Keen for a break from the hustle and bustle of city life? Consider a wine-tasting tour in Orange, one of Australia’s best wine regions. Just a 3.5hr drive from Sydney, a similar driving distance as the Mudgee wine region. Orange offers visitors the opportunity to explore its numerous wineries and taste some of the finest wines the region has to offer.
The 10 Best Cellar Doors in Orange
I have had the pleasure of visiting many of the region’s cellar doors. I have selected my top 10 picks for wineries to visit in Orange, with links to book your tasting experience through Door Explorer. Each winery offers its own unique atmosphere, from stunning views to expertly crafted wines.
So, gather a group of friends or plan a romantic getaway, and get ready to discover the best of Orange’s wine scene. Trust me, your taste buds will thank you.
Here are my top 10 picks for the best wineries in Orange for wine tasting:
- Printhie Wines – A family-owned winery known for its award-winning sparkling wines and cool climate wines.
- Rowlee Wines – Renowned for its quality over quantity approach, producing premium single-vineyard wines.
- Philip Shaw Wines – Established by one of Australia’s most celebrated winemakers, offering wines with bright fruit flavour and intense elegance.
- Nashdale Lane – A welcoming and unapologetically laidback winery, offering an exceptional range of cool-climate wines.
- Borrodell Estate – A gourmet destination offering a selection of Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
- See Saw Wine – Known for crafting exceptional food-friendly certified organic wines using sustainable methods.
- Heifer Station – A boutique winery that has been operating since 1999, known for its Sparkling White, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay.
- De Salis Wines – Known for its dry-grown Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Franc.
- Swinging Bridge Wines – A family-owned winery offering some of the truest expressions of the region’s varieties.
- Patina Wines – Known for creating complex yet approachable wines that are only released once they have properly matured.
How do you get around Orange wineries?
One question that often arises is how to get around the wineries, given the lack of extensive public transport links between the wineries. Orange’s vineyards are less spread out than a region like the Hunter Valley, but I’d still reccommend driving (or being driven) over walking/cycling. Here are your best options:
- Self-drive – Decide on a designated driver through a friendly game of scissors, paper, rock (see tips below).
- Hire a private driver – A quick online search can yield great results. I’ve personally had excellent experiences with AirTasker.
- Opt for a taxi – Be ready for a bit of a wait and make sure to book in advance. Uber can be hit or miss.
- Stretch your legs – While this limits your options, some wineries are within walking distance of each other.
However, I would advise against booking a wine tour with a pre-determined itinerary. You might find yourself at the most commercial vineyards, as the tour company may be earning a commission.
For my money, its worth organising a private driver (use AirTasker) and planning your own wine tour (use Door Explorer).
Do you need a car in Orange?
In a nutshell, yes. I usually drive and alternate driving duties with someone else over different days. It’s the most cost-effective and flexible option, and you can still sample a good number of wines in a day while staying under the limit— remember to take small sips.
That being said, here are a few tips for the designated driver:
- Inform the wineries who the driver is, they often won’t charge a tasting fee for that person as they’ll be tasting less wine (and the rest of the group wouldn’t be there without them).
- Be picky with what you taste. When you have to restrain, not every wine is worth tasting— “I’m driving, but I’d love to taste your Chardonnay and any other recommendations you might have.”
- Divide your tastings over two days and switch the driving responsibilities between days. There’s an abundance of excellent wine to sample.
- Make use of the spittoon— you can savour most of the flavour by swirling the wine around your mouth and then spitting it out. This is a common practice among sommeliers and professional wine tasters to avoid intoxication, and you can do the same!
What Wine is Orange best known for?
The region’s cool climate and varying altitudes make it ideal for growing a range of grape varieties, resulting in a diverse selection of high-quality wines.
What sets Orange apart is its ability to produce both a robust shiraz and a light, crisp sparkling wine within the same vicinity of the nearby volcano, Mt Canobolas.
- Shiraz – rich, full-bodied, and fruit-forward styles of Shiraz, with spicy and berry flavours and good acidity, making it a balanced and satisfying wine.
- Chardonnay – a rich and complex flavour profile, with crisp acidity and full body, intense fruit flavours of citrus, apple, and stone fruit, and a balanced oak influence.
- Sparkling Wines – Orange is known for producing some of the finest sparkling wines in Australia, thanks to its cool climate and high altitude.