ORANGE’S wine industry is healthier than ever with entries in next month’s Orange Wine Show hitting 291, a record and 40 more than last year.
Orange Region Vignerons Association (ORVA) member Justin Byrne said the number of entries reflects the confidence winemakers have in their product.
Mr Byrne said winemakers only entered “wines worth showing”.
“This year there’s more confidence in the wines with better vintages,” he said.
Mr Byrne said entries in the chardonnay category had risen from 38 to 52, prompting wine show organisers to split the section into young and old chardonnays.
He said entries in the shiraz, sauvignon blanc and pinot categories were also strong with around 30 entries in each.
Mr Byrne said it was interesting to see wines such as shiraz growing increasingly popular over the years.
“It was only 25 years ago when people wondered if shiraz would work [in Orange] but clearly it does,” he said.
Mr Byrne said the right combination of a good site selection and viticulture were paying off for wineries of all sizes.
He said the Orange Wine Show had developed a good reputation over the years and used fully-accredited judges to ensure consumers and producers could have faith in its results.
This year’s wine judging begins on Wednesday, October 14, under the guidance of head judge Gary Walsh.
The Orange Wine Show presentation dinner will be held on Friday, October 16, while a public tasting of the trophy-winning wines from the show will be held on Saturday, October 17, at the Orange showground’s agricultural pavilion.
The Orange Wine Show is one of the key events at this year’s Orange Wine Festival that runs from Friday, October 16, to Sunday, November 1.
Orange Wine Festival chair Michelle Stivens said this year’s event will be unique.
“The Orange community is truly an amazing one, with a huge response to welcome visitors into establishments with some unique one-off events, highlighting why Orange is so special,” she said.
“Come and taste our wine, meet the winemakers, eat the freshest produce prepared by our many talented chefs, and relax listening to the local musicians.
“What better way to spend a sunny spring weekend.”