Holding a business event in Australia's oldest wine region means there's plenty of opportunity to indulge in gourmet food and wine, especially the shiraz, chardonnay and semillon blends for which the region is famous for.
CHÂTEAU ÉLAN AT THE VINTAGE
With a name that means style, energy, and enthusiasm, it would be hard to go past Chateau Élan for business events. Accommodation is provided in 100 private villas and spa suites that wrap around the resort, all with balconies or terraces overlooking the fairways of the award-winning, Greg Norman designed golf course.
Business events: The resort has seven function spaces, from the versatile Founders Room, which can host 330 cocktail-style and 170 banquet-style guests; to the historic stone Carriage House, accommodating 120 guests cocktail-style or 60 for dinner. Perfect your swing before a team challenge on the golf course, and later relax in one of the day spa's treatment rooms. Transfer your VIPs by helicopter or take them on scenic flights.
Food and wine: The Legends Grill at The Vintage is the resort's signature fine dining restaurant for a dinner for up to 24 guests.
CROWNE PLAZA HUNTER VALLEY
The 419-room Crowne Plaza hotel has 14 meeting spaces, the largest combining the Cabernet, Merlot, and Sauvignon rooms to seat up to 830 guests banquet-style, and 1,750 cocktail-style. The resort is also home to a grand ballroom that caters for up to 400 people and, for even larger scale events, a marquee facility that can host up to 1,000 guests. The smaller Shiraz room can host 25 cocktail guests. A unique experience is 'The Hunter Harvest' where your guests can have their own exclusive country market fair with interactive cooking stations, live entertainment, wine-tasting and locally recognised chef's sharing their favourite recipes.
Set on 420 acres of rolling countryside and vineyards, Hope Estate is ideal for large or small groups. The Great Cask Hall is rich in history and atmosphere, with its soaring vaulted ceilings and enormous wine barrels lining the walls, signed by a who's who of Hunter Valley wine legends. It's a perfect space for medieval-style banquets, degustation dinners, masquerade balls, or wherever your imagination takes you and 180 guests. The New Winery is one of the Hunter Valley's largest venues, seating up to 1,000 guests or 1,500 cocktail-style. Outdoors, there's the stylish Terrace which can host up to 150 guests cocktail-style undercover, and the 45-seat Harvest Restaurant which has views over the surrounding wine country.
THE BARREL ROOM AT ROCHE ESTATE
Lined with oak barrels and gold chandeliers, The Barrel Room at Roche Estate (formerly Tempus Two) is set amongst 18 acres of vineyards, and can cater for groups between 70- 280 cocktail-style. From October to March each year, the Hunter Valley features some of the biggest names in entertainment in numerous weekend concerts, which top off a great incentive reward.
HUNTER VALLEY EVENTS
Hunter Valley Events can arrange team-building activities at your accommodation or offsite. They have a diverse collection of activities, such as 'Hands-on in the Hunter', a lively series of wine-themed games, where teams get involved in grape-stomping and grape tossing, plus wine tasting at the end of the day. Groups can also experiment with blending their own wine (they've done this for 250 people), and designing the label; go on a guided photography or film-making tour; or cook a meal for colleagues under the leadership of a local Hunter Valley chef.
ULTIMATE WINERY EXPERIENCES
Audrey Wilkinson Vineyard, named after one of
Australia's early wine pioneers is one of the oldest wineries in the Hunter Valley. Ultimate Winery Experiences Australia offers the chance to meet the chief winemaker for a private behind the scenes tour of the winemaking process for up to 16 guests, followed by a helicopter flight to one of the Hunter's finest restaurants with the winemaker.
The Hunter Valley is approximately two hours'
drive from Sydney. Newcastle Airport, 50 minutes'
drive to the Hunter Valley, is serviced by direct daily flights from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and the Gold Coast. Cessnock Airport, in the heart of the region, can cater for charter flights and private aircraft. You can also fly to the Hunter Valley by helicopter from Sydney.