This post is written by Orange 360, host of one of the Post-Conference Excursions at WMC19.
Over the Blue Mountains and just a little further west lies Orange: New South Wales’ unofficial wine and food capital, where altitude is the difference! Australia’s only wine region defined by altitude, Orange wines are recognized as those produced from vineyards at 600 meters or above, with our highest vineyard sitting at 1050m above sea level.
The 3.5-hour drive from Sydney is leisurely, beautiful and part of the romance of escaping to the Central West. Alternatively, hop on a quick flight from Sydney, Melbourne or Brisbane and extend your weekend in Orange, NSW.
Savour the difference: Orange’s unique altitude, cool climate and varied elevations enables a wide range of grape varieties to be grown to perfection! Enjoy a vertical tasting of some of our better known varieties such as bright and aromatic Chardonnays or elegant, medium-bodied Shiraz’, or discover something different in our Arneis or Nebbiolo. All grown in the last 23 years since Orange was recognized as Australia’s highest wine region, and celebrated annually in October during the Orange Wine Festival.
Meet Your Maker: Visit any of Orange’s Cellar Doors and there’s a strong chance that you’ll meet the winemakers themselves! Orange is home to NSW Wine President Tom Ward’s Swinging Bridge vineyard and cellar door, as well as the eponymous Philip Shaw Wines, a stalwart of the Australian wine scene and twice named International Winemaker of the Year. Pull up a stump, grab a glass and learn how our grapes go from vine to wine direct from the vignerons themselves.
Wines with a Conscience: Home to Australia’s first NCOS Certified Carbon Neutral winery, Ross Hill Wines, Orange holds deep care and respect for the land on which we live and work. Moderately sized vineyards, hand-picked grapes and single-vineyard wines are our regional speciality, with wineries like De Salis following a minimalist winemaking philosophy that challenges industrial winemaking culture. With vegan, organic and preservative free wines aplenty, Orange is your destination for wine with a conscience.
Food, Glorious Food: With orchards, farms and vineyards as far as the eye can see, the Orange region is home to Australia’s longest running regional food festival, Orange F.O.O.D Week, held annually in April and ranked the 4th best in Australia! Enjoy fresh, seasonal produce all year round from Australia’s food bowl, with Orange apples and cherries our biggest and tastiest food export. Pick-your-own or enjoy produce that goes from paddock to plate at any of our local restaurants, cafes and eateries – paired with a glass or two of Orange region wine, of course!
A City and its Villages: Hatted restaurants, thriving coffee culture and trendy boutique retailers converge in Orange and provide a cosmopolitan lifestyle that still maintains the pace and authenticity of a country town. Our regional villages dot the countryside and fill the region with colour, character (and characters!), giving you every reason to hit the road and explore the Orange region.
The Orange Wine Festival will be held October 18th-27th 2019 with tickets on sale now for some of the festival’s signature events. Don’t miss one of Australia’s prettiest destinations and see for yourself why everyone is falling in love with Orange, NSW.