Granite Belt Famil

Handy resource for Granite Belt Wine Country famil February 2020…



View Final Itinerary:Grazing the Granite Belt



Monique Krause
mob: 0447 250 821


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Competition and Handy Guide by Kerri McConnel: Download Here


    Sutton’s Juice Factory, Cidery & Cafe

    10 Halloran Drive, Thulimbah Qld (opposite the BIG Apple!)
    Open: 9.30am – 4.30pm, 7 Days

    Facebook: @sutton’sjuice
    Instagram: @suttonsfarm

    A real working orchard owned by David and Ros Sutton in 1994 and still operated by them today.

    Best known for their apple pies, handmade on the premises and served with their own special recipe of spiced ice cream.

    Varias Restaurant

    At the Queensland College of Wine Tourism

    22 Caves Road, Stanthorpe

    Facebook: @theqcwt
    Instagram: @theqcwt

    CEO: Peter O’Reilly

    Varias Restaurant

    Open Daily for Lunch
    Open Friday and Saturday for Dinner
    About Varias and view the menu, including the signature ‘Medley of Mains’ dish served with matching Banca Ridge wines.

    Banca Ridge Wines

    Banca Ridge Cellar Door and Winery is located at the Queensland College of Wine Tourism, adjacent to the restaurant. Banca Ridge Wines is the college’s own wine label – wines produced at the college.

    Tours for the Public

    Visitors can join a guided tour of the facility, finishing in the ‘Tastes of the Granite Belt’ room where they enjoy a wine tasting.  Guests will then enjoy a cooking demonstration in our display kitchen where you will have the opportunity to taste the finished product!  Thursday to Sunday, commencing at 10.30am – $10 per person.  …More about the tours


    Best known for their apple pies, handmade on the premises and served with their own special recipe of spiced ice cream.

    Stanthorpe Apple & Grape Harvest Festival

    28 February to 8 March 2020
    Held across 10-days.  Only on every 2 years.

    Facebook: @appleandgrapefestival
    Instagram: @appleandgrapefestival

    Festival Photos

    Download festival photos here (captions are in file names)


    You’ve heard of counting your chickens … how about your apples and grapes? Stanthorpe is counting down the days – until the iconic Apple and Grape Harvest Festival launches on 28 February.

    The welcome mat is ready to be rolled out for a bumper 2020 event.  Mother nature’s been doing her part – it’s apple season right now on the Granite Belt, where ALL of Queensland’s apple crop is grown, and the grapes will be perfect for picking in around a month, just in time for the festivities. The locals have been pitching in too  … the farmers, the winemakers, the chefs, and the everyday folk – to prepare to share this favourite time of year with visitors.

    Festival President, Max Hunter, says the festival is a much-loved tradition.

    “The Apple and Grape Festival has been ‘crushing it’ since 1966 – so we know how to throw a really good party.

    “We’re lucky enough to live in a beautiful and fertile part of the world which produces premium quality apples and vines bearing grapes that our winemakers turn into Queensland’s leading wines – and we’re inviting everyone to help us celebrate the harvest”, he said.

    From street parties, apple peeling competitions and busking in the streets to the famous antics of the barefoot grape stomp, there’s nothing quite like Apple and Grape! The festivities run over 10 days including two fun-filled weekends of entertainment.

    Ashbern Farms

    Strawberry Farm

    2 West Road, Stanthorpe
    Open: 9am – 4.30pm Wednesday to Sunday during strawberry season which is October to May.

    Facebook: @ashbernfarms
    Instagram: @ashbernfarms

    Richard and Vicky are the onsite managers/farmers at Stanthorpe.
    Farmer and co-owner: Brendon Hoyle also meeting us on the famil.

    Ashbern Farms are owned and run by two Sunshine Coast families with two locations in Queensland allowing them to produce strawberries year round (the Sunshine Coast and Stanthorpe).

    At the Stanthorpe farm visitors have the opportunity to observe a working commercial strawberry farm and pick their own delicious fresh strawberries straight from the patch.

    The farm is free admission.  Pick-your own strawberries is purchased by weight picked.


