ORANGE’S most planted wine variety shiraz will be in focus today and tomorrow at a two-day symposium to be hosted during Wine Week.
Although Orange has put itself on the map with its chardonnay and sauvignon blanc varieties, it is outnumbered in vines by shiraz with around 400 planted out in vineyards in the area.
Orange Region Vignerons’ Association spokesman Peter Hedberg said this week’s two-day symposium has attracted growers and speakers from Victoria, the Australian Capital Territory and the Orange region.
“Three years ago we hosted a similar symposium on sauvignon blanc and this will be a valuable experience as we look closely at shiraz,” he said.
“Traditionally shiraz is usually grown in hotter climates than Orange but we have the opportunity here with our altitude to produce a more elegant variety,” Mr Hedberg said.
Mr Hedberg said plantings have remained virtually static due to the pressures on the wine industry with Orange’s growth period for the planting of shiraz taking place in the late 1990s and early 2000s.
“We really put them in at the time to see how they would go here but we knew we would have to grow differently to maintain the aromatics,” he said.
Industry experts Tim Kirk, Michael Hill-Smith and Dr Jim Hardy will lead the two-day symposium.
Today our shiraz will be lined up against French varieties for comparison and discussion over the variances in aromatics.
Tomorrow participants will tour Koomooloo Vineyard and Printhie Wines with contrasting altitudes of 900 metres and 600 metres, an opportunity for comparison of the wine varieties.
This week’s highlight of Wine Week will be the night market to be held in Robertson Park on Friday starting at 5.30pm and running through until 8.30pm.
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