Orange has a long history of fruit growing - apples, cherries, stone fruit and of course grapes. Grapes have been grown in the Orange district since it was settled in the nineteenth century. The first commercial production of table grapes followed the arrival of the railway in 1877. By 1925, 450 acres (180 hectares) were planted to table grapes.

The modern Orange region wine industry was pioneered with early plantings in 1980 & 1981 by the Fardell’s at Nashdale (Nashdale Vineyard) and the Bourke’s at Millthorpe (Sons & Brothers). These vineyards were followed in 1983, 1984 & 1985 by the Doyle (Bloodwood), Swanson (Cargo Road Wines) and Crawford (Forest Edge) families. Other early winegrape growers included Murray Smith (Canobolas-Smith), the d'Aquino family (Highland Heritage), Phil Stevenson (Ibis Wines), Arthur and Sue Sanders (Habitat Vineyard) and Philip Shaw Wines.

In the mid-1990’s planting in the region expanded rapidly to the now over 1,500 hectares.

In the early days the cooperative spirit that is a hallmark of the region was developed through field days often lead by winemakers and viticulturists.