Monday, April 30, 2012


We've turned pink for May to celebrate Opera in the Vineyard's 20th year, and of course Mother's Day.

Opera in the Vineyard, 6 May, is one of South East Queensland's premier cultural events, and the jewel of the Granite Belt's social calendar.

This year, the program looks amazing and Opera Queensland is proud to announce the artists as Ms Emma Matthews, Mr Virgilio Marino and Mr Andrew Collis, all of whom have performed extensively around the world.

Once again, the Wesley Hospital in Brisbane will be one of the main beneficiaries of the event's proceeds, with almost $350 000 being donated to date.

Why not make this your year to experience the wonderful and magical Opera in the Vineyard at Ballandean!


As the temperature begins to drop in the Granite Belt the action heats up, with an array of other events also on offer including:
  • Barrel Room Cafe's Opera Eve Degustation Dinner - 5 May
  • Art in the Mill - 4-7 May 
  • Robert Channon Wines Bold as Brass Concert - 5 May
  • Stonemasons Workshop at Girraween Environmental Lodge - 7-10 May
  • Ravens Croft Wines 1920s World Class Wine Dinner - 12 May
  • Graphite Stone and Wood Exhibition - until 24 May.
You can also spoil your mum for Mother's Day (13 May) with a range of options on offer:

Tempt mum's tastebuds with a three-course Mother's Day luncheon at the Vineyard Cafe. Featuring Ballandean mushroom risotto, saltwater barramundi and Granite Belt apple tart, the sumptuous lunch menu includes wine and is just $65 per person ($55 for seniors). Contact

You can also celebrate Mother's Day with a scrumptious seasonal menu at the Cellar Door Cafe. Breakfast from 9am or lunch from 12.30pm. Receive a handmade Washpool Farm Soap gift from Mum with each booking.

Hidden Creek Winery is offering a special 3-course Mother's Day lunch for only $36. Enjoy succulent parmesan rusted lamb cutlets and more.

Or enjoy a luscious lilting lunch of lazy tunes and jazzy croons for Mother's Day with Aperitif and Teri Welles in the Singing Lake Cafe, Robert Channon Wines. $10 cover charge per person with lunch.

Click here to read more!

So this May, make sure you enjoy great music, wine, art, and of course, great mothers!

Monday, April 23, 2012

This May, Create Your Own Masterpiece in the Serene Surrounds of Girraween!

Always wanted to have those fantastic stone creations in your garden; an amazing creative stone carved path, stone water feature or a beautiful hand-carved piece?

In the serene surrounds of the Granite Belt bushland, near Girraween National Park, spend your days learning the artistry involved in the ancient craft of stone masonry.

Girraween Environmental Lodge, a four-star luxury resort, is offering a 4-day course with renowned Stonemason, Daniel Gill.

With his exceptional training skills, Daniel is able to show and guide you into being able to create your very own masterpiece to take home and continue to create at home.

Your exclusive package includes:
• 2 full day workshops & 2 half days
• All equipment and tools for workshop
• 3 Nights Accommodation at Girraween Environmental Lodge
• 3 Dinners including transfers to & from restaurant
• Morning and Afternoon tea facilities
• Breakfast baskets for duration of your stay
• Full use of the resort and facilities including our beautiful outdoor spa & plunge pools + few additional extras

Date: 7-10 May 2012
Cost: $1990 per person (any additional guest staying with a workshop participant stays accommodation FOC) Or $1440 per person, twin share


Learn more here.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Granite Belt + Shiraz Restaurant Receive More Accolades

When most of us take break, we switch off and do nothing! But not the ultra-professional, Des Houghton, of the Courier Mail.

We caught up with Des, when he was holidaying with family, and his mind couldn't stop thinking about work. And for that we are very grateful; because the result is a fabulous review in last week's Qweekend magazine.

When describing Ballandean in the Granite Belt, Des exclaims, "I can't keep away from the place. It is a meandering food and wine trail set among vineyards, orchards, streams and weird prehistoric rock formations. It's Queensland's very own Tuscany or Alsace."

During his stay Des paid a visit to Shiraz Restaurant + Wine Bar; a place he believes is worth a visit for its wonderful wine list alone. But the food also caught his attention!

"We devoured quality plates of food from a disciplined kitchen that knew exactly what it was doing."

Thanks Des. Next time you visit we promise we won't make you work. But then again, is enjoying wonderful food and wine actually a job!

Monday, April 16, 2012

This Weekend Ryn and Cordie Join Us Elevated Taste - Grazing the Granite Belt

Ryn and Cordie are joining us this weekend for Elevated Taste - Grazing the Granite Belt. Have you got your tickets?

A progressive-type long-lunch through the region; seven of the Granite Belt's leading wineries will offer signature dishes perfectly matched with wine including:

  • Spicy lamb cutlet w/ warm Greek salad + Moroccan couscous matched w/ 2011 Jester Hill 2 Fools Cabernet Rosé
  • Duck + venison sausage w/ vine-ripened tomato salad + onion jam matched w/ 2006 Whiskey Gully Rep Red blend
  • Prosciutto wrapped, baked local Amiens figs stuffed w/ goat cheese served over balsamic dressed rocket matched w/ 2009 Robert Channon Pinot Gris
  • Decadent white chocolate + poached pear torte w/ raspberry coulis + vanilla ice cream w/ 2005 Ballandean Estate Late Harvest Sylvaner

It doesn’t matter where you start or finish; you can visit one winery or seven.

