That Bob Oatley, one of Australia’s most successful winemakers, chose Mudgee as the new headquarters for his family’s wine operations, is evidence enough that this thriving agricultural oasis is finally coming into its own as a premier Australian region!
In 2006 Oatley expanded his family’s seven vineyard holdings in Mudgee with the purchase of the historic Montrose and Craigmoor wineries. Today, the Robert Oatley Vineyards produce wine under four different labels: James Oatley Tic Tok, Wild Oats, Robert Oatley and Montrose – with the accessible price point Wild Oats line already one of Australia’s top sellers!
While the Oatley family’s substantial investment in Mudgee is a fairly recent development, Mudgee is in fact one of Australia’s oldest wine regions and the third largest wine region in New South Wales. Mudgee’s elevation and position – 500 to 1100 metres above sea level on the western slopes of the Great Dividing range – sets it apart from its coastal Hunter Valley neighbour. The altitude helps to moderate the hot inland temperatures creating a longer, cooler ripening period that in the opinion of winemakers who call Mudgee home creates more refined and balanced wines.
For the first time, James Halliday’s 2011 Australian Wine Companion awarded the coveted 5 stars to three of Mudgee’s wineries: di Lusso Estate, Robert Oatley Vineyards and Robert Stein Vineyard. (Mudgee wine’s all stars, by Darren Snyder, Mudgee Guardian, 11 August 2010)
di Lusso Estate specialises in Italian varietals, and its successful, high quality range includes barbera, sangiovese, vermentino, aleatico, lagrein, greco di turfo, pocolit and nebbiolo! The highly rated Passito 2006 (Halliday gave this wine a rating of 94 and listed it among the best sweet wines in the 2011 Australian Wine Companion) is made in the wine style of Vin Santo, a delicious intensely sweet