When they first met picking grapes in Italy in the 1990s, Nick and Tanya Segger already had two of the traits needed to be successful wine producers – an appreciation for hard work and good vino. Fast-forward two decades and they’ve acquired the other key attributes. Along with extensive experience in business and marketing, they finally found their ideal location on a bucolic lane at Nashdale, just outside Orange, NSW.
For UK-born Nick, the cool-climate vineyard, established in 2001, ticked all the right boxes. “The climate allows us to grow a lot of European-style grapes from places we’ve travelled over the years, such as pinot gris, Spanish tempranillo and arneis [a northern Italian white varietal],” he says. “It also offers amazing views and location… with an orchard next door and friends who make olive oil just down the road, it feels like an oasis only a short drive from Sydney.”
Their aim is to make wines that are just as accessible. “Our ‘the social’ range is really approachable, regardless of what stage of the wine journey you are at,” Nick explains. Try ‘the social’ Rouge, made from tempranillo and shiraz, and ‘the social’ Rosé, a delicious dry style based on shiraz.
“The ‘Colour Series’ range is single varietal and a bit more New World for those who enjoy the technical side of winemaking [try Colour Series Pinot Gris], while Legacy is our small-batch reserve collection, which uses more Old World techniques and spends longer time in the barrel.”
Each varietal wine features a matching mono-coloured label that also features on their signature rainbow-striped cap. “It’s not just a marketing tool,” Tanya says. “We thought ‘How do we let people know we grow all these other varieties?’, so we put the different coloured stripes on the cap.”
It’s wine you can feel good about drinking, both aesthetically and ethically. Nick hails from a family that pioneered organic farming in the 1970s, so sustainable practices are paramount. Solar supplies 90 per cent of the power, sheep control weeds and last year a drone distributed predatory mites as a biological pest-control technique.
“Sustainability is considered at every part of our business and having a really light footprint is important to us,” he says. “As a region, Orange is very progressive in that regard and I think we’ll see more of that in the future.”
Tastings are available seven days a week from the converted packing shed, which hints at the property’s former life as an apple and pear orchard. Visitors are offered a tailored tasting aimed at exciting and extending the palate. It’s an idyllic venue that’s hard to leave – and you don’t have to. In 2018 the couple installed two safari-style glamping cabins so you can stay and explore.