AS a wine producing region, Orange is riding on the back of a nationwide trend that will see more Aussies drinking a glass of wine than a schooner of beer.
In the last five years the consumption of wine has risen to its highest level, and with Orange on the cusp of celebrating wine week, it is good news for producers.
In the last four years Australians have drunk an average of seven more glasses of wine a year, while consuming 44 fewer standards drinks of beer, according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data.
Many wine producers in the Orange region are predicting a great vintage this year if weather conditions hold out.
For Peter Mortimer, the rise in wine drinkers is a far cry from the days of his youth when he enjoyed drinking beer with his mates.
‘I came from a beer culture. It’s just what you did then, had a beer at the pub on most days,” he said.
“But as I got older, my palate has matured. Wine is something I really enjoy with a meal, it’s a complete experience,” he said.
James Thomas, nephew of wine guru Philip Shaw, grew up with wine. He believes the growth of wine in popularity among Australians is related to the social experience of sharing a bottle of wine with family or friends.
“In Orange it becomes a lively regional experience,” he said.
Charlotte Gundry agrees.
“I think it is something we do very well here in the Orange region, providing that experience, and I think that’s a large part of our success,” she said.
Ms Gundry said Orange and district was expecting an influx of visitors for Orange Wine Week, which runs from October 17 to 27.