Robert Stein Winery and Vineyard
Pipeclay Lane, Mudgee
02 6373 3991
The idyllic town of Mudgee, nestled in the hills of Cudgegong Valley, has long been known for its wine, food and rich history. Full of natural beauty and charming heritage buildings, it is the perfect backdrop for a city escape.
In 1838, the first cuttings of Rhine riesling to survive in Australia were brought out from Germany by Johann Stein. This marked the beginning of a successful chain of vineyards under his family’s supervision, including the most recent Sandal Farm on Prospect Creek. Unfortunately, the vineyard was destroyed after the global outbreak of phylloxera and it took more than a century for someone to revive the family tradition.
Responsible for this revival was Robert “Bob” Stein, Johann’s great-great grandson, who purchased 75 acres of vineyards at a site in Mudgee in 1976. Along with his wife Lorna, they embarked on a rigorous planting program, creating Steins Wines. Forty years later, with decades of experience producing exceptional wines, it is easy to see why this unique winery continues to impress.
Robert’s son, Andrew and grandson, Jacob continue to carry on the family ethos, operating the single-estate vineyard now known as Robert Stein Winery and Vineyard. Andrew relocated to Mudgee from Sydney in 2005 after closing down the family business to focus solely on the winery. Coming from an engineering background, he and Jacob commenced expansions to extend the winery up to a 300-tonne capacity cellar.
Having worked for many years in other wine growing regions around the world, including Italy, Canada, Western Australia and Victoria, Jacob is the Chief Winemaker, bringing his great viticultural knowledge to the family business. His passion has been recognised with a number of awards, including the 2012 Australian Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine Young Winemaker of the Year. The winery was also awarded Five Red Stars by James Halliday in 2016, showing just how far Robert Stein Winery has come.
The site is perfectly suited to high quality wine production, with an elevated, south-west facing vineyard, red ironstone based soils and a moderate climate. With the employment of sustainable viticulture techniques to limit synthetic chemicals and all vines being tended to by hand, a focus on healthy soils and vines is evident throughout the property.
Shiraz grapes were the first to be planted back in 1976, but the years have seen acreages of chardonnay, riesling, traminer, semillon, cabernet sauvignon and black muscat added to the original plantings. Modern equipment combined with honourable traditions have helped turn these grapes into a diverse range of award-winning wines.
Open every day, the winery’s Cellar Door provides the perfect opportunity to taste 24 different wines, while taking in the picturesque surroundings or checking out the impressive vintage motorbike collection on-site. The estate’s riesling wines have won more than 30 gold medals and 25 trophies throughout the last five years, boasting lovely, sweet citrus characters and varying levels of residual sugar to suit a number of different cuisines.
The rieslings appear across the five different ranges under the Robert Stein name. The Motorbike Collection was inspired by Robert’s other passion, and includes the Merlot – Velocette Mac 1946, while the Premium Range features the 2015 Third Generation Chardonnay and 2016 Rose Saigneè. The offerings also extend beyond just wine: a cabernet verjuice and vinegar are also available to purchase from the Cellar Door.
Any visit to Robert Stein is special, but the numerous events held throughout the year enhance the experience. The annual Footcrush Feast is held in March, while the Mudgee Food and Wine Festival occurs each September.
As you explore the 600-acre property, notice the free-range pigs, Dorper sheep and Angus cattle roaming around the farm, or get lost in the vegetable patch. It’s the main supplier to the other business on the vineyard’s property, Pipeclay Pumphouse, which is run by Jacob’s sister Lara, and her husband, Andy. The modern fine dining experience combines locally sourced produce with fine-tuned techniques to plate up delicious dishes in a relaxed environment. Robert Stein Winery looks after all the restaurant’s wine needs, offering another spot to try the delectable drops.
It is the combination of history, innovation and familial passion that contribute to making Robert Stein Winery one of the region’s premier estates and a true Mudgee icon. Whether it’s food, wine or history you’re after, a visit here will not be forgotten.