Star Cellar Door
Tom Ward is a determined man with an eye to the future. Although his vinous roots are in Canowindra, the attraction of Orange’s cooler climate and buoyant tourism has been too much for Ward – especially as the majority of his grapes already come from the region. So he has transplanted his Swinging Bridge cellar door from Finns Store in Canowindra to Hill Park, an established vineyard just outside Orange with a bucolic outlook towards Mount Canobolas.
The views are a bonus, but it’s the Swinging Bridge wines that are the drawcard. The tasting experience is thoroughly professional – quality stemware, slivers of Manchego and fresh almonds, plus a tasting mat chock full of details on each wine – adding to this is the elevated vineyard site, winemaking info and oak regime.
Ward’s chardonnay and pinot noir are exceptional, but look out for his #003, a skin contact blend of gewürztraminer, pinot gris and riesling and his #006, a tempranillo/pinot noir blend. PETER BOURNE
OUTSTANDING WINE: 2015 Swinging Bridge Reserve Block D Chardonnay, A$58