Although the Hunter Valley enjoys a reputation as a relaxing country retreat where the pace is as slow as you want it to be, the region continues to grow in popularity and as such, so has the calendar of events that happen within the region each year. As you'd expect, many of these events still revolve around the region's famous food and wine but are also coming to incorporate other enjoyable experiences including music and theatre. The opera events are becoming a favourite with the vineyards the perfect place to stage such grandeur while the jazz festival is also increasing in popularity, particularly after James Morrison, one of Australia's premier jazz artists, declared the event one of the best in Australia.
However, the Hunter Valley's biggest and best event remains its Harvest Festival, held annually from March to April. As you can imagine, harvest time is an extremely important time for the Hunter Valley region and the local guesthouses, vineyards and winemakers enjoy celebrating this special time each year with an extravaganza of food, wine, music and theatre. A spectacle not to be missed, celebrate the fruits of this premier wine growing region with the annual Hunter Valley Harvest Festival as well as a number of other exciting events.
March/April - An important period in this premier wine growing region, harvest time is a time for celebration. During the festival, guesthouses, wineries and restaurants combine to offer an extravaganza of wine, food, music and theatre.
May - This famous progressive lunch takes place on the 3rd weekend in May, bringing together some of the Hunter Valley's most prolific winemakers and qualified chefs from fine dining restaurants for a day of food and wine excellence along the Lovedale trail. Book early. For further information visit www.lovedalelonglunch.com.au.
October - Triumphantly returning each year to this famous wine region, this annual feast promises gourmet dining, fantastic wines, unbeatable views and an exhilarating night of opera with the Puccini Gala Night. For more information call 1800 675 875 or visit www.4di.com.au.
October - Endorsed as one of Australia's best outdoor jazz events by Australian virtuoso James Morrison, the Hunter Valley jazz event brings together top Australian jazz acts with the gourmet food and fine wine of the Hunter Valley. Contact event organizer, Sound Addiction (02) 4933 2439 or visit www.jazzinthevines.com.au.
December / January - Christmas and New Year is a special time in the Hunter Valley and there are a number of celebrations throughout the region which vary from year to year.