Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Are you a Creator or a Consumer?

Have you ever had the chance to cook South African cuisine? Expand your food repertoire and join Banca Ridge Cafe and Cellar Door on Friday 7 October for their South African Cooking Demonstration.

Executive Chef Andrew Simpson (pictured left) will take you through a cooking masterclass which will finish with a four-course meal prepared by Andrew and his team.  It will be a night of good food and wine and great fun. Bookings are essential - Only $50 per person with part proceeds going to Gianna Zanatta, McDonalds Apple & Grape Young Ambassador .

A lover of international cuisine but not really the cooking type! The Singing Lake Café, Robert Channon Wines, Spanish inspired spring menu maybe more your style.

Taste tapas of Granite Belt marinated Mt Stirling Manzanillo olives, Seville pate, olive tapenade, Spanish sardines, and a Basque soft baked cheese wheel; or for something more substantial try the Pyrenees Chicken. All are a perfect match for their famous Verdelho and Rosé. Or to really get into the Spanish mood, try their Sangria!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fine Food and Fine Wine

We believe life it too short to eat and drink nothing but the best!

On Friday, we firmly cemented our position as Queensland’s premium wine region after winning seventeen out of nineteen trophies and gold medals at the 2011 Queensland Wine Awards.

Golden Grove's Durif, a Strange Bird alternative wine, was named overall champion wine of the show, and also took a gong as champion alternative red. The success of Golden Grove continued winning Queensland Winery of the Year, and owner Mr Sam Costanzo, was awarded Queensland Viticulturist of the Year.

When announcing the awards earlier Chief Judge, Neil McGuigan of McGuigan Wines, Hunter Valley, praised the Strange Bird alternative red varieties, mentioning both Durif and Petit Verdot as highlights. This is the first year the awards have been separated into mainstream and alternative varieties, reflecting the surging popularity and quality of the Granite Belt’s aptly named Strange Bird alternative wines, which have been enjoyed in Europe for generations. 

But the Granite Belt is not just about wine... our food producers continue to rack up medals too. Many of you know a visit to the Granite Belt must include the Bramble Patch - connoisseurs of jams, sauces, jellies, marmalades, coulis, chutney's, pickles, relishes, pastes, vinegars and their famous ice-cream!

Bramble Patch's food excellence was rewarded this month, winning 11 medals at this year's Melbourne, Sydney and Hobart Fine Food Awards. With more than 1000 entries at the Melbourne Show alone, securing gold is a fantastic achievement. Judges favourites included their Red Capsicum Relish, Apricot and Macadamia Paste, Raspberry Vinegar, and sizzling Hot Lime Pickle.

Tantalise your taste buds today!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Granite Belt wines Noosa Style

There is no doubt that Noosa certainly punches above its size when it comes to exceptional dining experiences - achieving exceptional results in the latest Australia Gourmet Traveller Restaurant Awards Guide.

But Noosa Style magazine tells readers that when enjoying a meal in one of their fabulous restaurants experience an award winning wine, acclaimed by James Halliday, from the Granite Belt.

"When the legendary James Halliday refers to Queensland as having some excellent wine with the 'red wines (Shiraz, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon) fairing the best', it's surely time that everyone takes note."

Noosa Style also took a fancy to one of our favourite quotes by the James Halliday Wine Companion, "this year outposts such as Queensland's Granite Belt and New South Wales' Southern Highlands and Hilltops stand shoulder to shoulder with the Hunter and Barossa valleys, Rutherglen, Langhorne Creek and the Mornington Peninsula."

So next time you ask for the wine list, select a Granite Belt wine and discover what the connoisseurs already know.

Thanks Noosa!

A Bike with an Engine and Outdoor Concert more your style?

Continuing our bike blog theme - for those who prefer a bike with an engine the Granite Belt has you covered too!

Next weekend, Sunday 24 September, Wallangarra plays host to the Border Bike and Custom Car Show + Outdoor Concert.

