Everyone needs a bolt hole, even people who live in a city like Sydney. About three and a half hours inland from Sydney, and over the Blue Mountains, lies a gorgeous small town and wine region called Mudgee. Wine is not new here, winemakers have been active in Mudgee for over 150 years, but it is growing quickly and it is now the third largest winemaking region in New South Wales. At that, it is emerging in terms of tourism, and it is still under the radar for international visitors like you and me.
Blue Mountains, New South Wales
A pit stop in the Blue Mountains is essential. I was so lucky with the weather and had a terrific view. My last visit had been 8 years earlier, pre blog, and with only a ropey camera phone. Stop at Princess Pantry in Leura en route for a bite and a coffee.
MUDGEE CELLAR DOORS
Mudgee is especially noted for organic wines, and with almost 40 cellar doors. I list some here, but there is also one in the food producer section, so don’t miss that either.
Logan Wines makes a perfect start, perched on a hill overlooking the road as you drive into Mudgee. An impressive winery, in terms of design, views and wines, I tried their Logan wines grown on high altitude vineyards in nearby Orange. Elegant and refined with bright fruit character, these are lovely wines. Particularly impressive (and pictured) was their Vintage M Cuvée, a champagne style wine, bright and pink, and grown 930m above sea level in conditions similar to those in Champagne, this is one to have by the glass while you are there.
Winemakers Lisa Bray and Frank Newman focus on organic and preservative free wines using grapes from the old vines at Burnbrae Winery & Vineyard . A small production, these hand crafted boutique wines are bright and exciting. I especially loved the rosé and moscato. There is a cottage on the grounds that you can rent too.
Lowe Wines produce biodynamic food & wines on their beautiful and extensive farm. The wines are well recognised, I had had them before, and was excited to visit, the food on offer is excellent too. I loved the ‘Nullo Mountain’ Pinot Noir with gentle spicy and fragrant of cherry (I want it with some duck!). The Tinja Preservative Free Organic Shiraz was a a soft wine with white pepper and spice, unlike any Aussie shiraz you might have tried. Don’t forget to have a Lowe Platter when you visit.
More of a distillery door that a cellar door, Baker & Williams is the brainchild of two Sydney city escapees. The liqueurs are especially good, I loved the butterscotch one.
Sharon at Indigiearth has a terrific range of Aboriginal food products and ingredients, all sourced locally. Roast wattleseed, salt bush and whole bush tomatoes were a few of my favourite herbs and the wild lime marmalade was terrific. There is art for sale here too.
High Valley Wine & Cheese make great fresh and aged cheeses and have a cellar door too. A little out of town but worth the trek for a food and wine tasting.
Seek out the bean to bar chocolate from Spencer Cocoa, made locally with cocoa sourced from Malekula, Vanuatu.
Look out for Mudgee Made at Mudgee markets. I spent the evening with Lara and Tanya cooking over the bonfire and eating their delicious fare. Don’t miss the sausage rolls or the macarons. So good!
WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK IN MUDGEE
The lovely people at Roth’s Wine Bar – and the pizza!
Roth’s Wine Bar is a great little wine bar in the centre of town, with lots on offer by the glass and great pizzas too. It feels more like a pub, in a very good way, and has a large beer garden too.
Alby & Esther’s Breakfast Jaffle!
Alby & Esthers is a very cute coffee house and wine bar. I went for breakfast and was sorry I didn’t have another night left so that I could swing by. Aussie jaffles are on the menu (toasties to you and I) and I couldn’t resist the famous breakfast jaffle, which hit every spot. Lovely spot.
Aaron Cole has created a little gem on the high street with Market Street Café, focussed entirely on local produce (including meats from Lowe Wines). I popped by for breakfast and was mesmerised by the Mudgee Honey where the comb is created in the jar. Excellent food.
WHERE TO STAY IN MUDGEE
I stayed at the Perry Street Hotel, a contemporary boutique apartment hotel in the centre of Mudgee. very well located and very comfortable. They have a laundry room too.
Other posts from my Australia travels:
High Jinks and Fantastic Food at the Water Masterclass at Melbourne Food & Wine Festival
Melbourne Eating: 9 Restaurants You Must Eat At in Melbourne
If you like Australia, I bet you like friands :)
Mango & Lime Friands (Two Versions: Buttery & Dairy Free)