Move over Hunter Valley, see you later Orange, Mudgee has made its move. From unicorn cupcakes and fire pit lunches to Twinkle Toe bubbles and serious Sunday sessions in the paddock, Mudgee has upped its game and gone cool. Very, very cool.
Leading the charge are Trine and Andy Gay, they’ve turned their family owned Burnbrae Wines into a wine country-meets-Country Living-meets-Country Road-meets-Hello May mix of rustic chic country style that really hits a high note. There’s all the right touches – starting off with the cosy wooden cottage cellar door where the friendly family dogs stroll by for a pat and you’ll be ushered inside to sit down for a generous tasting of their range of bubbles, whites and reds. Burnbrae was a well-established label when Trine and Andy took over from Trine’s dad – they’ve injected a new energy and style that comes from spending time working in marketing in Sydney. Combine that with the down to earth, endless friendliness that country people seem to have in spades, and you’ve got yourself one of Mudgee’s most popular wedding venues, cellar doors, pizza spots and playgrounds.
Brides and grooms flock to Burnbrae to say their i-dos in front of the rustic old barn doors, before frolicking in the paddock for photos as the sun sets. Guests get ready to party right out the back on the open air terrace that leads straight down to trestle tables set up under the stars. It’s easy to spot bottles of ‘The Lucky Find’ bubbles lining the tables – the brand’s zippy sparkling is fermented in the bottle in the traditional method and has a label made for nights like this, slate grate background with shooting stars edged in gold and silver. Craft beer connoisseurs are lapping up the Burnbrae 548 lager too.
On weekends when weddings don’t book out the venue, the terrace transforms into a pizza restaurant, with Lazy Pizza Sundays taking over the entire space, including the lawn. Expect all the outdoor tables to book up with locals celebrating birthday parties, christenings, family get togethers or even just a glorious Spring day. The adults get set up while the kids run off to play on the lawn until pizzas arrive piping hot from the oven. There’s a few different versions to try, we say grab one of each and let everyone decide their favoruite. A glass of the Blooming Ranges rose is certainly easy drinking out under the sun, where you’ll want to settle in once the live music starts. Acoustic guitar, folk bands, the Burnbrae team try to get different artists out each week.
If you’re after just a taster of all that Burnbrae has to offer, their brand new wine flights will be right up your alley. Four different 30ml pours, paired with local antipasto and cured meats, and you have a wine and cheese tasting experience that’s off the charts. Trine works hard to source local producers like Fresh Pastures Meats and Hill Valley cheese because at the end of the day, they’re all about community, not competition, out at Mudgee.
Over the course of a weekend, there’s not one place we go where Andy and Trine are not good friends with everyone – the Baker William Distillery at the Farmers Markets who make Trine’s favourite gin, the generous team at Huntington Estate who showcase some extra special vintages just because we’re Burnbrae peeps, or the team at Pipeclay Pumphouse at Robert Stein Winery, where the head chef Andy Crestani offers to car pool us back to Burnbrae at the end of the night.
There’s plenty of cabs around town so we’re back nestled into our historic wine makers cottage in no time. The cosy, two bedroom cottage sits right next to the tasting cottage, and is perfect for those who want to soak up as much of that Burnbrae magic as they can. The sunsets from the back deck are glorious, particularly with a glass of wine in hand. Andy keeps the wood pile well stocked for the open fireplace. Stoke the fire, snuggle into bed with the electric blanket on and wake up ready for another big day in the region. The breakfast hamper in the kitchen is full of enough eggs, muesli, fresh bread and other goodies to get you ready.
Just ten minutes out of town, right on the tasting trail, Burnbrae is a weekender you’ll come back to again and again. Don’t just take our word for it! Daily Addict was the guest of Burnbrae Wines.
548 Hill End Rd, Mudgee