The Perfect Weekend Itinerary In Mudgee

20 September 2019

For a small country town, Mudgee has big foodie credentials. With a viticultural history dating back to the 1850s, this Central West area (three-and-a-half hours’ drive from Sydney) is now home to some 65 vineyards and more than 40 cellar doors. And, of course, with good wine comes good food lovingly produced by chefs and restaurateurs keen to showcase the region’s bounty of produce in innovate ways.

This is a gourmet destination with zero pretence – a place where you can indulge in sophisticated dining experiences served with friendly, laid-back country hospitality.

Here’s how to try it all in 48 hours.

Saturday Brunch: Market Street Cafe or Mudgee Farmers’ Market

The fine food Farmers Markets held at St Mary's Catholic Church in Mudgee.

The fine food Farmers Markets held at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Mudgee.

Leave Sydney bright and early to arrive in Mudgee in time for brunch. One of the main street’s buzziest eateries, Market Street Cafe serves modern interpretations of classic brekkie combos: try the yoghurt panna cotta with house granola and apple and strawberry compote, or the chilli scrambled eggs with Spanish onion, mint and coriander. If your visit coincides with the third Saturday of the month, head to St Mary’s Catholic Church for Mudgee Fine Foods Farmers Market. Stock your bags with local honey, olive oils and preserves to take home, and grab a coffee and a bacon and egg roll to stroll with.

Saturday Afternoon: The Cellar by Gilbert

The Cellar by Gilbert

The Cellar by Gilbert, Mudgee

Once wine-and-cheese o’clock rolls around, seek out The Cellar by Gilbert on the outskirts of town. Inside this photogenic sandstone building, the friendly staff will talk you through current and vintage release Gilbert wines grown in Mudgee, Orange and Eden Valley. Plus, you can try a selection of local cheeses from the High Valley Cheese Co.

Saturday Dinner: The Zin House or Pipeclay Pumphouse

Chef preparing desserts for service at Zin House, Mudgee.

Chef preparing desserts for service at Zin House, Mudgee.

Mudgee’s most acclaimed fine-dining restaurant is the recently reopened Zin House, overlooking the zinfandel grapes at Lowe Wines. Dinner is a set four-course menu which includes the likes of three-cheese ravioli with leek and truffle, cassoulet with Jerusalem artichoke mash, and rhubarb and apple frangipane tart with honey and rose-petal ice cream. Like The Zin House, Pipeclay Pumphouse (at Robert Stein Vineyard) employs an ultra-local food philosophy in its five-, eight- and 10-course degustations. Charcuterie is made onsite, and the gnocchi with duck and mushroom ragu is a longstanding diners’ favourite. You’ll need to book.

Sunday Breakfast: Alby & Esthers

Couple enjoying a relaxing breakfast in Alby + Esters, Mudgee.

Couple enjoying a relaxing breakfast in Alby + Esters, Mudgee.

Start the day in the leafy courtyard of Alby & Esthers – a local fave. The small but well-executed menu features the Esther Jaffle with locally smoked ham and an organic egg, and a breakfast plate with bacon, eggs, mushrooms and cheddar – again, all local. Coffee is by Underground Roasters, which many say is the best in town.

Sunday Afternoon: Burnbrae Wines or Mudgee Brewing Co

Sun setting over the scenic grounds of Burnbrae Wines, Mudgee.

Sun setting over the scenic grounds of Burnbrae Wines, Mudgee.

Every third Sunday of the month, Burnbrae Wines hosts Tunes@Burnbrae, where you’re invited to laze in the cellar door garden with a pizza and enjoy some live music. Of course there are great wines to be enjoyed, too – try the Home Ground Shiraz and The Lucky Find Cuvée. Mudgee Brewing Co, in the town centre, also has live music on a Sunday afternoon, as well as six signature beers, a range of seasonal brews and a hearty dining menu of main meals and snacks (pork crackling, anyone?).

Taking Stock

Other cellar doors to visit … and stock up at before the drive home.

  • Moothi Estate has a cracking riesling (and a lovely view)
  • First Ridge grows Italian varietals such as barbera, sangiovese and fiano, and has a quirky cellar door built from shipping containers
  • Logan grows grapes in Mudgee and Orange, producing everything from sauvignon blanc to merlot under different labels, and has an award-winning tasting room
  • Huntington Estate is one of Mudgee’s oldest vineyards and is widely acclaimed for its high-quality, age-worthy wines
  • Rosby is a small, boutique vineyard with outstanding shiraz and cabernet sauvignon
  • Slowfox Wines specialises in small-batch, minimal-intervention wines
  • Baker Williams is a micro-distillery producing gin – really good gin! – and other spirits

For more information on planning your trip to Mudgee, head to