Orange is at the heart of one of the most beautiful and productive areas in NSW.  Orange and surrounding areas are enjoying a growing reputation for rare and exotic produce thanks to the cool climate and rich volcanic soils.

The produce ranges from stone fruits and sheep’s cheeses to fungi and grapes.

33° 15'S
Latitude
600-900m
Altitude
440mm
Growing season rainfall

Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot

Usually blended, but sometimes produced as single varietal wines, these wines leave no doubt that the Orange region has a temperate climate. The flavours run through the herbaceous and earthy spectrum with dark berry sweetness. They are of medium weight and body and have fine tannins. They can also be very effectively blended with wines from warmer regions such as Mudgee, the Hunter Valley and Cowra.

Chardonnay

Chardonnay is a very important wine for this region. The style is a neat balance between fleshy, rich, quick developing warm climate Chardonnay and the ultra fine, slow developing, citrus and cashew style of cooler climates. Melon, fig and nectarine flavours are set in a wine of medium weight and firm acidity, responding well to subtle use of oak and malolactic fermentation. Carefully made regional styles respond well to medium-term cellaring of four to five years. 

Sauvignon Blanc

Intense tropical fruit flavours develop when grown at high elevation above 750 metres (2460.63 feet). The more vigorous soils also produce fruit with a herbaceous character that complements the strong fruit flavours. 

Shiraz

This is a recently planted variety showing true varietal flavours and exceptional colour. As in many other regions of Australia, Shiraz is the most widely planted variety in Orange.

Top varieties grown in Orange
Climate
  • The climate is strongly influenced by, and largely dependent on, elevation. Overall, mild to warm midsummer mean temperatures, seldom rising above 32°C (90°F), are offset by cool to very cool nights during the growing season. 
  • The rainfall predominates in winter and spring, while the three driest months are February, March and April, making supplementary irrigation highly desirable. 
  • Wind is both friend and foe. On the one hand it helps to reduce the major threat of spring frosts. On the other hand, it interferes with fruit set on sensitive varieties such as Merlot. 
  • Other than spring frosts and climatic aberrations such as light snow in December, the major threat is from birds, which relish the grapes as an extension to their diet. 
Soil
  • The undulating countryside is not only very attractive but is of fundamental importance in determining site selection. The soils vary widely, reflecting the different geological strata rock and fall into four main groups. 
  • The first are the well drained, friable, deep red-brown clays derived from basalt that are found near Mount Canobolas. Second are the deep red-brown, yellow-brown clay loams of mixed origin, including volcanic ash. Both these two soil groups promote considerable vigour. 
  • The third is a red-brown podzolic clay loam of medium vigour overlying a medium clay and shale base interspersed with gravel, which assists with drainage. Finally, there are patches of terra rossa associated with visible limestone at the lower elevations.