Day 2 – Exploring Mudgee

Natures ‘alarm’ was in working order. I realise that herd is not the correct collective noun for this assemblage, however the noise that was emitted from these pesky birds was certainly herd-esque. I left the van around 6.30am and decided I should kick start our journey with a bit of exercise, running around a track that crossed the Cudegong River – leaving the ladies in my life to continue their slumber.
About two kms into the run, I found a collection of small sculptures, possibly 20 in total, that depicted a journey around Australia in a caravan including the Opera House, Boab trees, Uluru and other iconic destinations. img_1304Whist running at a pace that would have made Usain Bolt nervous, I wondered how many of these destinations we would visit over the next three months. I completed the remainder of the run at a slightly slower pace (symbolic of a wounded snail) and returned back to camp.
After eating breakfast, we planned our route for the day and planned to hit a few vineyards and a local cheese shop. First stop Robert Stein Winery & Vineyard, a very cute vineyard with fantastic sculptures of sheep riding a motorcycle, a cows behind and a huge Ned Kelly sculpture.
Ava was fascinated with Ned Kelly, and in true form was curious why Ned Kelly’s family did not have sculptures. Fast forward fifteen minutes of questions on “why was Ned Kelly bad”, “did he have a wife” and answering questions on why he was famous and you arrive at our purchases. Here we purchased
  • Premium Range 2016 Saignee (Rose)
  • Premium Range 2013 Shiraz

We turned down a quaint driveway into a sea of “roses on steroids”, as Caroline put it, with roses bigger than my fist! Entering the cellar door of Farmers Daughter Wines, we were greeted by a lovely lady whom was filling in for her husband (presumably the owner of the vineyard) who admitted himself to hospital with chest pain! I moved the conversation onto wine as it was obvious the lady was concerned for her husbands welfare, sampling some of their dry red wines, along with a tawny.  We left vineyard number two with

  • 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 2015 Merlot

What is behind door number three I hear you ask? A fantastic Micro-Winery and Vineyard called Short Sheep – aptly named for the sheep that wonder the vineyard. This variety of sheep are a little shorter than the standard variety (60cm to the shoulder) – making them the perfect height for eating weeds and grasses around the base of the vines without being able to eat the grapes. Genius! Greeted by the lovely Cellar Master, yes I will call him Master as he knew more than any other ‘Cellar Person’ we met today, we sampled the wines once again moving from lighter style wines to the heavier reds. We ended our visit to Short Sheep purchasing

  • 2015 Chardonnay
  • 2015 Cabernet Rose
  • 2013 Reserve du Patron – a wine which the Cellar Master and his wife had developed for those couples that have different tastes in wine.. Yum!

Vineyard number four Robert Oatley Vineyards. An impressive property and restaurant where we stopped for lunch before sampling more of Mudgee’s finest.  After a lovely lunch of croque-monsieur for Caroline and I and fish/chicken and chips for the girls, we headed downstairs to the cellar door. With Caroline as designated driver for the day, I selfishly worked my way through the wine list, like I had done at the previous vineyards, from Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Rose then progressing to the more familiar territory of Reds including Merlot, Shiraz and the Montrose Black Shiraz. Despite the leering looks the cellar door manager was affording Caroline, we purchased a bottles of

  • 2015 Wild Oats Chardonnay
  • 2014 Wild Oats Shiraz
  • 2014 Montrose Black Shiraz.

After feeding the girls, it was obvious they were still restless. Rather than head back to camp and try putting the girls down, we headed to Rylstone, an hours drive each way to help the girls get some rest. We walked down the main street searching for a cup of tea for Caroline and left the town with a loaf of wood fired bread and a handful of lollies from the local lolly shop.

Final destination for the day was The Cellar by Gilbert – a wine and cheese ‘cellar door’. At this stage we were pushing our friendship with the girls – we had left the caravan camp around 9.30am and were still out and about. It was approximately 3.30pm and the girls had been fantastic – time for a quick tasting of wine and cheese before heading back to camp. Noticing the energy levels of our girls, one of the lovely ladies from the cellar door brought us a chalk board and chalk to entertain the girls as we tasted wine and cheeses from the local region. We had managed to taste all of their cheeses, two Pinot Noir and one Shiraz before Audrey decided she would get more pleasure eating a piece of yellow chalk than drawing with it! Realising that it was time to leave, we bought a bottle

  • 2015 Pinot Noir from Orange
  • 2015 Shiraz/Sangiovese/Barbera from Mudgee (which we are enjoying whilst I write this post)
  • 2015 Shiraz Single Vineyard from Orange.

If I had my time again, I would have loved to spend more time here!

Dinner tonight was not as upmarket as our previous night (no Verve left!). We feasted on the rustic wood fired bread, assortment of cheeses along with a handful of veggies before retiring for the night. Next stop tomorrow… Gulgong followed by Dubbo!!

6 responses to “Day 2 – Exploring Mudgee

  1. Obviously this family knows how to travel. Wine and overland travel. I can’t think of anything better — really. With wine costing what it does I probably would have to spend the money on gas for my petrol hungry JK.


  2. First Monday without Ava and Audrey at day care! Miss them lots already! Looks like they’re having lots of fun xx take care and stay safe!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Michelle. Ava misses you terribly and loves your thoughtful farewell presents. She is rationing herself to one photo a day and therefore invests a lot of thought into what she will take a photo of!! Today we head to the historic town of Gulgong before heading to Dubbo – to see the baby Elephant (wonder if that will make Ava’s photo list).

      Caroline and I are very lucky that Ava had your teaching and love during her daycare years!!



      • Hi Lachlan! I’m so happy to hear Ava likes the gift and is using it well 🙂 enjoyyy visiting the baby elephants. Send Ava and Audrey lots of love from everyone at daycare!
        Absolutely love following this caravanning journey through your blog!


  3. I’m already losing count of the amount of wine bottles purchased.
    Presumably you will keep a log for each with marks for their various attributes.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Loving the updates Caroline!! Gee I thought you’d already left!! I now realise that was the road trip just to get the van. Anyway loving your stories…what about all the wine tasting already!! Lol!!

    Safe travels sweet look forward to hearing about your journey. Great reads so far!! Bless your lil girls!! I’ve always wanted to go to Mudgee. I love the wine from Philip shaw, I believe is in Mudgee – the architect a fav (chardonnay).


    Liked by 1 person

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