    Jamworks Gourmet Foods

    7 Townsend Road, Glen Aplin
    Open: 10am – 4pm Wednesday to Sunday

    Facebook: @jamworksgourmetfoods
    Instagram: @jamworksgourmetfoods

    Owner/operators: Stephanie Ingall and Christine Hood (they apologise they were not available to meet us on the famil day).

    Ridgemill Estate

    218 Donges Road, Severnlea (near Stanthorpe)
    Open: 7 Days

    Facebook: @ridgemillestate
    Instagram: @ridgemillestate

    Owner/Operators: Martin Cooper and Michelle Feenan

    Winemaker: Peter McGlashan

    Won silver in the Deluxe Accommodation Category of the 2019 Queensland Tourism Awards.

    Ridgemill Images

    Dropbox link to images: coming soon

    Essen Restaurant

    2 McGregor Terrace, Stanthorpe
    Open: for dinner Wednesday to Saturday

    Facebook: @essenrestaurant
    Instagram: @essen_eats_

    Owner/Operator: Clarissa Pabst (it’s a family team, with Stu and Claudia also working in the business).

    View the menu

    The team strives to make food that showcases things that are ready in the garden as well as some of the finest artisan products from the Granite Belt region.

    Essen – German/Austrian. noun; meaning: meal; dinner; food; cooking; to eat.

    Ballandean Pyramid

    A surprising giant stone pyramid in Granite Belt Wine Country.

    Built from blocks of local granite, the pyramid stands 15 metres in height, 30 metres square at the base and contains 7,500 tonnes of rock. It was built using an excavator and dump truck and took eight months to complete.

    Public Access

    There is no public access onto the pyramid or the property surrounded it as this is private property.  Visitors best vantage point is approximately 25 metres from the base where they can stop by the roadside for a photo.

    The public are allowed access onto the property on ANZAC Day, for a ceremony held here at sunset.

    Why was it built?

    According to wikipedia: The pyramid was built after a local resident, Peter Watters (Watters Vine Management Service), asked the land owner Stewart Morland what was to be done with the surplus amount of granite rocks that were excavated for land tillage, humorously suggesting that a pyramid could be constructed. Four hours later Morland decided to build the pyramid and contracted the work to Ken Stubberfield at a cost of $10,00.

    Where is it?

    South of Stanthorpe near the village of Ballandean on Jacobson’s road.

    The pyramid can be seen through the trees along the highway south of Ballandean.

    To reach the pyramid for a closer look, turn off the highway (eastward towards the Ballandean Tavern) on Eukey road, then turn immediately right onto Jacobsens Road.  Follow Jacobsons Road for 1.7km until you reach the giant pyramid on the right.

    The pyramid sits on private property, so no approaching the pyramid, however the roadside is close enough to capture a view and a photo of this impressive site.

    Washpool – Skin Wellness

    16 Bents Road, Ballandean
    Open: Tuesday to Sunday

    Facebook: @washpoolskinwellness
    Instagram: @washpoolskinwellness

    Owner and head soap maker: Melissa Thomas

    Washpool Farm Soaperie is the home of ethical, authentic and nourishing giftware and everyday home, bath and body care. Their handcrafted soaps and natural bath and body products are all handmade at the Soaperie in Ballandean, Queensland.

    How the business began

    Read Melissa’s story of the genesis of her business (which began at a farm in Roma): “To be honest, I was also struggling with my transition from an academic career to the isolation of the farm, and looking for worthwhile ways to keep my mind active. I was ready to start throwing myself into research again. It was also a pleasant diversion from more serious tasks like drought feeding, teaching distance education, book keeping and the myriad small tasks required on the farm. Around this time we moved to our current home, in Ballandean, in the heart of Queensland’s biggest wine-growing region.”  Read the full story here:

    St Jude’s Cellar Door & Bistro

    28200 New England Highway, Ballandean
    Open: varies at times of the year, currently open Wednesday to Sunday

    Facebook: @stjude’scellardoorandbistro
    Instagram: @stjudescellardoorandbistro

    Owner operator: Robert Davidson

    St Jude’s is the name of the long-established vineyard across the road from the cafe, St Jude’s Lane, set up by Terry Morris [from] Sirromet.

    The cafe is acting as a satellite cellar door for Sirromet.

    The cafe opened on 29 April 2019.


