There is no better way to taste the wines of Mudgee than at a wine tasting event at The Pyrmont and Mudgee Region Festival: Wine, Food and Art weekend which occurred on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 May 2017 at Pirrama Park, Pyrmont.
The Pyrmont and Mudgee Region Festival is a family-friendly event with live music, local artists, rides and children’s entertainment. It is in its seventh year and there was over 100 stalls where the public could meet the wine-makers, participate in tastings and sample a broad range of fine foods. Admission was free. Tasting tickets started at $20 with a glass and 5 tickets, and for the first time this year, there was also a beer garden.
For our wine tasting event we started with a crowns and cocktail workshop, where we made floral crowns with real flowers and cocktails using Wellstead Shrubs. A shrub is a sweetened vinegar based syrup. This drinking vinegar is infused with fruit juice, herbs and spices and used to mix drinks.
Then we met representatives from three major wineries and tasted some award-winning wines. From the Petersons Winery we sampled the chardonnay and Jamie’s Quatro (vintage 2015) wines and heard about the history of this Hunter Valley family-owned business that also has a vineyard in Mudgee. From the Burnbrae Winery we sampled the 2016 Burnbrae Cuvee and 2017 Bella’s Moscato. It is the oldest vineyard in Mudgee and still has the original winemaker’s cottage. From Botobolar Winery, we tasted the organically grown The King 2006/7 (made from cabernet sauvignon and shiraz), the Shiraz 2013, and the Shiraz 2016 (preservative free). Botobolar has been making organic wine for over 40 years and is the first fully certified organic vineyard in Australia.
Mudgee Region is the third largest grape growing region in NSW and one of the oldest too. They have been grapes grown here since 1850 and there are more than 110 growers and over 30 cellar doors to visit.
Mudgee specialises in Chardonnay. Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon also benefit from the temperate climate of vineyards high above sea level allowing the berries to slowly ripen in the rich red soil.
The Mudgee Region is also well-known for its food. The area includes Mudgee, Rylstone, Gulgong, Kandos, Hill End, Soffala, Hargraves, Glen Davis, as well as other villages and towns. Food products include honey, free range lamb, pork and beef, hazelnuts, pomegranates, olive oils and chocolate (where the beans are sourced from Vanuatu). The High Valley Cheese Company is making some award-winning cheeses and you can visit them for cheese tastings.
There is also a micro distillery. Baker Williams Distillery, that is making spirits and liqueurs focusing on regional flavours and influences. Their range includes Moonshine, wheat Vodka, Gin, Cumquat Liqueur and even Limoncello and Butterscotch Schnapps. They also make a Rouge Vert Jus-spirit.
Mudgee is only a 3.5-hour drive from Sydney. For more information about Mudgee, go to: https://www.visitmudgeeregion.com.au/
For more information about The Pyrmont and Mudgee Region Festival: Wine, Food and Art, go to: http://pyrmontfestival.com.au/