5 Reasons To Visit Bimbadgen Estate Winery In The Hunter Valley

With its iconic bell tower overlooking vines out to the Broken Back Range, Bimbadgen is a must-visit when you’re in the Hunter Valley. Check out all the things on offer at this award-winning winery in Pokolbin.

Why visit Bimbadgen Estate in the Hunter Valley? Here are 5 reasons

I remember so clearly the first time we were introduced to Bimbadgen. We were on a drive with Hunter Valley legend Ian ‘Scarbie’ Scarborough of Scarborough Wines fame when we cheekily asked him for local tips for other wineries to visit in the Hunter.

Scarbie came up with a magnificent list—humbly leaving his own off—that we published here. High on his list was Bimbadgen. He even took us to see the cellar door.

Since then, we’ve always tried to make it to Bimbadgen (and Scarborough Wines of course) whenever we’re in the Hunter Valley.

Check out our quick video around Bimbadgen Estate and all the things you can do here:

5 Reasons To Visit Bimbadgen Estate Winery

Meaning ‘beautiful view’ in Wanarruwa, Bimbadgen lives up to its name with views out over rows of grapevines that accentuate the gentle curves and undulations of the McDonalds Road vineyard.

In the distance, the knotted scrambling sides of the Broken Back Range add their grandeur to the scene. That’s if you can pull your attention from all the things going on at this multifaceted cellar door and all it has to offer.

Things to do in the Hunter Valley - wine tasting at Bimbadgen

1. Bimbadgen’s Cellar Door

Bimbadgen offers three different tasting options in their beautiful tasting room. Downstairs from the main entrance and directly next to the working winery, the long bar and separate room has plenty of space to relax over your experience.

Views out over the vineyard make this tasting even more special.

Choose between the Grower’s Experience, featuring the winery’s Grower’s Range of six wines, the Sparkling Experience, where you can try five different bottles of bubbly, or the Signature Experience. This option showcases Bimbadgen’s finest wines from their best vines.

Where to eat in the Hunter Valley - Esca Bimbadgen

2. Fine Dining at Esca Bimbadgen

The top floor of the winery is home to Esca, one of the Hunter’s best restaurants and an award-winning venue in its own right.

Food here is unbelievable. Crafted with the region and its wines in mind, each dish is as compelling as it is satisfying. You can dine a la carte or you can make choosing someone else’s problem with the Signature Experience.

Open for lunch Wednesday to Saturday and for dinner Friday and Saturday only.

Things to do in the Hunter Valley - pizza at Bimbadgen

3. Bimbadgen’s Wood Fired Pizza and Live Music

Downstairs in the Tuscan style courtyard, you can sit and enjoy not only the proximity to the vines, but also pizzas crafted from in-house sourdough and baked in Bimbadgen’s beautiful stone wood-fired pizza oven.

You can also enjoy a glass (or a bottle!) of Bimbadgen wine with your meal and there’s no restaurant mark-up, meaning they sell at cellar door prices.

This part of the winery is open for lunch every day, and also for dinner Friday and Saturday nights where you can also enjoy live music.

Things to do in the Hunter Valley - spirits tasting at Bimbadgen distillery, Night Merchant

4. Did You Know Bimbadgen Also Has A Distillery?

Because he’s not busy enough, Bimbadgen’s head winemaker Richard Done also makes spirits here. The Night Merchant Distillery features craft gin and vodka that Rich makes in the gorgeous copper still that you can see from the tasting room and from the courtyard.

Rich also has plans for making Aussie agave spirit (we can’t call it tequila—here’s why) and aged spirits like rum.

Bimbadgen have also created some excellent RTDs with their gin and vodka, and stock them in the minibars of their Lane Retreat. Check out our full review of this romantic accommodation option here.

Weekly Edition - Day on the Green, Hunter Valley - Ben Folds

5. Get Into The Festival Spirit—Day On The Green At Bimbadgen

One of the dozen venues to host A Day On The Green music festival, Bimbadgen’s lawn can hold up to 10,000 happy party-goers and the usual serenity of winery life turns into crazy concert atmosphere with some of the world’s biggest music stars playing in April each year.

We were here for the concert during Covid and even with reduced numbers, the atmosphere was amazing.

Bonus Points!

It’s important to point out that Bimbadgen is a working winery as well as having all of these amazing front-of-house elements.

Coming here and being able to look down into the working winery is fascinating. You might even be lucky enough to spot head winemaker and general genius Richard Done doing his rounds.

Jim and Richard Done amongst Bimbadgen's fermenters

Not only does Rich make all of Bimbadgen’s wines and its distillery, he also has his own winery up the road—John Wallace Wines—that shows Richard’s skills in making wine in his own personal style.

Check out his cellar door John Wallace here.

And because Richard’s not busy enough, he’s also making the wine at Emma’s Cottage Winery, Bimbadgen’s little sister. The wine here, Alter Wines—as in Bimbadgen’s alter ego—is different again. I don’t know who Mr Done keeps it all going.

If you like Bimbadgen and John Wallace, you’ve got to give Emma’s Cottage a visit. The chilled vibe in the cellar door matches the laid-back vibes of the wines.

Things to do in the Hunter Valley - wine tasting at Emma's Cottage - Jim and Christina

We visited Bimbadgen as media guests, but our experiences and opinions remain our own.

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