Prosecco, Pinots and plenty more: Orange wines to enjoy this Christmas

GUIDE TO THE GRAPES: Justin Byrne says there's plenty of Orange wines to consider enjoying this Christmas season. Photo: JUDE KEOGH
GUIDE TO THE GRAPES: Justin Byrne says there's plenty of Orange wines to consider enjoying this Christmas season. Photo: JUDE KEOGH

WHEN the thirsty hordes descend it is good to have some local offerings that please the palate and the pocket. If you haven’t already made your plans for Christmas and New Year festivities, here are some suggestions.

In the fizz department some See Saw Prosecco fits the bill, perhaps also a bottle or two of the Cumulus 2017 Climbing Pinot Gris, the Angullong Pinot Grigio and Mortimer’s 2016 Sauvignon Blanc.

For serious sparkling, any of the Swift range are very good, the 2011 Rosé – which topped a strong class at the Orange Wine Show – being a standout. Other local examples worth seeking out include Ross Hill, Philip Shaw and De Salis.

Riesling – a style to match with Christmas cold cuts – continues to gain popularity, and there are now many good examples with Carillion, Colmar Estate, Printhie, Cargo Road and Highland Heritage all doing great things. 

It isn’t Christmas without classic Orange Chardonnay in the house and it is a great match for richer seafood or poultry dishes. There is an abundance of local riches with wines from Rowlee, Brokenwood, Tamburlaine, Swinging Bridge and Philip Shaw all getting golds at the 2017 Orange Wine Show.

Rosé is making a quality home in Orange and the style is starting to find a place on our table. Rosé can be made from a wide range of varieties and cool climate Pinot Noir makes a very attractive style. I can recommend Colmar, See Saw and the new and interesting #004 from Tom Ward at Swinging Bridge.

Pinot Noir performs best at altitude and with winemakers using clonal variety, whole bunch fermentation and other techniques, the wines are high class. Try one of the new players – Rowlee or Slow Wine Co, and keep an eye out for Will Rikard-Bell’s new brand Rikard. Having said that Philip Shaw’s The Wire Walker and See Saw both have very good Pinots at the $20 mark.

If you are going to do the Christmas roast then a sparkling red is something to consider. The local Montoro Sparkling Shiraz is also worth seeking out.

All the best for the festive season. Cheers.