More Mudgee than you can eat

Max Crus
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Simon Gilbert Wines, Mudgee, New South Wales

Simon Gilbert Wines, Mudgee, New South Wales

Remember Mudgee? The town where three things will happen to the hapless wine tourist?

After you’ve met vineyard manager Colin, which everyone must - we met him three times in two days - you will see the ’wine‘ movie Sideways.

Whether you watch a pirated version on a laptop, as we did, or simply turn on the tv and realise it is showing in-house on Fox, as we did, you will watch it.

Actually whether you see it or not, if you are a couple of blokes touring any wine region people will think you have seen it and behave accordingly. Except the bit about the chicks, the f’ing merlot! and, thankfully, the ”call me daddy“ scene.

Why must every American movie have such a scene?

The third thing that will happen to you in Mudgee is you will be astonished by the service above and beyond the call of duty by Mudgee Motorcycle principal, Oly.

Even if you have nothing to do with motorcycling I wouldn’t mind betting you will still be touched by this bloke in some way. (Well, hopefully not like that!)

The gruff-looking but good-humoured Harley-riding type, Oly, bent over backwards (excuse the imagery) to get much needed tyres on overnight delivery. (Yeh, yeh, okay Ricardo, I am no longer a poor uni student needing to wring every last kilometre from them.)

A true ambassador for his town, Oly also gave us a bottle of Colin’s Huntington Estate Semillon Chardonnay (see, he really is everywhere) to ease the pain of separation from my bike.

The machine was ready to go first thing next day, with a raft of other neglected items attended to - unimportant things such as brakes - and still only charged about a Mudgee premium dozen’s worth.

Poor Ricardo had the pleasure of Oly’s company again the next day when ten minutes out of Mudgee into his 1200km journey, his trusty Moto Guzzi carked it, as trusty Guzzis do. Oly obliged again, had him back on the road in no time with a bill about equivalent to two bottles of good Mudgee red and threw in a couple of T-shirts for good measure.

A toast to Oly, ’Colly’ and folly in Mudgee then? And look, not a pinot in sight.

Lowe Family Chardonnay 2004 (I think), $15ish. Colin’s return favour during encounter number two in a restaurant was so floral and perfumed I wondered if his female companion hadn’t doctored the glass to test us. If not, incredible stuff, but it’s still chardonnay. 8.5/10.

Richard Hamilton Signature Chardonnay 2003, $25ish. This even has Richard’s signature on the label. He must have RSI and Tasmania must be free of oak. Serious stuff with enough wood to need ten years in the cupboard...or three days in the fridge. 8.4/10.

Simon Gilbert Cabernet Merlot Central Ranges 2003, $15. The  cartoon-card on label is a groovy, sinister ’Puss-in-Boots’ called Peter. There’s a lot going on before you get to the wine, in erudite relief. 8/10.

Pelican Point Premier Colombard Sauvignon Blanc 2004, $13. Worth it for the education and a sunny afternoon. 7.8/10.

© Max Crus


  • Central Ranges (NSW)
  • Explorer Country (NSW)
  • Mudgee (NSW)

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