Study Meets Abroad: A Sneak Peek at Hunter Valley Wineries – Two Days in Five Minutes

The Boston University Sydney Program sent two dozen students on a wine tour in one of the most historic regions Australia has to offer, and here’s what I thought about it.

One thing that a lot of people misunderstand about studying abroad is that there are times for travel and there are times for school; rarely do people stop to consider the times when these two intertwine. One of the classes offered in the BU Sydney Program covers the Australian Wine Industry.

Wine barrels at the Hunter Valley winery

Australia, one of the top ten wine manufacturing countries in the world, is home to five dozen wine regions, including the beautiful Hunter Valley which my class and I were lucky enough to visit this past weekend. 

Over the course of two days, 24 students went to six wineries where we got to see some award-winning wineries firsthand, learn about their production and marketing strategies, and of course, sample some wine. This region is famous for Semillon and Shiraz, and though we tried these two varieties at each of the six wine tastings we went to, no two were even remotely the same in taste or smell because of variances in generations-old winemaking practices. No, there weren’t old women stomping on grapes in oak buckets; rather you should imagine massive steel contraptions that squeeze out every last drop from the grapes grown only a few hundred feet away.

We traveled by bus to and from the wineries and to our hotel, where we were treated to a dinner with a tailored wine to food pairing. The Australian countryside through the window wasn’t as exotic of an experience as one might expect. I saw the same green bushes and trees blurring with the speed of the bus, the same cloudy sky, and the same foggy hilltops in the distance that I stare at during every car ride back home in Massachusetts.

The Australian reputation back home says that you’ll see a spider the size of a dinner plate at every turn, kangaroos will punch you on your way to class, and the local fauna will come alive and eat you. While some of those things could surely have a hint of truth to them, at least in some parts of the country, it made me feel a little less far from home having such a familiar view while I was 10,000 miles away.

Every day in Sydney has taught me something different, and over the past two days, my lesson has been that nothing about this experience – not homesickness and not the balance between school travel – is going to be what I expect. 

Please take a few minutes to check out this video which wraps up our two-day trip. If you’re ever in New South Wales, check out these amazing wineries for an authentic and unforgettable experience!

Wineries in order of the video!

Tamburlaine Organic Wines –

First Creek Wines –

McGuigan Wines –

Tyrrells Wines (**My personal favorite!) –

Keith Tulloch Wine –

De Bortoli Wines –

Nora Jerrett, Study Abroad Correspondent

Nora Jerrett is a junior in the Boston University College of Communication studying advertising, although she also focuses in public relations and film & television. Having recently made the switch from a public relations major to an advertising major, she is currently participating in only her second advertising internship at The Hallway Agency in Sydney, Australia. In her free time, she loves to read, exercise, make mock-up advertising campaigns for her favorite brands, and write short stories. Nora has always had an overactive imagination and is a proud people person, and she has found the perfect outlet for these through her passion for both the creative and accounts sides of advertising. 

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