Monday, December 23, 2013

The Australian wine regions you've never heard of

The Granite Belt, Queensland

If you live outside the state of Queensland, the sunny place is somewhere you associate with theme parks, long sandy beaches and meter maids. But for all those who prefer a quiet night in with a glass of red over raging through surfer's night spots, there is something on offer for you.

The Granite Belt is the main wine region in Queensland and it is having a moment.

Named after the stunning prehistoric granite formations in the area, it has a cool climate and high altitude which creates award-winning wines.

It's been a long time since 1870, when the first grapes were planted by a Catholic priest to make church wine, but finally the Granite Belt is becoming a recognised region - with the help of respected wine critic James Halliday.

There are 40 boutique cellar doors with highly respected wine. The main players here are Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Merlot - but even with a small percentage of plantings, Verdelho has made its mark.

Head to the Granite Belt to discover small can be beautiful.