Over the past decade or so, Orange has become recognised as one of Australia's finest culinary regions. And, for one special weekend next month, Orange Winter Fire Festival will have the town bursting with great food, drink and cultural events, all with a wintry flavour. The festival will capitalise on the town's winemaking status as some of the best local drops are showcased at events inspired by classic Australiana images, such as crackling bonfires and chargrilled feasts.
Held across the weekend of August 3–5, the festival kicks off on Friday with the nearby village of Millthorpe being transformed into a winter wonderland as country-folk duo Smith and Jones light up the stage and Pym Street bustles with food and wine market stalls. Meanwhile, back in Orange, Ross Hill Wines will host acclaimed chef Michael Manners, who'll serve up a casual meal of soup and paella by an outdoor fireplace.
The fire theme continues on Saturday. The standout event sees Small Acres Cyder, See Saw wines and Canobolas Dance Hall join forces for a raucous night of 'wassailing' by the bonfire in preparation for spring. For the uninitiated, wassailing is an ancient act of chanting to trees, thus ensuring their prosperity. Nobody likes underwhelming wine, so be sure to belt out all good notes over your two-course feast.
With poetry sessions, 'astronomical journeys' and Sunday roasts plus so much more taking place over the festival, a road trip to the Orange Winter Fire Festival would make for a pretty perfect winter weekend.
Orange Winter Fire Festival 2018 will take place from Friday, August 3 to Sunday, August 5. Head to the festival website for event and ticket info.