Signature checks in to… The Farmhouse at Blue Wren Wines
One of Mudgee’s blue ribbon wineries, Blue Wren Wines recently unveiled luxury accommodation, The Farmhouse at Blue Wren Wines. But this isn’t your traditional farmhouse – rather, it’s a farmhouse with a facelift – and the must-do gastronomic adventure that’s offered in the adjacent winery restaurant is just as eclectic. A weekend spent here is a relaxing indulgence well worth the 3.5-hour drive from Sydney. We guarantee you’ll be planning a return trip before you’ve even left.
Traveller: Andrew Mevissen
Room: One of five bedrooms, room 4331 is a one-bedroom suite with an en-suite
Address: 433 Ulan Rd, Mudgee, situated conveniently on the edge of town
Date: December 2017
Best for: A romantic getaway for couples who appreciate good food and wine in a picturesque vineyard setting, or a group of friends looking for a fun, gourmet weekend in the countryside.
The Signature factor
I didn’t think you could beat the peaceful idyll of lounging beneath the vines on the farmhouse’s spacious wraparound veranda. But then I embarked on Blue Wren’s unforgettable five-course tasting journey – a gastronomic degustation that’s paired with the vineyard’s finest drops. Head chef Steve Miles – with his entertaining and engaging repartee – artfully crafts each dish right in front of you.
Blue Wren showcases the essence of Mudgee as a thriving food bowl and gourmet destination. The new addition of boutique accommodation in the Farmhouse enables foodies to sleep in the heart of the vineyard, a stone’s throw from the cellar door and restaurant which deliver palate-pleasing joy. The total refurbishment of the farmhouse into sleek and contemporary accommodation was part of a half-million-dollar makeover of the Blue Wren winery by passionate vigneron, chef and hotelier Kip Harris, who owns the winery.
‘Love at first sight’ is how you might describe a glass of Blue Wren’s Verscato. Placed in your hand the moment you arrive, the effervescent wine is delivered with a warm smile as you absorb the winery’s refined but understated sanctuary-like elegance. It feels akin to a welcoming hug, allowing you to rest assured you’re going to enjoy your stay. A private, tree-lined driveway that leads to the sprawling farmhouse reaffirms that feeling of secluded warmth.
Far from your typical farmhouse, our expansive suite (40 square metres in size) was akin to a room in a five-star boutique hotel. Complete with a plush, king-sized bed, deluxe bathroom amenities and a large, flat-screen Apple TV, the dwelling balances contemporary features with a timeless appeal. The farmhouse’s five bedrooms can be rented individually, or the entire property can be booked by a single party and sleeps ten people in total.
All guests have access to the kitchen and living room – both of which are light and airy. The space also includes a sun deck and swimming pool and an expansive veranda from where you can enjoy the country vistas – Shiraz in hand. The house also includes a large, boardroom-style table suitable for corporate meetings or large family dinners.
Our suite – room 4331 – was the most spacious at The Farmhouse at Blue Wren Wines.
On my plate
The highlight of your stay will be a decadent lunch or dinner in the Chef’s Kitchen – a 16-guest dining space with a long communal table that allows you to engage with the chef as he crafts an ingenious, five-course tasting menu with a passion that’s practically palpable. A true gastronomic journey, the veritable feast celebrates the season and the best of the region’s produce. Each course complemented by a Blue Wren wine.
Our innovative menu delivered a cornucopia of flavours and palate-pleasing surprises. From crispy skinned salmon with truffled polenta and poached egg; duck breast with duck liver ice cream brûlée, pickled radish and dehydrated raspberry; seared scallop with slow cooked pork belly, caviar, corn dust and pimiento to beef with red wine butter, smoked potato puree, black pudding crisp and horseradish snow. Desert came in the way of raspberry and blueberry sorbet with liquorice custard, pistachio crumb and beetroot meringue.
Highlights from the mini bar
There is no mini bar in the farmhouse and a full kitchen encourages guests to prepare their own meals. But a must-do is purchasing some of Blue Wren’s fine wines for enjoyment on the veranda overlooking the vines from which the grapes were plucked.
I wish I could take home…
Head Chef Steve Miles. His imaginative flair for creative plate design was unforgettable, as was his witty banter and wry grin.
There is no spa, gym or wellness centre at the Farmhouse. But the rolling hills of the vineyard invite guests to take a walk in the fresh country air.
While resembling a stylish guesthouse, the Farmhouse is couched within a working vineyard so there are no typical hotel trappings. But you won’t spend a second missing room service or the convenience of a concierge when you can enjoy a post-degustation nap, swim and relax by the pool, take a leisurely stroll across the vineyard or try a flight of five unique wines in Blue Wren’s own Tasting Room.
Blue Wren sits just a few kilometres from historical village Mudgee, with its quirky cafes and old-world charm. One of New South Wales’ premium wine regions, there is an abundance of vineyards in the area worth exploring, but we were happy to be still for a day or so, held by the welcoming ambience of Blue Wren.
Various wines from Blue Wren have earned numerous awards over the years, and while the Farmhouse is still a new addition to the property, it won’t be long before we’re seeing it garner praise of its own.
Mudgee is a foodie’s paradise, but the Blue Wren is a gourmet destination in itself. Take advantage of the five-course tasting menu for lunch, followed by the required afternoon nap in the Farmhouse. Graze on a cheese platter with Port in the evening and enjoy the fruits of local producers for breakfast. And if you don’t fancy the drive, Blue Wren is located close to Mudgee’s very own airport, which can be reached via a 50-minute flight from Sydney.
A breakfast hamper would be a welcome addition to the experience. But the Farmhouse’s state-of-the-art kitchen and premium appliances invite you to seek out Mudgee’s local producers for seasonal ingredients to cook at your leisure.
Ambient music and a cheese platter on arrival would make for an unforgettable welcome after the drive from Sydney, but those delights are available a five-minute walk away in the Blue Wren Kitchen and Tasting Room.