Perched on the slopes of Mount Canobolas, Ross and Derice McDonald's new vineyard at Orange is one of the highest in the country.
"We're at 1100 metres here which is nearly subalpine," Mr McDonald said.
"It's nearly 200 metres above Jindabyne in the Snowies."
Their pinot noir vines, planted late last year, are the first stage of a new venture for the McDonald's - cool climate wines.
After almost three decades in the Hunter Valley, where they raised a family and ran their own organic vineyard, winery and cellar door, Macquariedale, the couple made what they describe as a 'monumental' decision in 2018 to pack up and start again in Orange.
"It wasn't anything we had been planning to do." Mrs McDonald said.
"Ross and I had come over to Orange just for a few days out - purely for a holiday and to taste some wine because we'd heard some good things about it.
"We had some great experiences at cellar doors and really enjoyed the community feel.
"Driving home I said to Ross 'I think I could live there' and eight weeks later we made the decision."
While on the surface the move seemed to come out of left field, the reality was that they'd become disgruntled with a number of things in the Hunter.
As organic, biodynamic growers (they were the first winemakers in the Hunter to be certified organic back in 2005), pollution from the mines was something that had long concerned them.
But even more worrying to them was the changing climate.
Their vines were starting to ripen earlier each year and temperatures were rising.
"A hot day (in the Hunter) 25 years ago we used to say was about 35 or 36. Now it's 45 on a really hot day because you're getting these really extreme temperatures," Mr McDonald said.
He says vineyards all over Australia, and the world, are having to deal with the warming climate.
"They're adapting from a variety point of view in terms of what they're trying to farm, but they're also bringing in techniques which are not really natural.
"On vineyards in some hot areas they're now using sunscreen on vines, spraying out a calcium based product to protect the vine. Well to me that just means the vine isn't coping with the elevated temperatures."
The trend in viticulture is to move to the south...or move up the mountain which is Orange- Ross McDonald, Macquariedale Wines
He says if the current trend continues, then over the next 20, 30, 50 years some areas are going to be too hot to function properly.
"The trend in viticulture is to move to the south - there's a lot of investment going on in Tasmania - or you move up the mountain, which is Orange."
Ultimately the move was an easy one for the McDonald's, as the Orange region ticked all the boxes for them.
Not only were they escaping the heat and pollution, it was a smart move from a market perspective, Mr McDonald said.
"There is a trend in the market towards lighter wines.
"People are looking for things that are more delicate, more complex, more light, and Orange lends itself very much to making wines of that ilk."
He says the cool climate extends the ripening period, which means you get more aromatics in the wine, and finer, more delicate flavours.
"To make beautiful delicate wines this is the place to do it," he said.
The McDonald's are still in the process of moving their wine making equipment from the Hunter, but have started making wines from Orange-grown organic grapes along with completing their first stage of their vineyard.
In the Hunter Valley they grew varieties including Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay and Semillon.
Mr McDonald says there will be some overlap in varieties between the Hunter and Orange however the hero grapes for Orange are Riesling, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris (Grigio) and Pinot Noir.
"We have already made Riesling, Pinot Gris, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and we are extremely happy with the quality," he said.
The McDonald's block at Orange was previously organically farmed for garlic, a nice connection as the couple had at one time also grown organic garlic in the Hunter Valley.
It overlooks the Towac Valley, providing an idyllic setting for their cellar door and events space - a beautifully renovated old stable building that opened to the public in May.
Mr McDonald says Orange's basalt soils are rich in nutrients on which grape vines thrive, enabling them to get good growth with minimal fertiliser addition.
The environment is well-suited to their organic, biodynamic, holistic approach, and they have found a like-minded community in Orange.
"The wine industry in Orange is a younger industry, so there's a different dynamic here and we felt there was a little bit more openness to sustainability as well," Mrs McDonald said.
"So that was an attractive thing to us.
"It's a great region, a great town and a very supportive community."
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