Huntington Estate is one of Mudgee's finest wineries and has a wide selection of white and red wines which have been aged for you and ready to drink. The vineyard was bought in 1969 by Sydney Lawyer Bob Roberts and he transformed the vineyard from a run-down orchard to what it is today. With guidance from James Halliday and the late, great Len Evans, Bob was driven by his love of classic red wines from the French regions such as Bordeaux, the Rhone Valley and even Burgundy, He wanted to make some of Australia’s best wines at an affordable price.

The cellar door is open every day of the week

In 1996 a journalist from Queensland, Tim Stevens, caught the winemaking bug and bought the property next door to Huntington’s and started a wonderful friendship with Bob. Tim's cellar was full of Huntington Estate wine and he was enamored with Bob and wanted to emulate his friends style of winemaking, so when the time came 10 years later for Bob to retire it was natural for Tim to become the owner and chief winemaker of Huntington’s, and he has been true to Bob’s original vision since. Nicky, the current General Manager, joined her husband Tim in 2008. She took over running the Music Festival in 2009 and the business in 2013. As an avid wine drinker she has enjoyed learning all about what it takes to make wine.

The vines during Autumn are a sight to behold.

The Huntington Estate Music Festival was started in 1989 and ran successfully until 2019. Held in the Barrel room it has been credited by Richard Tognetti as having some of the greatest acoustics in the world. Due to the constant demands and responsibilities of running a small business and having small children Tim and Nicky decided that 2019 would be the last year for the Music Festival, even though they loved it so much.

Tim in the barrel room doing what he loves best.

In 2019 Nicky and Tim joined forces with their good friend Steve from 53 Food Co and opened the Garden Bar where you can get some of Mudgee’s best burgers. They are open from 11.30 to 3 Friday to Sunday, but if you want to sample this wonderful food and beverages you have to be quick as they don’t take reservations.

The burgers at 53FoodCo are sooooo good!

When planning your trip to Mudgee don't be afraid to bring the kids along. Mudgee has various fun activities which will keep them entertained ensuring they will have a great time on their visit. Here is a list I have compiled where all the activities run year round.

1. Gold Panning at Hill End: Just an hours drive from Mudgee is the historic gold mining town of Hill End. Meet up with Jhob Drinkwater who will provide the equipment and knowledge of what to do, or take a tour into the underground mine. Contact Jhob on 0421 729 955. Prices for gold panning are $10 per adult and $7 per child.

Gold Panning in Hill End

2. Mudgee Miniature Railway Rides: This 3.5 and 5 inch gauge railway is awesome fun for the kids and operates on the second Sunday of each month. The rides are either behind petrol, steam or electric powered engines so the kids need to wear enclosed shoes. Tickets are $2 per ride or $10 for unlimited rides. You can check them out here.

Miniature Train Rides

3. Horse Riding: Bring the kids along on our Horse Riding Tour, if they are under 10 a guide will walk beside the horse for 45 minutes and 10 years and over can join the adults on the trail ride. Our half day Horse Riding Tour includes your horse ride, a cheese or wine tasting and a visit to the Honey Haven where you can enjoy honey ice cream. Prices start from $175 per adult and children $120pp. Contact us on 0450 654 260 for availability.

Horse Riding for all ages

4. Mudgee Observatory: With our giant night sky and no city lights to distract it, what better place to check out the stars but at the Mudgee Observatory. Located just 15 minutes to the west of Mudgee in a location of extreme darkness, the kids will have access to a variety of telescopes as well as a theatre and flat screen planetarium which runs features on the night sky and sun. It is not only entertaining but educational for people of all ages. Session times vary depending on the season so phone John Vetter on 6373 3431 to check on availability. Prices are $40 for a family of 2 adults and 2 children or $15 per adult and $10 per child.

Check out the night sky

5. The Drip: Located only half an hour from Mudgee is a fabulous hike for the kids. Large natural sandstone formations allow water to seep through the gorges and to drip into the pools below. There are some steps, handrails and uneven rocks so supervision is a must as is enclosed shoes. The hike is 2.8 kilometres return and takes 1-1.5 hours. Perfect in the warmer months as it is usually 10-15C cooler in the gorge. Find directions here.

Take the kids hiking and soak in nature

Old wines have an unmatched charm and an unforgettable taste, no wonder there is a saying, “aging like fine wine”. Chardonnay is a varietal which ages well and is found in Mudgee, one of the finest and oldest wine regions in Australia which has contributed to winemaking since 1858. Nestled between the hills, this countryside town is home to some award-winning vineyards, where you can taste some deliciously aged wines with cheese and crackers to enhance your tasting experience.

Age your wines lying down in a cool area.

The intrinsic question- Why are old wines so special?

Let’s find out.

Aging a wine optimally increases the wine quality. Factors contributing to the proper aging of wine include the viticultural techniques, variety of the grapes, style of winemaking, wine area, and vintage. Aging vineyards have some advantages in producing premium wine as the roots of the grapevine run deep owing to which they can absorb more nutrients and take good care of themselves. The fruit is always more concentrated and they attain consistent ripening.

Now, about the aging of wines…

All wines have a time-period where their quality and taste are at its peak. Factors like sunlight, humidity, and temperature play a huge role in the aging of wine. Aging wines should be kept away from sunlight and the optimal temperature to age wine is between 12-18 degrees Celcius. The humidity should be around 70%. The wine bottles are stacked lying down on their sides and are periodically spun to keep the cork moist. If your bottle of wine has a cap you don't need to do this.

A big factor for aging your wine perfectly- Patience! Build your cellar in a way such that you could keep some wine for tasting/drinking and store away some for aging.

To know more about aging wines, visit the beautiful cellar doors in Mudgee namely- Slow Fox, Peterson's, Huntington Estate, Heslop Wines, Lowe Wines, Robert Stein are some acclaimed ones. They house some brilliant varieties of wine with each cellar door having their specialty wines. Our guides also have loads of knowledge so don't forget to book your Mudgee Moments tour with us to enjoy a day out exploring this beautiful region.

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