April 11th 2007

The Hunter Valley, Australias oldest wine district.

Growing only 3% of Australia’s wines, the Hunter Valley is an easy drive from Sydney. And then you are faced with an amazing plethora of boutique wineries. We knew the challenge and had been training for weeks (some jaundiced souls say years). They open at 10 and close at 5. Some serve meals. So it was best to plan accordingly. At a very early stage on Day 1 I realized that I would never see any of this fine plonk in Canada, the Aussies drink it all!. So I commenced to buy to bring home. As the tastings continued (15 wineries day 1, 12 on day 2, yes we were fading under the 30 deg sun) my car trunk was compiling “treasures”. As I drank 10 to 25 yr old cellared wines (Semillon , Shiraz, Merlot, Chardonnay) I realized that my wine fridge was going to be too small! Quickly I decided I better buy another bigger fridge! The experience delightful, due to be repeated, and of course life changing. Had I known that the customs duty coming to Canada was going to be 100% , it would not have stopped me. Next time, I will just need a longer trip so I can drink more wine in country . By the way, in New Zealand, they have the cheapest retail good wine as well as low prices on beer. Very civilized. (So if they can do that, why do bananas cost $2.50 a kilo?) In the Hunter ValleyA sample of a winery

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