From little things big things grow

Our Story – Then to Now

While 1979 marked the year our connection with this land commenced, the background story is worth a quick flyover before we pick-up when Graham & Sue Rollin made the move and chased their dream of a life in & on the country. We are very conscious that the land upon which we grow our fruit and now have the opportunity to offer our luxury accommodation to guests is Wiradjuri land – the people of whom we humbly pay our respects.


Cherries in the Orange region:


Wheat or Fruit?

The earliest primary industry to be established in the Orange district was wheat. Right through to the late 1800s Orange was regarded one of the best wheat-growing areas in the colony. The first reported decline in wheat farming was in 1888, however experimental fruit growing was already well underway in the district and had shown encouraging results.

Cherry Inspector in Orange orchard 1880


The First Cherry Export

One of the earliest orcharding pioneers, W. and E. Eyles, sent a consignment of cherries to the capital and it was reported that they surpassed any ever before grown in the colony.

Cherry Delivery Van 1880


The Proclamation

W.B. Campbell, a noted authority on agriculture, reported on the district that “Fruit-growing will, I believe, be a most profitable industry in the future.” He was right, although little attempt was made to plant orchards until after the railway to Orange was opened and the metropolitan markets were brought within practical distance.

Orange Cherry Coop


The Fruit Tree Boom

Extensive tree plantings were observed from 1911 onwards with almost every orchardist opening up new ground, particularly in the Canobolas district and along the Pinnacle country. Fruit trees consisted of apples, cherries, pears, plums, peaches, nectarines and quinces.

Orange Cherry Trees


The orchard became home:


True Tree Changers

Graham & Sue Rollin left their life in Sydney and chased their dream of raising their family in the country. Graham was an engineer, Sue a midwife but they moved to Pinnacle Road, Orange with children Marion (aged 5) and Simon (aged 4) to become orchardists. The “orchard” they chose was little more than an overgrown, out of control jungle of various fruits. 

Dad sister Maz lo

Two Became Three

Life on the orchard for us kids just became one big adventure – we’d just head out “yonder” to explore without a care in the world but the honeymoon didn’t last long as the older we got the more we were asked to help out with the hard yakka. Our younger brother Michael arrived in 1981 – the only born & bred Orange local!

Simon Maz lo


Early ’80s

Long Days & Meagre Living

For a seasoned orchardist the challenge would have been daunting enough! But for complete beginners, the hard yakka, lack of income, sleepless nights and daily challenges proved to be the ultimate school of hard knocks. The first crop of apples were all picked by friends and family!

Dad mum Espen


A Family Affair

Graham’s parents (James & Shirley) decided to make the tree-change from Sydney to Orange NSW, pitching in on the orchard for many seasons. They proved to be our most loyal workers, who were happily paid with fruit!

Grandma Rollin in the orchard

Late ’80s

The Orchard Takes Shape

As seasons came & went, the orchard Graham was told would “never work” really began to take shape. Their prize crop during this period was nectarines, but hail during ripening was always the risk. Graham & Sue decided to go all in, take out a chunky loan and invest the lot into netting to make sure no storm would hail on their parade…

Nectarines in spring


Snowdump of a Century

… alas, a snow dump that would make Thredbo jealous arrived in the winter of 1989 which collapsed and destroyed the entire net cover, crushing many of the trees with it. It was but one of many farming challenges, each taking a toll on the orchard and the family.

Hail netting crushed by snow



Friends Forever

We’ve had a lot of “drifter” backpackers join us to work on the orchard over the years. Usually they only stay for one summer, before they move on to the next part of their adventure, but in 1991 our Norwegian backpacker Schato (nickname: Skate) notched up his 5th year and remains a lifelong friend to this day, as are many others.

Apple picker Skate


Now or Never

Since the disastrous snow dump of ’89, along with a variety of other challenges across many years growing a diverse range of fruit including apples, nectarines, peaches, pears and cherries, the difficult decision was taken to transition to a one-fruit orchard. Cherries became the focus and before long the entire orchard was replanted with these sweet little gems.

Pipey Rollin in the Pinnacle Road Orchard

Late 1990s

End of Harvest

Cherries are not without their headaches and it was always a huge relief to finish a yearly harvest! The characters and personalities that formed our picking & packing crew became like family sharing the highs & lows along with us. Sue’s brother in law, Ray Tate, always had a way to bring a smile to our face and had his own way of celebrating the end of season…

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Wedding Bells

You can take the boy out of the country but not the country out of the boy as Simon returned home with his long time partner, Kay (another Orange local), tying the knot at nearby Byng church and celebrating with friends & family in the original apple packing shed on the property. Never before (& never again) has the shed looked so glamorous!

Wedding Shed


The Orchard Expands

Sue & Graham purchased the orchard on the other side of Pinnacle Road including the cherry packing facilities bringing the number of cherry trees being managed to just over 10,000. 

