The majority of the forty-odd cellar doors are immediately north of Mudgee and offer free tastings. Consider cycling around the vineyards on a bike rented from Countryfit (0429 650 807, mudgeegym.com).
Botobolar Australia’s first organic winery is known for its Marsanne, with tastings on a shady terrace (botobolar.com). There’s also a picnic area and BBQs.
Di Lusso Estate A winery specializing entirely in Italian varieties and blends, founded by a doctor eighty years ago and now run by the charming Robert Lane. Enjoy fourteen different Italian wines paired with wood-fired pizzas. Also stages an Italian film festival every three to four months (02 6373 3125, dilusso.com.au).
Huntington Estate Wines Delicious wines, notably the young Semillons and the intense, heady Cabernet Sauvignons. Hosts an excellent annual chamber-music festival in November (02 6373 3825, huntingtonestate.com.au).
Pieter Van Gent Daily tastings in a delightful setting: beautiful nineteenth-century choir stalls on cool earth floors, overshadowed by huge old barrels salvaged from Penfolds Winery (02 6373 3030, pvgwinery.com.au). Try the Pipeclay Port, a tawny specimen aged in wood. The wine-maker is Dutch, and the herbs he uses in his traditional vermouth are specially imported from the Netherlands.
Robert Oatley The oldest winery in Mudgee (established in 1858) and still one of the best. Known for its Montrose label and the fact that Australian Chardonnay began life here. There’s an interesting museum featuring old wine-making equipment, too (02 6372 2208, robertoatley.com.au).