How to drink your way through New South Wales’ emerging wine region, orange

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Ask any New South Welshman (that’s what we call ourselves) where their favorite wine destination is, and chances are they will utter the words Orange. Situated in the Central West of NSW, Orange is coincidentally a food bowl—the fruit-growing hub of the state. It’s where the bigger cities, such as Sydney, source apples and cherries, and as of recently, wine. It’s difficult to pinpoint when Orange became a booming wine destination. The first vines were planted on the volcanic slopes of Mt Canobolas in the 1980s, but it has only been the past 10 years that Orange has become known for its dynamic drops and a thriving dining scene worth the three hour drive from Sydney.


Rowlee vineyard photo courtesy of Destination NSW

Rowlee Wines

This family-run boutique winery is small, but it packs a punch. Sitting 950 metres above sea level on an extinct volcano, the vines are exposed to cooling breezes and warm daytime temperatures, resulting in a slower ripening and fuller flavour. Settle into the stylish cellar door to taste cool climate tipples, such as a signature Single Vineyard Riesling and Gewurztraminer, or sit on the deck with a full glass and witness an iconic Orange dusk. The Rowlee Cuveé made with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir is the perfect bubbly to toast with.

Printhie wines picnic photo courtesy Destination NSW

Printhie Wines

Since 1996, this winery has built a reputation for producing premium, cool-climate wines that are highly sought after by wine enthusiasts around the world. The vineyard produces a range of varietals, including chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, pinot noir, shiraz, and cabernet sauvignon, all of which showcase the unique characteristics of the region’s terroir. Visitors will find experiences beyond the cellar door tasting, including a picnic in the vines, a sparkling masterclass, and a luxury helicopter winery tour followed by a five-course degustation. Avid fishers can opt for the fly fishing and lunch tour.

Phillip Shaw wines photo courtesy of Destination NSW

Philip Shaw Wines

Philip Shaw Wines pioneered unconventional traditions in winemaking in Orange and is considered an institution. A visit to this old bluestone barn with landscaped gardens demonstrates Oranges’ wine evolution and its continual hunger for new ideas and creative thinking. The Winemakers Pairing is the best way to taste the portfolio, from chardonnay to merlot, accompanied by a local cheese plate. The vineyard management practices and minimal intervention winemaking techniques produce wines that are expressive and true to their origins.

Nashdale Lane wines photo courtesy of Destination NSW

Nashdale Lane

This winery was established in 2001 by James and Tracy Sweetapple, who had a vision of producing premium cool-climate wines that reflected the unique characteristics of the region’s terroir. Today, Nashdale Lane Wines is known for its high-quality wines, exceptional cellar door experience, and stunning vineyard views. All of their wines are made with fruit sourced exclusively from their own vineyards, which are sustainably managed using minimal intervention techniques. Enjoy a tasting experience with a guided vineyard and a winery tour or book one of their glamping tents and make a weekend of it.

Vineyard accommodations at Borrodell Vineyard photo credit Destination NSW

Borrodell Estate

When it comes to views, Borrodell Estate is the top choice. Sitting 1000 meters above sea level on an extinct volcano, visitors will find the most picturesque spot to sip pinot noir, sauvignon blanc, and fortified wines in Orange. The vineyard is sustainably managed using organic and biodynamic principles, resulting in wines full of character and expressing the terroir’s essence. Don’t skip lunch on the award-winning balcony of Sister’s Rock—the onsite restaurant showcasing local produce. The estate also has suites and cottages for getaways.


Parrot Distilling Co tasting bar photo credit Amy Barrington

Parrot Distilling Co

Parrot Distilling Co produces a range of spirits, including Gin, vodka, and rum—all made with locally-sourced ingredients and distilled in small batches using traditional techniques. The distillery’s signature spirit is their award-winning Gin, featuring 10 Australian native botanicals, including lemon, cinnamon, and native ginger. Venture into the warehouse- turned-gin bar and distillery to sip the range to enjoy guided tours, tastings, and masterclasses and purchase spirits and merchandise from the on-site cellar door.

Apple harvesting at Small Acres Cyder photo credit Destination NSW


Small Acres Cyder

Orange is New South Wales’s apple capital, making it one of the best places to sample cider. Made using traditional methods of authentic cider production, Small Acres doesn’t do shortcuts. Instead, you’ll find an award-winning local institution that takes cider as seriously as vintners take their wine. Even the bottles themselves signal respect for the craft, with wine bottles used for many varietals, as is so often the case with French cider. Visitors to Small Acres Cyder can enjoy tastings of the ciders, as well as guided tours of the orchard and cidery.

This article originally appeared on Alcohol Professor and was syndicated by MediaFeed.

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