In the gentle grip of the grape.
When you are ready and able to take a road trip out of Sydney, head towards Orange in the central west of NSW.
Rustic but refined, this experience sets you in the middle of classic Australian terrain – generous glamping and a spectacular cellar door next door. Everybody needs good neighbours.
Was I having sheep dreams? I wake to the sounds of a variety of bird song, some chirpy, some a little glum, some positively raucous. Then the bleat of sheep. But I was in the middle of a vineyard. I stepped outside and on a narrow path through one of the vineyard rows I spied a line of sheep, cream coloured except for one black sheep being led by a haughty alpaca. In front on the lawn was a duck and two rabbits. To my right I turned to see the soft glaze of an early morning mist still settled on the land looking all the while like a scene from a Hans Heysen painting. Where was I again?
I’m standing on the deck of a splendid ‘glamping cabin’, one of two sitting on the edge of 17 hectares, 900 metres above sea level in the Nashdale Lane Vineyard, just outside the western NSW city of Orange.
To the left I see the rather cool building that is a repurposed 60-year-old apple packing shed, now a rather fine cellar door with large windows drawing in the view of the surrounding rolling land, neighbouring vineyard, a few wandering cattle and the view to Mount Canobolas.
I give a silent nod of thanks and respect to the the mountain – it’s because of this extinct volcano that the rich, fertile land gives guts and glory to the wine grown here.
Take a sip
Nick and Tanya (Ryan-Segger) Segger (below) took on this property in 2000 and have turned it into a productive, all Australian owned winery. Wine and cellar door is the core business of this property with small groups turning up for serious tastings and considered purchasing.
Wine tastings of the full range of wines include:
Whites – “the social” blanc (Pinot Gris, Riesling & Arneis blend), Pinot Gris, Riesling, Fumé Blanc (lightly oaked Sauvignon Blanc), Chardonnay.
Reds – “the social” rosé, Pinot Noir, Tempranillo, Shiraz.
The labels are creatively designed, with a delicate graphic edge. The necks of the bottles have coloured stripes that indicate the type of wine the bottle is housing.
After a relaxed and comprehensive wine tasting in the afternoon we at Nashdale Lane Wines we head to our accommodation for the night. The glamping cabins are large and impressive (there are two only, which adds to the exclusivity of the destination).
Now, I’m not a camper but I am a glamper. This accommodation suits the terrain and has a rustic, familiar and distinctive Aussie short break attitude. And it promises a carbon-neutral footprint with the almost au natural experience of camping – with benefits!
Glamping here does not compromise on comfort and style. (Nashdale Lane Glamping Cabins are designed for couples only and children are not allowed.)
We step up on the outdoor deck (barbecue sitting patiently and ready for action) and unzip the front door. The floor is hardwood throughout and the entire construction is to a high standard of state-of-the-art fabric.
There’s a well-designed little kitchen with everything you need to whip up a gourmet meal. Coffee, tea, salt and pepper, muesli and local olive oil are at the ready.
There’s a large couch, an eclectic selection of books and magazines, a four-poster bed with high thread cotton sheets and a romantic muslin net folded around the beams. I particularly loved the bathroom, smelling all woody and Scandinavian. The fab shower (which is hot and powerful) is in an open rectangular curve of corrugated iron. There’s a basin and toilet and a couple of windows to roll up for extra light.
But on this chilly night the star of the show is a wood fire (totally safe) and with the wood cut and supplied it promoted a roaring blaze, a heady scent of wood and mighty warmth.
And for a short couple of days we immersed ourselves in ‘disconnection’. Relaxation, frequent naps, pristine mountain air and the fully Monty of a glorious night sky thick with stars.
The zipper on the cabin door was a little stiff as we tried to leave – was it the universe trying to tell us to stay longer?
(And back to the sheep and alpaca on the early morning walk: they are called the ‘lawn mowing team’, lent to the Eggers by a generous neighbour to keep the grass down in a gentle way.)
The Cellar Door is open 7 days a week. Sunday to Friday – midday to 4pm.Visit:
Saturday – 11am to 5pm. Enhanced food & wine tasting available.
Tastings are $10 per person redeemable on purchase.
To ensure delivering a great wine tasting experience, groups of six or more are encouraged to book ahead.
Nashdale Lane Wines are located just under 10 minutes outside of Orange, NSW. We can be found by searching us up on Google & Apple Maps or by entering our address 125 Nashdale Lane, Nashdale, NSW.
Five local highlights
Five minutes from Nashdale Lane Vineyard to Orange and you are in the heart of excellent food, so try myriad gold standard restaurants and cafes – there are more than you can poke a fork at.
- Mr Lim – we had the drunken duck and dumplings. The standout dish of the trip was sweet and sour pork – divine. $$$
- Lolli Redini – slow cooked wagyu beef, barramundi and a splendid souffle at this classic Italian restaurant. $$$$
- Visit the Orange Visitors Centre – lots of great info from really lovely, informed staff. And there are regular exhibitions on too.
- Drive to the top of Mount Canobolas for brilliant views of the city and surrounds.
- On the drive back to Sydney and a few minutes out of Orange, visit 2 Fat Ladies café and lolly shop. Freshly baked fluffy scones (so good) and a good cuppa are on offer for a superb morning tea. $$