Angullong shows its class with a spectacular lunch in the vineyard

We had, simply, the absolutely best day last Saturday at Angullong’s ‘Outstanding in the Vines’ long lunch in the family company’s vineyard near Cadia.

Angullong has a popular, well run cellar door in Millthorpe and it would have been quite simple for them to have organised their Orange Wine Festival function there.

But the Crossing family decided it was time for at least some of their many loyal fans to discover the real heart of the business — their 540-acre vineyard, which is set amid a 4500-acre grazing property on the southern slopes of Mt Canobolas and pretty much near the end of Four Mile Creek Road at Panuara.

The vineyard is the largest in the Orange district and it provided a magnificent setting for the white-clothed table which was located between two of the property’s dams and offered simply fabulous views over the surrounding vines.

It was a smart move by the Crossings to organise buses to bring their guests from Orange — the long and winding road may have taken a toll on the way in, and almost certainly would have on the way out.

Especially given the vineyard’s proximity to nowhere, the standard of food presented was superb — hors d’oeuvre of smoked trout paté with dill mayonnaise, goat-cheese-and-tomato-relish tarts, asparagus wrapped with prosciutto, and cheese-and-pesto biscuits; followed by alternating main courses of beef fillet with horseradish, beetroot-and-red-wine demi, and roast chicken with herb crust, salta romesco and red-wine demi, both with hasselback potatoes and bayleaves, seasonal salad and Angullong mustard sourdough.

And then there was dessert — absolutely delectable lemon-and-orange meringue tarts with strawberries and mint creme.

I won’t even begin to list the range of wines on show, but I will mention two of my favourites, both made from Italian varieties only recently planted in Australia but with, I think, enormous futures here, both climatically and in terms of lifestyle — the red grape sagrantino and the white grape vermentino.

Angullong’s 2015 versions are viticultural and winemaking triumphs.

So many thanks to matriarch Hatty Crossing, her sons James and Ben (and their families), to vineyard manager Jim Diprose and publicist David Cumming for making this such a truly memorable day — and to the band, The Hip Replacements, for playing just so many songs that had us searching though nostalgia banks.

And, quite remarkably, the Studebaker truck the band used as a stage still carries grapes from vineyard to winery at vintage time.

All images: John Rozentals.

Matriarch Hatty Crossing, her sons James and Ben.