Personally, I’ve never considered myself as a ‘fan’ of Mudgee wines, but as Andrew Paterson reports below, things may be changing after this 2009 vintage..AG
Mudgee, the oft frowned upon place west of the great divide, is a delightful place to spend a couple of days, especially during vintage time. Vines are being harvested, grapes crushed and juice is settling into tanks. Anxious faces are trained to the skies, as the grapes are brought in.
Will this be a good year?
‘So far so good’, says Drew Stein of Robert Stein. ‘It could be the best in 30 years’ he replies with a wry grin. ‘We have seen many ups and downs, but this year is definitely looking good’.
Over at Bunnamagoo Estate, the new venture of Broome’s Paspaley Pearls, Chief Winemaker Robert Black predicts it to be the best in his 8 years in Mudgee. He is in the midst of crushing a small load of Chardonnay grapes to finish off the white harvest.
The region’s Shiraz grapes are waiting now for the last few days of summer to ripen fully, only about 1 or 2 degree Baume to go before being called into the waiting hoppers.
On the other side of the valley, at Eurudgeree Estate, site of the Rosemount Mountain Blue vineyard, the vines are looking healthy under a large crop of grapes. Canopy management has made the most of the abundant sunshine in this part of the world.
Rosemount Estate’s huge vineyard, on the Gulgong road, is looking a picture – acres upon acres of leafy rows, held up by small posts.
I ask out loud ‘I wonder what their wines will be like this year?’
‘Better go and ask somebody’ my friend adds..
So all in all, the vintage is looking great, winemakers are happily going about their business & the cellar doors are buzzing. Mudgee Vintage 2009 is looking good!