Orange NSW is home to Australia’s highest altitude vineyards and is often hailed as one of our most European-style cool-climate regions. In fact less than 1% of vineyards in Australia sit above 600m, positioning the region as a truly unique viticulture destination.
From the peak of Mount Canobolas (Gaanha-bula) to the slopes of the Towac Valley, the diversity in elevation allows for a wide range of varietals to be produced. Climactically speaking, grapes here can be grown in the same conditions as the crisp French region of Champagne (1100-1150m above sea level) to the warmer temperatures of Central Italy (600m - 650m above sea level).
Orange wines can be distinguished as medium to light-bodied with refined tannins and impressive flavour intensity. Grapes grown in cooler, higher elevations will result in a medium to light-bodied aromatic drop, and warmer, lower elevations will produce a more full to medium-bodied wine which is less aromatic.
Winemakers in this high-altitude region do face the challenges of Orange weather such as frost and hail, however the prize is a fruit much higher natural acids which enhances freshness and structure.