Enjoy cool climate craftsmanship
With its ever-growing list of enticing cellar doors, innovative eateries, wine bars and vibrant food festivals, it’s clear that Orange’s star is on the rise.
Famed for its undulating hills, colourful seasons and dynamic culinary scene, this sophisticated city in the Central Tablelands of New South Wales is fast becoming one of the state’s most popular getaway destinations for lovers of food, wine and rustic country charm.
Visitors enjoy the welcoming hospitality of boutique accommodation as they explore the expanding map of wineries, artisan providores, farmers’ markets and trendy concept stores selling local art, designer clothes and locally produced homewares.
The region’s elevated agricultural land gives rise (literally) to prime grape-growing and winemaking. Old vines prosper while young vineyards thrive under the protective eye of magnificent Mt Canobolas, the site of aboriginal ceremonies once held by the Wiradjuri Indigenous people. The mountain’s rich basalt soils, together with cool temperatures, reliable rainfall and dry autumns, deliver perfect grape-growing conditions.
The elevated land surrounding the township of Orange is an ideal combination of geology, climate and soils that gives vineyards a powerful natural advantage in creating wines that continue to make waves on an international scale.
While the first vines were planted alongside fruit orchards in the 19th century, the Orange wine country didn’t begin to tap its full potential until the late 1970s, when a handful of enthusiastic growers established new vineyards, focusing on varieties such as Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio and Riesling. Today, varieties like Tempranillo, Barbera, Viognier, Verduzzo, Marsanne, Sangiovese and Zinfandel have joined these noble ranges, and the region has become known for its crisp white wines and lighter-bodied reds.
The climate, soil and unique elevation greatly influences the varieties, with the region planted to 60 percent red wine varieties and 40 percent white wine varieties. Chardonnay is the most planted white grape in the Orange region, with many wineries enhancing the texture with oak, while Shiraz is also widely planted, celebrated for its fruity character.
Several wineries have also launched exceptional sparkling wine ranges, which have quickly become renowned on the Australian sparkling scene.
Chardonnay, Meunier, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Cabernet, Pinot Gris
Cool with varying elevation
3. 5 hours from Sydney