Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Come sit At Our Table

Granite Belt residents love a good celebration and as Queensland turns 150, we want you to celebrate with us. As part of the range of Q150 and State Library of Queensland’s At Our Table events, Stanthorpe has been selected as one of ten regions to honour the cultural heritage of our State.

The Granite Belt’s unique multi-culturalism is reflected in the wide range of food and wine produced in and around Stanthorpe, with equally abundant traditions and histories. All of these will be commemorated on Sunday 23 August when the Queensland College of Wine Tourism hosts The Winemaker’s Story - a day of good food, fine wine and tales of the Granite Belt. A great opportunity to learn the techniques of Queensland’s premier winemakers, sample locally produced cheese and wine and taste the culinary delights of resident chef Andrew Simpson; and with activities for the kids, it is an interesting day out for the whole family.

Secure a place by booking online through the Granite Belt Wine Tourism website, and download the Q150 brochure to find out more information, or follow similar stories on the Queensland State Library Blog Site.

The Winemaker’s Story proudly supported by, Queensland College of Wine Tourism, Granite Belt Wine Tourism, Queensland Primary Industries and Fisheries and Southern DownsRegional Council Library Services – Stanthorpe Library.

Image courtesy of Tourism Queensland

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Modest musician gets the right recognition

Queensland aboriginal songwriter Kev Carmody, a Granite Belt resident based at Ballandean, was humbled to hear of his forthcoming induction into the ARIA Hall of Fame on the 27th August.

While many critics have dubbed him the Aboriginal Australian Bob Dylan, Mr. Carmody believes he is entering the Hall of Fame with the lowest record sales in history. Such modesty highlights the performers’ modesty, and is in no way a reflection of his successful career that has seen the release of more than seven albums in his unique folk/protest style.
Carmody will be inducted at the Melbourne ceremony alongside other music greats including Little Pattie, John Paul Young, The Dingoes and Mental As Anything.

For Queensland based fans there will also be a tribute concert , Cannot Buy My Soul, at the Brisbane Riverstage on the 1st August as part of the Queensland Music Festival, with performers including Missy Higgins and Bernard Fanning. For more information visit Kev Carmody’s website.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Train Whistle Blowing

Residents may be forgiven for believing they have morphed back to a bygone era in late August as the Q150 steam train pulls into the Stanthorpe and Wallangarra railway platform. The Q150 celebrations involve not only honouring the uniqueness of Queensland’s communities, but rekindling the vital thread between rural and city life, of which the Queensland rail system was paramount.

Stanthorpe will be the first major stop for the train and passengers will be able reminisce and learn about the golden age of rail travel – complete with character artists, a celebratory toast, presentations by local historians and a formal welcome by the mayor alongside an indigenous Elder. Prior to arrival in Stanthorpe - during the stop in Warwick - there will be the egging of the Prime Minister, but unfortunately, security restrictions since the original incident prevent a ‘true’ re-enactment!.

To jump aboard and enjoy an historical experience to share with your children and grandchildren, call 1800 QLD 150 (1800 753 150) or visit a Travel Train booking office. To find out more about the Q150 Steam Train visit the Granite Belt Wine Country website.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Ballandean Gets Fruity Again

If you’ve been travelling through the Granite Belt lately and noticed something askew in Ballandean, fear not. Beloved Fruity (Fruitisforus) has returned from dinosaur hospital to a warm welcome by members of the Ballandean Hall Committee who manoeuvred him back to his usual position near the highway.

While Fruity has long since retired from public performances as a Stanthorpe Apple & Grape Festival float, he is still wooing the crowds as a popular Ballandean tourist attraction. Not to be left lonely in his retirement, Fruity will be rejoined by his parade peers in the coming weeks as they too return from similar joint replacements customary to those of a mature age.

On the same topic (and no we don’t mean the ageing process), the Ballandean Hall Committee is looking for any lovely ladies who may have represented the district in the Apple & Grape Harvest Festival or its predecessor the Apple Blossom Festival. Please contact Chook Williamson on 07 4684 1077 (and no, he won’t send you off to dinosaur hospital).

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hat Trick for Granite Ridge Cabernet

Yet another Granite Belt winery has joined the prestigious ranks of award winning winemakers. This time it is Granite Ridge Wines’ 2006 Top Block Cabernet Sauvignon which picked up the top gong.

The wine won the Queensland Government Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation Trophy for best Queensland Red Wine at the recent City Life Cairns Show Awards.

The competition included some of Australia’s biggest names in winemaking from over 70 entries, reaffirming the Granite Belt’s established reputation as Queensland’s premium wine region. The pedigree of the gold medal winning Cabernet was further confirmed by the equal points it shared with the competition’s Champion Red. Granite Ridge winemaker Dennis Ferguson believes this is not only the result of quality viticulture, but a reflection of ideal cool climate growing conditions in and around Stanthorpe.To find out more about exciting new releases of Granite Belt wines this spring, visit Primavera.

Ekka time for Stanthorpe Apples & Wine

The countdown is on for Brisbane's EKKA as it is affectionately known. The ever-popular Stanthorpe apple display in the fresh fruit and veg. pavilion is this year being sponsored by the region's local tourist organisation.

In addition to some cash sponorship from Granite Belt Wine & Tourism Inc (GBWT), the apple growers will cut quite a dash in their smart aprons. Across the river the Granite Belt Wine Country livery has been making its mark at South Bank markets.
Leading the team of apple growers to the Ekka is Bruno Stefanon and like most locals, he's more than happy to promote his region.

Over in the wine Woolworths Fresh Food pavilion is a team of Granite Belt wineries. You can sample or purchase wine during the ten days from Ballandean Estate, Casley Mount Hutton, Golden Grove Estate, Granite Ridge Wines, Heritage Estate, Ridgemill Estate and Summit Estate Wines.
On the adjoining celebrity stage you can get another peak at the Granite Belt at 3pm on opening day when Alison Alexander showcases some fine food and wine from the region. Again at 1pm on Saturday 8th July apple grower, juice and cider maker David Sutton joins Alison on the stage.
The big push for the Stanthorpe and Granite Belt team is to promote the delights of Spring in the region which is celebrated under the Primavera banner. Primavera features three months of wine, food and cultural events, plus the delights of nature. Learn more

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

On Telly and Online

Being the media tarts that we are, we just had to tell you that we've loaded some of our recent video clips online. So - if you missed them the first time - here they are again on YouTube.

The Granite Belt is on the popular path for travel and lifestyle film crews and we never shy from showing off what we have to offer.

Sometimes these stories go to air while we are busy in the wineries and kitchens of the Granite Belt so we don't get to see them live. But thanks to You Tube these moments can be enjoyed again and again. To learn more about the real thing, come to the Granite Belt in person.