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Cherries from Heaven

After witnessing a lot of our beautiful fruit simply “disappear” into generic cherry boxes we decided to launch our own Cherries from Heaven brand where we now pack all our premium grade (read: big, sweet & juicy!) cherries into these for better recognition of the time, effort and care we put into growing our fruit. Our cherries are sold throughout Australia as well as exported to various destinations each year



Planting Something New

With views almost too good to be true – the penny finally dropped one day in late 2020. It was time to diversify and make use of a few acres at the top of hill that no longer supported fruit trees. With Orange now firmly on the map for both tourists and corporate travellers, the concept for planting luxury studios into our Basalt soil was born and the rest, as they say, is history…

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Racine Grazing Box

Racine Orange

Award winning chef  Shaun Arantz and his wife Willa created something special in Orange when they opened their modest little bakery within a sourdough’s throw of Woolworths in the heart of Orange. After closing their hatted restaurant of the same name, they poured their heart & soul into baking goods that made people feel good. It didn’t take long before Racine Bakery became THE ONLY place to get your freshly baked sourdough, croissants, pastries, muffins, cakes and coffee (their Vanilla Slice is mind blowing!). Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, Racine started offering Grazing Boxes!

So while a visit to Racine during your stay at Basalt is a must, we felt that being able to have a pre-prepared Racine Grazing Box in your fridge awaiting your arrival would be the icing on the cake. Enjoy!


Rikard Riesling

Rikard Riesling

Nose shows lime blossom, jasmine and preserved lemon first, followed by a slatey minerality, some fennel and a slight mealy, biscuity character. Lime and green apple on the palate are overlaid with nettles and green apricot. The acid structure is juicy without being tart and carries the abundance of fruit well. Lovely balance and intensity, with a myriad of spices popping up and then retreating with each sip.

Swinging Bridge “Mrs Payten” Chardonnay

Swinging Bridge Chardonnay

As was Mrs Payten, Tom’s grandmother, these are wines of style, elegance and finesse. This Chardonnay was first released to celebrate Armah’s 90th Birthday in 2013 and was matured in tightly grained French Oak, balancing its rich stone fruit and grapefruit characters. With its depth of flavour, flintiness and natural, cool climate acidity, this is a wine thatwill reward cellaring.

Macquariedale Pinot Gris

Macquariedale Pinot Gris

These grapes were hand harvested from a sustainable grown vineyard on the northern slopes of Mount Canobolas at 860m. The wine exhibits delicate floral aromas of citrus and orange blossom. The palate has lime zest overtones and has a hint of residual grape sugar.

De Salis Pinot Noir

De Salis Pinot Noir

De Salis Estate Pinot Noir with a lively nose of Orange Citrus, Raspberry Liquorice and Pork and Fennel sausage. A fine textured palate of Sour Cherry, White Strawberry backed up with an underlying earthiness of Portobello Mushroom and spice and lingering Campari finish.

Philip Shaw “The Idiot” Shiraz

Philip Shaw Shiraz

The Idiot is dark purple hue. Dark plums with hints spice ranging from cinnamon to white pepper. Its undeniably cool climate shiraz with mid palate tannin and a fine finish with toasted vanilla oak. Enjoy now or cellar for the next 5 years. Ideal accompaniment with friends and BBQ.

ChaLou “Dreaded Friend” Rose

ChaLou Dreaded Friend Rose

Quince and Rasberry with rose water lift. Bright refreshing palate with savoury elements and dry finish.





Sweet Sour Salt

Located in the heart of Orange, Sweet Sour Salt is a modern Asian fusion restaurant which has grown to become one of the region’s favourite dining establishments over the past 15 years.  Owner and chef Ivan Podres and his team regularly surprise and delight with their unique flavour blends.

Basalt has teamed up with Sweet Sour Salt to enable our guests to make the most of the amazing in-studio dining experience without worrying about what to cook. We’ve selected the 6 most popular dishes on the Sweet Sour Salt menu, matched them to some of our favourite local wines and made them available to our guests to enjoy on their arrival night.

Each guest will receive an email 15 days prior to check-in inviting them to place their order. Orders must be received min. 7 days prior to arrival. Meals will be prepared fresh and delivered by your Basalt host to your studio fridge ready for your arrival. Simply heat up, pick some seasonal herbs from the studio’s garden to garnish and serve. A great way to start your stay!



Michael Manners

Michael Manners

Manners began his career in France in the early 1960s, followed by a stint at England’s renowned Hole in the Wall in Bath. In 1970, Manners teamed with a Dany Chouet to open the bistro Upstairs in Sydney, giving the city’s fledgling dining out scene an unexpected sophistication. In 1976, following another stint in France, Michael opened the Glenella Guesthouse at Blackheath which quickly became one of the state’s great destination restaurants, regularly earning two hats.

After stints at Katoomba (Table Manners) and Leura’s Silks, Michael and wife Josephine moved to Orange and opened his acclaimed restaurant Selkirks in 1997. In doing so, they gave an already vibrant food and wine scene the focus it needed – a champion restaurant. In the history of the Good Food Guide, Manners is one of the most hatted chefs in NSW, with more than 20 awarded.

Michael is a legend in the Orange food scene and now prepares seasonal, 3-course, easy to plate up meals for Basalt guests to enjoy in the comfort of their studio.