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Saturday 12 November 2022

Mudgee winery shines with new-release rieslings


Mudgee is not a region that Australian wine lovers would automatically associate with fine rieslings. 

The Clare and Eden valleys in South Australia, for sure. The Great Southern region of West Australia, yep, and also Tasmania. 

But Robert Stein Wines in Mudgee has built a formidable reputation for two stellar rieslings made in very different styles. 

The family can can trace their winemaking history back to 1838, when the famous Macarthur family brought Johann Stein to Australia with the country’s first cuttings of Rhine Riesling. 

These vines flourished at Camden Park - in western Sydney - under Johann’s careful watch. 

Then, 138 years later, in 1976, Robert Stein purchased 75 acres in Mudgee and renewed the Stein passion for viticulture. 

Jacob Stein is the third-generation winemaker and he has an unashamed love affair with the grape variety as well as picking up multiple show accolades.

The releases of his latest wines, the 2022 Robert Stein Dry Riesling and 2022 Robert Stein Half Dry Riesling, are both outstanding, managing to be both varietally correct and have palate complexity. 

“We are quite excited about the release of these wines, after another tough season in the vineyard due to high rainfall,” says Jacob. “The challenging conditions, however, created the ideal opportunity for our vineyard to shine, and we grew clean and high-quality riesling in a tough year.

“The cooler season, with slow ripening, produced crisp and higher acidity levels with no sunburn opportunity, meaning we have excellent quality with very age-worthy attributes.”

More riesling vines have recently been planted. 

“The2.5-hectare extension to our riesling vineyard is in response to the growing demand for our Mudgee riesling," Jacob says. "The new plantings are on a south-west facing slope at an elevation of 580 metres in shale and quartz gravelly soil.

"The east-west running rows are closely planted with our favourite riesling clones. It’s an exciting time for our little family winery. While we have struggled with drought and Covid, our vineyard and winemaking team are excited for the future.”

The 2022 Robert Stein Dry Riesling ($40) is an ideal match for seafood dishes, perhaps pan-fried flathead, while the 2022 Robert Stein Half Dry Riesling ($50) is the second from the Angullong vineyard located in Orange at an elevation of just over 600 metres. It would pair brilliantly with Thai or Vietnamese cuisine. 


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