I have to hold my hands up and admit that until this week I had never heard of wine producers Heifer Station, based just outside of Orange in Central Western New South Wales.
There are a lot of very good cool-climate wines being made in and around Orange, but I doubt if any of them can match Heifer Station for either value for money or cellar- door ambience.
The bulk of Heifer Station wines (my favourites included the 2016 rosé and 2015 chardonnay, pinot noir and merlot) sell for $30 or under and the tasting venue is the epitome of rustic chic.
The vineyard, planted in 1998, provides fruit for other local labels as well as Heifer Station, but expansion is on the cards.
The cellar door and tasting rooms are set in an historic old woolshed and surrounds, all beautifully restored. Take any overseas visitor here for an instant slice of Australiana.
In addition the lovely tasting rooms and outdoor settings, Heifer Station is also home to a petting zoo to keep young ones busy while parents sample the vinous wares. The menagerie includes a Shetland pony, goats, sheep and other animals.
Platters can be provided for hungry patrons and with 48 hours notice guests can enjoy a romantic picnic in the vines with their wines and food delivered to them via the winery's golf cart. Well-behaved visiting pets are welcome.
It is all very country; and all very stylish.
Heifer Station, 1034 The Escort Way, Orange, NSW 2800.
The website at www.heiferstation.com is due to be updated next week.