The ultimate Mudgee weekend eatinerary
If you crave seasons (actual seasons, unlike Brisbane’s perpetual hotness and a token week of winter), then we might just have found the getaway for you.
Mudgee is the quintessential country town and wine weekend you’ve been looking for! The town centre boasts wide tree-lined streets and is filled with quaint shops, friendly locals and awesome restaurants.
Even if you haven’t heard of it before embarking (honestly, same) t’s easier than you think to get to Mudgee, so here are our tips for the best places to eat, drink and stay in town once you arrive.
Seek out Alby & Esthers, tucked down an alleyway off Market Street, where you can dine al fresco in the vine-covered courtyard. Serving the best coffee in town thanks to Underground Coffee Roasters, the all-day menu includes their famous Esther’s Jaffles featuring lip-smacking locally smoked ham, free-range organic eggs, and Swiss cheese with homemade tomato relish – it’s like a retro twist on an egg and bacon roll, and it’s delicious!
Housed in the original 1896 Elton’s Pharmacy building, the space has been transformed into a modern eatery with festive lights falling from the ornate pressed metal ceiling. With an appealing menu of share plates including their signature dish of popcorn pork belly with sticky Asian glaze, the tacos are a delicious standout! In the warmer months, there is a beer garden to kick back in with a craft beer or local Mudgee wine as the sun goes down.
Detour 40 minutes from Mudgee to the picturesque town of Rylstone and seek out 29Nine99, a yum cha and tea house with a cult following. Owner and artist Na Lan hails from Xi’an, China and hand-makes around 600 dumplings a day for hungry diners. The restaurant is named after the date Na Lan married her Australian husband, fellow artist Reg. You can view their artwork in store as well as browse the curated collection of Chinese inspired gifts. Sit in the garden and enjoy handmade dumplings and Chinese tea before you continue your wine tasting journey in the Mudgee region.
Positioned spectacularly on the Robert Stein Vineyard & Winery, Pipeclay Pumphouse’s chef Andy Crestani uses home grown and locally sourced produce at his Mudgee fine diner. The menu is dictated by what’s in season in the veggie patch and his signature dish, featuring a produce platter of salami, pork rillette and pork terrine are sourced from the free-range pigs that graze happily in the pastures surrounding the property.
Rated by Gourmet Traveller Wine as a Star Cellar Door, you’re guaranteed a great experience and good times at Lowe Wines. This certified organic winery specialises in small batch winemaking, and if you love moscato, you’re in luck! Their top-selling wine, the Jodie Wilbertree is a blush coloured sparkling wine, hilariously named after winemaker David Lowes’ stripper name! Order a regional grazing platter overflowing with delicious local charcuterie, cheeses and seasonal fruit from the garden. Is heaven in Mudgee?
One of the most picturesque wineries has to be Logan Wines, a must-visit in Mudgee. With a stunning, modern cellar door overlooking the vineyard, Winemaker Peter Logan’s wines are elegant and sophisticated, and will make you feel the same after a few vinos! Grab a local produce platter and sit out on the sunny deck to enjoy panoramic views of the vineyard and region beyond.
Talented third-generation winemaker Jacob Stein has been awarded Gourmet Traveller’s Young Winemaker of the Year award and produces some sensational wines including a half dry riesling – divine! Sample the award-winning wines at the cellar door or at the onsite Pipeclay Pumphouse Restaurant. There’s even a motorcycle museum to explore if you’re a lover of vintage bikes.
Oh so convenient, The Cellar by Gilbert has a tasting room on the edge of town where visitors can taste current and museum-release wines and indulge in share plates from the kitchen. While you’re there, don’t miss tasting award winning High Valley Cheese Co cheeses at the adjoining tasting room; their marinated feta is to die for!
Located in Rylstone, De Beaurepaire Wines is a family owned, single estate producer of cool climate, French-style wines only available at the cellar door or found in Australia’s best restaurants, premium hotels, and iconic bars. The family draw on their French heritage to produce wines of distinction including their Botrytis semillon, which was recently awarded Australia’s best by Winestate Magazine.
Mudgee’s newest long lunch experience takes you on a culinary journey exploring the best local produce in a casual cooking class style. Founder Tamara has a wealth of experience and is a friendly and entertaining host who encourages chatting more than cooking! The themed classes will see you create a three-course menu before enjoying the day’s efforts over a long lunch with local wines to match.
Adjacent to the cooking school, Tamara and Richard have transformed the heritage building into a warm and inviting four-bedroom holiday house. The house is beautifully styled and sleeps eight comfortably, and with Netflix and neighbours like the Small Winemakers Centre and High Valley Cheese Co, you won’t want to leave.
For a cool climate wine experience, check out the Visit Mudgee Region for more inspo!
The writer was a guest of Mudgee Region.