the vineyards.
Below is a listing of events to help you plan your visit to the Hunter Valley region.
March/April - Harvest is the most important period in any Wine making region and therefore a time to celebrate. Wineries, Guest Houses, Restaurants and others all combine with an emphasis on Food, Wine, Music, Theatre and Adventure.
May - Join the renowned Hunter Valley winemakers of the Lovedale region and the talented chefs of the Hunter Valley's finest restaurants. This is a progressive lunch 10am to 4pm on the 3rd weekend in May, wine and dine your way along the Lovedale trail. A weekend of excellence in food & wine. Book early. For further information visit www.lovedalelonglunch.com.au.
October - Spring sees this much-loved annual feast for the senses return to our famous wine regions for an eleventh triumphant year! Great wines, gourmet delights, spectacular views and the exhilaration of opera combine to create a special Gala Night of Puccini. For more information call 1800 675 875 or visit www.4di.com.au.
October - Billed as Australia's most significant outdoor Jazz Event by James Morrison, Australia's own Jazz virtuoso. The event features many of Australia's top jazz acts, along with Hunter Valley Restaurants providing gourmet food and Hunter Wineries selling wine by the bottle. Call event organizer, Sound Addiction (02) 4933 2439 or visit www.jazzinthevines.com.au
November - This fun weekend takes place at the historic village of Wollombi, Hunter Valley on the first weekend in November each year. The Fair showcases arts, crafts and local produce stalls; Small Farms Trade Show; Scarecrow Competition; Mower Mardi Gras; Lantern Parade, and the Endeavour Museum Open Day. For more information visit www.wollombismallfarmsfair.com.au
Various Christmas and New Year celebrations throughout Hunter Valley Wine Country vary from year to year - December / January.