Merely 4 hours’ drive from Sydney on the scenic route, Mudgee is a pleasant country town, with a real community feel and a passion for good food and wine. My husband and I have been spending weekends in Mudgee for years now. It’s an annual ritual although we recently went to Orange, NSW. We tried it in all seasons but we especially like it in winter, when it’s cold. We can cosy up in front of the fire and enjoy the delicious Mudgee wines. Here are 6 reasons to escape to the Mudgee wineries.
Reasons to Escape to the Mudgee Wineries
A trip to Mudgee is a great road trip, not too short, not too long, just enough to enjoy some sights on good roads. The quickest route from Sydney to Mudgee is via the Blue Mountains, with a sightseeing stop at Katoomba. It’s a nice idea if you are taking overseas visitors and want to visit the Three Sisters on the way. We usually return to Sydney that way.
A great alternative is to travel via the Bells Line of Road. It’s not a straight road, be sure to be comfortable with bends and turns, but the view is beautiful. You can stop at Mount Tomah Botanic Gardens on the way. We also stop at the tourist information centre in Lithgow to pick up the Mudgee tourism brochure which is most useful.
When you’re almost at Bathurst, take the road towards Sofala and Hill End. It’s a bit of a detour, but definitely worth it. Sofala and Hill End are former mining towns and regain some of their history. It’s a nice drive through the bush, and the road is sealed.
Mudgee, New South Wales
Mudgee developed as a town around 1850 and nowadays has a population of around 10,000 people. It is the birthplace of Australian poet Henry Lawson and offers some excellent wines. The town has a strong community feel, lots of heritage buildings and some good restaurants. After many visits over the years, it seems to me that Mudgee is growing into a reasonably important regional centre.
If you are looking for what to do in Mudgee itself, there are a few interesting shops and bookstores in the centre of town. The Mudgee pubs also take centre stage near the main square. It is worth spending a little time wandering around the centre of town, especially if it’s market day! Once you have the Mudgee wineries map in hand, you will out exploring the area!
Accommodation in Mudgee, NSW
There is plenty of Mudgee accommodation available for a weekend getaway from Sydney, with Mudgee hotels in town or even Mudgee winery accommodation, which is great for special events. Motels in Mudgee tend to be on the outskirts of town and best if you are on a budget.
The Best Mudgee Wineries
Wineries in Mudgee offer a perfect excuse for a relaxing getaway and provide lovely scenery around the countryside. Mudgee has been a wine country since 1850 and produces some great wines. Mudgee vineyards seem to change hands every so often and we’ve been discovering new places every year. We have been visiting them for years and here are our favourites:
Located on a hill, Lowe Wines is housed in a large shed and offers some great views. The food offering is simple and designed to accompany the wines. Try their wine tasting platters and enjoy a great relaxing lunch. Lowe is a winery and a working farm and is one of the few wineries where the winemaker is usually around. They’ve also opened a restaurant: The Zin House.
The Blue Wren:
The Blue Wren is one of the long-standing Mudgee wineries. When we first came to Sydney, it was also the best restaurant in town, with the convenient service of a shuttle pick-up and drop-off… The restaurant changed management a couple of times and wasn’t as good as we remembered it. However, things are different now. There is a new chef and the food offering is much more innovative. The large shed is still there but it is now divided between a wedding venue and a smaller restaurant. We went for dinner and the food was excellent and sometimes unusual.
There is a soft communal mood, with a large table in the middle. Even more interesting is the wine tasting function. Unlike most Mudgee wineries, the Blue Wren puts a cover price of $10 on the tasting. However, it is a sit-down and more educational experience than most, with a selection of 6 wines. So, the Blue Wren is back to its former glory and even better!
Bunnamagoo Estate Wines:
Bunnamagoo is a relatively recent discovery in our many weekends exploring Mudgee wineries. The cellar door is airy and overlooks the vineyards. More importantly, they have a selection of high-quality wines, ranging from sparkling to white, red and dessert wines. I don’t think I’ve tasted a Bunnamagoo I didn’t like!
Gilbert Family Wines:
This is a relative newcomer in the circle of the Mudgee wineries. Now established at the High Valley Mudgee Cheese Co, Gilbert Family Wines offer a good selection of wines, ready to be matched with the cheese platters available for lunch in the courtyard.
