March 31, 2019 / By Claire Atteia
Welcome to Australia’s longest running food and wine festival. Orange F.O.O.D Week (Food of Orange District) proudly shines the spotlight on one of Australia’s top food and wine regions, and gives local food producers, chefs, cooks and winemakers the opportunity to promote their excellent fresh produce and award-winning wines.
Founded by a group of passionate local foodies and vignerons, F.O.O.D Week was created with an ethos of sustainability and provenance. Now F.O.O.D Week sets the gold standard for festival sustainability as Australia’s, and perhaps the world’s, first ISO 2-121 certified food and wine event.
Running from Friday 5 to Sunday 14 April, the festival includes a number of signature events, plus over 90 smaller events run by restaurants, cafes and cellar doors. This is a 10-day feast for the senses and the soul that you simply won't want to miss. From farm gate tours and picnics, to the lively Night Market and Forage, you’ll have a hard time choosing what to indulge in first! Here are my top picks for how to experience the very best of the F.O.O.D Week.
F.O.O.D Week Night Market: Friday 5 April, 5.30–8.30pm
Head to Robertson Park for an evening of food, wine, beer and cider. Live music will add to the fun as you take your pick from the many stalls representing the very best produce from the Orange and surrounds.
Autumn Grazing Dinner in Blayney: Monday 8 April, 6.00–10.30pm
Join award-winning local chef Richard Learmonth and celebrate the rich taste of the Orange regions diverse food and wine in a spectacular twilight setting in Carrington Park. Bring your dancing shoes as you’ll feel like twirling under the stars once the night is over.
Forage: Saturday 13 April, 10.30am–6.00pm
Bring a friend and take a magnificent stroll through some of Orange’s stunning vineyards and enjoy the distant vista of Mount Canobolas. On the ramble, you’ll be sustained by a 9-course degustation menu of local wine and taste plates, with live music popping up along the way. You’ll be joined by wine-savvy locals who can answer all your questions about the districts cool-climate wines.
Sunday Producers Market and Brunch: Sunday 14 April, 8.30am–12.30pm
Join local food and wine producers for brunch in one of Orange’s most spectacular settings, Cook Park. You’ll be able to stroll the market and talk with locals to taste and purchase their produce. Be sure to be there by 11am to have a chance to win the gourmet prize hamper!
Masterclass: Wine and Food – What Works? Saturday 6 April, 10.00 am–12pm
Swinging Bridge Wines is offering a food and wine masterclass to showcase what food pairs well with their Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Shiraz drops. You’ll be sure to discover a new food and wine favourite!
Sassy Vineyard Walk: Saturday 6, Sunday 14 April, 10.00–11.30am
Pack a hat, wear sturdy shoes, and join Rob from Sassy Wines as he walks you through their vineyard explaining the ins and outs of winemaking. Afterwards, indulge in some wine-tasting at their cellar door (the Arnesis is my favourite!).
Hands-on Cider Making Class: Sunday 7 April, 10.00am, 12.00pm, 2.00pm
Small Acres Cyder is running a hands-on cider making class where you can experience making cider the traditional way. Taste a variety of cider apples and learn their techniques for making real cider. Yum!
The Butcher & The Winemaker: Monday 8 April, 11.00am–2.00pm
Angullong Wines in Millthorpe welcomes artisan small goods maker Stephan Burmilli for a sausage-making masterclass, to be followed by a delicious lunch by chef Ben Crossing. Be sure to have a glass of sparkling rose whilst you kick back and enjoy the day.
Farm Gate Tour – Millthorpe & Forest Reefs: Friday 12 April, 9.00am–1.30pm
This ticks all my boxes. Take an adventure to Lucknow and take in the views at Merungie Lamb. Follow that by Devonshire tea at 1859 Brewery and Beekeepers Inn, then it’s off to Fourjay Farms for a tramp through the hazelnut orchard. Wrap up the day with wine and cheese at Angullong in Millthorpe. Ahhh, happiness.
Sculpture in an Orange Garden: Saturday 13, Sunday 14 April, 10.00am–4.30pm
Sculptures by well-known and emerging Australian artists will be on display at Rosemont Cottage. Take a picnic rug and enjoy the relaxed surroundings with a glass of wine and Devonshire tea. Don’t forget to vote in the people’s choice award for your favourite sculpture!
Nonna’s Italian Style Long Table Lunch: Sunday 14 April, 12.30–4.30pm
Come and join Nonna D’Aquino for her popular Nonna’s Long Table Lunch at Highland Heritage Estate. She’ll be cooking up an amazing Italian feast and you’ll sample wines from the vineyard. Take the time to admire the spectacular views over the surrounding hills of Orange.
To see the full festival program, head to the Orange Food Week website.
We think you should know: The Weekender's travel guides are independently written by real travellers. We do not receive any money from, or have a sponsorship arrangement with, any of the entities listed in, or referred to in this article.