There are two Granite Belt Graze pass options available; Self Graze ($58) or, for those who don't want to drive, the Grazing Bus ($93). On Saturday, the Grazing Buses will pick-up (and return) from Stanthorpe and the main villages in Granite Belt, visiting each venue approximately every 35-45 minutes.

Both passes include a Granite Belt elevated tasting glass, food tasting plate vouchers and wine vouchers.  Event goers will also receive a Grazing Passport - make a purchase at any participating winery cafe, get the grazing passport stamped and go into draw to win a mixed dozen of Granite Belt wines.

We promise award winning wine, gourmet local produce and fabulous entertainment; so get some friends together and experience a weekend you won’t forget!

Book your tickets here!

This event is part of the A+ Australian Wine Celebration - a unique occasion for Australians to celebrate the great wine created in their own backyard, as well as the people and places whom provide an authenticity and diversity unlike any other wine producing nation in the world.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Australian Traveller Magazine names Granite Belt A Wine Region You Must Visit Now!

The Granite Belt, Mudgee, King Valley, Great Southern, and Clare Valley are wine writer for Australian Traveller Magazine, Greg Duncan Powell's, choice for wine regions you must visit now!

Duncan Powell notes, "'s become a favourite getaway for Queenslanders who want to pretend they're Victorians and experience the exquisite thrill of wearing an overcoat while tasting a hearty red."

We are not sure we Queenslanders want to pretend to be Victorians but we certainly enjoy experiencing the winter chill and a fabulous red!

"...Cabernet Sauvignon is brilliant but don't forget to try the Mourvedre Shiraz."

His favourite wineries in the region included Golden Grove, Hidden Creek, Symphony Hill, Just Red, Boireann, Robert Channon and Rumbalara.

For further information visit or pick up a copy of the mag from your local news-agency now!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Shiraz Restaurant + Wine Bar Makes RM Williams Outback Magazine Top 25

The secret is out! For the past four years, Granite Belt locals have known about the delectable fare served at Shiraz Restaurant + Wine Bar in Ballandean. This knowledge has now gone national with the restaurant selected as one of RM Williams Outback Magazine's Top 25 Great Australian Outback Food Adventures.

Outback is probably pushing the description, but there is no doubt that owners John and Jen Rogers operator one of the region's leading restaurants.

Journalist Cathy Finch notes, "Four years down the track, John and Jen's hard work is reaping rewards in their 40-set restaurant Shiraz. Surrounded by rolling hills and heavily laden vineyards, Shiraz is loved by locals (Ed note: yes we agree!) and tourists alike. John is known for embracing a simple, modern Australian style and utilising an abundance of local produce."

In the four page article, John sings the praise of our local produce; its consistency and taste described as phenomenal.

Readers will also enjoy one of his signature recipes - Organic Rack Lamb (Mallow Organic Lamb, of course!), with Fresh Figs and Potato Rosti (using Lirah Caramelised Balsamic Vinegar). And John suggests you serve it with a Pyramids Road Shiraz.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Granite Belt wineries make Gourmet Traveller's Top Cellar Doors' List

This month, Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine discovered Australia's Top Cellar Doors (see April/May edition). Included in the illustrious mix were three Queensland wineries; Granite Belt's Robert Channon Wines and Summit Estate, plus Granite Belt wine producing Sirromet.

Robert Channon was described as, "this boutique winery has gone from strength to strength, establishing a reputation for Australia's best Verdelho, from their immaculate vineyard." Standout wine: 2011 Robert Channon Verdelho

Not to be outdone, Summit Estate earned praise with, "Recent years have seen the winery take on a special feel, with winemaker, Paola Cabezas Rhymer, making some of the best wines in the region." Standout wine: 2009 Summit Estate Alto Tempranillo.

Closer to home, recently the Courier Mail selected the Best five wineries of southeast Queensland. Scoring a top gong was the latest winner of Queensland's Best Cellar Door Award, Ballandean Estate; and once again, Sirromet and Summit Estate.  

CM Life wineries cover 650
The Granite Belt will be the scene of some exciting mototrials action on the May long weekend (6-7th) when the Logan River Mototrials Club come to town.

The two-day event, to be held on a Nundubbermere Rd property near Stanthorpe, will include riders aged seven to 82 years.

It's all about finesse and love for the lightweight bikes.

For further information visit Stanthorpe's Border Post

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Granite Belt Vines Go Aerial

Over Easter the lucky got to witness some awesome dirt biking skills from Tyrone and Jed.

We love how all these fab images from Justjack72 have the vines in the background. It's certainly a unique view!

To see more visit Justjack72 on Flickr.

Thanks Jack!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

This Easter Discover Girraween National Park

Easter is about the great outdoors, camping, nature and of course, lots of chocolate.

Girraween and Wyberba in the Granite Belt offer all of  the above and much more. Check out these images by local photographic guru Cory Rossiter for inspiration!

Granite Belt on Channel 7's Morning Show