Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Fab Feb for Symphony Hill Wines

Granite Belt wine producers Elissa and Ewen Macpherson (left) of Symphony Hill Wines are celebrating their latest win.  Good news came through the grapevine this week that they have won two medals at the 2011 Sydney Royal Wine Show. From their vineyards just south of Stanthorpe, their 2010 Gewurztraminer and 2009 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon both won bronze medals. 

Symphony Hill is one of dozens of Granite Belt operators sharing the love in February and participating in the Fab Feb 30% OFF campaign. Learn more.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Degustation a Fab Feb Delight

One of Stanthorpe's oldest tourist operators has undergone a makeover and they are hosting a degustation dinner to celebrate. 

The place has new owners, new furniture and new furnishings but these have not dimished the traditional charm of Happy Valley Retreat.  Geoff and Dee Davenport have joined forces with Robert Channon Wines - from just up the road - in inviting you to join a select group to enjoy a seven course degusation dinner on Saturday 19 February.

The man behind the new menu is head chef Michael Lambert, the man behind the wine is of course Robert Channon, a legend in his own short lunchtime on the Granite Belt.  Book now $90/head  includes live entertainment. Phone 4681 1370 and look online to take advantage of one of the Granite Belt's Fab Feb 30% OFF campaign offers,

Monday, February 14, 2011

All you need is love to have a Fab Feb

Stanthorpe has a well-deserved reputation as a generous community. The town of just over 5000 residents which raised $38,000 for the Victorian bushfire victims is looking to set a new record with its latest fundraiser for Queensland's flood victims.

Building on a successful formula, the community is holding a giant auction Saturday 26 February beginning at 9am at the Stanthorpe showgrounds. They are accepting plant and equipment, fresh produce, furniture and welcome gift vouchers from tradies and other service providers. To contribute contact Scott 0427 814444 or Stuart 0417 814073.

Meanwhile the Granite Belt's tourist operators are doing their bit and offering a Fab Feb 30% OFF campaign to visitors this month.  It could be a great time to visit the Queensland wine capital.

Our southern cousin shapes up for vintage

Steve Messiter is far from the first chemical engineer to turn his hand to viticulture or winemaking, but for Steve, this will be his first vintage on the Granite Belt.

New owners of Bald Mountain Vineyards, Steve and wife Lisa are gearing up to pick their chardonnay grapes at the southern most edge of the Granite Belt wine country. Regular testing indicates the fruit will reach its optimum sugar level in another week to ten days, before the process of lovingly handpicking the grapes begins. 

The Brisbane pair bought 35 year old Bald Mountain Vineyards last year from founders Denis and Jackie Parsons.  The property is a mere five minutes from the NSW border and they've already begun introducing some smart new branding to the range.  So if you in the region taking advantage of Granite Belt's Fab Feb 30% OFF campaign, drive south from Stanthorpe and look out for the sign on the left just before you reach the border town of Wallangarra.

Friday, February 11, 2011

You don't have to have a sweetheart to share the love in Stanthorpe

February 14th can feel a little lonely if you are single...but we're just not having it!

Bella Rosa's, just north of Stanthorpe, is inviting you to come out and meet other singles. The social kicks off at 6.30pm on Monday and for just $55 you'll receive a 3 course dinner and complementry drink. They are also providing free transport to/from Stanthorpe Post Office to spare you getting up close and personal with Mr Plod.

Effervescent hosts Michelle and Nat Burton say "you never know, you might meet the man/woman/manwo of your dreams!"  Or you might just have a very pleasant evening in good company.   The girls at Bella Rosa's have a tea room, beer garden and cottage and they are one of dozens of participatants in the Granite Belt's Fab Feb 30% OFF campaign

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Say it with ...seafood (a little known Stanthorpe surprise)

Perched (pardon the pun) at 1000 metres above sea level may not be where seafood first comes to mind...but don't be deterred by that says Queensland College of Wine Tourism's Executive Chef, Andrew Simpson.

In readiness for your Valentine's Day dinner at home, Andrew (right) is sharing his seafood secrets at a special Seafood Cooking Class this Friday 11 February. There are a couple of places remaining and the class runs from 6-8pm. Get all the info from 07 4685 5050 then - as they say in Queensland - pack your port for a weekend in Stanthorpe.

