History & Geography
The van Gent name can be traced back to 1790 and reveals a family of distillers and winemakers. Pieter begun his profession under the employ of Robbers en van den Hoogan in 1958, and in 1959 moved to Australia working with Penfolds in Sydney. It was in 1970 that he moved to Mudgee as winemaker for Craigmoor Wines, where he began experimenting with Chardonnay. "I was told to forget about making white wine in Mudgee and stick to the reds. I made Chardonnay in 1971, but there was only one hogshead which was not enough to bottle. Dr. Ray Healey and I were both aware that this was the first time the Chardonnay grape was made into a wine in Australia." Pieter remained at Craigmoor Winery until 1979 and firmly established it as one of the leading wineries in Australia and contributed immeasurably to the establishment of Mudgee as an important wine region. In 1979 he opened his own cellar, and made Pieter van Gent Winery an icon in the region famous for the Mudgee Pipeclay White Fortified.