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Nine new cafés have opened in the past 12

months alone, to bring the total to 56 – that’s

a lot of cafés for a town of only 40,000 people

Fly direct between Brisbane andOrange,

NSW, with Fly Corporate which has

launched new flights departing

Monday to Friday. For more see

Clockwise from bottom left, opposite

page: The Black Sheep Inn provides

accommodation in a century-old former

shearing shed; Orange is a foodie’s delight

with its orchards and vineyards, award-

winning restaurants, smart wine bars and

cafés galore, all celebrated at festivals

throughout the year; food at Charred;

beers at Badlands Brewery which is

located in The Agrestic Grocer complex;

the Ploughman’s plate is a hearty lunch

special at The Agrestic Grocer; and Beau

Baddock, orchardist and co-owner of the

The Agrestic Grocer.

Find out more at

and on Sarah’s

blog at

Images: Destination NSW

to discuss his passion that started back in his

homeland of Germany. He moved to Sydney

to work in project management but, after

juggling his day job with his cheese hobby,

he soon moved to Orange to launch his own

brand. He now produces a range of camembert,

blue, haloumi, quark and feta cheese which are

available at several stores in Orange.

Woltmann’s enthusiasm is infectious and it’s

impossible for me to leave without buying the

ingredients for our own gourmet happy hour,

crackers, olive oil, craft beer and all.

Soon enough it’s wine o’clock and a good

time to arrive at Colmar Estate (790 Pinnacle

Rd), just outside town in the highlands of

Orange. This award-winning vineyard is set on

six hectares of land and its high altitude makes

it the perfect spot to grow white varieties and

Pinot Noir.

Owners by Bill and Jane Shrapnel, (yes, my

mum and dad) were inspired by a trip to France

some 30 years ago to try to grow similar grape

varieties as in Alsace and found the equivalent

climate and growing conditions in Orange.

When a vineyard came on the market three

years ago they packed up their lives and careers

in Sydney for a “tree change” and were soon

picking up a medley of wine awards from

various shows. The cellar door looks out over

the picturesque vines and is the perfect place for

tasting a selection of their cool climate wines.

Since they arrived they have discovered that

country folk live up to their reputation – the

locals have been welcoming and helpful and

they have embraced the country contra system

– for example, regularly trading wine for fresh

cherries down the road or local beef from a

nearby farm.

But there are plenty of other wineries to visit

and our next stop is Rowlee Wines (613 Cargo

Road), a much larger vineyard spread over more

than eight hectares, complete with an impressive

1880’s homestead. Owner Nik Samodol focused

his keen interest in winemaking and viticulture

on producing premium quality wine and some

unusual varieties. For example, in addition to

growing standard cool climate grapes such

as Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir,

Rowlee produces a unique style called Arneis, a

white wine grape variety which originates from

Piedmont, Italy and Nebbiolo, an Italian red

grape variety.

By the time the sun sets we are ready for

dinner and the newly opened Charred Kitchen

and Bar (1-5 New Street) is our restaurant

of choice. The food is designed to share and

cooked using a wood and charcoal oven

(called Lucifer) to impart a unique smoky

flavour. Although they put a tasty spin on

vegie-friendly dishes as well. From a charred

manchego custard to a roasted beetroot and

onion crumble, these dishes made an interesting

vegetarian combo or played along perfectly with

beef cooked over coals and fire roasted chicken.

Orange is a charming combination of old

and new and there is a range of B&Bs, country

cottages or the chic De Russie boutique hotel

(72 Hill Street) for accommodation.

BNE March/April 2017 |