Growing Regions - New South Wales
NSW is often the second highest apple producing state after Victoria and has a reputation for producing quality fruit from high up on the western slopes of the Great Dividing Range, at Batlow in the south and Orange in the middle of the state. Bilpin is the other noted apple growing area.
NSW has a long history of growing quality apples and indeed, the Batlow name and brand is synonymous with apples in NSW. The cool climate experienced at Batlow and Orange is ideal for apple growing as they require a significant amount of winter chilling to produce good fruit and prefer not to have extreme temperatures during the ripening season. Some of the orchards at Batlow are at 1,000 metres elevation.
Red Delicious is still the most common variety grown in NSW but a wide range of the most popular apples are grown.
This region also experiences cold winters and cool summers that produce high quality fruit. The area is blessed with a high rainfall and the orchards store water in on farm dams to irrigate when necessary.
Orange has a competitive advantage in being close to the Sydney market, but being close to Sydney has also put pressure on the region as many orchards have been purchased by lifestyle farmers who have opted to grow grapes and cherries instead of apples. However, Orange will remain a significant apple growing region, so long as it can survive pressures from urban encroachment and pests such as flying foxes.
Bilpin & Forbes
Bilpin is another noted region but it is now a relatively small apple producing area, as is Forbes in the central west of NSW.
Balow is considered by many apple growers to be the premium apple growing region in Australia. It has cold winters and long cool summers that produce clean, crisp apples.
Apples have been grown in Batlow since about 1900 and in 1922, the Batlow Fruit Co-operative was formed to help local growers market their fruit. Today, about half the apples grown at Batlow are marketed through the Co-op and, due to new technology and expertise in the pack house, Batlow branded apples receive a premium in the market place.
Batlow is best known for its Red Delicious apples but recent developments have seen a significant planting of Jazz™ apples, a new variety from New Zealand.