The Granite Belt is a true wine tourism destination, with four distinct seasons allowing for a diverse, exceptional range of grapes and wines. This is a region that truly punches above its weight, producing over 60% of the state’s wine!
The cool, high country of the Granite Belt is the diamond in the Queensland wine industry’s crown, boasting some of the highest vineyards in Australia – sitting at a lofty 1000 metres elevation – with vines enjoying the richness of 250-million-year-old granitic soils.
While these bountiful soils were happily home to orchards of apples, peaches, and table grapes for decades, wine grapes began to take over from the 1960s when post-war Italian immigrants recognised the similarities of the climate to their homeland.
Today, there are around 50 vineyards and cellar doors dotted across the region, all within two and a half hours’ reach when you venture in from Brisbane.
Classic varietals like Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Chardonnay still feature strongly but Granite Belt winemakers have begun earning a reputation for their emerging varietals, with the likes of Vermentino and Tempranillo.
Beyond the main township of Stanthorpe, you’ll pass through a handful of quaint, country villages including Applethorpe, Ballandean, Glen Aplin, and Thulimbah. Sharing a border with New South Wales, the Granite Belt is also one of few areas in Queensland to see the occasional snowfall.
With crisp air, big skies, and brilliant wine, what’s not to love about a trip to wine country?
But the Granite Belt offers more than just spectacular wine, with stunning national parks and picturesque exposed granite rocks waiting to be explored.
Don’t forget to bring a cooler bag to fill with delicious regional produce from cellar doors and providores along the way as you explore this thriving section of Queensland’s Vine and Shine Trail!
Images Courtesy of Tourism Events Queensland