Di Lusso wines have a unique and rich collection of Italian varietals: Pinot Grigio, Vermentino, Adagio, Sangiovese, Barbara, Nebbiolo, Moscato…
Some really good wines there, and you can enjoy a plate of olives by the lake…
We discovered Petersons on our first visit to Mudgee wineries. The wines are consistently excellent and we always go back. The cellar door is modest and small, and it gets pretty crowded at times but I highly recommend paying them a visit.
Vinifera specialises in Spanish varietals, such as Tempranillo, Garnacha, Graciano, Gran Tinto… These varietals do really well in the Australian climate. Their fortified wine is excellent and they have some really good specials. Also, the cellar door has a selection of local foods such as olives, chutneys and preserves.
We discovered Rosby Wines on our last trip to the Mudgee wineries and it was a lovely experience. They’re a little isolated and not the easiest to find but their rosé is worth a visit… There is a collection of sculptures on the estate and we had a nice conversation with the owner. The winery has been there for a long time but they only opened the cellar door recently, so give them a go!
Robert Stein Winery & Vineyard:
Robert Stein is a very welcoming cellar door with a great range of wines. It does get crowded as the wines are really popular and we had to skip it last time. However, the wines are excellent and there is a very wide selection of varietals. For something different, they also have a motorcycle museum. Their restaurant Pipeclay Pumphouse serves a very good 3-course meal.
Slowfox Cellar Door:
Slowfox was a new find for us. The cellar door has an interesting mid-century decor and wasn’t too busy. They have some good reds.
Burundulla is one on the last Mudgee wineries before heading back. They had some really good bulk deals so we stocked up. There was a vintage car meetup passing through…
Skimstone is located in a small shed on the road leading back to Sydney and offers a small range of Italian varietals.
Logan Wines is a great place to stop before heading out of town, for one last tipple (or coffee) in a calm and chic environment. The cellar door is quite swish, which is unusual for Mudgee. I always feel like I’m in the wealthier Hunter Valley wineries but the wines are good.
Mudgee is a great place to sample creative cuisine with locally sourced ingredients. There is a broad range of places to try, from cafe dining in town to country indulgence at the cellar door. Here are some of my favourites:
The Zin House:
The Zin House opened a few years ago and is located on the Lowe Wines estate. The focus is on home-grown, seasonal food in a homely setting. You’ll need generous room for the tasting menu but it is well worth it. The restaurant is housed in what was a private home, therefore it feels incredibly homely. Groups can easily have their own dining room. As a couple, we were seated at the large communal table, just off the open kitchen, and it felt just like home! Apart from this slightly unusual setup, the food is delicious and inventive.
Located at Robert Stein Wines, the Pipeclay Pumphouse offers a great two or three-course meal in a cosy environment.
High Valley Mudgee Cheese Co:
The High Valley Mudgee Cheese Co is a Mudgee institution, and offers great options for lunch, in between wineries. Here, you can combine lunch (or dinner), wine tasting and cheese shopping. I always stock up on a few favourites before heading out. Lunch is a relaxed, casual affair in the courtyard. The big change there is the arrival of Gilbert Family Wines who now run the cellar door. It’s a nicely refreshed offering and we had a great casual lunch.
Elton’s is another Mudgee institution. Known as Elton’s Brasserie for many years, it offers quality food. I have yet to try the newly refreshed version but it seems fit for a casual meal such as a burger or a pizza. It is conveniently located in the centre of town.
Other Shops in Mudgee
Apart from visiting wineries, there are other things to do in Mudgee.
Mudgee Honey Haven:
If you like honey or want to sample honey in its many forms, Mudgee Honey Haven is the place for you! From flavoured honey to various honey products, including cosmetics and mead liqueur, Mudgee Honey Haven has everything! The place has been renovated so it’s a bit more welcoming now.
