Vineyard escape along the Strange Bird Wine Trail
‘Tis the changing of the seasons and the perfect time for a vineyard and cellar door hop!
The burgeoning wine region in the Granite Belt is only a short three-hour drive from Brisbane and boasts some of the country’s premium wineries and vineyards.
Take the Strange Bird wine trail and taste your way through these 8 Granite Belt wineries.
Ballandean Estate Wines
The oldest winery in the Granite Belt, Ballandean Estate Wines has been in the Cardillo and Puglisi family for over 80 years, so it’s safe to say they know their stuff when it comes to making good wine!
Taste-test the highly lauded viognier (pronounced Vee-On-Yay), a strangebird alternative that is often referred to as a red wine drinker’s white wine. Or, try the Malbec, a flavoursome wine with leafiness and integrated oak aromas when you enjoy an Italian feast at The Barrelroom Restaurant. It’s no wonder why Ballandean Estate Wines was named amongst the top 50 wine experiences by Gourmet Traveller.
If you’re a red wine lover, Boireann Winery is a must! Boireann are dedicated to making premium reds full of intense flavour and colour. Recently recognised in the Halliday 2017 Top 100 Wines and a Top 5 Star Winery, if you haven’t visited Boireann Winery, put it on your list. And, when you’re here, try their top-rated Mourvedre 2016 and The Lurnea 2016.
If you like what you see and taste, become a Boireann Bunch member (joining is free!) to enjoy benefits like grape-picking weekends and private barrel tasting.
Here they grow the wine, not make it.
With a focus on growing the best fruit with as little interference as possible, Tobin Wines have finessed the winemaking process and limit their production to a maximum of 160 cases each year.
And, each bottle is made to perfection.
Jester Hill Wines
Shakespearean-inspired wine labels, free tastings, an impossibly tranquil setting – you get this and more when visiting Jester Hill Wines.
Enjoy the highly awarded Touchstone Granite Belt Sangiovese 2016 and Shiraz 2012, in between games of bocce or relaxing on the terrace. Don’t forget to hit their cafe too – tasty dishes and home-made cakes are ready and waiting to be devoured!
Golden Grove Estate
Expect quality wine and great service at Golden Grove Estate. Home to the Costanzo family, the winery has been passed down through three generations and boasts an impressive variety of alternative wines.
Have a glass of their full-bodied 2012 Vintage Grand Reserve Barbera, the winner of the 2013 Cowra Wine Show – Top Gold, 2014 ASWS – Gold, 2013 QLD Wine Awards – Silver. Or try the 2016 SPV Sparkling Vermentino as you soak in the spectacular views of the Ballandean Valley.
Twisted Gum Wines
Enjoy wines from a hand-tended vineyard where their cellar door in located inside a classic 1920’s Queenslander. The hugely popular 2017 Pink Moscato is a classic Italian-style made from Black Muscat grapes. It has a Turkish Delight aroma and is light, crisp and has just the right amount of sweetness.
Looking for something a little deeper and rich in flavour? Try their signature deep inky-purple red wines, their 2014 Shiraz infuses black cherries and dark forest fruits.
Having established a reputation for their aromatic Mediterranean & European varieties and award-winning wines of elegance and complexity, Summit Estate is an obvious choice when cruising the Granite Belt.
Their 2016 Queensland Cabernet was the Trophie winner Champion Mainstream Variety Red and the Gold Medal winner in 2017. Impressed? Thought so.
Symphony Hill Wines
Symphony Hill Wines has been awarded wine critic James Halliday’s 5-star rating three years in a row, and it’s no wonder why!
If you’re not sure where to start, try the top-rated 2010 Wild Child Viognier while having a cheese and wine matching session at the Barrel Bar.
What’s your favourite winery in the Granite Belt region?
This post was originally published in 2015 and was updated on 4 April 2018.