Region Information - Orange, NSW
Orange is the highest altitude wine region in Australia, and therefore a distinctively cool climate region.
From the summit of Mt Canobolas at 1,400m (nothing higher to the west until Mozambique) to the lower slopes around 600m, the distinct seasons bring snow and frost in the winter, golden evenings in the spring and autumn and bright sun in the summer.
The hilly landscape offers views and aspects for vineyards allowing for a range of "terroirs". There are 40 brands of wine, 24 cellar doors that are regularly open and 55 vineyards.
The Orange Wines
The wines of the Orange region come from vineyards in a range of situations and microclimates influenced by the cool climate, slopes and sunlight.
Orange is strong in its production of fruity and aromatic whites, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc are distinctive, and Pinot Gris is showing promise.
Amongst the reds, Cabernet Sauvignon, and its blends with Merlot and Cabernet Franc are distinctive, and many good Shiraz are produced. Pinot Noir is used for both dry red and sparkling wines, and does well at higher altitudes.
But Orange produces many other varieties well worth sampling: Gewurztraminer, Barbera, Viognier, Riesling, Sangiovese and Zinfandel. Aromatic rosés and smooth stickies are also available, and production of sparkling wines is starting.