Central Ranges Zone, New South Wales

Award Winning Wines From Central Ranges Zone

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From the extended slopes of the Great Dividing Range and west of the Blue Mountains, the Central Ranges is celebrated for its mix of elegant red and white wine styles.

This broad area, founded on the three exciting constituent wine regions of Mudgee, Orange and Cowra, are hosts to some premium fruit. Towards the rugged eastern slice of the region, it produces cool climate wines, whereas the topography becomes increasingly flat on the western side, and the warmer climate can yield juicy reds. The grapes are typical of the undulating terrain from the dividing mountain line between states, but the lesser-known wine zone is gaining popularity, especially as it’s a short and comfortable journey leaving from major nearby cities, like Sydney and Canberra.

The scenic journey connecting each of the wine regions is also worth the travel thanks to breathtaking views of sandstone cliffs, forests and great walking tracks galore.

James Halliday on the Central Ranges

The three regions of the zone – Mudgee, Orange and Cowra – run from north to south along the western slopes of the Great Dividing Range. Orange is by far the coolest of the three, Cowra by far the warmest; elevation is the key to this apparent paradox. Mudgee is by far the oldest, with a continuous history of winemaking stretching back to the mid-19th century; Orange is the most recent, and arguably the most exciting.

There is a considerable tract of north to south land to the west of the regions, still with some elevation, and an equally large chunk east of Orange and Cowra, high in the Great Dividing Range. Zones being what they are, the wineries falling in these areas outside the regions are a rather untidy gaggle; one is tiny but very old (Chateau Champsaur), others newer, in either very warm or decidedly cool climates.

New South Wales Facts

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  • NSW
  • Central Ranges Zone