The Central West of the state boasts wine regions centred around Mudgee, Cowra and Canowindra. It is Orange, however, that has surged ahead of its regional rivals in recent years with a range of small producers making stylish cool-climate wines. The region was originally known for its stone fruit industry but since the early 1980s it has boomed as a wine region with grapes being grown at elevations varying from 600 to 1100 metres above sea level.
"The town hosts many gourmet festivals and has several top-notch eateries."
Given these different terroirs, Orange is known as one of the most versatile wine regions with shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, pinot noir and several Italian grape varieties thriving alongside chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, riesling, pinot gris and gewürztraminer. The town hosts many gourmet festivals and has several top-notch eateries. Pioneering wineries include Bloodwood and Cargo Road while other standouts are Canobolas-Smith, Mayfield Vineyard, Patina, Printhie, Philip Shaw, De Salis, Angullong and Cumulus
MUST-VISIT CELLAR DOORS
This thriving Central West city is home to several quirky and interesting wine destinations. Former two-time International Winemaker of the Year Philip Shaw, once of Rosemount Estate, has swapped the big league for the country and now grows grapes at 900 metres and offers tastings in a lovingly restored bluestone cellar door.
Patina Wines is a family-owned estate on volcanic slopes with spectacular gardens and views to Mount Canobolas. Here, the tasting facility is actually part of the Naef family's home.
Mayfield Vineyard is home to one of the most picturesque tasting rooms in New South Wales, with a 100-year-old schoolhouse serving as the cellar door.