This exclusive cooking class is a great excuse to take one of the Granite Belt's Fab Feb 30% OFF accommodation specials.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Say I love you with a Sparkling Queenslander

  Want a touch of sparkle from the Granite Belt wine country for your Valentine's Day celebrations?  (Cupid's visit falls smack back in the middle of our FAB FEB 30% OFF campaign so you could even be in the wine country on Feb 14th!) Anyway here are some great sparkling wines to share with the one you love:
  • Robert Channon: 2008 Sparkling Chardonnay@ $27.50
  • Sirromet: Severn Scenes Signature Collection 2007 Sparkling Chardonnary Pinot Noir @ $27, or 2008 Sparkling Red Severn Scenes Signature Collection @ $27. Classic Selection non-vintage Sparkling Chardonnay @ $17 or Love Sparkling Rose @ $14
  • Jester Hill: 2008 Sparkling Shiraz @ $25
  • Ballandean Estate:  Sparkling Shiraz @ $22 or  Range Reserve Sparkling @ $17
  • Banca Ridge/Qld College of Wine Tourism: 2008 Sparkling Pinot Chardonnay @ $20
  • Lucas Estate: Sparkling Chardonnay or Sparkling Rose @ $27.50 
  • Summit Estate Sparkling Brut (Chardonnay) $24 or  Sparkling Shiraz $20
  • Granite Ridge:   Bella Bianco or Sparking Red or Sparkling Rose @ $18/each
  • Felsberg:   Cuvee Blanc or Cuvee Rouge $20/each.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Drink for a Cause - what a Feb Fab

300 vineyards and wineries have donated almost a quarter of a million dollars worth of exclusive wine and other prizes to the Australian Wine Trade Flood Relief Raffle.

The fundraiser aims to raise $1million for flood victims in Queensland and Victoria. It was launched by Brisbane based wine writer and author (and all round nice guy) Tyson Stelzer with support of  The project has the support of Granite Belt Wine & Tourism members Ambar Hill, Bungawarra Wines, Harrington Glen, Hidden Creek, Lucas Estate, Sirromet Wines and Symphony Hill. Their goodwill in addition to the 30% off through the region's Fab Feb campaign

40,000 $30 tickets are now available at and the raffle will be drawn on 11 March.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Vintage times during Fab Feb

Constant rain in recent months made winemakers wonder whether there would ever be a vintage this year. We've had more than two weeks of sunshine so it's action stations in Granite Belt vineyards starting now. So it could be a FAB FEB after all.

First grower out of the blocks this week was specialty producer LiraH who began picking chardonnay grapes for their popular verjus. The team at the oldest family owned winery in the region Ballandean Estate is rolling up their sleeves to pick their much loved White Muscat grapes. By the weekend these grapes will take the first step on their journey to the bottle and cellar door.
Across the road at Golden Grove Estate the Costanzo family is gearing up for their popular annual Sicilian Vintage Lunch this Saturday, again a sell out event.

Back in the vineyards, vignerons at Summit Estate, Robert Channon Wines, Whiskey Gully, Ridgemill Estate and Harrington Glen are also testing sugar levels for the chardonnay base for sparkling wines...all look set to start the big pick in the next week or two.

Visiting the Granite Belt is a smart move - there are dozens of offers 30% OFF normal prices in the FAB FEB campaign.  But if you cant get to the Granite Belt for your Fab Feb deal, down in Brisbane Sirromet has a harvest day at their Mt Cotton winery on Saturday 12 February.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Stanthorpe's James Blundell shares the love in Fab Feb

Fab Feb is the campaign where more than two dozen Granite Belt tourist operators have slashed prices by 30% as a way of sharing the love with Queenslanders during post flood fatigue. The idea is to give yourself a break from flood recovery and escape to the country...Granite Belt wine country in Stanthorpe.

But ....local born hero, James Blundell has gone one better and is giving both his time and his talent as part of the flood recovery activities.  The multi-Aria award winner is this week performing live at a free concert with a twist.

The gig starts at 5.30pm this Thursday at the Texas Town Hall - that's Texas Queensland. It is part of a community thank you to volunteers from Texas USA who came to help the small town beleaguered by recent flooding. Now that's what I call fab!