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Monday 3 February 2020

The Hunter has a dramatic new wine tasting experience

The Hunter Valley has a spectacular new wine tasting experience with the opening of Vamp by winemaker Lisa McGuigan.

The venue aims to echo McGuigan's post-punk persona, image and style and encompasses her passions: wine, food, art and fashion. 

The cellar door opened in December and there is now also an oyster bar offering bubbles and bivalves. 

In the upcoming months 30 sculptures by Charles Blackman being installed around the property - and there are plans for weekend art tours. 

Starting from next month there will be an Around the World with Pinot tasting, which will need to be pre-booked. 

Vamp has a slick black exterior and the monochrome theme continues through the space, including a painted feature wall.

 The venue folllows McGuigan's decision to move back to the Hunter after more than 30 years in Sydney - and is on Broke Road in Pokolbin. 

"I gave it a name because it's more than just a cellar door," McGuigan said. "I wanted up-market glamorous, a bit Gothic, a lot of shiny black ... because that's me. I didn't want to copy anyone. I think it has a feel and a look all of its own.

"I also want to be there, at the cellar door, to talk to people, build the brand," she said. "I think that's very important for the next couple of years.

"We'll carry a new range called the Velvet Collection that will only be available at the cellar door, as well as our regular silver and platinum ranges.

The Lisa McGuigan wines will range in price at the cellar door from $20 to $50.

"I want it to be classy but still affordable," she said. 

"I've been fortunate that our family have been making wine for so long that I know a lot of the growers, so I've reached out to them.

"We've got some good fruit, both from the Hunter and from outside. With the Hunter Valley Distillery next door and Blaxlands restaurant right here, too, it's a great spot for people to pull up and explore."

The centre of the room contains a circular tasting bar, surrounded by four-semi private tasting rooms and a large group tasting room for up to 30. 

Vamp is open 11am-5pm Thursday- Monday for tastings with the oyster bar open Friday-Sunday. 

IMAGES: Alexander Mcintyre Photography. 
ARCHITECTURE : EJE Architecture 


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