Stockman’s Ridge is a handy operation in Orange, providing a swag of well-crafted wines from the usual cadre of varieties. The dark horses are the grüner veltliner and zinfandel, grown at circa 800m elevation. The ‘groovy grüner’ (as American sommeliers called it in the late ’90s when its fashionability rose to a crescendo) is pungent and fresh, an easy hop, skip and a jump for riesling drinkers. Zinfandel may seem idiosyncratic, but after years in the United States I can attest to its veracity. Neighbour David Lowe also crafts a fine example, suggesting the suitability of zin to Orange’s higher reaches and strong diurnal shifts. Live music happens on weekends and accommodation is available at the on-site Swagman Homestead. Exports to the US. -NED GOODWIN MW
Jonathan Hambrook works closely with chief winemaker, Will Rickard Bell, to highlight a natural wine making approach to its wines. This started with the pinot noir, using wild yeast and hot ferments to bring out the earthy and funky characters. The approach of using wild yeast has been extended to all Stockman’s Ridge wines since 2019. All wines are fermented in new or old oak since the winery transitioned back to basics with their winemaking approach.