Named “Mudgee” from the Wiradjuri term “Nest in the Hills”, the name reflects the perfect description of the town.
Mudgee is situated in an undulating area between the high ridges of Cudgegong River Valley.
It is a high-altitude town with plenty of sunshine and fertile soils that makes it one of Australia’s most important winemaking destinations.
It’s perfect for bold reds like Shiraz, Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon. But white grapes such as Riesling, Chardonnay, and Gewurztraminer can also thrive here.
Below is a selection of hand-picked wineries with their signature wines.
Mudgee’s CBD is a delight for its elegant 19th-century architecture and for a great food scene that matches the high-quality wine.
Mudgee is located in close proximity to the Goulburn River State Conservation Area, a natural wonder.
A short walk can be made from the Goulburn River to reach the Great Dripping Wall. Here rainwater flows through porous rocks.
The gorge has an air-conditioning effect that cools the temperature by 15 degrees Celsius below the ambient level.
You can only be there after sustained rain, when the sandstone walls have become completely saturated.
The microclimate is home to many plant species, including orchids, tree violets, and apple gums.
You might also consider making a detour towards Hands on the Rock. This is a major Aboriginal art site located two kilometres away from the Drip Gorge.
Lowe Wines is a star of Mudgee’s vineyard scene. They are a certified organic vineyard that produces strong, quartz-loving reds.
Wine made from the vineyards is untrellised, unirrigated and reflects the soil and climate.
Lowe’s most popular varieties include Merlot, Shiraz, and the flagship Zinfandel.
You can also pair your glass with a selection from the Food Store located at the cellar doors. Here you can build your own platter using local cheeses, baguettes and salami as well as baguettes, baguettes and marinated olives.
The great thing about this cellar door and restaurant east Mudgee is the high elevation. From the deck, you can enjoy stunning views of the vines and sun-lit background.
Family-owned Moothi Estate is home to Riesling and Chardonnay as well as Merlot, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. It takes 45 minutes if you are here for a tasting.
You can also book a table at lunch to enjoy the afternoon.
The majority of ingredients are local. An antipasti gardenter will bring you marinated olives and prosciutto from Mudgee. They also have house-made pastrami, vintage cheddar, and other goodies.
These cheese-maker’s creations are featured on many menus in the Mudgee region.
High Valley Cheese Co. uses Dubbo’s Little Big Dairy milk to make nine different artisan cheeses. They are all made in the traditional manner.
There are a marinated Feta, a Caerphilly and a rouge.
High Valley’s factory, located opposite the Mudgee Racecourse has a small scale and a cellar door that offers tastings.
This single-estate vineyard was established in 1976. It is now in its third generation.
The Stein family is a winemaker lineage that dates back to 1838. They channel all their knowledge into a flagship Riesling as well as Gewurztraminer Chardonnay, Shiraz, and Gewurztraminer.
Jacob Stein, the current winemaker, has won a number of prizes at the Mudgee Wine Show.
Stop by the cellar door to taste the award-winning salami made from farm-free Berkshire pigs. Or book a table at Pipeclay Pumphouse for breathtaking views of the Cudgegong Valley.
Robert Stein also has a vintage motorbike collection that you can view while at the winery.
Short Sheep Micro-Winery, true to its name, is all about high-quality wine in small batches using sustainable practices from the vine to the glass.
This list was compiled by Short Sheep in 2020. It included reds such as the Syrah and Cabernet Merlot and whites such as limited-release Chardonnay or Semillon.
The Cellar Door is distinguished by the generous “Flavours Palette” on Saturdays, where you can enjoy curated wine and food pairings.
Short Sheep is also creative in its taste experiences. You can try it by fire, candlelight or twilight.
A museum that documents Mudgee’s past with the help a huge collection is located west of the CBD, backing onto the Cudgegong River.
It includes everything from farm tools to natural history specimens.
It is also a remarkable setting, with a colonial inn built in the middle of 19th century. The building was complemented by other historic buildings, such as a church from the early 20th century and a slab house.
The major exhibits include a wagon from 19th century belonging to a local farmer family, a rare cabin box that arrived in Australia in 1855 with German immigrants and a Packard 1935 that served in the Mudgee Ambulance Service during WW2.
