Friday, December 24, 2010

Shake rattle and bowl your way through summer showers

Things are looking a little damp outside this summer but that's no reason not to go out and have fun with your mates or the family over the holidays.  

Not every wine region can boast one of these little beauties. As the name suggests,
Shake Rattle n Bowl has ten pin bowling, but they also have an indoor play area and pool hall...and the chance to refuel with a wood fired oven pizza or something from the cafe.   It all happens in the heart of Stanthorpe town, which in itself is surrounded by dozens of wineery cellar doors - and some great national parks.  Shake Rattle n Bowl is open daily 8am-10pm but phone ahead on public holidays 07 4681 0051.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Max Allen's Future Makers include the Granite Belt

Described on Amazon as groundbreaking new work by respected wine writer Max Allen, this book will redefine Australia’s wine landscape for the new century. In his tour around the country, Max introduces you to the areas and the people shaping Australia’s wine future, including those in the Queensland wine capital.

The 400+ page hard cover book provides detailed explanations of why a region’s wines taste the way they do: a portrait of soils, climate, grape varieties and cultural influences that contribute to the singular qualities of Australia’s diverse wine styles. Max has previously described Queensland's Granite Belt as having "terroir in spades" and the chapter in this latest work shows his appreciation is undiminished.  He is also clearly a fan of the Strange Bird alternative wine trail, created by Granite Belt winemakers in 2007.

Published by Hardie Grant Books - a valuable addition to any wine library and a beautiful gift. ISBN: 9781740666619

Monday, December 20, 2010

Pruning punishment

Granite Belt vignerons have spared a thought for these poor French vineyard workers.  This photo records the plight of those pruning the vineyards of Eperney in the Champagne region this month. Photo taken by John & Denice Arlidge of Whiskey Gully Wines....from the comfort of their warm touring hire car!  Meanwhile closer to home Granite Belt grapegrowers are hoping for a somewhat dryer end to the growing season here before vintage begins in the Stanthorpe begins - typically in February.

Bush Tucker takes off in Granite Belt

Visit Stanthorpe in January where The Aussie Beef Steakhouse is introducing a special Aussie Taster plate influenced by native bush tucker.   The entree includes :
  • Grilled Crocodile skewers with Desert Lime Chutney
  • Herb crusted seared emu steak with grilled field mushrooms
  • Kangaroo, bush tomato and mountain pepper sausage with tomato relish
  • Braised wild goat and onion pie.
The steakhouse adjoins the High Street Motor Inn, both run by the Cox family. Your hosts will regale you with the story behind Akatjurra, the bush tomato harvested by the Alyawarra Aboriginal tribe and the Mountain Pepper plus all the other bush goodies.  Tucker and its tale for just $16 - this entree portion is perfect for curious tastebuds and patriots when dining on the Granite Belt.  While in the region, pop into Castle Glen and try their bush tucker in a bottle - ask for the wild plum liqueur.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

APN Gets Behind the Granite Belt

Almost 15,000 Gold Coast Mail homes will today be introduced to a little Granite Belt culture, courtesy of a new feature publication being inserted into APN newspapers.

The 16-page full colour magazine is packed with ideas for the summer holidays, for families as well as couples looking for a romantic short break in the Queensland wine capital. 

An initiative of APN's Warwick Daily News, this edition has involved collaboration with Stanthorpe based Granite Belt Wine & Tourism (GBWT). It has been distributed through Burleigh Heads, Tallebudgera, Burleigh Waters, Palm Beach, Elanora and Currumbin Waters.

GBWT's Director of Marketing Michele Cozzi has worked closely with the APN family in the past decade, saying "APN can be a very powerful promotional ally for a not-for-profit community group like ourselves. We are happy to provide the APN network with travel story ideas and images, and to host a writer who has a feature travel story commissioned." 

Stanthorpe enjoys a reputation as being the coolest place in Queensland, not surprising therefore that visitors looking to learn more can phone 1800 SO COOL or jump onto

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tune in this Saturday to 7 at 7pm

The flavour of the Granite Belt and South Burnett will star on the small screen this week in Episode 3 of Off the Eaten Track.

This four part TV feature series is a collaboration between the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) and Tourism Queensland and explores the diversity and abundance of Queensland produce.

This week features Granite Belt producers Ballandean Estate Wines, Boireann Wines, Sutton's Farm and Symphony Hill Wines, plus DPI Applethorpe viticulture specialist Mark Deegennaars. 

