Boutique Winemakers Association CEO Judith Kennedy.
WHAT a pleasure to be writing for you about Australia's winery cellar doors.
I have been the CEO at the Boutique Winemakers Association for more than 20 years as well as a local wholesaler and have grown to love my visits to the winemakers' shop front – the cellar doors. Generally grapes are grown on the winemakers' estate; the wine is made on site and then sold to visitors at the cellar door.
When you visit the cellar doors you are able to taste the range of wines, sometimes in tutored tastings with the winemakers if you book ahead; choose some wine to take home and pick up a jar of jam or a bottle of estate grown olives.
You can then load a few bottles into your car and press on to the next experience just down the road.
The Hunter Valley is two hours' drive north from Sydney where you will reach the lush vineyards, the B&Bs, cafes, restaurants and the land of many award-winning wine companies.
Giant companies such as Tyrrell's, Mount Pleasant and Brokenwood are side by side with the boutique winemakers such as Allandale, Tintilla and Lake's Folly, and provide an exceptional day or weekend get-away. The Hunter Valley is best known for its semillon, chardonnay and shiraz. Ask for these varieties if you want what's great in the Hunter.
• Torch has three 'mystery' bottles of NSW-grown and produced wine to give away. For a chance to win email the answer to: "In which wine region is Allandale Winery located?" Email answer to firstname.lastname@example.org. Competition closes noon, Friday, March 10.