After visiting Alyce’s town of Forbes, we headed to the town of Orange. It was another town I, Alyce had visited before with my parents, but I remembered very little, other than it had lovely trees. And yes it does have lovely trees, but it also has wineries people, wineries!
Alex and I are a little obsessed and I love with Margaret River, so when we found ourselves at the Orange Visitors Center and saw they had wineries galore, you can expect that our afternoon involved wine right?!
Well first we got a million pamphlets from the lovely lady at the visitors center, and cursed ourselves for the trees we were killing. We then went to the cheapest caravan park right in town to get ourselves a spot for the night. It happened to be a caravan park situated on the towns show grounds, nice enough for a nights stay. With our accommodation sorted, we didn’t even bother setting up but drove straight to the wine region.
We hadn’t had lunch so first we decided to stop in and get some lunch, just to ensure our wine tasting didn’t go wrong later. We stopped in at a little shop that sold veggies, fruit and had a little café attached. They did not have much on offer in regards to lunch food, but they did have freshly baked pies, more specifically an apple and raspberry pie. Orange not only has a wine region, but it is a massive fruit growing region, and so seeing a fresh apple and raspberry pie and not buying it is just, no we don’t even think that way.
But our intentions were honest you see, we (I mean I) thought we would have a little piece each and then save the rest and eat it over the next day or so. Well that plan disappeared in less than 5 minutes along with the pie.
Yes we ate a whole pie between the two of us, but it was lunch and it had fruit in it and well that’s all the justification I can come up with.
After this stop we headed to the first winery; De Salis.
Now again in Margaret River, you can walk into 90% of the wineries and taste for free, its bloody fantastic and it definitely influences to an extent on the amount of wine we buy, if we buy some, which we always do.
We did not think about paying for tastings because it is not a norm for us, but it was at De Salis. And the wine was delicious, we enjoyed it out on the deck overlooking the wines and the surrounding hillside, but it was pricey and so we brought no wine.
And we were not going to buy lots, just a bottle for on the road one night, but nope onto the next winery we went.
Rowley was the next winery on our Tour De Orange.
We arrived and it was very quiet, only two mums with their babies were there enjoying some tastings. We grabbed a table on the deck outside in the glorious sun and tasted every wine on their list. And we must say that not only were the wines just that little more delicious than De Salis, it was also free tastings. Now we may be cheap that way, but hey if you can try for free then why not hey?!
Par way through our tastings the mums and their babies left and it was just Alex and I with the owner. We had a great time hearing all about the wines, their names and the history of their winery. He mentioned at one point that he also made Grappa on the side, but that it was not an item for sale. However when we went inside to buy a bottle he asked us how far we had to drive. With a wave of the hand and Alex saying, oh we are just camping in town, two shot glasses were placed in front of us.
Now one of us of course was being responsible and going to drive home. That meant that one of us had not been drinking that much, and in fact pouring the remainder of each taster after a sip into the others glass, in turn making the person drinking quite and happily tipsy. The one person was Alex. He was and is amazing and decided that he wanted to drive, whilst enjoying me enjoy the wine and descend quickly into tipsy land.
So when two shot glasses were placed in front of us and filled with home made grappa, you can guess who drank both of them. That would be me, happily so. That grappa, although it was the only one I had ever tried, was damn delicious!
So I am tipsy, we buy a couple of bottles and head back to camp. From there we have to set up our tent and then cook dinner. We crack open one of the bottles we buy and then Alex joins me on my level.
During that time we make friends with the other campers near us, who are some French back packers that had only arrived in Australia a week before. It was great to hear about their travel plans and see their excitement about trying life in Australia.
But most of the evening was Alex and I enjoying delicious wine, singing songs and cooking a pretty good meal. We definitely settled into Orange nicely and enjoyed the town in a pretty awesome way!