Just a four-hour drive from Sydney, Orange is perfectly positioned for any foodie wanting to enjoy the benefits of a food and wine-drenched weekend away.
From local produce-focused restaurants in reclaimed police stations to slick B&Bs in former sheep shearing sheds, to cellar doors in 1890s primary schools, Orange has seized its history with two, soil-happy hands and cultivated the modern foodie Mecca it is today.
First piece of Orange advice: forget everything you know about Chardonnay. Second? You’re going to taste some Australia’s best, best, best wines in one weekend, so bring some paracetamol and start fighting over who’s the designated driver. Orange is pretty cold and sits over 600 metres above sea level. This means whites, sparkling and Pinot Noir country.
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Orange has a great many wineries, so it can be hard to know where to begin (unless you time your visit with the Orange Wine Festival). But most wineries offer free maps of the region, so start with one and take it from there.
If you’d rather work your way around based on recommendation, then head to Mortimers of Orange. Having planted their first vineyard in 1996, the couple bought the public school next door and turned it into a cellar door for their exceedingly good Sauvignon Blanc.
Colmar Estate is one of Orange’s most breathtaking vineyards. Run by Bill and Jane Schrapnel, they sure as heck know their stuff when it comes to perfecting a fine white.
If you fancy taking a drive through the hills with your wine tasting, then head towards Sassy Wines or the brand new Blue Stone Cellar Door and you can savour the view from the top.
More local wineries to note include the small but mighty Roaring Fork, Heifer Station Wines and the eclectic Bloodwood, but make sure you book an appointment before you head off.
When it comes to restaurants, Orange is home to some of the finest eateries around. Warm, welcoming and with a menu to excite any city slicker, the vibrant Union Bank is owned by Nick and Emma Bacon. Home grown produce compliments a plethora of hearty seasonal main courses.
Percy’s offers a little bit of inner Sydney in the heart of Orange. Offering an ever-changing menu of food to share, this is not the place to dine alone!
For a clever blend of Modern Australian and traditional Italian food, look no further than Stepping Stone Restaurant.
Just 15 minutes outside Orange sits the little town of Milthorpe. Home to The Old Mill Café, an incredibly quint old fashioned tearoom brimming with cakes and pastries to make your mouth water. Tonic is also another must if you head to the outskirts.
If coffee is your thing, then Bills Beans is a converted butcher’s shop turned buzzing café. Full of atmosphere and well-known local characters, don’t leave without tasting the array of comforting dishes on the menu.
Byng Street offers a delicious range of seasonal menu items. Offering a great range of coffee, tea, milk shakes and smoothies, it’s the perfect place to start your day.
And don’t forget to treat those you left behind at home. Pick up some fresh produce, pantry staples, deli delights from The Agrestic Grocer or A Slice of Orange. If cheese makes your mouth water then Second Mouse Cheese offers a range of camembert, blue, haloumi, quark and feta cheese that are also available throughout a range of stores in Orange and Bathurst. Click here for more information on what’s happening in Orange.