The Mudgee Region is the third largest grape-growing region in NSW and one of the oldest wine regions in the state.
This May, Pyrmont Festival has returned for the seventh consecutive year with a giant 10-day program which showcases the best that this stunning region has to offer.
The Wine Pig popped along to experience both the country charm of the Mudgee wine region and meet some of the most iconic winemakers from the area.
Here were our highlights.
Bunnamagoo Estate Wines: This fabulous winery focuses its efforts on individual and traditionally-made wines, with the grapes sources from its two vineyards both in and nearby to Mudgee. The very friendly Tom talked us through the bottled they’re most proud of – and for the rest, we have an excuse to take a trip!
Top picks: The 2014 Chardonnay was a clear favorite for The Wine Pig. The old French barrel fermentation alongside the traditional winemaking method really brings out the delicate oaky stonefruit flavours.
Burnbrae Wines: One of the oldest wineries in Mudgee, with the lovely Trine and Andy having recently taken over the vineyard from her parents Tony and Jill, and its cracking wines make it a standout in the region. They’ve got a brilliant selection of wines, ranging from a fruity and citrusy Pinot Gris right down to a spicy Shiraz… and even some beer.
Top picks: The 2014 Shiraz is spicy with some subtle oak and plenty of dark berries.
Di Lusso Estate: Mudgee’s iconic and extremely wonderful Di Lusso Estate produces a fantastic range of Italian-inspired wines. Any visitors should definitely swing by the stunning cellar door and absorb the views of the valleys while sipping on some wine. And for those who maybe want to stay a little closer to home should pop over to their stall at this weekend’s event – marvel over the wine and say hi to Rob!
Top picks: Di Lusso’s 2014 Sangiovese is light and supple with lashings of sweet raspberry and cherry. Delcious!
Huntington Estate: Back in 1969 Bob Roberts shoved a few thousand sticks in the ground and hoped they would grow. And it worked! Huntington Estate has an impressive collection of both the whites and reds, with something to suit every type of wine enthusiast. The Wine Pig has been lucky enough to sample a few of their wines in the past and it’s wonderful to see how they always continue to develop and impress further.
Top picks: If you’re looking for something a little different, the juicy, oaky 2015 Semillion Chardonnay is a fantastic pick and certainly one of our favorites.
Moothi Estate: Boasting one of the highest cellar doors across the wine region, Moothi Estate’s sundrenched grapes have given a wonderfully diverse collection – across three collections – of fabulous estate-only grown wines.
Top picks: The 2012 Moothi Estate Chardonnay is crisp and fresh but balanced beautifully with a creamy texture muddled in with mild oak.
Petersons of Mudgee: A swan around a Mudgee-based wine festival wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Jamie at the excellent Petersons of Mudgee. We’ve been lucky to be able to swing by the cellar door a couple of times before, and these wines never fail to delight and excite the palate. We highly recommend a visit to both the stall and the cellar door!
Top picks: The light and incredibly cleansing 2015 Verdelho is packed with tropical and citrus fruits while the elegantly smooth 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon is packed full of black juicy berries and dark chocolate notes.
Robert Stein: The iconic Robert Stein produces some exceptional wines, making winemaker Jacob somewhat of a celebrity of the region. It’s trademark Riesling is one of the most talked about wines from the whole area and even challenges the best of the best from Australia’s classic Clare and Eden Valley region. And what’s even better is he doesn’t stop there, the whole range is outstanding and every wine needs to be sampled.
Top picks: The crisp 2015 Riesling was obviously a highlight with its citrus tones and touch of sweetness. Meanwhile The Wine Pig is also a big lover of, and can highly recommend, the newly-released rich and bold 2012 Reserve Cabernet.
Slowfox Wines: The fresh and vibrant Slowfox Wines handpick and handmake all their wines. The boutique winemakers haven’t yet opened their own cellar door, but its close on the horizon and we’re excited to pop in for a visit when its up an running… especially to taste some of Slowfox Wine’s highly anticipated Malbec!
