If we tell you that the hottest place for cool climate wines is in Orange, New South Wales (NSW), will your inner wine connoisseur beg to disagree? Or will your investigative nature travel dare to know more?
Known for its local produce and award-winning wines, vineyards in Orange are famous for their Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, and most exceptionally, Chardonnay. It is also dubbed as Australia’s snowiest city but Orange could’ve been named as such because of the impressive autumn colours that one is visually delighted to see when the leaves start falling.
With all the country charm, get ready to bask yourself in the trivial things that you won’t see in the big city – fresh air, miles and miles of greenery, sounds of chirping birds, and most of all, that sumptuous country cooking that’s boutique enough for a restaurant but lets you relish a home cooked meal. Welcome to Orange, NSW, your new weekend destination.
With a huge number of vineyards to visit, you’d think that a month won’t be enough. But if you’re lucky to go during the October Orange Wine Festival, then you don’t even need to be directed. From cooking classes to night markets, outdoor barbecues and picnics, art exhibitions to tasting tours, name it and you can do it. But if you plan to go on a weekend or you have limited time, fortunately, you need not visit 20 vineyards to sample their best wares. Ferment in The Orange Wine Centre and Wine Store isn’t your ordinary cellar. It’s home to at least 20 wineries in Orange and you can come here to taste wines that are all available on the pour. Another thing that you can do to make your weekend worthwhile is to book an Orange Wine Tour. Not only do you get to sample great wine, but also visit a couple of wineries and chat it up with the friendly owners.
Enjoy a Boutique Stay
Throw away your 5-star hotel indulgences and opt for boutique hotel stays. They are your gateway to having a magnificent and comfortable stay without sacrificing the modern luxuries. These boutique hotels exude an eccentric charm of their own.
The Byng Street Boutique Hotel is on top of our list. It’s the lovechild of contemporary architecture and local heritage, but don’t let this fool you. Rooms and suites are with modern comforts, complete with a do-it-yourself minibar. You will be asked which specific drinks you like to have in there before your actual stay (through email). They also offer breakfast, utilizing only the best local produce. Another quirky yet stylish hotel is de Russie Hotel. They have a premium property called Lansdowne House, which is perfect for a vineyard destination wedding.
Get a Full Stomach
Not only is the wine scene on the rise in Orange, but also the food scene. There are already a couple of restaurants that are giving Michelin-starred places a run for their money. Leading the pack is Racine, and their tagline, “…because rural doesn’t have to mean rustic,” is all you need to know.
Or the fact that they have an inhouse bakery producing artisanal bread and everything nice. Other restaurants worth checking out include Charred Kitchen & Bar, especially for their wine pairings, and if you like to dine with a view, then head on over to Sister’s Rock restaurant at Borrodell Estate and you’ll even get to say hello to a few kangaroo residents.