Burnbrae: Boutique Philosophy from Grape to Bottle
A vineyard that creates both wine and special memories
Mudgee, New South Wales, is where rolling hills sink down into wide valleys and rich grasslands. The town is set close to the banks of the Cudgegong River, in an area dubbed the Sydney basin. The irrigation offered by the river matched with the temperate climate makes this fertile stretch ideal for the growing of wine. Mudgee has become renowned for the consistently high quality wines it exports, which in turn attracts tourists to visit and sample New South Wales' finest produce for themselves.
From Grain to Grape
One of Mudgee's well respected vineyards is Burnbrae. Its story began 10 years ago, when Tony and Jill Bryant decided to diverge from traditional agricultural farming into viniculture. Living locally, they recognised that Mudgee had a huge potential for producing some of the best wines in New South Wales and, with their years of farming experience, it seemed only a small leap of faith into wine-making. Trine, their daughter, explained that 'once a farmer always a farmer, just in a different commodity.' The plot was purchased back in 2004, with the Bryants certain that the potential for great wine was on their doorstep.
Burnbrae is a family business, with different members contributing in numerous ways. Tony tends to the vines and manages crop production, with Jill heading up the cellar door. Trine manages the marketing side of the vineyard, cultivating their public image and organising events at the farm. Each member therefore brings their own personality to the business and the mutual respect and teamwork has resulted in Burnbrae's distinct philosophy, helping create truly remarkable wines.
This distinctive ethos is what sets it apart from other Mudgee vineyards. This permeates every aspect of the business and can be tasted in every bottle. In the words of the owners, 'each vintage is nurtured so that each and every glass has personality and regionality. You could say it's our little stamp of Burnbrae, our passion, our family. Our life and the little connection with each of the customers as they enjoy what we love producing for them.'
Burnbrae, a boutique vineyard to the heart
The vineyard boasts a definite boutique feel. However what constitutes a boutique wine is an area of much discussion, but for the Bryants, it is not solely based in production quantity but more so the attention the produce receives. They explain it as 'something that is nurtured with care that comes from the heart.' This love and devotion isn't limited to the wine produced, 'everything we do here at Burnbrae gets given the same amount of care and thought from our vines to our cellar door and our guests' experiences!'
In our conversation with Trine at Burnbrae, we asked what wine she calls her personal favourite, what she serves it with, and what advice she could offer to recognise a truly great wine:
Of all the wines you produce at Burnbrae which is your favourite?
It's a pretty hard choice actually! I love our Clive Gale, for its wonderful characters and undertones only true to the Burnbrae style. Our Jilly's Pick Chardonnay is also a favourite with its new take on the varietal, plus it's pretty sentimental.
However, our Shiraz always comes up trumps year after year, with many accolades to its name. It currently holds 'Best Shiraz' from the Mudgee Wine Show as well as 'Most Outstanding Red.' For a wine that was only bottled in August, it's doing tremendously well and will continue to develop beautifully over 10-12 years.
However, if I was going to drink a bottle of wine for the rest of my life I'd have to go for our Shiraz or even our Burnbrae Cuvee! It really is a very easy drinking drop and the whole sparkling experience makes me happy.
Is there a certain food you think complements a glass of your chardonnay particularly well?
My favourite dish is a local Mudgee lamb rack basted with rosemary, garlic, lime and slow cooked on the BBQ. Usually teamed with a fresh couscous, raisin and local Mudgee feta salad with oven roasted sweet potato and pine nuts. Simple, however I think this is what makes it absolutely amazing.
What's your top tip for wine tasting?
Ultimately it comes down to personal taste, as every palate is different. I say 'if you like it, drink it!' If you don't then you probably haven't been to Burnbrae…
Visit Burnbrae in Mudgee, New South Wales, and experience the atmosphere of an award-winning boutique vineyard.
Find out more about how New South Wales has made its mark on the global wine industry.