Angullong Wines has a beautifully appointed and admirably located cellar-door/shopfront in the charming Central-Western NSW village of Millthorpe, not far outside Orange.
That’s just as well, because, though it has the largest vineyard in the Orange district, it’s at the end of the road to woop-woop, at a location called Panuara, on the slopes of Mt Canobolas near Cadia.
But once a year, during the October Orange Wine Week, Hatty Crossing, her sons James and Ben, and their families, who between them run Angullong, share this prized grape-growing location with the public during a long-table lunch called ‘Outstanding in the Vines’.
And outstanding it really is. The lunch location and setting are fabulous — on white-clothed tables between two of the property’s dams and offering simply fabulous views over the surrounding vines.
It is a smart move by the Crossings to organise buses to bring their guests from Orange Railway Station.
The long and winding road may take a toll on the way in, and almost certainly will on the way out.
Especially given the vineyard’s proximity to nowhere, the standard of food presented over the past couple of years has been superb.
In 2017, for instance, the menu comprised: hors d’oeuvre of smoked trout paté on crostini, mini Yorkshire puddings with venison, goats-cheese-and-beetroot tarts, spanakopita, and cheese-and-rosemary sables with roast tomato; followed by shared platters of beef fillet with chilli-lemon and cumin, crispy-skin herbed chicken, asparagus with aioli, chunky potato gratin, and pear-pea-and-parmesan salad with creamy mint dressing.
And then there was dessert — absolutely delectable lemon-curd cheesecake and chocolate berry mousse.
Winewise, there was plenty to choose from, starting with regularly topped-up glasses of NV Chardonnay Pinot Noir and 2016 Sparkling Rosé, with 2017 Pinot Grigio for when the bubbles started to overwhelm.
With the main course there was 2017 Fossil Hill Rosato, 2016 Chardonnay, 2016 Fossil Hill Tempranillo and 2016 Fossil Hill Sangiovese, while dessert was accompanied by 2016 Fossil Hill Riesling, 2013 Botrytis Semillon and 2016 Fossil Hill Barbera.
And the band, — one of various incarnations of the Hip Replacements — will be back in 2018, playing just so many songs that have guests searching though nostalgia banks.
And, quite remarkably, the Studebaker truck the band uses as a stage still carries grapes from vineyard to winery at vintage time.