Cheese Tasting Hunter Valley

Tasting Hunter Valley cheese is a must do experience when visiting Wine Country. After all, few things go better with a bottle of your favourite vintage than a cheese platter. Fortunately there are plenty of great cheese tasting options to choose from in the Hunter Valley, including cheese tasting tours, cheese making tours and lunch tasting platters for two that can include local artisan breads, crispbreads and water crackers. You can also add cold cuts, local olives, dips, cornichons, salmon and anchovies to your hunter valley cheese and wine tasting.

Make sure you allocate an hour to indulge in an organised Hunter Valley cheese and wine tasting, where you can also choose to pair your cheese selection with a glass of local wine. For cheese lovers that desire a more hands on approach, you can choose either a 2.5 hour cheese making class or 3 hour cheese and yoghurt making workshop. Take home a marinated cheese along with your cheese made on the day to complete and savour at home.

If organised cheese tastings and cheese making workshops aren’t your thing, visit one (or more!) of the best artisan cheese manufacturers in Australia and sample some of the large range of local Hunter Valley cheese and international cheese available to buy. Why not spread a picnic blanket under the shade of a tree and enjoy the tranquil country Hunter Valley vistas as you savour cheese in Hunter Valley vineyards, or pick up a cheese hamper to take home and enjoy it at your leisure with family and friends.

What is Cheese?

Cheese is a dairy product comprised of milk fat and protein, usually the milk of cows, goats or sheep. During cheese production, milk is usually acidified and the enzymes of rennet are added to cause the casein to coagulate. The solid curds are then separated from the liquid whey and pressed into finished cheese. Cheese has a longer shelf life than milk and shelf life depends on the type of cheese. Hard cheeses, such as Parmesan, last longer than soft cheeses, such as Brie.

Cheese Vocabulary

Want to sound like a cheese expert? Here are the definitions of some common words associated with cheese and cheese making. Throw a few of these words around at your next dinner party and impress your friends, or at least sound like you know what you’re talking about! They’ll surely know you’re a dedicated turophile (see what we did there??).

Annattoan orange-red food coloring derived from the seeds of the achiote tree. Used to impart a yellow or orange color to dairy products, including cheese.

Cheddaring  – A cheesemaking technique where the curd is cut into small pieces to further drain the whey and gives cheddar cheese a dense, layered texture.

CaseinOne of the major proteins found in milk. This protein separates and coagulates during the cheesemaking process forming the beginnings of cheese curds.

Caseophile – Someone who loves wine as well as cheese (guilty as charged, your honour!).

Curd – The solid masses that result from the coagulation of milk and from which most cheeses are made.

Eyes – Round, spherical openings in the paste of certain firm cheeses. Formed when carbon dioxide gas, produced by various bacteria, create bubbles in the curd.

Hoops – Containers that cheese curds are poured into so they can be pressed and molded into solid cheese.

Pasteurised – Milk sterilized through heat treatment to remove potentially harmful micro-organisms.

Rennet – An enzyme added to milk during the coagulation process to help separate the solid curds from the liquid whey.

Rind – A cheese’s outermost layer that forms during the aging process. Cheese rinds range from inedible to delicious.

Turophile – Someone who loves cheese.

Wedge – A piece of cheese cut from a wheel.

Wheel –  A block of cured cheese, usually still protected by a rind.

Whey – A protein found in milk and is the liquid that separates from the curd during the coagulation process.


Cheese and Wine Hunter Valley Tours

Personalised Hunter Valley private cheese tasting tours for your group!

