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Sunday 24 October 2021

Cool-climate, elegant and affordable: a rare wine trifecta

The phrase "cool-climate" and the word "elegant" combined are often wine industry code for "expensive". 

Not so with the new Quilty & Gransden range of wines from Cumulus Vineyards in Orange - a region that is just about as cool climate as it gets in New South Wales. 

The Quilty & Gransden range - five varietals in all - is promoted as "premium quality, affordable wines". It is certainly rare to find wines from Orange which retail for just $15 a bottle. 

The single varietals comprise a 2020 sauvignon blanc, a 2019 chardonnay, and a 2018 merlot, shiraz and cabernet sauvignon using estate-grown fruit managed by Orange region vigneron of the year Russell Quilty and Nuffield Scholarship recipient Martin Gransden.

“Our purpose is simple; we want to get as many people drinking the great wines from Orange as we can," says Cumulus Vineyards CEO Tim Jones. 

"Quilty & Gransden wines are an affordable entry point for people to enjoy the elegant wines that Orange is becoming famous for."

Vineyard manager Quilty says: “The wines from Orange are outstanding, but they should also be affordable.”

All the grapes for these wines are sourced from 25-year-old vines that sit at a cool 600 metres above sea-level where the fruit enjoys intense, high-elevation sunshine, resulting in flavourful medium-bodied wines. 

Viticulturist Gransden says: “We are not interested in making big, heavy alcohol wines, we want to make elegant, food-friendly, savoury wines.” 

At $15 a bottle all represent reasonable value but it was the cabernet sauvignon, pleasingly medium-bodied and varietal with blackcurrant flavours and subtle oak, and the crisp, tropical and refreshing sauvignon blanc that stood out for me. 

“Shiraz, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, cabernet sauvignon and merlot are the varieties that people like to drink here,” says Gransden. 

“We think that our core offering coupled with Orange’s reputation for producing quality wine will really be appealing to consumers.” 

It's certainly nice to see a wine range named after those who grew the fruit rather than the name of a vineyard or a winemaker. 

“We decided to name this range after Russ and Marty,” says Jones. “They are two of the most talented vignerons in New South Wales and have spend a combined 30 years looking after our magnificent vineyard.

“Orange is one of Australia’s most exciting wine regions, but the majority of wines from here are too expensive for everyday consumers.”

See for details. 


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