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.