If you love tasting artisan cheese, the Hunter Valley is home to four of the best artisan cheese manufacturers that can be found within two hours of Sydney. Classic Tours offer Hunter Valley cheese tasting tours, cheese and wine pairing tours, and cheese-making tours. Here are the best cheese shops in Wine Country that are worthy of inclusion on your gourmet Hunter Valley wine tour. Book a cheese tasting Hunter Valley tour and combine it with a beer, spirit or wine tasting tour for the ultimate private Hunter Valley tour experience. If you’re a cheese addict, get cheese overload and visit all the cheese factory outlets at once with our Hunter Valley cheese tours!

hunter valley cheese factory at mcguigan wines

Hunter Valley Cheese Factory

The Hunter Valley Cheese Factory was established in 1995 as a purpose built operating cheese factory and tasting rooms, producing a European inspired range of Australian specialty cheese to suit the fruit driven wines of the iconic Hunter Valley. Premium cheese made from Hunter Valley cows and goats milk are produced onsite, creating truly traditional farmhouse cheese with sharp, piquant aromas and flavours. Cheese varieties produced include fromage blanc, marinated fetta, washed rind, natural rind, cheddar, hunterzola, goats cheese, brie, tommes and blue vein.

Consider an artisan cheese and cheesemaking appreciation session. Learn the history of cheesemaking, cheese styles, cheese selection when purchasing, cheese care and design of the perfect cheeseboard. Includes a Q&A session with a senior cheese expert, matching red and white McGuigan Wines and fresh cheese recipes to make at home. Why not try your hand at cheesemaking in a fun and interactive cheesemaking workshop? Learn the fundamental science of cheesemaking with a master cheesemaker and discover the world of home cheesemaking.

Address: McGuigan Wine Cellars, 447 McDonalds Road, Pokolbin NSW 2320

Hours: 9am to 5.30pm, 7 days

delicious creamy branxton brie
hunter valley cheese making class
hunter valley cheese blessed washed rind cheese
cheese tasting platter
smelly cheese shop hunter valley

Hunter Valley Smelly Cheese Shop

Hunter Valley Smelly Cheese Shop are providores of the finest local, Australian and imported artisan cheese gourmet delights, cured meats and accompaniments, including its own “Smelly” product range. Grab a cup of coffee and a slice of house made baked cheesecake, sit outside and enjoy the view. Alternatively enjoy a meal from their extensive menu of a baguette, burger or one of heir monthly specials with a glass of local wine, beer or coffee.

Hunter Valley Smelly Cheese Shop is also home to the Hunter Valley Gelato Company, featuring traditional Italian Gelato made onsite with imported Italian ingredients using a 200 year old recipe. There are 32 flavours of Gelato and Sorbet to choose from in store and take home packs are also available.

Address 1: Pokolbin Village Estate, 2188 Broke Road, Pokolbin NSW 2320

Address 2: Roche Estate Complex, 2144 Broke Road, Pokolbin NSW 2320

Hours: 10am to 5pm Sunday – Thursday and 10am to 5.30pm Friday and Saturday

cheese salami and crackers
smelly cheese cheese tower
cheese platter with pickles salami and fruit
cheese nuts and dried fruit
binnorie dairy cheese factory outlet hunter valley

Binnorie Dairy

Binnorie Dairy opened in 2003, producing artisan cheeses with locally sourced goat and cow milk, using dairy farms located between Scone and Cessnock in the Hunter Valley. Binnorie Dairy specialises in soft fresh cheese styles such as their award winning marinated feta, triple cream brie and creamy labna. Soft fresh cheese is typically young in age, soft in texture and delicate in flavour. As the name suggests, fresh cheese is not matured prior to release, and its flavour does not benefit from ageing. They also produce a few surface-ripened cheeses such as brie, washed rind and buche de chèvre.

You can see the Binnorie Dairy cheesemakers when they are at work, as there’s a viewing window into the state-of-the-art cheesemaking room. Sit on the deck with a freshly made coffee and housemade tiramisu or baked cheesecake, or savour a glass of wine and a cheese platter and enjoy the tranquil view.

