Today was the culmination of a desire to get out of the city walls and its claustrophobic atmosphere. I drove up to the Hunter Valley, famed Shiraz and Semillon region of Australia, just 2 hours from town. The change was dramatic not only because you notice how wide the freeway is compared to Sydney’s roads which barely fit their buses and strangely allow for Hummers. A quick lowering of the windows reveals clean, crisp and cool air. Sydney’s not really a smokestack by any means but the outskirts are just that much fresher.

I managed to visit 4 or 5 wineries and accidentally swallowed quite a bit of wine. Still, I was never above the legal limit. I spat out a bucketful too though. There’s breath analyzer’s in some of the wineries which I think is cool.

There’s actually a pretty decent variety of wine in the area, with large wineries, smaller family run ones and new boutiques trying to buck the trend. Myself being a wine quaff not buff, I can’t tell you what’s good/bad but I’d say if you’re anywhere around New South Wales, you might as well hit the valley for shits and giggles.

I went with a good mate and we were like the only 2 Asians in a 200km radius. Next to everyone asked where I came from, what I was doing etc etc. Which is cool cos these old Aussie folk were pretty nice. The great thing about the cellar doors here is the fact that they are so friendly about it all and you can basically try almost everything for free. They’re keen to tell you about their product and wine in general and there’s really no right or wrong at all, just friendly environs aided by copious amounts of fermented grape juice.

If anything, this has only confirmed my lust for a car of my own. Somewhere, a lonely 1980/90s BMW 3/5 Series is waiting for me. Will definitely return with more driver buddies to try more next time. Salut!

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