Burning of the Barrel

Things to do, Fairs and festivals
Burning of the Barrel at Glandore Estate
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Photograph: Chris Elfes
Burning of the Barrel at Glandore Estate
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Photograph: Chris Elfes

Time Out says

This Hunter Valley bonfire is one of winter’s bucket list parties

It started back in 2012 as an intimate, members-only gathering. It’s now one of the hottest winter events in the Hunter Valley – a family-friendly afternoon and evening of food, wine, music and fireworks around an enormous bonfire, on the grounds of a top winery at the base of Brokenback Mountain range.

Part of the Hunter Valley Food and Wine Festival, Burning of the Barrel is Glandore Estate’s annual celebration, where the licking flames of a very, very large pile of wood (topped with a sacrificial wine barrel) provides all the warmth required in the chill air of one of the Hunter’s most popular wineries. In 2018, the event was even named one of the Top 50 Wine Experiences worldwide by Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine.

Your ticket includes all your food and entertainment and a glass of Glandore Wine on arrival. You’ll also get a Glandore wine glass to take home. There are cheese plates galore, and the fireside menu comes courtesy of chef Andy Wright (the Cellar Restaurant, the Wood). This year he’ll be dishing up gourmet barbecued meats from Black Forest Smoke House, plus a trio of hearty soups, seafood paella and more. It wouldn’t be a bonfire without some toasted marshmallows and here they have a fully stocked Marshmallow Hut for sweet treats, hot chocolate and coffee by Forage Espresso.

A Wonnarua elder will offer a Welcome to Country ahead of acoustic tunes from Cam Thornton and soul-funk grooves from Sneaky Freakers, and fireworks by Kaboom Fireworks will round off the evening with a bang.

Burning of the Barrel tickets are on sale now: they are $165 for adults ($145 if you’re a member of their Cellardoor Hands Club); teens 13-17 are $75; kids 5-12 are $40; and littlies under four years are free. Parking on site is free too, or you can get a shuttle bus to drop you at your accommodation in Pokolbin or as far afield as Newcastle. Don’t forget your picnic rug!

Can't make it? Glandore Estate also does a $30 Chocolate and Wine Pairing Experience.

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