May has been declared the official month of wine! Before then, it was of course the unofficial month of wine! Either way, yay!
For the sixth year in a row, Aussie Wine Month celebrates the world-class wine produced in our very own backyard. Literally, in our backyard. Here on the Coast, we're spoiled for choice when it comes to the much-loved fermented grapes.
While we wish every month could be Aussie Wine Month - it's not. So why not check out some of the best vineyards within driving distance while you still have a good excuse to "test" some of Australia's tastiest fine wines?
We've put together a list of the 5 best places close to the Coast to celebrate what is possibly our favourite month - check it out!
1. Firescreek Fruit Winery
Where: 192 Wattle Tree Rd. Holgate
Drive time: 10-20mins from anywhere on the Coast.
You've probably been to a wedding or event here. It's absolutely stunning, and the wine they produce isn't half bad either! It overlooks the very picturesque and secluded Holgate and Matcham Valley.
Firescreek specialises in a range of boutique flower and herb wines, with wine tasting tours running every Wednesday to Sunday 10:30am - 4:30pm.
2. Petersons Wines of Distinction
Where: Mount View, Hunter Valley
Drive time: 90 minutes
Petersons stocks a variety of imported and local wines. Amongst the many Hunter Valley vineyards, Petersons routinely gets the highest consumer ratings.
If you join the Petersons Wine Club, you'll get monthly updates on your favourite fruity tastes, and when to test them.
Where: 358 McDonalds Road, Pokolbin
Drive time: 75 min
It's Australia's largest producer of organic wines - and it's basically in our backyard! They've been perfecting the art of wine-making since 1966, so yeah, they know what they're doing.
The vineyard has won a five-star rating from Australian wine expert James Halliday - and it's been described as one of the nation's "ten dark horse" wineries. It's a well hidden secret, but you definitely deserve to know all about it!
4. Roche Estate
Where: Corner Broke & McDonalds Road, Pokolbin
Drive time: 75 min
Fancy some cheese with your high quality wine? Roche Estate is definitely the place for you. Local and imported gourmet cheeses are available all year around, along with seasonal varieties of red and white wine.
It's the nation's home of Tempus Two handcrafted artisan wines - and also a prominent concert venue in the Hunter Valley region.
5. AlcoFree Bar Tuggerah
Where: Tuggerah industrial estate
Drive time: 10-20min from anywhere on the Coast
We know. We know! It's wine month, why would you want to go alco-free? Hear us out: AlcoFree stocks a range of high quality de-alcoholised drinks from all over the world. We've done a taste-test, and some of them are absolutely indistinguishable from their alcoholic counterparts. Except you can drink as much as you like and still drive home.
And you can bring the kids! AlcoFree bars are becoming quite popular all over the world, and we're quite fortunate to have the only one in the country right in our backyard. Give it a go!
If you don't have the time to get to one of these amazing wineries you could do what you would any other month - just drink your wine at home! Anyone know a good wine delivery service?