Address: 25 Lodge Road, Lovedale NSW 2325

Hours: 10am to 5pm, 7 days

cheese and pickle bites
cheese selection with salami
binnorie dairy feta cheese rounds on racks
cheese platter with crackers on timber serving board
hunter belle cheese room pokolbin hunter valley

Hunter Belle Cheese Room

Hunter Belle Cheese was established in 2004 and produces unique, artisan cheese products from the milk of Brown Swiss Cows. All of the cheese at Hunter Belle is hand made using traditional methods, which results in the quality cheese that is loved by foodies around the country.

Located in Pokolbin in the Hunter Valley, next to De Iuliis Wines, is a Cheese Deli, Bar and Gourmet Produce and Gift Store all in one – a social space for people to enjoy quality wine and craft beer matched with artisan cheese and fine food (not to mention decadent fudge and gelato).

Address 1: Hunter Belle Cheese Room, 1616 Broke Road, Pokolbin NSW 2320

Address 2: Hunter Belle Cheese Factory, 75 Aberdeen Street (New England Highway), Muswellbrook NSW 2333

Hours: 10am to 5pm, 7 days

hunter belle cheese and bread sticks
hunter belle cheese tower
triple cheese quiche
Hunter Belle cheese platter

Cheese Tasting Hunter Valley

Fuelled from the cows and goats milk of the lush Hunter Valley pastures, this creative food and wine region is a favourite destination for cheese lovers. Watch cheese production and enjoy handmade artisan cheese in the Hunter Valley direct from the maker. Cheese experts are always on hand to introduce guests to the many varieties on offer, provide tasting advice and answer any questions you may have. With a cellar door nearby, an accompanying wine is also within easy reach.

On our small group wine and cheese tasting Hunter Valley tours, Classic Tours guests can enjoy visiting cheese factories, vineyards, breweries, distilleries and boutique produce stores. With standard and custom itineraries available, your private Hunter Valley cheese tours experience with Classic Tours is just a phone call away. Book your tour now!

Pokolbin/Lovedale PickUp

From $130 per person (minimum group numbers apply).
  • Local pickup from accommodation
  • Visit 3 wineries or distilleries
  • Cheese or chocolate factory visit
  • Tasting fees included
  • Lunch stops optional (at your expense)
  • Local drop off to your accommodation
  • Water included

Newcastle/Lake Macquarie Pick Up

From $160 per person (minimum group numbers apply).
  • Up to 4 location pickup/drop-off points
  • Visit 3 wineries or distilleries
  • Cheese or chocolate factory visit
  • Tasting fees included
  • Lunch stops optional (at your expense)
  • Return to set location drop off points
  • Water included

What People Are Saying

{Fantastic day, everything was made so easy dealing with Therese. She helped us tailor the day to include the vineyards we wanted to visit and suggested others we included. The minibus was clean and comfortable and they supplied a car seat for our granddaughter. Totally recommend using Classic Tours and would definitely use them again. Such a fun day. Thanks Therese.
Maryanne H.

Thank you Therese, for an excellent day on Saturday. It was an absolute pleasure and we will be happy to recommend your services to family and friends 😃

Meredith H.

A great afternoon spent with Classic Tours. Therese was fantastic and helpful all the way from booking to dropping us home. Thoroughly enjoyable experience. Would definitely recommend.

Meredith H.

So much fun, thank you Therese for such a fab day. Loved the wineries you chose, can’t pick a favourite they were all so good. Thanks for putting up with us, can’t wait to do it again.

Jane S.

Thanks so much Therese, best ever vineyard tour. Ticked every box but especially for making us feel relaxed and driving all us ladies around in your beautiful new vehicle and showing us a fabulous time.

Keryn M.

Therese you gave us such an amazing day. Great choice of wineries and lunch venue. Will definitely use Classic Tours again.

Julieanne H.

Classic Tours Therese our hostess and driver was amazing – punctual, courteous and lots of fun. We visited 4 vineyards throughout the day and enjoyed a wonderful lunch. The 12 seat bus was brand new and so comfortable. Fully recommend this company.

Sue R.