The four part series airs on Channel 7 and is hosted by Alastair McLeod of Ready, Steady, Cook fame, and executive chef at both Bretts Wharf restaurant, Hamilton and Tank restaurant in Brisbane.  Airing of the first two episodes have drawn strong audience tune into 7 at 7pm this Saturday to see highlights of the Queensland wine capital this week.

Encore du vin

Whiskey Gully Wines owners John and Denice Arlidge are taking advantage of the strong Aussie dollar to explore wine lists of France.You know the rest - it's a tough job but someone's got to do it!

A former ABC journo, John records their travels and their samplings on his travel blog from which you'll see they are fortifying themselves against the frosty conditions with the odd drop of vin rouge.  Meanwhile back in the land down under daughter Emily is minding the store at Whiskey Gully just south of Stanthorpe. She can't complain - Emily returned from a gap year in France earlier this year.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

New gateway to the Granite Belt a Christmas Bonus

Launched in time for the start of the summer holiday is major website update to Queensland’s premier wine region.  The new site Granite Belt Wine Country provides improved functionality features include:
  • On-line booking widget and social media widget on every page
  • Most popular search categories on four main buttons
  • All visitor information on left hand navigator
  • Trade and industry information accessible from top menu
  • Front page button to find out the latest news on relevant roadworks when travelling to Stanthorpe.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Choose a Queensland gift this Christmas

Looking for something a little different this Christmas?  Here are a few home grown ideas from the Queensland wine capital. The bonus is you don't even need to leave home to make your selection from these Granite Belt goodies. Click to view and purchase.

Road Work Ahead

Traveller safety is always important and unseasonally heavy rains mean some disruption to road services will occur at Cunningham's Gap.  Main Roads is working on this section of the highway between Brisbane/Gold Coast to the Granite Belt during December.

To assist our visitors we have updates on and use the icon (right) to find further information. You'll find there: regular updates, plus an alternative route map and a link to register for free SMS updates from Main Roads on these important works.  Apologies for the inconvenience but do visit us in Stanthorpe soon where the summer fruit is in full season!

Bush tucker turned international liqueur a winner

Food Magazine’s 2010 Food Challenge Awards has awarded Highly Commended to a new product from Castle Glen Australia. The new drink adapts ‘bush tucker’ to an exotic liqueur and earned it a place in the finals for the second successive year in the alcoholic beverages section.  

Based just north of Stanthorpe, Castle Glen believes their Ooray Fermented Plum Liqueur is perhaps the first true product to originate from this endangered variety of native plum, ‘Davidsonia Jerseyana’.  This Australian indigenous fruit is sourced only from organic, sustainable growing resources with plantings increasing each year.  

The alcoholic beverages section included breweries and large corporate alcohol and beverage companies, so recognition for Castle Glen is a great achievement for the relatively small Granite Belt producer. 

Castle Glen sees strong export potential, particularly to Japan, Korea, Taiwan where the plum is much revered for its digestive qualities.  

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tune into Off the Eaten Track starts in Stanthorpe

Tune into Channel 7 at 7pm from Saturday 4 December for the latest Queensland wine and food story.

Produced by TPD Media and presented by chef Alastair McLeod, the brand new series showcases various Queensland regional food and wine heroes. The result - Off the Eaten Track – is a collaboration between the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) and Tourism Queensland. 

The new four-part series will air on Channel 7 in the lead up to Christmas. Week one features the Granite Belt where Alastair and sommelier Peter Marchant meet winemakers at Ballandean Estate, Boireann Winery and Symphony Hill Wines

Learn more and see the trailer at then mark your diary for Saturday 4 December. 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Azjure celebrates second award

Congratulations to Granite Belt based boutique accommodation Azjure Studio Retreat - which last night picked up its second successive win at the Queensland Tourism Awards.

Hundreds gathered on the Gold Coast yesterday for tourism's night of nights, with Azjure owners Ross Bloore and Cathryn Leigh amongst those with cause for celebration.  In 2009 they picked up their first of these coveted awards in the category for Deluxe accommodation.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Annual Winestate Wins

The first results of Winestate magazine's annual Best of State wine tastings have just come in. Queensland's best includes Whiskey Gully Wines Black Rod Shiraz 2006. The Stanthorpe winery retails this wine through their cellar door and restaurant for $26/bottle, or via mail order.

