As we turned in the drive to Nashdale Lane, passing row upon row of vines in the rolling vineyard, we could feel ourselves decompressing a bit. It had already been a busy day. We were up really early to drive to Orange from the Hunter Valley and had spent the afternoon in Millthorpe at Angullong Wines. Now we had just a bit of time to get to our accommodations for the evening and meet Nick and Tanya of Nashdale Lane.
They were waiting for us in front of their cellar door, a renovated apple packing shed from when the property was an apple orchard.
The cellar door is open and bright with an open ceiling and beams, the wall are simple plywood on the inside of the corrugated metal building. A large farm table and barrels dot the interior which has large windows all the way around with expansive views of the vineyard.
Tanya and I sat by the window looking out onto the wide expanse of lawn between the tasting room and the vineyard. It’s the perfect place for guests to relax and picnic and for the kids to kick a ball around. They want the experience here to not be stuffy.
They do have a VIP room behind the bar, where people can get serious about the wines. This way they can separate the serious tasters from the “punters” and keep everyone happy.
The tasting mats are the first thing that gives you a bit of insight into their style. It is a rainbow of soft colors, each for a wine, keeping these wines approachable and hip, much like the owners.
This property had been 60 acres of apple orchards, with it’s historically “Australian” corrugated metal packing shed. Previous owners had replanted the orchard with vines and in 2016 Tanya and Nick discovered the property and their dream of owning a vineyard and winery became a reality.
The vineyard is in the Orange Region of New South Wales Australia, which means that it is high altitude. These vineyards sit at 860 to 900 meters above sea level. That’s about 2800-3000 feet. Soils here are primarily basalt.
They grow 8 varieties here, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Tempranillo, and a small amount of Arneis. The cellar door looks out onto the Pinot Gris and Riesling. It was the Shiraz and Tempranillo we passed on the way in.
The Shiraz sits in the highest part of the vineyard where it is a little warmer. They sit right on the border of where Shiraz will ripen. The diurnal shifts cause the grapes to ripen slowly giving the wine complexity and body, while still being delicate and elegant.
The hills roll here allowing them different aspects for the different varieties. Down the hill, the Chardonnay is the first to hit bud break, everything else quickly follows. When harvest arrives, Tanya tells me, it is two busy months, with everything coming in at different times so they can focus on each one. The Tempranillo ripens last signaling the end of harvest.
Biodiversity is important here, a bonus being wildflowers in the cover crop that make their 8-year-old happy. Nick’s family in the UK have an organic farming background, so the philosophy of sustainable agriculture is second nature to him.
When they arrived they found deficits in soil nutrition. They planted cover crops: clover, vetch, fava beans, and oats and noticed improvement within a year. They have sheep to keep down the weeds and are looking to move to organic accreditation in the next year or two.
We move to discuss the Nashdale Lane wines, a pastel rainbow of labels lined up on the window ledge. Their wines are broken down into 3 ranges, the Social Range, the Colour Series, and the Legacy Range.
‘the social’ range
This is a simple easy pairing range with 2 wines that are easy drinking and easy pairing.
‘the social’ Blanc is a white wine blend with Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling, and Arneis. It has “lappable” fruit notes that make it perfect for entertaining. 12% abv $30 au
‘the social’ Rosé is a dry rosé with beautiful pink color and notes of strawberry. “Quaffable”, again it sits at 12.5% and $30 au
They are looking to create a Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Tempranillo blend to add to this line that would be what Tanya calls “a fancy Pizza wine”.
The Colour Series
This is the series that runs the color palette with a range of varietal wines
This series covers Pinot Gris, Riesling, a Sauvignon Blanc in a Fumé Blanc style, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Tempranillo, and Shiraz. These wines vary from $30 to $55 depending on the variety and the vintage.
The Legacy Range
The Legacy Range are the higher-end Reserve wines. The Nashdale Lane 2018 Pinot Noir and Tempranillo both took good scores from the Halliday Wine Companion 95 and 92 respectively. They only do these wines when the vintage dictates. These wines run $65 au
They were adding one more to this line which was fascinating to hear about, though it had yet to be released. The 2019 Nashdale Lane Legacy Rosé is left on the skins longer to get a deeper color and flavor. Made from Shiraz it moves to age in 3-year-old French Oak for 12 months.
