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Vine maturation key to on-going quality

Angullong has released two new vintages within their ‘A’ Range; the 2016 Angullong Chardonnay ($20) and the 2015 Angullong Shiraz ($20).

The wines are made from the Crossing family’s estate vineyards situated on the southern foothills of Orange’s Mount Canobolas.

“These vines are nearly 20 years old,” explained Angullong’s Ben Crossing. ”The original vines were planted in 1998, with further plantings in 1999 and 2000. Over this time we have removed some varieties that haven’t performed and grafted various new varieties. 

“20 years of viticultural experience has given us an extensive depth of knowledge of the region. It is an extension two generations of farming at Angullong.”

The Crossing family has farmed the Angullong property for 67 years, running their beef cattle enterprise along side the vineyards on the ranges of the fertile Central Highlands.  It is this experience and innate knowledge of the land that has guaranteed the success of their vines.

The Angullong property ranges from undulating to steep hills with spectacular limestone escarpments that descend dramatically down to the fast flowing Belubula River. The vineyards sit atop the ranges at an elevation of up to 620 metres.

“The wines continue to improve as the vines mature,” continued Ben. “The vines are showing what can be achieved in this cool region.  This is evident not just with our vineyard, but across the whole of the Orange Region.

“Over the years the various informal sub-regions of Orange are becoming far more evident. Our sub region at 600 plus metres is a short distance from the high elevation Mount Canobolas sub region that rises up to 1100 metres.  We find that our wines, especially the reds, are slightly fuller and riper, whilst still maintaining the elegance and structure of our cool region.

“Our winemaking team, headed up by Jon Reynolds, has the experience to use the best winemaking techniques for our sub-region. We feel that our wines are continuing to improve, and vintages 2015 and 2016 were certainly very good across the whole Orange Region.

Outstanding in the Vines

Orange’s Angullong Wines is once again hosting its annual ‘Outstanding in the Vines’ lunch as part of the 2017 Orange Wine Festival.

With the success of last years inaugural lunch, Angullong will again open the gates to its vineyard to welcome guests onto their picturesque property on the slopes of Mount Canobolas.

The Angullong Outstanding in the Vines lunch is a roving adventure through the vines. “It’s a restaurant in the vines,” said Angullong’s Ben Crossing. “Rather than bringing the wine to our customers, we are inviting our customers to experience the origin of our wines. It’s all about the story of place.”

The lunch sees guests enjoying Angullong with an open air, long table lunch set within the winegrower’s expansive vineyard on the southern foothills of Mount Canobolas.

“This is a rather unique experience in that we’ll be hosting the lunch in the middle of the vineyard.  Many of our visitors have tasted our wines at our Bluestone Cellar Door in Millthorpe and there is always questions about where the grapes are grown.”

Guests are invited to join Angullong with a bus trip from Orange where they will be greeted by the Crossing family at their vineyard at Panuara.  

The striking setting comprises the impressive rolling vineyard set within the dramatic foothills of Mount Canobolas. The undulating rows of vines oversee steep hills that drop down to the Belubula River.

A three course lunch set along one long table will be prepared by local cook Jo Robson and matched to a range of newly released Angullong wines including Sagrantino, Sangiovese, Tempranillo, Barbera, Vermentino and their flagship wine, the Angullong Crossing Reserve Shiraz.

For further information about Angullong’s Outstanding in the Vines, please visit the website Angullong.com.au

Outstanding in the Vines

Date: Saturday 14 October 2016

Time: Lunch at 12.30pm - 4.30pm

Tickets: $150.00 pp (includes transport).  

Bookings: Available at www.angullong.mybigcommerce.com/outstanding-in-the-vines/

Transport: Buses depart Orange Railway Station at 11.45am and return after lunch at 5.00pm)

What to wear: As there is some walking through the vines, comfortable shoes are recommended. Given it is Orange, there may be a chill in the air during the afternoon. Of course a hat and sunglasses, and feel free to dress up, although jeans and casual attire is more at home in any vineyard.


New wines from Orange's Angullong Vineyard

Orange’s Angullong Wines has released two wines in their ‘Fossil Hill’ range; the 2015 Angullong ‘Fossil Hill’ Barbera ($26) and the new 2015 Angullong ‘Fossil Hill’ Sagrantino ($26).

Alternative varieties have long been an integral component with Angullong’s winegrowing. “In 1999 we planted a range of Mediterranean varieties that we believed would thrive in the Orange region,” explained Angullong’s Ben Crossing. “Over these past 18 years we have learnt a great deal about the vines and gained valuable experience with the wines that they produce.

“In more recent years we have grafted several new alternative varieties including Sagrantino.  This is a variety whose home is in Umbria in central Italy, although it almost became extinct in the 1960s. As in Italy, the region of Orange offers good heat during summer with cool nights that give the vines relief and subsequently lengthen their ripening."

The fruit was handled very gently in the winery, with hand plunging so as not to over extract the tannins. The wine was then matured in a combination of new (25 per cent) and seasoned French oak.

Another Italian variety within Angullong’s ‘Fossil Hill’ range is the 2015 Barbera.  “We are aiming to produce a vibrant Barbera with loads of red fruit and spice with balanced tannins and acidity.”

The Barbera was de-stemmed with 20 per cent left as whole berries prior to fermentation. “We believe that this gives greater freshness, lift and complexity to the wine and a silkier texture to the tannins,” continued Ben. 

From here 25 per cent of the wine was matured in French oak in order to add further complexity to the fresh, primary flavours.

These two wines join Angullong ‘Fossil Hill’ range of wine which also included Shiraz Viognier, Vermentino, Sangiovese, Tempranillo and the newly released Rosato and Riesling.

Knowledge gained through experience leads to Reserve release

Since its inception in 1998 Angullong’s Crossing family have produced some of the Orange region’s best Shiraz grapes. This experience, vine maturity and meticulous viticulture have culminated with the release of the winery’s new flagship wine, the 2013 Angullong Crossing Reserve Shiraz.

The new Reserve wine is made from a single block of Shiraz grown on the higher elevations of the Angullong vineyards. Year on year, this particular block produces grapes with more character, balance and concentration of flavour. We couldn’t have asked for a better vintage than 2013 and this brought our Reserve project to a head.

The Crossing family know well that opportunities such as the 2013 vintage are not the norm. In agriculture you learn to take the opportunities that good seasons present; 2013 was one such season. 

The Orange wine region can be described as a number of regions layered over each other. Being bounded by the 600 metre contour around the dramatic slopes of Mount Canobolas, the best wines are those where the varieties have been matched with each micro clime which is largely determined by elevation.

Red varieties such as Shiraz and Tempranillo are working particularly well around the 600 to 750 metre tier, with chardonnay and Pinot Noir enjoying some of the higher sites.

The knowledge of these sites, elevations and varieties is only gained through experience, and this is evident in the wines now being made in Orange.

The Angullong Crossing Reserve block sits within aged red / brown loamy top-soils, a result of the volcanic origins of Mount Canobolas. This gives way to sandy clay and shale subsoils with a limestone base ensuring good aeration and drainage. The result is relatively low vine vigour and low yields.

The new Crossing Reserve is a limited release wine with only two hundred cases produced. Whilst 2013 is the first vintage, we have made small parcels from 2014 and ensuing vintages. The wine was matured for 12 months in French oak and then 18 months in bottle before release. It has been quite a journey and we are proud to dedicate this wine to our father Bill Crossing who passed away suddenly in October 2015.