Thursday, January 28, 2010

Apples & Grape

Produce from Queensland's apple capital will hit shop shelves next week. Stanthorpe’s Royal Gala variety is the season opener, which is followed by Red Delicious, Granny Smiths and Pink Ladies amongst the favourites.

Stanthorpe’s apple harvest continues throughout autumn and is marked by the iconic Stanthorpe Apple & Grape Harvest Festival. There are just 36 days to go until the three day festival on 5-7 March which draws tens of thousands of visitors to the coolest place in Queensland.

Apple grower David Sutton said they began harvesting in mid January, with tourists relishing the chance to pick your own at his Thulimbah orchard on the northern end of the Granite Belt. Suttons has made a name for itself in recent years with a range of high quality value-added apple products which include juice, cider, syrup and liqueurs.

Across the region grape harvest (vintage) began earlier than usual during January and apple picking began in earnest on Australia Day. Stanthorpe apples represent virtually all of Queensland’s apple production, with the sunshine state accounting for one third of Australia’s apple production. Wine grapes from the Granite Belt region account for more than 60% of the state’s wine production and produce Queensland’s most awarded wines.

Recent hot and dry weather has produced intensive flavour in 2010 apples and grapes. Tourist operators in the region are sharing the goodwill by offering tourists special deals in February through the Fab Feb campaign. Learn more with a visit the official tourist website Image courtesy Granite Belt 2010 Nude Food Calendar and Jo McLellan