February 13, 2023
8 mins Read
Described by Lonely Planet’s Wine Trails, Australia & New Zealand as a ‘region on the rise’, Mudgee takes its name from the Wiradjuri word ‘moothi’, which means ‘nest in the hills’ referring to its position on the flanks of the Great Dividing Range.
With its viticultural history stretching back to 1858, the Mudgee wine region, built around buttery chardonnays, robust shiraz and cabernet sauvignon, is according to the Mudgee Wine Association, also branching out and creating ‘new’ Australian styles of riesling, barbera, sangiovese, tempranillo, vermentino and pinot grigio.
Squeeze every drop out of your weekend getaway by taking up these top Mudgee wine tours and experiences.
Take the guesswork out of planning your perfect weekend in Mudgee wine country by leaving your itinerary up to the experts at Mudgee Wine & Country Tours.
Indulge your oenophilia by booking a full-day wine tour with the family-run company that has six Mudgee cellar doors on the list as well as a long lunch in a vineyard.
After picking you up from your accommodation, your knowledgeable guide will teach you wine-tasting terms and what they mean, wine-tasting etiquette and what makes the fertile Mudgee wine country so magical.
There’s more to Mudgee than just great wines, as an experience with Mudgee Wine Tours ably demonstrates. Country Escape Tours operates a Hop & Grape Trail that includes the delectable trifecta of beer, wine and spirits.
You will discover why Mudgee was named the food capital of Australia when you visit Lowe Family Wine Co. to enjoy a wine tasting paired with local cheeses followed by a low n’ slow BBQ cooked using the region’s famed local produce and learn about Mudgee’s role in Australia’s winemaking history. Equine-loving epicureans will also appreciate there is a Horse Ride & Wine tour, too.
Steph Ross is the one-woman show behind Exclusively Mudgee, which brings the cellar door to you. The small-batch producers that Ross supports are all head winemakers at major cellar doors in Mudgee, who make their own label on the side and don’t have a cellar door.
Ross tailors her tutored tasting to suit groups of between two and 20 and curates a rotating roster of wines that visitors would not otherwise have access to.
The two-hour tasting experience also includes a grazing platter of local produce such as High Valley artisan cheese, Robert Stein’s cured meats, The Olive Nest olives, sourdough from Olive.A.Twist and Murrungundy dukkah. Mix and match your Mudgee wines and have them delivered to your door the next day.
Meander around Mudgee by bike by following a one-day self-guided tour with Tour de Vines or take it up a few notches with a Cycling Mudgee package that includes three different tiers of accommodation: Local, Comfy and Luxury.
There are more than 40 cellar doors in and around Mudgee and the self-guided and group cycling tours mapped out for you are designed to take in some of this stunning terroir. Best of all: if your tyre is flat or you have over-indulged at Logan’s Wines, the Tour De Vines team are on hand to pick you up.
The easy self-guided cycling tour on quiet country back roads will steer you around some of Mudgee’s lesser-known wineries and cellar doors and on to a wine bar said to be Australia’s oldest.
A hot-air balloon ride over Mudgee has merit for a multitude of reasons, from spotting native wildlife from above to enjoying the vista of vineyards and understanding the lay of the land. Romantics will love the fact a hot-air balloon ride with Balloon Aloft starts at sunrise when the sky is painted in pastel hues.
After revelling in the 360-degree views of Mudgee’s rolling hills, mountains and valleys where the vineyards are etched into the Earth, you will be privy to which cellar doors you want to plot a course to.
Push pause on the thrill-seeking to enjoy a breakfast with bubbles, which will give you a next-level appreciation for the landscape where it was produced.
A Vigneron Experience at the 1850s’ stallion stable that is now the De Beaurepaire Wines’ cellar door ranks as one of the best ways to experience wine in the sub-region of Rylstone, 45 minutes from Mudgee.
The De Beaurepaire family established their first winery in Australia in the 1970s and draw on their Burgundy heritage to produce highly regarded French-style wines.
Although visitors can choose from three exclusive vineyard experiences, it’s the Vigneron Experience that is most immersive. The private tour for two to six people goes for 90 minutes and includes a tour of the vineyard with someone from the De Beaurepaire family and finishes with a private tasting amid the vines.
Mudgee, located just three and a half hours’ northwest of Sydney, is the first Australian wine region to be known for organic wine thanks to pioneering work done at Botobolar Wine. That’s one of many reasons for conscious travellers to celebrate the region which was first established as a wine-growing area by a German viticulturist named Roth in the 1830s.
Although it’s best known for its robust red wines, Mudgee is also known for its food and the best of the region’s bounty can be enjoyed at Mudgee’s signature events, from Go Tasting to Go Grazing and Flavours of Mudgee.
There’s a lot to be said for lounging on the lawn at Lowe Family Wine Co. which has become a destination in its own right. This Mudgee mecca is a must-stop during a winery weekender, with the hybrid hub offering everything from twilight tapas to guided farm tours, long dinners under a canopy of vines in the Tunnel of Lowe bush chapel, and garden gigs attracting some of Australia’s best musicians.
The Zin House is one of the best places to eat in Mudgee, and the accommodation offering here is also on point, making it one of the most luxurious places to stay in the region too.
Part of the magic of Mudgee is that you can taste wine in the place it was made. And if pairing that wine with a paddock-to-plate degustation dining experience at Pipeclay Pumphouse sounds fantastic, that’s because it is.
Situated in the grounds of the Robert Stein Vineyard & Winery, now managed by Robert’s grandson Jacob, Pipeclay Pumphouse offers a six-course set menu curated by chef Andy Crestani with matching drops from the vineyard.
The fact the rustic restaurant features recycled materials from the farm in its interior design gives diners a real sense of place.
Wear some comfortable kicks while channelling your favourite Kardashian with Mudgee VIP Wine Tours’ local guide Alyson Scarbrow. Alyson has extensive knowledge of local wines and wineries and loves to share her passion for talking terroir and demonstrating why Mudgee wines are so distinct.
Alyson has been in the Mudgee wine industry for 14 years after moving to the region in 2006, where she managed the cellar door at both Petersons Winery and Huntington Estate.
Logan’s Wines is one of five wineries Alyson loops in on her full-day tour and the option to enjoy a tasting experience here is a highlight for keen quaffers as it looks over the terraced vineyards that tumble down to Appletree Flat.
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