Based on previous years results, the four star rated wine is expected to be one of many from the Granite Belt which is well regarded as Queensland's premier wine region. Only a small number of wine producers are awarded a rating during the year, half of all wines submitted do not pass through the judging process and fewer than 20% make the cut in the annual issue. The special Annual edition - on sale in January 2011 - includes a full listing featuring the Best of the Best.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

New visitor guide to Granite Belt Wine Country

Seventy five glorious colour pages to guide you through Stanthorpe and the Queensland wine capital is now yours in print and online.

The handy DL size pocket guide is packed with information about the Granite Belt's wine and food producers, events and natural attractions, plus local history and culture and of course great places to stay.

Fold out maps and contact numbers for all the places to visit are included - all this and it is free. The coolest place in Queensland is a perfect place to explore this summer while metropolitan Queensland endures the coastal humidity.

To obtain a hardcopy of the guide from the Stanthorpe Visitor Information Centre phone 1800 SO COOL or email  or obtain the online version at

Friday, November 12, 2010

Record crowds beat a path to the Granite Belt

Attendance at this year's Brisbane Good Food and Wine Show peaked and for 20,000 visitors local wine producers were a key feature. Over the three days one of the most popular destinations was the Granite Belt cluster which attracted a constant stream of visitors creating standing room only!

From 10am Friday 5 November until Sunday afternoon more than 3000 copies of the region's official new Visitor Guide were snapped up.  Granite Belt tasting sessions in the Reidel wine theatre were so popular they were over subscribed.  Interest in the Queensland wine capital has never been stronger and planning has begun for an even bigger group to travel from Stanthorpe in November 2011.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Granite Belt Wines Win Again

Granite Belt wineries took home the glory at the 2010 Australian Small Winemakers Show with alternative wines in pride of place. Alternative wines are referred to as Strange Birds by Granite Belt winemakers.

Since its inception in 2007 Strange Bird has taken flight in the wine market gaining strong consumer interest and now from the show circuit. Amongst the Granite Belt trophy holders is Golden Grove's father and son team, who have also experienced more recent success. They won gold for their Tempranillo, Malbec, Durif, Barbera and Mourvedre which converted into the Trophy for the Most Successful Queensland Exhibitor. Golden Grove Estate’s successful streak also included the Trophy for Technical Excellence in Queensland Winemaking and Trophy for Best Queensland Red Wine.

To read more you can download the Media Release or head over to the Strange Bird Facebook page, official Granite Belt Wine Country website or see full show results at the Australian Small Winemakers Website.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Lunch on a Local this Spring

There are still three weeks to treat yourself to the spring menu at the Banca Ridge Bistro which features the very finest ingredients from a number of Granite Belt producers.  Under the masterful eye of head chef Andrew Simpson (left), the students at the Queensland College of Wine Tourism are dishing up the best of the Granite Belt's spring offering.

The Spring menu's hall of fame includes recognition for Mallow Lamb, Suttons apple juice and Symara organic fennel bulbs.  A mushroom cappuccino and roasted pear and crisp chorizo salad are just two of the items on the college's signature dish - Medley of Mains.  The Medley includes samplers of four separate dishes, each accompanied by their own wine and all for $37.50.  Book your table now 07 4685 5050. Buon appetito!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Taste a Queenslander at Brisbane Good Food & Wine Show

The Strange Bird is preening its feathers for its final big outing of 2010. A dozen Granite Belt producers will nest at the Queensland stand at this week's Brisbane Good Food and Wine Show.

The popular annual consumer show kicks off at 10am this Friday and runs through till Sunday at 5pm.   The show attracts thousands of wine and food lovers, key media and the who's who of the industry.

The wine producers from Stanthorpe include Ballandean Estate, Golden Grove, Felsberg Winery, Harrington Glen Estate, Robert Channon Wines, Pyramids Road Wines, Sirromet, Summit Estate and Symphony Hill.  The Bramble Patch and Bella Rosa's will also be showcasing food products from the Granite Belt. See you there!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Southside - A Festival of Flavours

It's brand new and its all about you enjoying great flavours.

Mt Gravatt Showgrounds this Sunday 31 October is the place to be for a brand new festival of top local wines, international flavours, gourmet treats, cooking demonstrations and live entertainment.

