WHAT DIFFERENTIATES ORANGE FROM OTHER WINE REGIONS?
Wines from Orange and the Central ranges region are known to be light to medium bodied, elegant, aromatic and very fine. This is due to the uniquely harsh terroir and also the result of the heat summation.
Orange Terroir: being nestled on the side of a mountain, means two things for the wine region. The mountain affects the climate, with summers being harsh and warm, and winters commonly having snowfalls and being significantly colder than most of NSW. This combined with the simple fact that higher elevation packs flavour into wine, makes grapes from the Orange region incredibly sought after. Regions like the Hunter Valley often borrow Orange grapes to incorporate into their wines, adding some impacting flavour and complexity.
Shiraz and Chardonnay grapes are particularly suited to the terroir of Orange. Try Swinging Bridge Reserve Shiraz – a classic Orange example of a heavy, full flavoured Shiraz with incredible complexity and just the right amount of ageing. Or for those who love a white, try the incredible Cooks Lot Iconique Chardonnay. This simply must not be missed. As full-bodied as a white wine gets, with complex oak aromatics and buttery roundedness. It is an absolute winner!
Of course dont forget to check out Angullong’s Gold Medal winning Rosato, Ross Hills robust Grenache Shiraz or the Naked Grape Moscato. All are true examples of what Orange has to offer.
Heathcote is Victoria’s premium Shiraz producing region. It is positioned in the heartland of central Victoria – mid way between Shepparton and Bendigo. The countryside is truly Australian – harsh, dry, dusty and has a low rainfall. The conditions here are difficult, with some years suffering from drought and others from too much rainfall or frost. The vines are low yielding, small and gnarled. The lack of moisture and harsh circumstances sends the root structure deep into a narrow belt of Cambrian high mineral soil that runs north from Heathcote township. This unique terroir produces intense, deeply coloured and flavoured fruit – and wine with unique savoury flavours.
If you ever visit the area, there are a few standouts that you shouldn’t miss. Ron Laughton is from Jasper Hill Estate – he started the whole Heathcote journey some 40 years ago and is hailed as the pinnacle producer of the region. His wine is simply stunning. Over the road from Ron is Bob Downing, from Downing Estate – his vines planted in the same Cambrian soil. You can’t go past his Shiraz. Sanguine Estate – this winery’s outstanding Shiraz’s are regularly rated amongst the 10 best in the world, along with the likes of Penfolds’ Grange. To see a broad selection from the region (without doing the ‘hard work’ of stopping at each winery) – visit The Wine Hub Cellar and Store in Heathcote Main Street.
Check out our Heathcote pick: Dirty Boulevard Wanted Man Shiraz