Mudgee Wines: A mudmap

Bike Muster Easter 2010 - 037

Mudgee wines used to be nicknamed Mudgee Mud. Thankfully those days are long gone and Mudgee has emerged as a quality coolish climate wine producer. It doesn’t have the volume or the international fame of the Hunter or the Barossa, but therein lies the beauty.

It still has a soul and at heart it is still a country town (with good coffee and some half-decent restaurants). I always come back from Mudgee feeling like I’d like to live there. It just oozes everything that life should be: cycling, community, food & wine – in other words bikewalkeat!

Last weekend we did a pilgrimage back to Mudgee, and in no particular order, here’s my take on the wineries we visited.

Farmer’s Daughter Wines – admittedly we only went there for the name. It’s towards the end of the central winery district and quite small – more of a shed than a full-blown winery. The wines are ok, but nothing to knock your socks off.

Huntington Estate – set back from the road, with nice picnic areas, Huntington is a smaller producer but offered a thoughtful winetasting experience and some reasonably nice reds.

Lowe Wine Company – we were recommended Lowes by some other wineries and it didn’t disappoint. I’ll blog about it separately because it was the best winery experience, though didn’t necessarily offer the most enjoyable wines for our palate. They specialise in organic wines and although the wines didn’t live up to the hype, the setting is everything you want in a winery.

Robert Oatley Vineyards – beautiful picnic area and a rather upmarket restaurant attached, the cellar door offers a huge range of wines and a small historical display. This one of the major players in the area and it oozes respectability.

Di Lusso – I’ll blog about the eating experience separately, because it was a superb all-round winery. Run by a couple of Italian-philes, is a relatively new player on the Mudgee scene but very very popular. The rose was a standout and they did a very nice Arneis. They also offer olive oil and local produce tastings. A big tick.

Bunnamagoo Wines – drive past the Henry Lawson memorial and keep driving and you’ll find yourself in Bunnamagoo. The grounds are super-spectacular, and you can just feel yourself unwind as you look out at the green expanse and distant hills. The cellar door is new with clean lines, much like the wines. The champagne was elegant and clean and the rose for me was the standout. They recommend you pack a picnic and enjoy their grounds. Another big tick.

Vinifera Wines – a Spanish wine specialist. This is unusual in Mudgee, but it shouldn’t be as the terroir and climate is very similar to parts of Spain. They are a small but hands-on producer with huge range of local produce and next door to a distillery. I wasn’t so keen on their roses but worth a visit to try a different style of red.

Logans – around 15km out of town towards Sydney, it offers a state-of-the-art cellar door, high on the ridge, with a huge outdoor verandah and slick indoor lounge areas. On weekends there’s jazz and tasting plates, of local cheeses etc. The wines were not quite hitting the spot for me. I only tasted the whites but they lacked a little flavour, but the view packed a punch.

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