There are plenty of ways to enjoy gourmet food and a wine tasting adventure in NSW. Award-winning top-rated restaurants are liberally sprinkled across New South Wales from Leura to Orange, Byron to Mildura with committed chefs attracted by the abundant, quality, seasonal produce. You can stock up on delicious gourmet goodies at the farm gate, artisan bakeries, family-owned wineries and the regular farmers’ markets that are now a tourist feature of most major NSW towns.
Enjoy a regional cooking class or wine tasting course. Impress your friends with rare vintages, organic hand-made cheeses and fresh seafood from some of the cleanest waters in the world or a box of succulent organic figs, juicy peaches or crisp apples.
On your travels you’ll also discover that some foodie pleasures never fade. Lunch on the veranda of an old country pub, fish and chips on the beach, an afternoon cream tea in a quaint café or tasting fine wine made by a third generation wine-maker.
Hunter Valley - Australia’s oldest continuously-planted wine region, the Hunter Valley, is just two hours’ drive north of Sydney. The region is an acclaimed producer of the world’s finest Semillon as well as Australia’s best shiraz. More than 120 wineries and cellar doors are spread through the seven sub-regions of the Hunter Valley, many open for tastings every day, some with wine tours and cooking schools as well as major events.
The Hunter Valley also has a vibrant food culture to match its beautiful wines. Handmade, boutique cheeses, smokehouse goods, olives and olive oil, beef and poultry have inspired chefs here. You’ll enjoy their fine fare at sleek and contemporary restaurants overlooking vineyards or in relaxed, vine-covered cafes.
As well as great food and wine you’ll find plenty to keep you entertained in the Hunter Valley. There is a wide range of stylish accommodation, treks and tours, galleries and golf courses, beautiful spas and exclusive retreats.
The Murray - The blend of European food culture and a bounty of locally grown ingredients have combined to create truly regional cuisine in this region. Meander along the river and you’ll discover famous restaurants, food and wine matching opportunities and the world famous wines.
Pack your picnic basket full with fresh produce from the Hume Murray Farmers' Market or pick your own at a local strawberry or yabby farm, or the Farm Gate Trail around Cobram-Barooga.
The Murray Darling wine region produces one fifth of Australia’s total grape crush. Make sure you explore the award-winning wineries along the river from Rutherglen and its world class fortified wines to the sun-drenched vineyards of Mildura. Don’t miss an Italian-style family feast at Stefano's Restaurant in the cellar of Mildura's Grand Hotel, cooked by Slow Food movement apostle, Stefano de Pieri.
The region also has several major food and wine events throughout the year.
Orange - Central NSW is a great place to discover some of the best produce, wines and dining experiences in the State. Fertile soils and river valleys have produced some of Australia’s richest agricultural land – you can taste the bounty at regular farmers’ markets from Bathurst to Mudgee, Orange to Cowra.
In the Orange region there are around 50 wineries producing cool-climate varieties suited to the high altitude – sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and pinot noir. Enjoy wine tasting at local cellar doors or one of the welcoming bars in Orange where you can match food with wine.
The region’s serious food credentials are helped along by creative chefs who use the best of seasonal produce on their menus. Choose one of the acclaimed restaurants serving French-provincial cuisine, Italian-influenced or contemporary Australian fare. Or make holiday of it and head to Central NSW for one of its seasonal food and wine events.
Port MacQuarie - Some of NSW’s loveliest scenery surrounds the wine region of the Hastings River at Port Macquarie. It provides the perfect backdrop for a relaxed beach holiday with some of the best surfing beaches in NSW.
The temperate maritime climate has also proven successful in the growth of a number of grape varieties, including the French red variety of chambourcin. Other varieties are chardonnay, verdelho, semillon and merlot and you can sample them from one of the region’s fine cellar doors, in a pretty vineyard restaurants or riverside cafe.
Regional foods not to be missed are Hastings River oysters and local prawns, juicy and fresh from the ocean. Meet the growers of local produce at the monthly Wauchope markets – you’ll be amazed by the variety and quality from delicious Greek-style cheeses, yoghurts, organic tomatoes, creams, honey, olives to local macadamia nuts.