LUKE Steele is looking forward to the 2020 vintage after taking over as chief winemaker at Ross Hill Wines.
Mr Steele started on August 1, heading a team of four - born in Adelaide and earning his stripes in the Clare Valley, he spent more than three years in the New York State area before returning to Canberra.
"I was excited about the winery - the size of the operation and the quality of the facility made for a no-brainer," he said.
He said winemaking techniques were similar between America and Australia ("It's all crushing grapes"), but he looked forward to operating in a drier climate in Orange.
"On the east coast, it gets to minus-27 degrees during winter but when the snow goes away, the humidity is a big challenge for growing quality grapes," he said.
Mr Steele said his priority was further enhancing the quality of Ross Hill's wines and planting more varieties.
"There's talk of planting more suitable varieties at Wallace Lane because our other vineyard is getting too warm in parts," he said.
Change of scene
WHAT do you do when you have to refit a shop? Move it outside of course.
Orange Central Newsagency began renovations on Sunday, with owners Gary and Jennifer Allen intending to replace everything from the carpet up.
But the business is still operating, with a lottery and newspaper stand set up as a kiosk opposite Coles until Wednesday afternoon when normal operations are expected to resume.
"Instead of closing, I decided to continue trading," Mr Allen said.
The renovations will include slimmer shelving and a revamped lottery display.
ORANGE'S first LinkedIn Local event has gone off without a hitch, with the organiser expecting to hold more networking functions.
Luke Whitton said 22 people attended the event at the Hotel Canobolas on July 30, which featured Pigot Miller Wilson's Brenton Jones and Boleyn Neist as speakers.
He said events could fall into the trap of being too sales-driven or self-promoting, but LinkedIn Local was more about continuing online networks offline.
"It's about adding value and connecting with your existing network," he said.
He said business owners needed to treat LinkedIn like they did Facebook.
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