This 100-acre estate is located just off Ulan Road, less than 10 minutes from Mudgee.
Pieter van Gent, a winemaker for over a decade, produced Australia’s first Chardonnay bottles in the early 1970s.
The cellar door is set in a unique setting in the barrel hall. It features antique choir stalls, flanked with 20 German oak casks, made in 1850s.
Pieter van Gent’s wines are a reflection of the nuances of the grapes, soil, climate, and winemaker.
Mudgee Pipeclay White Port is a must-try, with its floral overtones and smooth palate.
Amelie, a talented local chocolatier uses the cellar door as a space to sell.
The Gilbert family, six generations of winemaking experts under their belts, opened the cellar door in Mudgee in 2016. This charming sandstone building is more like a winebar than a traditional cellar door.
You can taste Gilbert Family Wines’ selection of Rieslings and blends such as “Rouge”, (Shiraz, Sangiovese and Pinot Gris), “Blanc”, (Riesling, Pinot Gris and Gewurztraminer), Lignee Rouge, (Shiraz, Pinot Noir), and Lignee Blanc, (Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc). Every Saturday afternoon, there is a wine masterclass.
John Vetter, a man with almost 50 years experience in the field, established Mudgee Observatory, a private facility located 15 minutes from town in an area of darkness.
Members of the Sutherland Astronomical Society occasionally use this facility, but it is also open to schools, group tours, and individuals who are interested in stargazing.
Bookings are required in advance for the session. This will include a guided tour of the night skies using the observatory’s telescopes, binoculars, and other equipment.
You can also find a planetarium with programs that go into detail on celestial bodies and the history, present, and future space missions.
A nature reserve has been created in Mudgee for those who have overdone it at Mudgee’s wineries.
Mudgee’s old sewage works and an abandoned aggregate quarry have been replaced by a wetland. It is located on the Cudegong River meander.
Bird hides border this oxbow pool, so you might see many species in a very short time, including Australian king parrots, plum-headed finches and mistletoe bird.
There are four trails that can be used to navigate the reserve, ranging in length from 400m to a 1.4-kilometre path along the riverbank.
The Neogothic St Mary’s Church is a building that adds real gravitas and character to Mudgee’s landscape.
St Mary’s is made of Botobolar Sandstone and was constructed between 1873-1876. However, it also incorporates older architecture that dates back to the 1850s.
The main facade is dominated by Mary’s image and features multifoil tracery in the blind arches flanking it, a frieze beneath that statue, two lancet windows, and a magnificent rose window at its top.
You’ll find many things to see inside, including the stencilling and stained-glass created by Glasgow’s Lyon, Cottier & Company.
The pews were made from maple in 1930s while the organ was constructed by J.W. London. Walker, 1866. The Stations of the Cross were created by George de Pyro, a London artist.
The highlight of the church is the altar made from Carrara marble, Rockhampton marble and green marble from Sweden.
You will find fine buildings dating back to the second half the 19th century in the CBD.
This elegant architecture is a hint at the amount of money that flowed through Mudgee first due to the Australian gold rush, then due to the wool industry and the arrival of the railway.
The Mudgee Heritage Walking Tour departs at 10:00 from the Clock Tower, Corner of Market Streets and Church Streets.
The Railway Station (1884), Mudgee Mail Office (1862) or Town Hall (1880) will all be beautiful examples of heritage architecture. You will also learn fascinating facts about the town’s past.
Robertson Park, located opposite the visitor information center, is the location for a popular farmers’ market every third Saturday of each month.
The event follows strict guidelines set by the farmers’ market in Mudgee, a town known for its quality food and drink.
All items sold here have been grown, caught and reared by the stallholders.
You can think seasonal fruits and vegetables, as well as oils, chutneys, oils, feta and macarons.
Local musicians will perform as you shop. You can also grab a bacon or egg roll for breakfast.
This two-week festival has been going for more than 40 years and takes place every September/early-October.
Epicureans will find no better time than Mudgee to enjoy a variety of special tastings, tours, lunches, dinners, and live music.
There are many cellar doors that participate in the Mudgee. Each door offers something unique, such as special offers or creative platters and pairings.
All of this builds up to Flavours at Mudgee where all the local winegrowers gather to offer tastings and tasty bites in the CBD.