After remaining dormant over recent years, the re-emerging Darling Downs wine region, west of Brisbane, ‘defies the odds’ by proving you can produce beautiful wines in a subtropical climate.

According to James Halliday, this is a region home to ‘vanguard viticulture pioneers’, who work hard at their craft to produce fine wines in the face of tropical storms and wet summers.

With Queensland’s largest inland city – Toowoomba – at its heart, the Darling Downs / Western Queensland wine region has rediscovered its winemaking roots, with a handful of emerging vineyards now flourishing.

While the area is more famous as cattle grazing country, cellar doors and micro wineries now dot farmland on the western slopes of the Great Dividing Range, producing an array of wines including Merlot and Verdelho, as well as sweet table wines and Muscats.

There are currently four wineries of note to call in on as you explore the Darling Downs / Western Queensland Region, starting with Riversands Wines – Queensland’s western-most winery in St George, famous for their fortified muscats and ports.

Closer to the action, Preston Peak Wines is an easy ten-minute drive from Toowoomba. While open by appointment only, it’s worth booking in to enjoy a tasting of their ‘wines grown with altitude’.

From Preston Peak, you can choose to venture north to Bunnyconnellen Olive Grove and Vineyard, or south to Between Two Rocks Wine.

From cellar doors to heritage landmarks along the Cobb & Co Tourist Drive, and stunning natural sites like Queen Mary Falls, there’s so much to soak in as you venture in from Brisbane to explore this inland leg of Queensland’s Vine and Shine Trail.

Images Courtesy of Tourism Events Queensland

01 Bunnyconnellen Olive Grove and Vineyard -27.243740151.957450 286 Swain Rd, Crows Nest

Previously a dairy farm, Bunnyconnellen Olive Grove and Vineyard offers all the modern conveniences of a city venue, with all the charm of a rustic country setting, complete with a well-stocked cellar door.

02 Preston Peak Wines -27.644440151.971730 430 Preston Boundary Rd, Preston

With over 20 years of winemaking experience to their name, Preston Peak Wines produces award-winning, cool-climate wines that capture the essence of the Granite Belt.

03 Between Two Rocks Wine -28.005750151.579990 Ross St, Leyburn

A family owned and grown vineyard, Between Two Rocks Wine offers visitors the chance to sit back, relax and take in stunning views of the estate, all while enjoying wine and pizza.

04 Riversands Wines -28.057910148.566380 66 Whytes Rd, St George

Nestled on the banks of the Balonne River, Riversands Wines is Queensland’s western-most winery. Famous for their fortified muscats and ports, this bush paradise serves up personalised wine tastings and country hospitality.