A trip to New South Wales’ Mudgee is a true escape to Australian wine country. You'll feel worlds away from your usual day-to-day routine, with the region offering up picturesque vineyard and valley views, a mix of traditional and modern cellar doors, warming, country hospitality and a bunch of friendly locals always keen for a chat with a glass in hand.
Mudgee is home to some of the oldest vineyards in Australia, and has made its mark in the wine world with its impressive varietal and also very Australian style, chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon and shiraz. But that’s not all you’ll find in Mudgee, with winemakers also crafting exceptional examples of riesling, pinot grigio, vermentino, Sangiovese, barbera and tempranillo. As you can see, Mudgee really has something for every palate and this carries through in the region's food options too. Whether its locally-sourced platters to graze on, Italian sharing plate flare or even a long lunch among the vines – Mudgee has you covered.
There's plenty to keep you busy in Mudgee, making it a great long weekend adventure. So here's some of our top picks to visit next time you find yourself lucky enough to be exploring the wonders of Mudgee.
Driving into Mudgee, your first stop is at the First Ridge Wines cellar door. It’s a cool set-up here, with the vibrant cellar door housed in intersecting, red shipping containers creating an energy that truly matches the mood of these exciting wines. The cellar door and estate vineyards sit at 600m altitude, so while being an ideal spot for growing Italian varieties, it also means you’ll get some picturesque views of the Cudgegong Valley for your tasting. Tastings are complimentary, so take a seat either by the open fire in the winter, or anywhere by the full-length glass windows to really soak in those panoramic valley and vineyard views.
Next, is a visit to Robert Stein. Under the expertise of third generation Stein family, the Robert Stein portfolio is a quality line up featuring gewürztraminer, shiraz, chardonnay, cabernet and more. But riesling fans, consider this heaven, with Robert Stein known for crafting impressive varietal rieslings that have won many accolades in the wine world. Be sure to stay for lunch with the well-known Pipeclay Pumphouse Restaurant there too, known for serving up incredible dishes paired with picturesque vineyard views. And if you’re travelling with a motorcycle fan, don’t forget to wander through the exhibition of vintage motorbikes and memorabilia on display.
Spend the rest of your afternoon at di Lusso Estate, where it begins with the food – simple, seasonal and unmistakably Italian. Start with a tasting of the di Lusso portfolio which has the widest range of Italian varieties found in Australia, with styles like barbera, arneis, fiano and unique blend of cabernet, barbera and sangiovese. Then be sure to leave some room for food and indulge in the exciting trattoria and pizza menus on offer – perfect for lazy afternoons in wine country. Don’t forget to grab a glass of wine with your meal, after all, the philosophy at di Lusso is that the true role of wine is to make good food taste even better!
Kick off your second day with a visit to the Logan cellar door. As you make your way up the driveway you’ll be mesmerised by the stunning venue, which is a fusion of glass and stone giving gorgeous views over Apple Tree Flat. Take a seat and dive into a tasting of the vibrant Logan portfolio by winemaker Peter Logan, which features wines from Mudgee and also nearby Orange. If you can, also try to time you visit with the famed Dinner With… series that Logan host. It sees revered chefs from across the country enticed to the rolling hills of Mudgee to create degustation menus matched to Logan wines.
Next up is Huntington Estate for a tasting of their estate-grown, made and bottled wines. Time is the true test of a wine, so nothing is rushed at Huntington Estate. This includes the time grapes spend on the vine and in the winery, and this of course carries through to the experience for guests at the cellar door. Tuck into local produce with a picnic on the estate grounds, or enjoy treats from burger specialists 53FoodCo on the weekends.
Nestled amongst the grapevines in Bombira, you’ll find your next stop at the Vinifera Wines Cellar Door. Take a seat outside under the verandah, for a tasting of quality Vinifera Wines portfolio, which features varieties like semillon, chardonnay, cabernet and Spanish varieties like tempranillo and garnacha. Less is more when it comes to growing grapes and making wine at Vinifera, with the estate also proudly certified organic.
Your last day in Mudgee starts with a visit to the stunning, sandstone building that is The Cellar By Gilbert, home of the award-winning Gilbert Family Wines. It’s a cellar door for every season, with a gorgeous vine-laden courtyard perfect for the sunshine and a cosy, toasty open fire inside for winter. Taste your way through the exciting portfolio, which features wines from Mudgee, Orange and also the Eden Valley. Be sure to try the Gilbert Experimental range too, which features some fun pet-nat and skin contact wines.
Your last stop of your Mudgee adventure is a visit to the Gooree Park Wines Main Cellar Door in Galambine – just a short drive from the town centre of Mudgee. Book in for a Private Stud Tour and Wine Tasting, where you’ll be taken on a private tour to meet the estate-bred racehorses and hear about the history of Gooree Park. Then you’ll head back for a tasting of the Gooree Park portfolio, which includes a crisp sauvignon blanc, along with a range of fruit-driven red wines like sparkling red all the way to cabernet. Don’t forget to visit their other cellar door the Gooree Park’s Cellar Door and Pantry, which is in the main street of Mudgee.