Leading Granite Belt wine producers include Ballandean Estate, Golden Grove, Granite Ridge, Ridgemill Estate, Robert Channon, Sirromet, Summit Estate and Symphony Hill plus fabulous gourmet producers LiraH, The Bramble Patch and Vivienne's Cottage Spices.  We're travelling down from Stanthorpe for a special day that really is all about you!  Gates open 10am to 6pm Learn more about Southside Wine & Food Festival

Monday, September 27, 2010

Strange Bird Lays a Golden Egg

Golden Grove Estate has blown away the competition with a resounding three trophy win at the 2010 Queensland Wine Awards at Brisbane's Mercure Hotel. The Awards which exclusively showcase the Queensland wine industry is now in it's 27th year and is an annual highlights for the industry.

Golden Grove Estate led the field with their 2009 Tempanillo - in total they won three trophies, two gold medals, five silver medals and three bronze medals at this year's Awards. Not surprising therefore they won champion exhibitor at the show. The Ballandean based winery is a family affair with Raymond (pictured) now the chief winemaker, who follows in his father Sam's footsteps. Sam's focus now is on nurturing the grapes which contribute to the wine making success of this Stanthorpe producer in recent years.  Full results here

Mad Hatters Meet at Bella Rosa's

Saturday 2 October is official Mad Hatter day at Bella Rosa's just north of Stanthorpe.  The focus - of course - is a tea party, and that's something that Bella Rosa Tea Rooms does very well.

No prizes for guessing who is pictured here - it is Bella Rosa's own Nat in a Hat of course! When not being silly, she's a dab hand in the kitchen.  In her primary role as chef, this week Nat Burton is whipping up all a feast of special treats for Saturday's high tea.

There's a glass of bubbly on arrival and prizes to be won. And to get serious for a moment, this is one of three Mad Hatter Tea Parties being held during spring at Bella Rosa's with proceeds raised being donated to Pink Ribbon.   $55/adult all inclusive. Book now 07 4685 2367 or 0422 751660.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Thai takeaway with a twist

Fancy a drop of Queensland wine with your Thai food by the river? Sharing Brisbane's South Bank parklands on Sunday 3 October are four featured events: Granite Belt FlavoursThai Culture and Food Festival, the Young Designers Market and South Bank Lifestyle Market. More than 20 Granite Belt wine and food producers invite you to enjoy the aromas and tastes of Thailand with a bottle of your favourite Granite Belt wine while soaking up the river views and live entertainment. 
Entry is free and for one day only - 10am-4pm Sunday 3 October.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Curry hot spot in Stanthorpe

Bella Rosa's is the newest name in curry cuisine on the Granite Belt, thanks to the arrival of a chef from the sub-continent.

The popular spot just north of Stanthorpe, makes the transition from old fashioned tea shop by day to curry hot spot at night, giving a new meaning to food fusion.  Adding a touch of spice, the team at Bella Rosa's promote it as "Baha Thul-india" because the cafe is sited in the small village of Thulimbah. [Now why didn't I think of that!]

Locals have welcomed the news because until now there has been no Indian restaurant in the Queensland wine capital.  The new menu is crafted by chef Sunni Gill who came to the Granite Belt via 25 years in kitchens in New Zealand and Australia.

Indian fare is available at Bella Rosa's from Thursday to Sunday 4.30pm onwards for dine in or take away or pre-booked groups at other times phone 4685 2367.

Bramble Patch Hat Trick

First it was a string of gold medals in Tasmania, now judges at the Melbourne and Sydney Royal Shows are the latest to laud the gourmet delights from Stanthorpe's Bramble Patch.  Joining the family trophy cabinet this week are:

2010 Royal Melbourne Fine Food Show
  • GOLD Bramble Patch Eggplant Kassoundi
  • SILVER Bramble Patch Hot Lime Pickle
  • BRONZE Bramble Patch Desert Lime and Chardonnay Paste 
2010 Royal Sydney Fine Food Show
  • BRONZE Bramble Patch Tomato Kassoundi
  • BRONZE Bramble Patch Raspberry Vinegar
  • BRONZE Bramble Patch Berry Vincotta
The Bramble Patch was established just south of Stanthorpe by Don and Patsy Stirling in 1994 following their move from Western Australia.  Since that time the former broadacre wheat farmers have developed a popular range of premium quality produce and a loyal customer base.  The Bramble Patch on tour is a regular features of Granite Belt Flavours at Brisbane's South Bank - next showing Sunday 3 October 10am-4pm.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Spring has Sprung Primavera style

September is always a busy time in and around Stanthorpe as the vineyards and orchards on the Granite Belt start to come to life after the frosty winter hibernation.

