It’s been declared the ‘foodie capital of NSW’ and luckily for all of us, in this cool climate region great food and wine go hand in hand. Orange is a truly gorgeous country city in the Central West region of New South Wales, just a scenic 3.5 hours drive from Sydney over the Blue Mountains.
ORANGE WINE GROWING REGION
Orange has been officially recognised as a wine growing region for the past 20 years, receiving its Orange appellation and status as a cool climate wine growing region in 1996 by the international Geographic Indicator Committee.
However pioneers to the region have been planting vines here since the first European settlers in the 1840s, with a first wave of Germans setting up family vineyards near what is now Lidster (it was originally called ‘German Hill’ but had a name change during the Second World War).
A hundred years later with a small wave of Italian migrants to the region came more vineyard plantings in the 1940s, which marked the first commercial wine production in the region.
The first contemporary vineyard plantings were pioneered in the late 1990s by three local vignerons – Chris Burke of Sons and Brothers; Stephen Doyle of Bloodwood Wines; and Murray Smith of Canobolas-Smith Wines – and their efforts paved the way and inspired an entirely new generation of wine-growers and wine-makers to flock to the region from 2000 onwards. The Orange region now has over 80 commercial vineyards, with 38 cellar doors open to the public.
The charm and the strength of the Orange region lies in its close-knit community of high quality and family-owned boutique wineries and cellar doors. You can literally taste the difference – it’s all in the altitude.
The Orange region is now gaining significant traction with its reputation as *the* cool climate region of New South Wales, with a distinct and elevated terroir producing elegant and sophisticated wines. It’s poised to emerge into the national consciousness as one of Australia’s finest wine regions, and is also on the cusp of stepping onto the world stage as a food and wine destination.
Orange boasts more than 80 vineyards, 38 cellar doors, 42 cafes and two hatted restaurants. It’s fast becoming known as one of the most exciting emerging wine growing regions of Australia, with most vineyards placed at unique high elevations and producing remarkable cool climate wine.
It’s a town for all seasons with blossoms in spring, sunny summers, glorious autumnal colours and snowy winters. Annual food and wine festivals are hosted here (Orange F.O.O.D Week in April and the Orange Wine Festival in October) and there’s also a wide array of unique dining experiences starring fresh, local produce all year round.
Every week is food and wine week in Orange! It’s a friendly, charming and hospitable town – come and say hi.SUBSCRIBE TO SILVER COMPASS TOURS E:NEWS