Quickly becoming the poster child for Horse and Hound magazine, the rolling hills and dales of Orange are an ever gentrifying food and wine destination for the fancy and RM Williams wearing country lovers of NSW. Cool climate, Mount Canobolas and an established wine scene have all helped to develop the rep of Orange in the national wine scene.
Previous incarnations had seen the region churning out grapes for big companies, or little known producers eking out an existence with their boutique offerings. However, the past decade or so has seen an increase in interest for the excellent artisan producers who have upped the ante, found suitable varieties and gotten into the groove with their vineyard sites. Couple this with the burgeoning restaurant, farmers markets and produce scene and you have a region chock full of foodey/winey goodness.
The regions highlights are pristine white wines and medium bodied reds. Chardonnay does particularly well, but Riesling and alternative varieties, particularly of Italian origin are faring very well. Chardonnay is generally soft, clean and shows racy acidity, while soft Shiraz, Merlot and Cabernet wines have a good mass market appeal.
Smaller producers are increasingly embracing organics, and in some cases biodynamic principles, in their vineyards which has led to an overarching call for sustainability amongst the winemakers of the region. There seems to be a little green tinge to the region.
And there are a few horses and hounds around too.