Today – 1st September marks the start of spring – this is the beginning of three months of special events under our Primavera banner.

Dozens of wine and food events during Primavera bring a steady flow of visitors to the region, and this year is no exception. Across the region trees are in blossom and early budburst has begun on grapevines. Excellent winter rains mean that the wild flowers and nature walks with be spectacular this year, which is a treat for bushwalkers and photographers.

Being close to the QLD/NSW border we benefit from an extended school holiday season so 18 September to 10 October will be a busy time in the Stanthorpe Visitor Information Centre as families hit the road.

The name Primavera pays tribute to the many Italians who have settled in Stanthorpe - it's their word for spring.  Come and join the season of wine, food, music and the arts....or just enjoy communing with nature!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Jazz Icons at Ballandean

It's big, it's back and it's gonna be a bumper! Mr John Morrison and the Swing City Jazz Band are coming back to perform at Jazz in the Vineyard 2010, Ballandean Estate.   It happens on Saturday 28 August.

Appearing at the Granite Belt winery with Morrison and the Swing Band is vocalist Jacki Cooper. Ms Cooper has performed extensively throughout Australia and overseas and is a regular feature with Swing City.  All this, plus the Caxton Street band. Like we said it's gonna be a bumper.

For info or bookings visit, or for a friendly service by phone, ring the winery just south of Stanthorpe on 07 4684 1226.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Granite Belt gourmet goodies grab gold

The Bramble Patch name is synonymous with quality Granite Belt gourmet goodies, and its latest accolades are now its official.  

Judging at the 2010 Royal Agricultural Society of Tasmania Show's Fine Food Awards has given the Bramble Patch four medals.  At the top of the podium Bramble Patch has won gold medals for their Cape Gooseberry Jam; the Red Capsicum Relish and the Pear & Ginger Paste.  Bringing home a bronze medal is the Bramble Patch Green Tomato Pickle.

The Bramble Patch is located just south of Stanthorpe at Glen Aplin and  has established a reputation as a must stop destination within Queensland's leading wine and food region.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Frost one Day - Blossom the Next

In less than three weeks the coolest place in Queensland shrugs off its winter coat and pops the cork on new vintage wines.

Across the Granite Belt spring blossoms and new wines mark the start of the season which resident Italians call Primavera   From 1st September Stanthorpe hosts three months of wine, food and cultural events, plus outdoor and sporting activities.

Tourism Queensland promotes: "Beautiful one day, perfect the next" and while its beautiful here too things are a little different in this corner of the state. And we love it because good winter frosts create the perfect conditions for award winning wine grapes and the crisp flavour of a Stanthorpe apple. 

The coolest place in Queensland is a popular place to take a short break and chill out - just phone 1800 SO COOL.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Meet the farmer at the Ekka

Monday 9 August was official Granite Belt day on the Taste of Queensland stage at the Brisbane Ekka. 

Five sessions showcased Granite Belt wine and food and provided a chance to meet some of the producers and identities from this diverse region.

And it wouldn't be the Ekka if you didn't get to meet a farmer, but the Granite Belt went one better in providing two farmers for the price of one.  David Sutton (left) was a prawn farmer before moving to Stanthorpe to become an apple grower.

While David shared samples of his range of juices and ciders produced under the Suttons label, host Alison Alexander whipped up a quick apple cake.  The day's programme included Vineyard Cafe chef David Black matching his culinary skill with regional produce, winemakers from Ballandean and Golden Grove Estates plus an overview of the spring Primavera events season by Granite Belt Wine & Tourism.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

New Digital Front Door to Granite Belt

Eighteen months after stepping up our digital marketing campaign, we've created a new portal to provide access to all our online activity. type in and you have the key to the door!

The official website remains but the portal provides access to four streams of information:
  • about the destination
  • social media
  • media centre
  • wikis

Stanthorpe has a reputation for being the coolest place in Queensland - so hop on over to Queensland's capital of cool or phone 1800 SO COOL.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Granite Belt insight into a Dirty Job

In what may be described as a "Bluffers Guide to Archaeology" academics from USQ will be using some simple language to explain what happens when they get down and dirty. It's part of the Inaugural McGregor in the Vines 2010 workshops which are set amongst the vineyards of Queensland's Granite Belt region.

