group on organised wine tour avoiding driving after wine tasting

Can You Drive After Wine Tasting in the Hunter Valley?

Driving After a Wine tasting

The picturesque Hunter Valley region in Australia is renowned for its stunning vineyards and award-winning wineries. A day spent wine tasting in this beautiful region is a delightful experience for many tourists and locals alike. However, the question of whether you can drive after wine tasting arises due to concerns about responsible alcohol consumption and road safety. We recommend anyone attending a wine tasting to make suitable arrangements to avoid driving home. Let us consider the factors that influence this decision and provide guidelines for a safe and enjoyable wine tasting experience in the Hunter Valley.

Understanding Alcohol Consumption and Driving

Before delving into the specifics of wine tasting in Hunter Valley, it is crucial to comprehend the effects of alcohol on the body and its implications for driving. Alcohol impairs cognitive functions, reflexes, and decision-making skills, which are all critical for safe driving. The Australian legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit of 0.05 grams (50 milligrams) of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood is set to ensure drivers maintain the ability to operate a vehicle safely.

Factors that Influence Alcohol Absorption

Several factors can influence how alcohol is absorbed and metabolized in the body, making it difficult to establish a universal rule for wine tasting and driving. These factors include:

Body Weight

Heavier individuals generally have a higher water content, which can dilute alcohol in the bloodstream, leading to a lower BAC.


Women typically have a higher proportion of body fat and a lower water content than men, causing alcohol to be more concentrated in their bloodstream.


Some people metabolize alcohol faster than others due to genetic factors and drinking habits.

Food Consumption

Eating food while wine tasting can slow down alcohol absorption as it delays the passage of alcohol into the bloodstream.

Types and Amount of Wine

Different wines have varying alcohol content, and consuming larger quantities will elevate BAC levels.

Safety Measures for Wine Tasting in Hunter Valley

While driving after wine tasting is discouraged, there are alternative options for visitors to enjoy the region responsibly:

Designated Driver

If you are visiting wineries as part of a group, appoint a designated driver who abstains from alcohol to ensure safe transportation.

Tour Companies

Consider joining a wine tour that provides transportation and knowledgeable guides. This way, you can fully enjoy the wine tasting experience with friends without worrying about driving.


During wine tastings, it is customary practice to use spittoons to discard the wine after tasting instead of swallowing it, allowing you to savour the flavours without consuming excessive alcohol.

Accommodation Options

If possible, book accommodation close to the wineries, enabling you to walk back to your lodging after wine tasting, or reduce transport costs if using taxis or rideshare options.

Public Transport or Taxi

Utilize public transportation or taxi services to travel to and from the Hunter Valley wineries if you do not have a designated driver.

Wine tasting in the Hunter Valley is an enriching experience, allowing visitors to explore a wide variety of wines and indulge in the region’s natural beauty. However, responsible alcohol consumption and road safety should always be the top priorities. Driving after wine tasting can be dangerous and may lead to severe consequences. If you plan to enjoy multiple wine tastings in the Hunter Valley, consider alternative transportation options such as designated drivers, tour companies, or public transport to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone involved. Remember, responsible decisions not only protect your safety but also contribute to a positive wine tasting experience for others and respect for the local community.

hunter valley winery tour on a series of wineries to visit

Hunter Valley Wine Tours

Enjoy customised and intimate Wine Tours in the beautiful Hunter Valley. We run full day Hunter Valley Wine Tours tours from Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Port Stephens, Central Coast or your Hunter Valley accommodation as a whole vehicle private group. Travel in the comfort of our Classic Tours mini-bus seating up to 11 passengers. Modern luxury and comfort, sunroof and music of your choosing – what could be better? We never tire of hearing our guests say “best wine tour ever!”. For couples or individuals who want the ultimate private Hunter Valley vineyard experience, why not request a quote for a private tour in our our supercharged convertible Ford Mustang and experience the Hunter Valley vineyards like never before! Call us now on 1300 687 622 to book your private tour and let Classic Tours show you the best that the Hunter Valley has to offer.