Baker Williams Distillery:
Established in Mudgee by a young couple, passionate about distilling whisky, and creating yummy liqueurs, the Baker Williams Distillery is a great place to learn about the distilling business. Hot tip: their Schnapps liqueur is absolutely delicious! Try it on vanilla ice cream, you won’t regret it! These days, Baker Williams is getting very popular, it can get crowded and there is a cover charge on the tastings. Their tasting room is just behind the Vinifera cellar door and they have expanded their selection of liqueurs, so it’s definitely worth a visit.
To wrap it up
You can be sure to have a lovely experience in Mudgee, for a long weekend, passing through, or for a longer holiday. You will love its combination of good food, good wine, and good spirit. You’ll want to go back, I promise! And don’t forget to stop at Katoomba on the way back from Mudgee to Sydney!
And if you are looking for other weekend ideas in NSW, I recommend spending time in the Blue Mountains or even camping at The Basin, in Sydney’s north.
The NSW Southern Highlands have some great day trips to Berry, Kangaroo Valley and Berrima. Further south, Jervis Bay and Batemans Bay are great for a weekend.
Best Things to do in Orange NSW
Best Sydney Weekend Getaways
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Have you been to Mudgee? Do you have any experiences to share?
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44 thoughts on “6 Reasons to Escape to the Mudgee Wineries”
Just lovely. Must have been tough work visiting these wineries. 😉 Honestly, I didn’t know there were that many so close to Sydney.
Hi Amy, the wineries of Mudgee are a delight! I especially like the fact that they’re usually small and run by locals. Mudgee has become a great destination for food and wine, I highly recommend it!
For a wine lover like myself, a trip to Mudgee would be a dream come true. I’m adding this to my itinerary for when we visit Australia. Thanks for the inspiration!
Hi Bea, thank you for your nice comment. Mudgee is a great wine region. Most visitors go to the Hunter Valley, which is a day trip from Sydney and more convenient that way. However, if you have a couple of days to dedicate to wine tasting, Mudgee is a more genuine experience in my opinion.
Wow, I didn’t know about the Mudgee wine region, but I live on the West coast. We are heading East later in the year and will drive through that area so I will keep in mind some of your wonderful suggestions. Thanks!
Hi Rochelle, I hope you get a chance to visit Mudgee when you visit the East Coast. It has a lovely village feel and the wines are delicious, it’s a fantastic destination for a foodie weekend!
The Mudgee wineries are a lovely place to spend weekends in the winter. How nice to curl up by the fire with a nice glass of wine. It’s wonderful that you are so close by.
Hi Joanne, Mudgee is great all year long but for some reason we tend to go there mostly in winter. I think it’s probably the attraction to that cosy fire!
While I’m not a wine drinker, you had me at the Zin House, the Cheese Co and holy cow the Schnapps on vanilla ice cream! Even though I don’t drink wine, I love to visit them. They are beautiful and have some of the region’s best food I think. Mudgee is probably the same way, right?
Hi Heather, the schnapps on ice cream is indeed to die for! Mudgee is so diverse you would enjoy it even if you don’t drink one. The local produce is really excellent, I sometimes wish I lived in the countryside…
Delphine, a great post on Mudgee wineries. I need to check some of these out when I’m in Sydney next. I like the sound of the Di Lusso wines. I’m from Melbourne and we love wineries here too.
Hi Tania, there are so many good wineries in Mudgee and there’s a bit of renewal as well, new winemakers come in so it’s not always the same. I hope you get to visit Mudgee on your next trip to Sydney. I haven’t visited any wineries in Victoria, hopefully I’ll get there in the future.
We’ve done weekend trips from Melbourne when I did babysitting for my daughter. It’s just like this with winerirs, restaurants, towns, etc.
Hi Carol, I must say I really like weekend trips that include wineries, I tend to buy wine as I would buy shoes or fashion… I would love to do that in Victoria!
Wow so many wineries in such a small town. This looks like a great place to visit and spend a long weekend exploring the different wineries.
Hi Wendy, I agree with you, Mudgee is perfect for a long weekend. It’s a three-hour drive from Sydney so you need a minimum of 2 nights and allow for travel time to really enjoy it.
Mudgee looks like a fun road trip from Sydney. I would definitely visit Di Lusso as I have an affinity for Pinot Gris (Grigio).
Hi Rhonda, the wines in Mudgee are really. Di Lusso has a great selection of Italian varietals. Spanish varietals are also popular. I love the road trip part in the bush too!