A two-day weekend workshop on 4 and 5 September will begin with a broad overview of archaeological methods and techniques. Day two includes an introduction to practical laboratory analysis where particpants will be actively involved in the prelimary sorting, identification and preliminary analysis of an actual archaeological site. We are assured no previous experience is required.

To learn all about these activities at the Queensland College of Wine Tourism (QCWT) in Stanthorpe email now.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Stanthorpe Sparkles for Lucas Estate

The Granite Belt's only all female winery has just popped the cork off its new range of sparkling wines.

Lucas Estate winemaker Louise Samuel (right) recently launched the wine with "the girls" and other industry colleagues.  The new sparkling range includes a white and of course there's a pink @ $27.50 with special deals for multiple buys.  The new range marks the latest in a series of developments for the winery which is located at Severnlea just south of Stanthorpe.  Also new to the features at Lucas Estate is an extension to their popular programme of live entertainment on Sundays - these have moved from fortnightly to weekly performances till the end of August..

Friday, July 30, 2010

Star Status for Granite Belt Wineries

Almost 20 Granite Belt wineries have received a star rating in the 2011 edition of the James Halliday Australian Wine Companion.

Making a big noise this year in the star studded line-up with five shiny new stars is Summit Estate. Summit is snapping at the heels of neighbour Boireann, which has enjoyed five star status for some years but actually has the highly coveted red star status.  Interestingly both these Halliday five star wineries on the Granite Belt are located on the northern side of the main town of Stanthorpe.

Granite Belt Wine & Tourism members who presented wines for rating this year are:Ballandean Estate, Boireann, Golden Grove Estate, Granite Ridge Wines, Heritage Estate, Hidden Creek Winery, Jester Hill Wines, Lucas Estate, Mason Wines, Ravens Croft Wines, Ridgemill Estate, Robert Channon Wines, Summit Estate, Symphony Hill Wines, Tobin Wines and Whiskey Gully Wines. Get the full story here.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Hungry Diners Win in Kitchen Romance

After a lifetime of feeding hungry friends, family and visitors, Mary Puglisi has finally hung up her apron at Ballandean Estate’s Barrel Room Café.

Ahead of a well-earned rest, Mary has just handed over the wooden spoon to two young chefs with a flair for food and an eye for a new business opportunity.

Prior to relocating to the Granite Belt from Brisbane, Matt and Bobbi Wells quite literally stumbled across the opportunity to lease the well-known café, and grabbed it with both hands.The Puglisi family said the day the married couple walked into their cellar door, proved fortunate for all. Hungry diners in the Granite Belt being the ultimate winners. 

Matt and Bobbi both have extensive experience catering for large resorts and conventions as well 5 star a la carte menus. With a changing seasonal menu plus the chance to dine amongst the barrels, it is a wine and food marriage made in heaven. Located just south of Stanthorpe the Barrel Room Cafe is open for lunch daily (except Tuesday) an on Friday and Saturday evenings for dinner.

Friday, July 23, 2010

New Moniker for Stanthorpe

We've been called many things including the Queensland apple and grape capital, the Queensland capital of cool, but now Stanthorpe has a few other titles to our credit.

In this year's Keep Australia Beautiful campaign, the results of the 2010 Ergon Energy Darling Downs Regional Awards declared:
  • Tidiest Town = Stanthorpe.
  • Conservation Champions = Stanthorpe
  • Resource Recovery = Stanthorpe
  • Outstanding Accomplishment = Stanthorpe
Stanthorpe is of course the main town in the Granite Belt Wine Country region. We send our congratulations to neighbouring Killarney community who picked up the Bush Spirit award!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Meet the real regional heroes at South Bank this Saturday...

these are the good food and wine guys from the Granite Belt. 

One day: 80 producers from South-East QLD. Eat, Sip, Cook, Learn and Shop.

If you can't get to South Bank's Little Stanley Street this Saturday between 10am and 3pm - then point your car in the direction of Stanthorpe soon.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Locavores converge on South Bank

If you live in Brisbane, preserve the planet this weekend - eat and drink locally. For one day only on Saturday 24 July South Bank's Little Stanley Street is the site for the second annual Regional Flavours event. 

