Mudgee - New South Wales
Situated 265 kilometres north – west of Sydney and 470 meters above sea level, Mudgee reputedly derives from the Wiradjuri Aboriginal term ‘Moothi’ meaning ‘nest in the hills’. This is a suitable title as Mudgee is an attractive town of fine old buildings, located in the broad, picturesque and fertile Cudgegong River Valley.
Mudgee is the big brother of the Central Ranges wine regions. The Great Dividing Range flanks the region on three sides. This beautiful undulating country has rich volcanic soil laced with quartz. Its climate is mild with cool summer nights (extending the ripening period) and spring and summer rain. Water is also on occasion sourced from the Cudgegong River that runs south-east into Lake Windamere.
In 1851 Mudgee became a centre for the local goldfields, benefiting considerably from the consequent through traffic which peaked with the finds at Gulgong and Hill End at the beginning of the 1870's.
Mudgee's wine history dates back to 1858 when vineyards were introduced by German immigrants. The Mudgee wine region is rich in both natural beauty and fine wine. Powerful and concentrated Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the regional highlights with its complex flavours and ageing potential. Chardonnay is the strongest white variety, with pronounced peach and fig flavours.
Mudgee Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon have earned the region a reputation for full-bodied wines that carries over to its white varieties, the largest planting of which is Chardonnay.
Mudgee is the largest town with the majority of vineyards and wineries located just to its north. Wineries and vineyards also appear to the west of the town and near the town of Illford.
The modern era of grape and wine production began in the 1970s. A number of small wineries and vineyards were established along with the expansion of large companies such as Orlando/Wyndham and Rosemount Estate. This trend has continued through the 1990s. The region is a popular wine tourism destination due to the many cellar doors, great local produce with plenty of good restaurants being creative with it. A range of accommodation services supports the influx of visitors to its annual Wine Celebration and other attractions.
Harvest time is late February to early April.