Wine, beer and cider in Orange
High altitude, rich volcanic soils and passionate producers come together in Orange to create some of the country’s best cool climate wines. It’s a relatively new wine region, dating back to the 1990s, but there are now more than 60 vineyards creating buttery chardonnays, fragrant shiraz and rich cabernet sauvignon.
Vineyards and cellar doors
Start your wine journey at Ferment, a cellar door for 19 boutique vineyards in the centre of Orange. Learn about the art and science of winemaking from Australia’s first carbon neutral winery, Ross Hill Wines, and stop for a tasting at the beautiful cellar door of Philip Shaw Wines, an Orange wine pioneer.
Heifer Station offers tastings in a 100 year old shearing shed, farm animals to pet and private picnics on the gorgeous estate. Sit down on the sunny terrace for a tasting at Swinging Bridge or enjoy Alsace inspired wines at Colmar Estate. On the slopes of Mount Canobolas you’ll find De Salis' vineyard with 180 degree views over the valley below.
Cargo Road Wines is one of the oldest vineyards in the region and has a focus on sustainability. Nearby, you’ll find Canobolas Smith Wines, one of the oldest vineyards in the valley. At Nashdale Lane Wines, you can taste their award-winning riesling then spend the night in a luxurious glamping tent on the property.
Vineyards can also be found in the villages surrounding Orange. In the centre of historic Millthorpe you can visit the cellar doors of Slow Wine Co and Angullong Wines. Printhie Wines sits just outside Molong and the tasting room looks out over the vines towards Mount Canobolas.
Beer, cider and spirits
There’s also a burgeoning craft beer scene around Orange. At the award-winning Badlands Brewery, beers are free of preservatives or additives and are flavoured with ingredients like hazelnuts, black truffles and figs. Taste them at their cellar door at the Agrestic Grocer. Sample locally-made Pioneer Brewing Co’s brews at Ferment.
Small Acres Cyder sits at the foothills of Mount Canobolas and makes a range of cider from fresh pressed apples and pears grown in Orange. The tasting room is open on weekends. Parrot Distilling Co makes seasonal gin with local and foraged botanicals. They frequently host tastings at local bottle shops or you can buy online.
Every wine region should have a good wine bar. The Art House Bar is housed within an historic bank building dating back to 1858 and has an extensive menu of local drops. You can test Orange wines against the world’s best at Percy’s Bar and Kitchen. Or drop in for a whiskey at the late night speakeasy-style Washington & Co.