Go to EATS & DRINKS INDEX | Go to SITE HOME

EATS & DRINKS
WINE: 09 NOVEMBER 2014

By JOHN ROZENTALS

An exciting weekend in an Orange very different to my original home

The Orange I grew up in during the 1950s and 60s was a very different place to the one I visited a couple of weekends ago for the district’s annual wine festival.

Then it was mostly apples, cherries and stonefruit. No one would have thought for a second that the area would become one of Australia’s premier cool-climate wine regions, or that the city could attract thousands of visitors each week as a foodie mecca.

My weekend started high on the rich volcanic slopes of Mount Canobolas at Ross Hill winery, which hosted the 2014 Orange Wine Show presentation dinner.

The biggest winner on the night was Swinging Bridge Estate, one of whose proprietors, Tom Ward, took home four trophies, three of them, including best-of-show for his 2013 Mrs Payten Chardonnay, named in honour of a family matriarch to honour her 90th birthday.

It’s a stunning wine with rich, already complex flavours and a clean, strong structure that I’m confident will see it live for many years. It’s available through www.swingingbridge.com.au for $32 a bottle.

Chardonnay seems to have a particular affinity with Orange and, indeed, my weekend’s highlight came with a fascinating exploration of barrels and bottles going back to 2004 at De Salis Wines, led with enormous passion by winemaker Charlie Svenson.

He obviously thinks deeply about building wines that are elaborately flavoured and have genuine longevity.

Visit www.desaliswines.com.au to purchase the 2012 version for $35 a bottle. Don’t hurry with drinking your bottles though. They’re good now, but will be great in 2020.

Above: Charlie Svenson ... a passionate belief in chardonnay.

DETAILS

For general information, visit www.tasteorange.com.au.

REVIEWS

Angullong 2013 Orange Shiraz

Angullong 2014 Fossil Hill Vermentino

Patina 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon

Patina 2014 Riesling