Nick says they moved it around in a few different barrels constantly playing with it to see how far they wanted to push it.
“I’d like it to be one of those wines that may polarize people a little so that someone who loves their wines will love this style of rosé.”
Nick Segger, Oct 2019
On their site, for this Legacy Rosé, they list: “Winemaking: tank & wild ferments, malolactic fermentation, patience”.
We were not just there to chat with Nick and Tanya, we were also staying here for the night in their “in-vine” accommodations, thanks to Orange360.
Tanya says they wanted the accommodations to be small and exclusive. This was meant to be a benefit of the Nashdale Lane wine club membership.
In their travels, they had done a bit of glamping in South Africa and Italy and loved it. They were determined to do it right and imported their glamping tents from Holland. Tanya says “It’s sort of the Mercedes Benz of the Glamping world.”
They also wanted to have something that felt at home in the vineyard. A traditional building would not do that. This way they could tread lightly and be sustainable.
They have 2 glamping cabins and are not likely to increase this. More than that would change the experience.
To the Glamping Cabin
They directed us to the tent/cabin. The canvas tent is mounted on a raised wooden platform, which has a full front porch overlooking the vineyards behind the cellar door. The stairs have solar lights built-in for when you return after dark, the porch has a lower level seating area to lounge in as well as a table and chair that I found perfect for morning coffee. There is a grill on the deck for easy cooking. Oh and a large herb bed next to the cabin for sourcing fresh herbs for your meals.
Unzip and open the flap to step inside, where the large room is divided into a seating area, a kitchen and dining area, and then the 4 poster bed tucked in the back. A woodstove separates the spaces to keep the whole cabin toasty.
There is a bath with a shower and running water, which is surprisingly glamourous for tent life.
The 4 poster bed has a canopy of netting and heating pads to adjust for each side of the bed. It’s pretty romantic.
There is a bookshelf stocked with books and games to help you unplug.
We settled in quickly as we were off to a dinner tasting at another winery. When we returned the sign at the cellar door was lit up against the night sky. We did start a fire to enjoy the ambiance with a glass of their Riesling and then curled up for our all too short stay.
Morning found us up early to catch a bit of the gorgeous view before heading out for the day. They have comfy slippers and a French press coffee maker, so slippers on my feet and coffee in hand I watched the vineyard wake up.
We loved our stay, but really, I wish we had been able to just go, unplug and nest. A book on the deck, glass of wine in hand with that view.
Finding Nashdale Lane
Nashdale Lane is located in the Orange Wine Region just 3 hours from Sydney.
125 Nashdale Lane
Nashdale, NSW 2800 AU
Visit the website for current hours for scheduling a tasting.
More on Orange, Australia!
Want more information on the Orange Wine Region in Australia? Check out these other pieces we’ve written on the region!
- 2 days in Orange? Too little time for this beautiful Australian wine region!
- Angullong in Millthorpe – Wine, Welcome to Country, Indigenous Dances and bush Tucka in Orange NSW
- The Byng Street Boutique Hotel in Orange Australia – Treat yourself to Quiet Elegant Luxury
- Swift – Delicious Traditional Method Sparkling Wines from Printhie and the High Altitude Vineyards in Orange Australia
And there is more to come!
Our visit to Nashdale Lane occurred during our post-conference tour at the 2019 Wine Media Conference, This media trip was arranged by Orange360 who provided accommodations and internal travel. No other compensation was received. All opinions are our own.
More on Australia
We visited a bit of New South Wales while we were in Australia. Here are some more pieces on the regions we visited.
Robin Renken is a wine writer and Certified Specialist of Wine. She and her husband Michael travel to wine regions interviewing vineyard owners and winemakers and learning the stories behind the glass.
When not traveling they indulge in cooking and pairing wines with food at home in Las Vegas.