The event will feature an amazing array of cars and bikes in more than twenty categories including best Ute, best, Harley, best British, best rat, best 8 cyl, best European, best interior..and don't forget the best loudest car!
A massive line of bands will create one the Granite Belt's largest concerts with Lord of Wongs, Phil Emmanuel and Band, Cashville (the Johnny Cash Show), Legless, Kerry Kennedy + Double Barrel, Mark Cashin + Lil Hussys and more. Bring along a chair or blanket and enjoy the tunes.

The family is not forgotten with jumping castles, side show alley, train rides, clowns and for the big kids at heart a new 3D V8 Supercar simulator.

And, the event supports a great cause with donations going to the Royal Children's Hospital Foundation.

Gates open at 7am for entrants and 9am for public access. There is limited FREE camping on Saturday (non powered) or check out for great accommodation options.

For further information and ticket prices visit

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

It's all About the Bike - $50K Bikeway Grant Announced for the Granite Belt

 This week the Granite Belt is all about the bike. On the day that more than 800 Cycle Queensland cyclists rolled into Stanthorpe, the  Minister for Tourism, Manufacturing and Small Business Jan Jarratt announced a $50 000 Minor Tourism Infrastructure Grant towards construction of a 34km bikeway between Stanthorpe and Ballandean.

“Cycle tourism is a strong growth market and the Stanthorpe to Ballandean Bikeway has been a long-term vision of the local business community and tourism industry,” Ms Jarratt said.

Winding along our country lane-ways, the bikeway will start at the Stanthorpe Visitor Information Centre and finish up at Accommodation Creek crossing, Sundown Road, Ballandean. Along the way there will be signage, rest stops, covered picnic areas and detours to wineries, cafes, restaurants and other attractions.

Already experiencing the cycle benefits of the region, our 800 visitors are enjoying a rest day of wine and tours after a challenging ride from Texas. (Our picture today is some of the 'very fit' first arrivals)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Games and Gamekeepers

It's games and gamekeepers for Primavera this weekend.

Ballandean Estate’s Gamekeepers Dinner is one of the festival's must do events. On Saturday, Chef Matt Wells will present a five course dinner featuring game meats, perfectly matched with Ballandean’s wines.

Guests who were lucky enough to secure a ticket will enjoy decadent mushroom and truffle soup, venison carpaccio, rabbit ragu with gnocchi, asparagus and goats curd, confit duck with gorgonzola polenta, green beans and muscatel jus. The gastronomic night finishs with a strawberry pannacotta with balsamic muddled strawberries and burnt orange cream. Our taste buds are salivating.

Not far way it will be a weekend of fun, games and wine at Pyramids Road Wines. Teams of four, decked out in hilarious costumes (our images are of some of last year's participants), will test their wine knowledge while tasting wines from around the world. Starting strong is one thing..but who will last the wine distance?

Primavera has not forgotten about our younger visitors. The little ones can shout ahoy sailor and watch Captain Hook walk the plank at a pantomime of CAPTAIN HOOK’S REVENGE. On at Stanthorpe's Little Theatre until Saturday 10 September.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Getting High on the Granite Belt

We promise an elevated experience in the Granite Belt. Our artists and winemakers are certainly experiencing it at Art on Amiens, part of the Granite Belt Primavera Festival 2011.

Art on Amiens is an art trail showcasing some of the finest contemporary art the Granite Belt has to offer on show at galleries, wineries and food artisans throughout Amiens. Participating artists include Laurie Astill, Pat and Tom Benkendorff, Maggie Brockie, Keith Cameron, Linda Clutterbuck, Margaret Dowe, Chris Fletcher, Sue Jurd, Sandra McEwan, Maryke Miller, Bent and Eva Rasmussen, Michael Pieper, and Fay Roselt.

The above picture is Mark from Ravenscroft Wines, getting extremely comfortable in the latest addition to his winery - a massive wrought iron chair by artist Keith Cameron - with a glass of his favourite red wine in hand.

We are also loving Keith's artistic work on display at Castle Glen (left) - it's a rather regal affair!

Join us at the opening of Art on Amiens tomorrow at Nest Gallery. To go on this artistic journey simply download the trail brochure or pick up a copy from the Stanthorpe Visitor Information Centre,  and follow the red banners along Amiens Road and adjoining roads.