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Australian Wineries, Pieter Van Gent

dsc00480.JPGThe heady scents of damp earth and wine enter you senses the second you open the huge barn like doors to the Pieter Van Gent Winery. More than just a cellar door, this is a small independent family winery built beside Pipeclay Creek in Mudgee. Mudgee is an established, yet lesser known wine region in Australia. Mudgee the town is a cheeky 8000 people strong and boasts around 100 cellar doors.
Pieter Van Gent is one of the more unique wineries to visit. They actually grow, make and bottle the wines all on the property. The reason for the damp earth smell? The floor is bare earth that is kept moist to create a favorable fermenting environment. Different from many Cellar door facilities- there is actually wine in the casks that are on display. Mudgee has lots of wineries worth visiting, but the group I went with really saved up for this one. My personal impression: the wines tend to be a bit on the sweet side. They are best known for their ports and desert wine range. They are one of the only local growers to offer a white port. Definitely worth a stop if you are in the region.
Black Springs Road, Pipeclay, Mudgee (063) 73 3807 (ph)