Location: It’s home to 65 vineyards and more than 40 cellar doors, but Mudgee isn’t your typical wine region. Three and a half hours’ drive north-west of Sydney, this laid-back country town prefers you to leave your wine vocab on the highway, ignore the tasting notes and just enjoy a good drop, with good food, by a fireplace. It also offer visitors National Parks, markets, festivals, and activities for the kids.
- Bunnamagoo Estate – the vineyard has one of the coolest climates in Australia that results in wines of distinctive regional style. With the opening of the newest and most modern cellar door in Mudgee, Bunnamagoo should be the first point of call. (603 Henry Lawson Drive, Mudgee. Cellar door open 7 days, 10-4).
- Burnbrae Vineyard – wines which show distinct personality and regionality, grown in an attractive vineyard with beautiful valley views. (548 Hill End Road, Mudgee. Cellar door open 7 days, 10-4).
- Burrundulla– produces a solid line up of well made and equally affordable wines. (234 Castlereagh Hwy, Mudgee. Cellar door open 7 days, 10-4)
- Di Lusso Estate – a family operation specialising in the production of small quantities of good quality Italian varietals. (Eurunderee Lane, Mudgee). Closed Tuesdays otherwise open 10-4 on all other days.
- First Ridge– producing some of the country’s best quality vermentino, fiano, sangiovese and barbera. (577 Burrundulla Road, Burrundulla. Cellar door open 7 days, 10-4).
- Huntington Estate – my number one pick for Mudgee vineyards. Classy, complex and balanced wines. (Ulan Rd, Mudgee. Cellar door open 7 days, 10-4).
- Logan Wines- a boutique family owned and operated vineyard. The winery features three labels: Logan (premium), Weemala (quirky and approachable) and Apple tree flat (entry level). All glass and light with a stunning facade and welcoming interior, the Logan tasting room offers uninterrupted views over the family’s Mudgee vineyard and is the perfect space to sample the full range of wines. (Castlereagh Hwy, Apple Tree Flat. Cellar door open 7 days, 10-5)
- Mongrel Vineyard – a small and select range of medium-bodied reds that are made to be drunk when young and fresh . (571 Spring Flat Rd, Mudgee. Open weekends only 10-5)
- Moothi Estate– the focus has shifted towards white wines, in particular riesling, viognier, semillon and pinot grigio. Two 2016 reds are currently available- a velvety shiraz and a mid-weight, savoury merlot. (85 Rocky Waterhole Rd, Mudgee. Cellar door open 7 days, 10-5)
- Robert Oatley Vineyards – wines fall under three labels: the soft, fruit-driven and approachable Wild Oats, the premium Robert Oatley and Montrose, which is made from 100-per-cent Mudgee fruit. (Craigmoor Road, Mudgee. Cellar door open 7 days, 10-4).
- Robert Stein Vineyard – after tasting their impressive selection of wines, make sure you visit the Stein vintage motorbike museum. (Pipeclay Lane, Mudgee. Open daily 10-4).
- Rosby Wine– a small vineyard about 10 kilometres north of Mudgee producing some of the most consistently excellent red wine grapes in the area. (122 Strikes Lane, Eurunderee. Tasting by appointment. Call Gerry on 0419 429 918).
- Alby & Esthers– specialising in tasting plates filled with local produce, this hideaway hot spot is a definite must. They also serve amazing coffee. (61 Market St, Mudgee).
- Blue Wren– The restaurant, Chef’s Kitchen, uses cutting edge technology and modern gastronomic cooking techniques, and most of the produce is grown there so you know it’s got to be good. (433 Ulan Rd, Mudgee). https://www.bluewrenwines.com.au/restaurant-chefs-kitchen/
- Butcher Shop Cafe – good breakfast and informal all-day dining with equally impressive coffee. Make sure you try their french toast! (49 Church St, Mudgee ).
- Di Lusso estate– Finding good pizza in the country can be a hard task, but at di lusso you can get tasty pizzas, great wines as well as a game of bocce in all before dessert. Their pizzas are wood-fired and are all best paired with the wines from their vineyards, which have been conveniently recommended next to every dish. Want a margherita? Enjoy that with a pinot grigio. Anchovies with capers? You’ll want to try it with a vermentino. (162 Eurunderee Lane, Mudgee)
- Elton’s Brasserie – located right in the middle of town, Elton’s is where you head for brekkie, lunch, dinner AND drinks. Yep, they do it all. With an ever-changing menu, and a number of craft beers on tap, this little spot will fill that hole in your belly. If you’re after a biiiiig brekkie, the baked eggs are about the size of your head and will fill you up for hours. If you’re at Elton’s a bit later on, the burgers are a treat as well as the tacos. It’s a little bit of the city in Mudgee.
