With competition from wines from trendy regions like Tasmania and the Mornington Peninsula, some grape growers in Mudgee, Cowra and surrounding areas have ripped out their vines and walked away from the wine industry.
The strong, however, have survived and prospered, with Mudgee wineries Huntingdon Estate, Robert Oatley Vineyard and Robert Stein all gaining five red stars in the 2016 edition of the James Halliday Wine Companion annual.
The Mudgee region is the third-largest grape-growing region in NSW and one of the oldest wine regions in the state. Encompassing the towns of Mudgee, Gulgong, Kandos and Rylstone, the district offers a melange of food, wine, art and cultural events for visitors.
Mudgee, meaning ‘nest in the hills’, is set amid rolling countryside and offers more than 35 family-run cellar doors to discover. The region is surrounded by several national parks and world-heritage bushland and landmarks, able to be explored on food, by car or by bike
The winemakers of Mudgee will wave the flag for their region's wines at two upcoming events, including the 25th annual Mudgee Wine & Food Festival at Balmoral Beach on Sunday August 9.
Held from 11am to 5pm, the event traditionally attracts thousands of food and wine lovers.
“It’s fantastic to be celebrating the 25th anniversary of the festival this year and by all accounts it’s shaping up to be bigger and better than ever," says Mike O’Malley, a tireless worker for the Mudgee Grape Growers Association.
"With even more local providers coming on board in 2015 including Baker Williams Distillery, Mudgee Honey Haven and Murrungundy Pistachios, this event will again give festival-goers a unique opportunity to sample Mudgee’s finest, whilst learning firsthand about our world-class food and wine directly from the actual producers.”
The longest-running regional wine and food fair in Sydney, Mudgee Wine & Food Festival at Balmoral Beach provides an introduction to the region ahead of its gastronomic event of the year, the Mudgee Food & Wine Festival, which runs from September 12–October 5.
“The Mudgee Wine & Food Festival at Balmoral is the perfect way to come down, reset your senses, and get a taste of the Mudgee Region. Showcasing some of our best food and wine producers, it really is the next best thing to visiting Mudgee itself," says Cara George, CEO of Mudgee Region Tourism.
Exhibiting wineries include Huntington Estate, Robert Stein Vineyard and Gooree Park Wines and free shuttle buses will be operating on a continuous circuit from Balmoral Beach to Military and Spit Roads via Raglan Street and Awaba Street throughout the day.
For further information on the shuttle service and a route map, please visit www.mudgeewine.com.au.
For more information on the Mudgee region, check out www.visitmudgeeregion.com.au.