I love a good winery tour! And the entire Mudgee wineries estate looks so amazing – like instantly transporting you to meadows and lazy weekend with luxury kind of feeling.
I agree with you, winery weekends are always indulgent and relaxing. Mudgee is so peaceful, I really love making it a once a year pilgrimage.
Oh, the wineries are for me. Bunnamagoo Estate Wines! That rolls off the tongue so pleasantly. I’m sure their wine does the same 😀
Hi Mirela, Bunnamagoo is everything it seems to be. It’s a lovely place and the wine is delicious, couldn’t be better!
Honestly, you had me at wineries! I don’t think of them when I think of visiting Australia but you’ve definitely changed my mind now. That cheese board looks amazing, I want to recreate this exact trip!
Hi Carmen, Australia is a wine country. There is quite a big industry here and people really appreciate wine. Good food is generally very important to Australia, there is so much quality produce!
So many different wineries so little time! These all look so amazing and diverse. I think Bunnamagoo Estate Wines looks great to me, I love trying all different types of wines in different flavors so I think I would do well here.
Bunnamagoo is one of my favourite wineries in Mudgee, their wines are superb and it’s a lovely place to stop and chill for a little while…
This is definitely something I would do! To be surrounded by so many good wineries, with many interesting dining options. Love the olive grove and cheese stop too! All things that make me happy! How does one ever choose a favourite?
It’s hard to choose a favourite but the wineries who have been there for a long time usually have a great way of making people welcome. They know their wines, food and are good with hospitality. Lowe and Bunnamagoo are wineries I always visit in Mudgee.
I’m not a wine expert but I like the idea of doing a wineries tour here. I particularly like the idea of learning more about wine and food pairings. There certainly looks like there are plenty of wineries to choose from in Mudgee. The Blue Wren winery looks modern and stylish.
The Blue Wren is in the process of changing hands, I wonder if they will keep their sit down tasting experience. It was unusual for Mudgee where most of the wineries offer wine tasting over the counter. But there are many more wineries to choose from.
Good to know locals are running such wonderful wineries. I am not a regular wine gulper but love to sip and taste the different varieties. I love to visit them mostly for the photo opportunities. 🙂
I love tasting and buying new wines. And then when I go home, I love to remember where and when I bought it. There are often new wineries in Mudgee so it’s a great excuse to go back again and again!
We have never heard of Mudgee, probably because we haven’t been to Australia yet.. 😄 But it looks like a nice town to visit when in Sydney. I don’t drink alcohol so I wouldn’t want to visit too many wineries. But I love food, so would definitely want to eat at the Zin House, especially since they have home grown and seasonal food! The Hinch Valley Mudgee Cheese Co sounds good too, because I LOVE cheese. And I’d definitely want to taste and buy olive oils and honey in the different shops.
Even if you don’t drink wine, there is so much good food in Mudgee! I always book dinner at the Zin House and lunch at the Cheese Co is so relaxing!
Wow. I never knew Mudgee had so many wineries. I will have to get to some.
Mudgee does have quite a few wineries, some of them are quietly tucked away in the hills. I have visited most of them but there are still new ones that appear from time to time so I always have a reason to go back…
I love Australian and New Zealand wines (hi, Starborough Sauvignon Blanc!) but have never heard of this wine region! Excited to look up some of these wineries and see if I can get my hands on their product!
Visiting the wineries in Mudgee is a lot of fun, the wines are really delicious and the countryside is beautiful!
Just went to Mudgee for the first time last month! Went to a few of these wineries as well and was really impressed- especially loved Baker Williams and the lemon myrtle liqueur!
I agree that there are some excellent wineries in Mudgee. I admire the dedication of the team at Baker Williams, they work very hard in order to achieve some delicious liqueurs…
I’d LOVE to visit the wineries here!! Thanks for sharing! 🙂 Looks like such a charming place!
Mudgee is really cool, I hope you get a chance to visit someday!
Will definitely need to check this town & these wineries out the next time I’m in Sydney!
Mudgee is only 4 hours’ drive from Sydney through the Blue Mountains so it’s not too far, at least by Australian standards! It’s a great place for a weekend.