Monday, May 31, 2010

Two Old Goats on the Granite Belt

Goats milk cheese is the latest offering at Granite Belt Dairy Farmhouse just north of Stanthorpe - and you thought the old goats were the girls in the photo!

Cheesemaker Karen Deeth (left) said she'd always wanted to make goats cheese.  She now has timeshare on a herd of 17 Australian Melaan goats, which live happily along side the 25 Jersey cows which supply her original cheese range.

Joining the family at Granite Belt Dairy Farmhouse is Ruth Maddock (right) who actually owns the goats. Working alongside Karen, Ruth is now an apprentice cheesemaker.  Whether its made from goat or cow milk, cheesemaking is easy to learn but hard to master. Just ask any old goat!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Clean and Green on the Granite Belt - Sounds like Pure Heaven!

Saturday 9 June 10am-4pm is your chance to clean up at Pure Heaven. It is over this Queen's Birthday long weekend that the Stanthorpe based body care specialists is launching its own Australian certified organic face care products.

And if you want to be green inside and out, stop and enjoy a range of fresh Granite Belt produce at the organic cafe onsite.

There are a range of launch specials and activities, so bring a relative or friend and create your own green team for the day. More information from 4681 0586 or visit them on-line today

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Queensland reds up for the challenge

Across Queensland this week the talk is of State of Origin rugby. While it may traditionally be a beer and pizza night for many, it is wine that Italians drink with pizza. Get with the programme guys!

As we’re just a few days short of the official start of winter (1st June) the State of Origin drink of choice surely has to be a glass of Queensland red.

The Granite Belt produces more than 60% of Queensland’s red wine and is now stocked in leading bottle stores and restaurants in Queensland's southeast corner. While some south of the border think we only make bongo juice, many leading wine judges and wine writers know that view is SO yesterday. Wine production and quality have come a long way in recent years, and the Granite Belt leads the pack. Even the PM now has some in his cellar.

So whether you tune into State of Origin this week - or retreat from it - fly the Queensland flag in your choice of wine and enjoy a glass of Granite Belt red. Cheers!  PS click here for your chance to win a case of Granite Belt red wines.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Stanthorpe's Art in the Woolshed

What do you get when you cross an historic shearing shed with a group of artists?  Art in the Woolshed of course! 

The popular exhibition is held only every two years and is again this Queen's Birthday long weekend.  The Brass Monkey Season is peak tourist time on the Granite Belt so book your Stanthorpe accommodation now.

Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 June the place to be is at the Bendee Woolshed which is about 20 minutes west of Stanthorpe.  Bus transfers will operate from Stanthorpe Visitor Centre - phone 07 4681 2057.

The shed was built in the mid 1920s but the art will be somewhat more contemporary, featuring works from Belinda Perkins, Christine Porter, Di Elsden and Karina Devine.  Each year new talent is unearthed - come and spot the rising stars and share a little country hospitality in the Queensland wine capital.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Granite Belt Wines Lead Les Grand Vins 2010

This Wednesday the Mercure Hotel in Brisbane launches its 2010 Grand Vins Mercure, a wine list dedicated to showcasing Queensland's increasingly attractive wines.

The Mercure believes it is the first major hotel group in Queensland to take the State's local wines seriously. The 2010 line-up of nine wines, includes six from the Granite Belt.  The dominance of  wine from this region reflects its reputation as the Queensland wine capital. 

The launch of the Queensland Grands Vins list is part of a national roll-out of the concept which features state-based lists. Internationally, Mercure has been offering Grands Vins selections in Europe since 1983. Accor group Regional General Manager Queensland, Neil Scanlan, said that what is really important with the Grands Vins wine list is the pricing.  "We want to dispel the myth that good wine is only associated with high-end restaurants and high-end prices."

Join the early adopters at Mercure Brisbane, Townsville and Cairns to sample the new Grands Vins selection which features wines from Stanthorpe producers Heritage Estate, Symphony Hill Wines, Felsberg Winery, Tobin Wines, Golden Grove Estate and Ballandean Estate.  Other Queensland wines are from Mt Tamborine Vineyard, Witches Falls and Clovely Estate and the selection changes twice a year.

The selection includes Granite Belt Strange Birds Pinot Gris, Sylvaner and Tempranillo.

Viva Italia on Queensland's Granite Belt

Open the phone book in Stanthorpe today and you could be mistaken for thinking you were in Sicily!  The town known as the coolest place in Queensland also has a well-earned reputation as the Queensland wine capital.

The formation of the wine industry began in the late 1800s at the behest of the local catholic priest, an Italian by the name of Fr Jerome Davadi.  The Italian - and wine - legacy  lives on and this year the Granite Belt region is a focus for the 2010 Italian Week celebrations. Two events celebrating the Italian culture and heritage will be held on the Granite Belt, making it a great time to come and say ciao to a local:
  • Italian Motor Vehicle Rally to Stanthorpe 22 & 23 May
  • Jon English and Peter Cupples "Unscrewed" at Qld College of Wine Tourism Dinner and Show Sunday 23 May
In the words of the Consul, Dr Francesco Capecchi, "Today Italians are an integral part of Queensland life..." and in this multi-cultural corner of the sunshine state we owe a great deal of our wine and food culture to those migrants who chose to settle on the Granite Belt.  Grazie!

These two events are in association with the Italian Immersion Program students at Stanthorpe State high School. 2010 Italian Week 22 May: 2 June - online bookings available.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Brrrrr! Brass Monkey weather hits the Granite Belt, -5 overnight

The traditional white frosts and prospect of sleet and snow draws thousands of visitors to Stanthorpe each year. The Granite Belt Wine & Tourism staff supervisor, Jane Miller (pictured), takes official readings each day at 9am and 3pm. This collected data is entered into the official Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) records and displayed in the visitors centre. If you are heading to the Granite Belt pack some warm clothing, because as one ABC journalist stated "Stanthorpe is Queensland's capital of cool!". For more Granite Belt weather information pop over to the Granite Belt Wine Country weather page.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Canberra lodges a vote of confidence in Queensland wine

Nine months after a selection of the Granite Belt's finest wines was despatched to Mr Rudd's cellar master, a healthy delivery has been made for one Queensland winemaker. 

Stanthorpe-based Robert & Peggy Channon (pictured) have just received an order for their 2009 Verdelho for inclusion on the Federal Parliament wine list. The initial sample range of Granite Belt wines despatched to the Lodge last June, following a media furore when it was revealed that the PM's wine cellar contained no wine from his own state of origin. This was despite the fact that a Queensland chardonnay had been nominated Winestate Wine of the Year a few months earlier. 

This week's news is gratification for Granite Belt Wine & Tourism who sent the sample pack last year. It seems someone in Canberra has finally noted what Australia's top wine writers recognise, that the best Granite Belt wines deserve a place on the national stage!