Top picks: These guys are wonderfully proud of their lovely 2012 & 2013 Blends – Merlot (50%), Cabernet (40%) and Petit Verdot (10%) – and we were also pretty bowled over by the spicy, fruity 2014 Shiraz.
The Sydney Cellar Door event is back for 2016, showcasing the very best that NSW’s wine industry has to offer in Sydney's Hyde Park south, hosted by The Sydney Morning Herald.
As the largest celebration of wine in the state, wine lovers can challenge themselves to visit every one of the 100 winery stalls over a three-day period to sip and savor their way to wine heaven.
And for those which need a bit more guidance, here are The Wine Pig’s highlights to help you on your way.
Established in 1967, Hungerford Hill is a gorgeous boutique estate in Australia’s oldest wine region, the Hunter Valley.
Not only is Hungerford Hill’s winery is a landmark of the Hunter Valley region, the notorious Muse Restaurant boasts some of the finest food in the Valley and with a fantastic view across the vineyards to the Brokenback Ranges.
Cellar door guru Beck is an expert for those which want to be taken on a wine journey through Hungerford Hill’s ample variety of wines. Any wine festival visitors should certainly swing by this stall!
Wine to look out for: 2010 Dalliance Sparkling Pinot Noir
Mt Pleasant Wines
Also nestled in the infamous NSW wine region of Hunter Valley, Mt Pleasant Wines has a number of different wine ranges from five of its own vineyards, each known for their outstanding quality.
Having recently appeared in The Wine Pig’s top 12 wines of Christmas blog – the 2014 Eight Acres Semillion – it was an absolute pleasure to swing by and greet the friendly team at this iconic wine event. Whether you’re looking for a perfect drop for a special occasion or you just want to check out their range, we recommend you pop by!
Wine to look out for: 2007 Elizabeth Semillon and the Rosehill Vineyard Shiraz
Pepper Tree Wines
Another Hunter Valley favorite. Pepper Tree Wines actually produces a range of premium varietal wines sourced from its own vineyards in NSW’s Hunter, Orange, Connawarra and Wrattonbully regions and distributes not only in Australia but also internationally.
Split into four different ranges, these wonderful wines range anywhere from a light and zesty sauvignon blanc to a rich chocolately shiraz – there is something for every type of wine pig! Make sure to give the very lovely Pepper Tree ladies a visit!
Wine to look out for: 2015 Polly Fume
With grapes grown in the region and made and bottled onsite, James Estate is another premium Hunter Valley-based winery which deserves a drop in at their stall.
The vineyards spread over two sites in the Hunter Valley, with their cellar door set in the beautiful Pokolbin and vineyard in Baerami, with plantings which date back to 1968.
Swing by the stall and ask the team to tell you more about the range. And if you’re looking for a selection of wines but are finding it too difficult to choose, these guys do an excellent mystery box. Oooh!
Wine to look out for: 2015 Reserve Rose
Carillion Vineyard on the slopes of Mt Canobolas in NSW’s Orange wine region produces some brilliant cool climate wines.
Red/brown volcanic clay loams on light-medium clays provide the base for growing premium Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc in the whites, with the focus on Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz in the reds.
Any Sydney Cellar door visit should definitely drop in at the Carillion and ask for the very helpful and very lovely Tim. The wines are an utter treat!
Wine to look out for: 2015 Carillion Riesling
Di Lusso Estate
Mudgee’s iconic and extremely wonderful Di Lusso Estate produces a fantastic range of Italian-inspired wines. A visit out to this stunning cellar door is an absolute must – sit outside overlooking the mudgee valley and feast on some amazing Italian food and sample through the wine list.
For those which find a trip out to the region a little too much, you definitely need to swing by their stall at this weekend’s event and say hi to Rob!
Wine to look out for: 2015 Pinot Grigio