Friday, October 30, 2009

Cellar Door Pass Launches in Queensland

Queensland's Granite Belt smartens up its tourist offering from this week's Brisbane Good Food & Wine Show. Wine lovers can now use a smart card to visit the state's premier wine region and purchase some of the Granite Belt's top drops.

The Cellar Door Pass Granite Belt package is the first of its kind for Queensland. Six participating wineries based around Stanthorpe join more than 100 wineries in Australia's leading wine regions in accepting the card. Having sold 10,000 annually, card provider Smartvisit Solutions says for wine consumers across the country, the package uncorks VIP treatment to them when they visit participating cellar doors.

Pictured here representatives from Heritage Estate, Ballandean Estate, Granite Ridge (front row) and rear Symphony Hill plus support from Smartvisit Solutions. Also participating are Golden Grove Estate and Summit Estate. On the day the system was installed in the region, four cards were sold in the first hour at Granite Ridge Wines.

Learn more at the Brisbane Good Food & Wine Show November 6-8 (Stand A6) or visit Cellar Door Pass Granite Belt online now.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Moved to Tears

The results of the most prestigious wine show for small winemakers in Australia and New Zealand, The Australian Small Winemakers Show, reaffirms Stanthorpe’s pedigree as Queensland’s premier wine and wine grape producing region.

Last night’s presentation dinner, held at the Queensland College of Wine Tourism in Stanthorpe, raised the benchmark for boutique wineries across the South Pacific. Granite Belt wineries and viticulturalists performed solidly, with the most memorable award going to Stanthorpe’s Lucas Estate.

When the gold medal and Trophy for Queensland’s Best Shiraz was announced, Lucas Estate winemaker Louise Samuel was stunned. Five minutes later, when the award for Technical Excellence in Queensland Winemaking was given to Lucas Estate for their TOTAL performance at the show with the winning of an addition Gold Medal for the Petit Verdot 2008, Louise was in total shock.

Sadly since 2006 the estate’s owners, Louise Samuel and Colin Sellers struggled through some tough times culminating in the loss of Colin to cancer in June 2008. Louise has since carried on the business, including all the wine making with what has now proven to be spectacular results and a fitting tribute to her late husband Colin.

The Australian Small Winemakers Show is held annually in Stanthorpe and this year attracted a record 1812 entries. Other Granite Belt trophy recipients were Golden Grove Estate and Robert Channon Wines.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Nine Gold Bottles

Following the tradition of eight previous vintages, Robert Channon Wines new release 2009 Verdelho has won a gold medal in its first wine show.

Starting in 2001, the first three vintages each won the Trophy for Queensland’s Best White Wine. James Halliday describes the wines as “by far the best Verdelhos I have ever tasted” and more recently as “arguably Australia’s foremost producer of Verdelho.”

Peter Scudamore Smith MW added that the 2002, 2003 and 2004 vintages of Robert Channon Verdelho are “probably the greatest lineage of this varietal in the world.”

The eight vintages of Robert Channon Verdelhos, made entirely from grapes grown in the Robert Channon vineyards at Stanthorpe, have won 7 trophies, 10 gold medals, and numerous other awards including a silver medal at the London International Wine Show. This means in Australian wine circles, this wine is still “THE Verdelho”.

View the full results online at Granite Belt Wine Country and discover more about Qld’s premier wine region. To try the new 2009 Queensland Wine Award gold medal winning vintage, visit Robert Channon Wines on the Granite Belt or contact 07 4683 3260.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Weekend Wine Racing

Who said country racing in Queensland is dead? Amongst almost 3000 gathered at Stanthorpe's Armstrong Park for the annual Cup Day was this group of eight.

A far more attractive bunch than the other G8, these Gold Coast gals call themselves "The Wine Club". They reported having such a fun weekend they've already started planning their return visit for the 2010 Stanthorpe Cup. Doubtless too they will be planning their wardrobes. One filly, Meredith Blackmore (right), was pipped at the post in the Fashions of the Field this year, defeat she takes as a challenge for her return visit to the Granite Belt.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Qld’s Premier Wine Region – and we have it in writing

In case there was any doubt, the results of the 26th Annual Queensland Wine Awards sponsored by The Courier Mail and Mercure Brisbane this month reinforce the reputation of the Granite Belt as Queensland’s premier wine producing region.

Golden Grove, Harrington Glen, Heritage Estate Wines, Hidden Creek, Robert Channon Wines and Tobin Wines won eight out of a possible eleven Gold medals. Sixteen out of a possible twenty-three Silver medal were also awarded to Granite Belt wineries as were a whopping sixty-three bronze medals.

A special congratulations goes out to Heritage Estate Wines who were awarded the trophy for Most Successful Exhibitor for winning two gold, two silver and three bronze as well as the trophy for best white wine. Golden Grove was not far behind with two gold, one silver and four bronze. Hidden Creek won the Best Red Wine and Champion Wine of the Show and to spare this becoming an incredibly long blog I suggest checking out the full results on the Granite Belt Wine Country website. Or better still, spend a weekend in Stanthorpe and taste for yourself what all the judges are raving about.