Orange is a cool-climate area with snow common in winter, thanks to its high altitude above 600 metres. The result is elegant chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, cabernet sauvignon and shiraz, and there is at least one winemaker who believes (and is trying to prove) that Orange produces the country’s best merlot. Look out for the beautiful chardonnay by Canobolas-Smith (Boree La (off Cargo Rd), Orange, (02) 6365 6113). Cargo Road Winery (Cargo Rd, Orange, (02) 6365 6100) produces zinfandel, and Mayfield Vineyard (Icely Rd, Orange, (02) 6365 9292) has accommodation overlooking the vines. Belgravia at Union Bank (cnr Byng and Sale sts, Orange, (02) 6361 4441 or 1300 721 731) is the cellar door for Belgravia Vineyards, also featuring a tapas and wine bar.

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