Newcastle Herald

After much needed rain, it is a cruel irony that the Hunter Valley can not be fully enjoyed this autumn.

“The Valley has never looked better and there lit­erally is no one a round,” says Lisa Margan, with husband Andrew the co-owner of award-winning restaurant and vineyard Margan . Margan has, like other restaurants, temporarily shut down its operations, including its restaurant.

While the decision to close was devastating, the cou­ple has plenty to do in the “off season”. There are business plans to revise, government stim­ulus measures to interpret, thoughts to assemble about how the future will look. There are online sales to process, a sprawling kitchen garden to tend.

“We are hanging in there,” says Mrs Margan .”We have been harvesting all our vegetables and fruit and making hampers which people are collecting.

“The produce is organically grown, fresh picked and packed immediately – super fresh and with minimal han­dling. Guests are coming to pick it up, buy some wine, have a take away coffee and take a quick stroll through the gardens and vineyard on their way back to their car.”

On a recent week, Margan chef Joey Ingram made fresh pasta with the hens eggs and sauces from the garden, which went into hampers. Mrs Margan said some cellar doors remained for pick up, vine purchases only however bars and restaurants were shut.