DARLING DOWNS &
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