Due to fertile land and an agreeable climate, farmers in the Hunter Valley are able to grow a wide variety of fresh food and produce throughout the year. There are also plenty of professionals living in the valley versed in the art of turning the raw product into delicacies fit for even the most discerning of foodies.
Tasty meats, cheeses, olive oils, vegetables, chocolate and fudge are available at multiple outlets and the perfect thing to munch on while visiting or to take home as gifts.
Several showpiece factories offer interesting insights into the Hunter Valley Food creation process. The Hunter Valley Cheese Company is housed in the McGuigans Complex at Pokolbin and makes cheeses in time-honoured fashion.
Visitors can take a look at how the various cheeses are created and aged. Afterwards, it is off to the tasting room. The factory has its own sales outlet on site.
Binnorie Dairy is the pet project of master-cheesemaker Simon Gough. Products such as marinated goat feta, creamy goat’s milk curd with herbs, brie and fromage frais have made Binnorie a hit with gourmands. The dairy is at the Tuscany Wine Estate and offers tasting and sales. It is closed on Mondays.
The Hunter Valley Smelly Cheese Shop stocks its own brand cheeses as well as lots of varieties of locally produced and imported ones. The shop sells lots of other items which include jams, chutney, olive oil and vinegar. All are attractively packaged. Delicious Italian gelato is on the menu at the store’s deli.
The Hunter Valley Chocolate Company & Fudge Factory is another essential visit for those on the Hunter Valley Food trail. At the firm’s main factory chocolate lovers can watch while chocolatiers and fudge-makers craft their products. Held twice a month in the garden at Kevin Sobels Wines, Handmade in the Hunter Markets is a one-stop location at which to buy the cream of the valley’s creations.