Orange region terroir 2010 – a review of the unique features of the Orange wine region

A cool climate region in Central New South Wales

By Sara Schwarz
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Canobolas Smith Winery, Orange, New South Wales, make premium quality wines

Canobolas Smith Winery, Orange, New South Wales, make premium quality wines [©Winepros/]

Cumulus Wines, Orange, New South Wales


Compiled by the Orange Region Vignerons Association, Orange region terrior 2010: a review of the unique features of the Orange wine region, is both an important historical document and guide to the factors that make this region one of NSW's most exciting viticultural regions in recent times.

Orange has become an increasingly important wine-producing region in recent years and now has over 1500Ha of land under vine with over 40 separate wine labels available to consumers. It is also fast growing in popularity as a gourmet destination, complemented by some excellent food producers, restaurants and festivals.

This 10 page booklet however is not your standard guide to the wines of the region you’d find at local tourist information centres (we suggest you download our new App if this is what you are after - link below), rather this is a guide for those interested in what it is that makes the wines of the Orange region unique, its terroir.

To quote from the booklet: ‘Terroir is the French word used to define the features of a wine growing region that includes its climate, geology, topography and soils which contribute to the individuality and renown of wines produced there. It also includes the historical and human effects on site expression of the vineyard and wines produced.’

Taking into account both environmental and social factors, this succinct and insightful guide traverses the history of winegrowing in the region, followed by excellent summaries on the Topography and Geology of the region, Climate and Weather, including the all important Temperature, Rainfall and Humidity, then moves on to Soil Types across the region and finally ending with the Viticulture of the region – what is grown where and why.

This is a guide for professionals and interested amateurs who wish to take their knowledge of the region to the next level. It is also an important historical document capturing information that is essential for anyone considering setting up an agricultural venture in the region or documenting changes in climate over the coming decades.

And for those interested amateurs who wish to know why your pinot gris is reminiscent of cooked pear and honey when grown at 600-750m and green apple when grown above 900m, I strongly suggest you pick up a copy on your travels in the region. 


Orange region terroir 2010 is written and published by the Orange Region Vignerons Association (2009; pb) RRP $4.99. It is available from Taste Orange and select outlets in the Orange region.


  • Orange (NSW)

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August 17th, 2011
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