(81 Market St, Mudgee). www.eltons.com.au
- Market Street Cafe – the large, sunny space feels like a French country kitchen and the food follows suit — classic dishes, cooked with premium ingredients. (79 Market Street, Mudgee).
- Oriental Hotel – thoroughly enjoyable pub cuisine. (6 Lewis St, Mudgee). www.orientalhotel.com.au
- Outside The square – great coffee and child-friendly. (85a Mortimer Street, Mudgee). www.outsidethesquarecafe.com.au
- Pipeclay Pumphouse– one of the more recent restaurant openings in the region is by the dam, in front of the Robert Stein vineyard cellar door. Their contemporary Australian fare is a must. (Pipeclay Lane, Mudgee). http://pipeclaypumphouse.com.au/
- Roth’s Wine Bar – Mudgee’s best kept secret, Roth’s also happens to be the oldest wine bar in New South Wales, serving great tapas and wood-fired pizza. (30 Market St, Mudgee). www.rothswinebar.com.au
- Wineglass Restaurant– situated in the Cobb & Co Boutique hotel, the restaurants menu is fresh and fantastic and all about local regional cooking at its best, served up in an old-world, historical setting. (97 Market St, Mudgee).
- Perry Street Hotel – formerly de Russie Suites, the newly rebranded boutique Perry Street Hotel is a surprising gem. There are a total of 13 rooms that offer all the modern touches and amenities. www.perrystreethotel.com.au/
- Elouera– located on a gorgeous 52-acre property, just minutes from the town centre. There’s a five bedroom Homestead (from $550 per night) or the three-bedroom Carriage (from $390 per night). Both are luxurious, comfortable and self-catered. www.eloueramudgee.com.au
- Evanslea by the river – its extensive grounds and riverside setting gives you a sense of peace and privacy and it is also situated within walking distance to town. There is also a communal pool and tennis court. www.evanslea.com
- The Tannery – a self-contained two-bedroom retreat that has a large backyard and is great for families and groups. Just the place to crack open a bottle of rum and hold court. www.thetannerymudgee.com.au
- Trelawney Farm– located in the heart of the Mudgee wine trail and just 4kms from the CBD, this colonial farmhouse has been beautifully restored to create a luxurious and restful stay. The house comprises two interlocking dwellings, the coach house and barn end cottage, which when combined accommodate up to 12 persons. http://trelawneyfarm.com/
- Wildwood Guesthouse – a luxury bed and breakfast in a valley setting. www.mudgeeaccommodation.com.au
- Alley cats coffee – head here for a wonderful coffee. (61 Market Street, Mudgee). www.alleycats.com.au/golf
- Countryfit bicycle hire– a great and healthy way to discover all the region has to offer. The centre hires the latest Trek mountain bikes, ladies comfort bikes, tandem bikes and children’s trailers and is open seven days. www.mudgeegym.com/bicycle-hire.html
- High Valley Wine & Cheese Co– just a stone’s throw from the Mudgee CBD, at the start of Mudgee’s cellar door trail. You can taste premium wines from the High Valley vineyards at Dunedoo, all superbly complemented by fresh and aged cheeses. (137 Ulan Road, Mudgee). http://www.highvalley.com.au/
- Lawson Park – wonderful for a picnic (Corner Short and Church St, Mudgee) If you need all the goodies visit: www.mudgeehampers.com.au
- Limousine service– Mudgee wine & country tours (call Terry or Jan on 0407 204 150).
- Mudgee Farmers Market – excellent regional produce on the third Saturday of every month. 8:30am to 12:30pm at St Mary’s Catholic Church. (cnr of Church and Market Streets).
- Mudgee Brewing Company – Mudgee isn’t just about wine. In fact, sometimes after a day full of wine tasting, all you may want is a nice cold beer. Mudgee Brewing Co has that and then some. Try the Mudgee Mud (a local fave) which is a dark imperial stout or, for something lighter, the Mudgee Pale Ale will cure what ails you. With regular live music and a killer steak on the menu, this is a great place to unwind. (4 Church St, Mudgee).
- Mudgee Corner Store– a general store with all your daily essentials as well as a tasty storemade takeaway menu. (72 Lewis St, Mudgee)
- Mudgee Honey Haven – as the name suggests, a one stop shop for all things honey related. For the kids or child in you, there is a new 18 hole putt putt golf course. You can also watch the bees hard at work through a special glass window. (2 Hill End Road, Mudgee. Open 7 days, 9-5).
- EVENTS– Mudgee Readers’ Festival (www.mudgeereadersfestival.com.au/). Huntington Estate Music Festival (21 to 25 November 2018).