The Hunter Valley is home to more cellar doors than any other wine region in Australia, and its acclaimed restaurants and wineries are renowned for delivering some of the most exceptional gourmet experiences Australia has to offer.
Among its Hall of Fame members is Margan, a family-owned winery boasting a red five-star rating by James Halliday Wine Companion for the last seven years. More than just a vineyard, the estate is home to an award-winning, hatted restaurant and a host of distinguished experiences for food and wine aficionados. Here are five reasons to rediscover the Hunter Valley at Margan on your next weekend getaway.
Lisa Margan’s one-hat Margan Restaurant has been credited with the Hunter Valley’s pioneering ‘agri-dining’ experience, and boasts impressive sustainability efforts to complement its award-winning cuisine. Nearly 90% of the restaurant’s fruit and vegetables are produced in the estate’s large kitchen garden – which dictates the features of a seasonal menu – and lambs and free-range chickens are raised on site. The restaurant itself is even constructed from energy-efficient rammed earth and local limestone gravel.
A range of cooking school experiences operate throughout the year and are the perfect way to graduate from ‘food enthusiast’ to ‘apprentice’. Each class runs for approximately four hours, led by Margan Restaurant’s head chef and are often themed around local events. In June 2019, for example, foodies can learn the ‘slow food’ art of pasta making to celebrate the ‘A Little Bit of Italy in Broke’ festival, or in December take a class to master the Christmas feast.
Experience the very best of the Hunter Valley during this showcase of Margan’s estate-grown, estate-made produce held each May to coincide with the annual Hunter Valley Wine & Food Festival. The 100 Metre Meal is so named because across all three courses, everything on your plate – and in your glass – is grown within 100 metres of the restaurant table. Guests will also enjoy a tour of the kitchen garden.
In an age where you can order dinner from your smartphone on the couch, take the time to reconnect with the real people behind Australian produce at the Harvest Lunch Series. Diners will meet local producers and hear their stories first-hand, learning the value of prioritising sustainable, seasonal and traceable produce. There are three editions of the series planned for 2019, each lasting approximately four hours.
Connoisseurs should make time to taste the wines that have twice earned Margan its place as the ‘Best Winery’ in the NSW & Hunter Tourism Awards. Each of Margan’s single-vineyard wines are handmade from grapes grown on the estate by Andrew Margan, whose expertise can be traced to 20 years learning under the late Murray Tyrrell, frequent visits to France and two science degrees. The Ultimate Margan Experience offers a tour of the vineyard and winery followed by a garden tour and a five-course degustation lunch at Margan Restaurant.