Three hours' drive west of Sydney is the wine region of Orange.
Orange is home to some of Australia's highest elevation vineyard sites – from 376 to 1390 metres above sea level – which impact the climate (warm days followed by cooler nights) and growing seasons.
Owner Bill Shrapnel says: Orange is on the move. It’s clear now that the region has the potential to make distinctive, high quality, cool climate wines and there is a sense of excitement among the local winemakers with the opportunity to make it happen. The future couldn’t be brighter – talk about being in the right place at the right time!
Best enjoyed: The 2017 is outstanding with Singaporean chilli crab.
RRP $40 | Drink to 2031 | colmarestate.com.au
Winemaker Drew Tuckwell says: I love Orange for its cool climate, slow ripening, natural acidity, detailed fruit expression and transparency in the glass. With elegance and complexity, the regions wines work hand in hand with the wonderful food culture and agricultural produce that exists in the broader region.
Best enjoyed: The Swift Cuvée is perfect with oysters that are finished with Printhie Dining’s banksia and Geraldton Wax vinaigrette.
RRP $50 | Drink to 2027 | printhiewines.com.au
Winemaker Philip Shaw says: I spent many years looking for ideal sites in Australia and overseas. Our site in Orange was selected because the climate and soils represented the intense, elegant styles of wine that I was seeking.
Best enjoyed: The 2018 Double Happy is best enjoyed by itself.
RRP $140 | Drink to 2055 | hoosegg.com
Winemaker and family owner Rex D'Aquino says: Our wines are a great example of premium cool-climate wines, that show the best flavour attributes of the specific varieties grown on the site. We have had 31 years of experience on the site to extract some of the best examples of wines Orange can produce.
Best enjoyed: The 2017 is an excellent accompaniment to white meats and seafood (particularly shellfish), or enjoy the Patrono as an aperitif before dinner.
RRP $65 | Drink to 2035 | highlandheritage.com.au
Winemaker Luke Steele says: Making wine in Orange is fascinating, as every vintage is truly different. Vintages can be cold and wet, or hot and dry or a mixture of the two. We have a range of volcanic soils that we are blessed to grow grapes in, that range massively in age from the past eruptions of Mount Canobolas. As a result of the large altitude difference throughout the region, we have the ability to grow a huge range of varieties very well.
Best enjoyed: Pair the 2021 Pinnacle with an asparagus tartlet and a béarnaise sauce.
RRP $35 | Drink to 2027 | rosshillwines.com.au
Winemaker Daniel Shaw says: Philip Shaw wines have elegance and the purity of place. You look at the 20 vintages and there are unique differences, but you know exactly where the grapes have been grown and where the wine has been made.
Best enjoyed: Try the 2021 with coral trout or Red Emperor.
RRP $40 | Drink to 2050 | philipshaw.com.au