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Prestigious Polo in the Vines comes to the Hunter Valley

Photo: Dominique Cherry

Photo: Dominique Cherry

The stunning Dark Horse Vineyard in the picturesque Hunter Valley will come alive in April 2018 with all the sights and sounds of the inaugural Polo in the Vines event.

Guests will thrill to the excitement of thundering hooves, top horsemanship, fine Hunter Valley wines and mouth-watering menus as the Dark Horse Vineyard hosts the newest addition to the hugely-popular Urban Polo series.

Set against the autumn scenery of lush grapevines bordering the purpose-built field, Polo in the Vines will deliver a once-in-a-lifetime VIP experience from celebrity chef Guillaume Brahimi and his team.

Urban Polo Founder Janek Gazecki said the organisation had searched for five years to find the perfect venue for Polo in the Vines.

‘We had very specific and complex aesthetic criteria and our search took us across Margaret River, the Yarra Valley and the Clare Valley, all of which possessed promising sites,’ he said.

‘But it wasn’t until we encountered Dark Horse Vineyard that perfection finally fell upon us.’

Dark Horse Vineyard, owned by Olivia and Martin Popovic, is a premium-brand cellar door and is located on Wilderness Road in the popular Lovedale area. It will be the site of the event for the next seven years.

‘The site has a naturally flat area, surrounded by verdant vines on two sides, and a horse yard on the third side.  The only remaining side of the proposed field was graced by a rustic barn converted into what appears like a showcase Hermes home, which would clearly be the site of our VIP area,’ Gazecki said.

The primary focus of Polo in the Vines is the VIP dining experience, which will be held inside the Dark Horse barn. Guests will be treated to a fantastic six-course meal prepared by Brahimi and his team, matched with the very best Hunter Valley Wines presented by sommeliers throughout the meal.   

‘Our choice of chef was a much easier task than finding the venue!’ Gazecki said.

‘There is no one better to capture our European Autumn theme than celebrated international chef Guillaume Brahimi - our first choice for the inaugural Polo in the Vines.

‘We are extremely excited about our latest impending Urban Polo offering, and are vastly fortunate to be working with such talented individuals as Guillaume and Olivia, both of whom strive for perfection in their respective fields, and instantly understood and embraced the concept.’

Popovic said she was thrilled to be hosting the prestigious event.

‘This is a dream come true for us,’ she said. ‘The vineyard and our horses are our life, and we chose the site and renovated the cellar door especially for events like Polo in the Vines.’

Brahimi said he was also excited about being part of the event.

‘Dark Horse Vineyard is an incredibly pretty location and we are really looking forward to creating a menu that reflects the seasonal flavours in autumn and compliments the wonderful wines coming from the region,’ he said.

‘This is going to be an event like no other.’

In addition to the VIP Experience, guests can also enjoy a more casual day with friends and family from the comfort of the Vineyard Polo Lounge.  Corporate marquees are also available to purchase, this event option is designed for corporate hosts that wish to entertain clients in a private and personal environment. Tickets can be purchased via the website www.polointhevines.com while VIP tickets are available to Urban Polo Members (Premium and above), or by invitation. 

There will be tunes from the resident band and DJ throughout the day, Fashion on the Field, stomping of the divots and plenty of delicious food and local beverages for sale at the bar.

Tickets are now available through Ticketek.

For more information, visit www.polointhevines.com

For interview requests with Guillaume Brahimi and media related enquiries please contact Stephanie Airlie-Noe at House of Airlie Public Relations.

Christina Atherton