Quite simply it's your chance to eat and drink your way through Southeast Queensland without leaving the city!

Dozens of the Granite Belt's top wine, food and pamper producers are packing their vehicles and heading down the hill just for you. Sample wines from Ballandean Estate, Golden Grove, Granite Ridge, Pyramids Road, Ridgemill, Robert Channon, Sirromet, Summit Estate, Symphony Hills and Twisted Gum. Be tempted by favourite treats from LiraH Vinegars, The Bramble Patch and Granite Belt Dairy.  Meet the Pesto Pusher, the Sri Lankan spice goddess, Owens Bakery, Mary Norman preserves and the sticky man from Pillar Bee Honey.  Be dazzled by the range of products by Castle Glen, Eyzer's silk designs and Crystal Ridge Lavender.

And from outside the Granite Belt you can be entertained by kitchen celeb Ben O'Donoghue and a couple from Masterchef so come and say hello 10am - 3pm. See programme here.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Masterclass Affair with Granite Belt Wines

The highly acclaimed bi-ennial Hilton Brisbane Masterclass starts again on Saturday 24 July 2010 and amongst the palate pleasers for the fortunate 1000 participants will be four wines from the Queensland wine capital.

The two-day culinary treat showcases the very best in wine and food.  On and each morning next weekend the sell-out Asian Affairs session kicks off at 9am.  Acclaimed restaurant chefs Luke Nguyen (Red Lantern, Sydney) and Martin Boetz (Longrain Melbourne and Sydney) will partner their creations with Granite Belt wines.  The man with the enviable (or unenviable) task of selecting the wines is session moderator and Master of Wine, Peter Scudamore-Smith.  These wines in Scud's selection have just left Stanthorpe:
  • Ballandean Estate 2009 Viognier
  • Robert Channon Wines 2009 Pinot Gris
  • Summit Estate 2007 Pinnacle Premium Red
  • Symphony Hill Wines 2009 Reserve Pinot Noir

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Granite Belt Wines board the Winelander

Seven of Queensland's top wine producers will have their wines showcased next weekend on the exclusive Queensland Winelander.  When the train departs Brisbane's Roma Street on Saturday 24 July, the 120 passengers will be sipping Sirromet's sparkling Love rose to celebrate the start of their wine on the rails weekend.

On the journey "up the hill" to Stanthorpe, tastings of the white wines will include Felsberg's 2010 Gewurtraminer, Ravens Croft's 2009 Verdelho and Whiskey Gully Wine's Zing Colombard. The party stops overnight in the Queensland wine capital and on the return trip to Brisbane they'll be seeing red. The line up of wines for Sunday includes Lucas Estate's 2007 Merlot, Harrington Glen's Simply Red and a highlight will be the launch of Ballandean Estate's 2006 Shiraz Viognier.  The Ballandean wine receives its first public outing shortly after the train departs Stanthorpe station on Sunday 25 July for the return trip to Brisbane.

While tickets for the main trip sell out months in advance, some availability remains for the featured side trip from Stanthorpe to Wallangarra.  The return trip to the state border on the Saturday afternoon provides travellers with the chance to see first  hand the historic station where the differing rail gauges meet.  Tickets for this section are just $30 adults return, available from Stanthorpe Visitor Information Centre phone 07 4681 2057.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Play to Win Wine

To celebrate Queensland's win over the 2010 Origin series, here's a chance to win not just any a bottle of Queensland wine but a dozen bottles of Granite Belt reds.

Basically you pick your dream team, choosing a red grape variety in place of an Origin player. It goes like this:
  • If the Winger were a wine, would he be a Pinot or a Merlot?  
  • Would the Centre be a Cab Sav. or a Shiraz?
Click to play and if over 18 you could win a case of Granite Belt reds. Cheers!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Paola gets the Halliday Nod

The Flying Spaniard is how Australian wine guru James Halliday described winemaker Paola Cabezas-Rhymer (left) and he admits she's escaped his notice until now.

In the Weekend Australian (19-20 June 2010) Halliday reveals highlights of Paola's international wine making career and bestows three of her wines for Summit Estate with 92, 94 and 94 points.

As Halliday reports, Argentinian born Paola has significant and impressive runs on the board with reputable wineries in Spain, Argentina and France before moving to Australia a decade ago.  Their loss is the Granite Belt's gain, and in particular for Summit Estate just north of Stanthorpe.