We’re off on a road trip around the Central West of NSW. First stop, Mudgee, a winery town. It’s a great place for wine lovers – or a New South Welshmen tired of constant state border closures at the hint of a sniffle.
The first stop on this trip was Moothi Estate Winery just outside of Mudgee. We’ve made a booking for 1345 but have had a great drive and arrive a full 45 minutes early. The staff are friendly and are happy to welcome us in earlier than expected.
“In Italy they add work and life on to food and wine”.– Robin Leach – Presenter, Lifestyles of The Rich and Famous.
While the views were fabulous – I’m going to be honest here – I was a little underwhelmed at this winery experience.
The setting is calming and it’s nice to get out of hustle of Sydney. It’s really quite picturesque, the weather is lovely and we dine outside on the deck.
Wine tasting of 5 varieties is a mere $10 per person, with $5 coming off a purchase of a bottle of wine.
“Every time I open a bottle of wine it is an amazing trip somewhere”.– José Andrés – Former Dean, International Culinary Centre, French Culinary Centre, New York.
As mentioned, I’m a bit underwhelmed, although Ciaran isn’t. He likes the reds, I’m not opposed to them but not a fan, the whites are okay, the rosé however is way to sweet for me.
When the platter arrived it was quite impressive – Vintage cheddar, High Valley pesto feta, smoked
ham, Stein Farm Produce salami, house-made pickles, marinated olives, jalapeño relish, seeded
lavosh, water crackers + crusty bread.
It certainly was enough for two, however the lavosh bread was missing, we hadn’t noticed until a waiter had and quickly brought us some. The ham was nice, the salami delicious (watch out blood pressure!). The jalapeño relish had quite a kick to it while the house made pickles were a bit too vinegary for me, but Ciaran loved them. The cheeses were the interesting aspect – to me, the vintage cheddar tasted old (not just vintage, but that old taste) but the High Valley Pesto Feta – O.M.G! One of the most amazing cheeses I have tasted – in fact it became the most amazing THING I tasted on this whole trip.
“We Travel not to escape life, but for life to escape us”.– Anonymous.
After we finish lunch, Ciaran purchased a bottle of the Cab Sav while I get the address and directions to High Valley Cheese, that’ll be our first stop tomorrow, no one wants to go cheese tasting/shopping on a full stomach, right?
It’s straight to the Hotel – The Woolpack, one of the most popular joints in town! The room was ok, although there was a problem with the electricity – there was none! The hotel quickly got that sorted by moving us to another room, a suite mind you!
“Once a year, go somewhere you’ve never been before”.– Dalai Lama.
Neither of us have been to Mudgee before and although there were several choices for dinner, we decided to pop next door to hotels adjoining restaurant – fusion Aussie/Chinese – Jumbucks. The prices were ok, service succinct.
Ciaran went for the Sizzling Seafood Combo. There must have been a sale of onions at the market, as it was full of raw onion.
I went for the Duck in Crab Sauce – my brother had put me onto this dish a few weeks earlier at another Chinese restaurant – but whoa boy – that raw onion was everywhere! The crab was a bit dry but overall ok.
“My wallet is like an onion, opening it makes me cry”.– Anonymous.
The next day we headed off on the 130 kilometres or so to Dubbo, not without first stopping at the High Valley Cheese Factory, of course.
The tasting was one of the best I have ever encountered. Starting with the milder cheeses, we tasted eight, right up to a very strong Colly Blue. I finally got my Pesto Feta (and a chilli one), a Colly Blue and Washed Rind Rouge! We came away with quite a haul!
“CHEESE – milk’s leap towards immortality”.– Clifton Fadiman – American Writer.
Mudgee is a great little town. With 60 local wineries and 35 cellar doors, I’m sure you may find a wine to suit you and I recommend a stop here if you’re checking out NSW.
Matty Somewhere paid for the trip independently.