    Granite Belt Brewery

    146 Glenlyon Drive, Stanthorpe Qld
    Open: 7 Days

    Facebook: @granitebeltbrewery
    Instagram: @granitebeltbrewery

    Owners: Dee and Geoff Davenport (the brewer)

    Established in 2012.  ​Their ales and lagers are hand crafted onsite in their 1000 litre microbrewery.

    Paola’s The Winemaker Kitchen

    Robert Channon Wines

    Facebook: @
    Instagram: @


    Hashtags, Handles & Links



    Website call to action:

    Granite Belt Wine Country

    Facebook: @granitebeltwinecountry
    Instagram: @granitebeltwinecountry
    Twitter: @granitebeltwine
    Hashtag: #granitebelt and #granitebeltwinecountry


    You are travelling with Allan Foster, owner operator of Granite Highlands Maxi Tours.  They offer day tours on the Granite Belt, plus group tours ex Brisbane, etc.  View their tours

    There are four companies in Stanthorpe who provide day trip bus tours to the wineries and cellar doors of the Granite Belt.  The day tours can also include stops at the two craft breweries, foodie stops of interest.

    View all 4 Tour Operators

    Direct links to find  out more about…
    Granite Highlands Maxi Tours
    Filippo’s Tours
    Stanthorpe Tours
    Wine Discovery Tours (specialising in luxury couples & small group tours)

    For a tour at a slower pace, try something something different with the day trip cycle tours of the Granite Belt.  Granite Belt Bicycle Tours & Hire provide the bicycles and the gear required, plus a tour guide to show you the way and even pick-up of our purchases and even pick of you and your bicycle when you’ve travelled enough for the day!

    Where is the Granite Belt & Getting There

    Stanthorpe and the Granite Belt is located 2 hours drive from Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. There are buses available, or self-drive by car or hire car.  …Read More



    Stanthorpe is located just 2.5 hours drive south-west of Brisbane, near the Queensland and New South Wales border.

    The Granite Belt region is small but diverse, stretching just 60kms from north to south and roughly half as wide. Dotted along the New England highway, the Granite Belt stretches from the small villages north of Stanthorpe, south to Wallangarra on the Qld/NSW border.

    Distance from:
    Brisbane……….. 230km
    Toowoomba.….. 140km
    Gold Coast…….  250km
    Sunshine Coast.350km
    Byron Bay…….. 260km

    The Granite Belt Region is the same latitude as Byron Bay.


    High Altitude

    The Granite Belt sits high on a plateau of the Great Dividing Range, at Queensland’s coolest and highest altitudes. Its lowest point is 700m above sea level, and peaks at 1200m, making it one of Australia’s highest wine and fruit producing areas.

    High Altitude Wines

    At an elevation of 1000 metres above sea level, wines grapes take longer to ripen on the Granite Belt, ensuring luscious, full flavours with great diversity between individual vineyards. The Granite Belt is the highest wine region in Australia and almost 900 metres higher than Bordeaux in France or the Napa Valley in the USA.  Vineyards on the Granite Belt are planted at altitude 650 to 1000m.

    The unique terrior with its longer growing season and deep granite soils, combined with the innovative approach of the region’s winemakers and vignerons, produces wines of elegance and complexity.  Cool climate wines as individual as a fingerprint.


    Granite Belt Specialty: ‘Strange Bird’ Alternate Variety Wines

    The Granite Belt has a growing reputation as one of Australia’s top producers of alternative variety wines – known here as ‘Strange Birds’. To be called an alternative, a variety must represent not more than 1% of the total bearing vines in Australia as defined by Wine Australia.

    Enjoyed in Europe for generations, these alterative varieties are now emerging as Australian favourites due to their ability to match perfectly with our food preferences.

    StrangeBird wines are available for tasting at more than 24 cellar doors on the Granite Belt.  View the Strangebird Alternative Wine Trail Map.


    Four Distinct Seasons

    Soaring altitude creates a region of four distinct seasons and a climate a world away from Queensland counterparts. Yes, it can even snow. It is the seasons that guide life in the Granite Belt with each changing season, so does the produce it reaps and rare experiences to be had.  Come for the cool summer nights or the apple blossoms of springtime.  Come for the red and gold of autumn trees and vineyards, or warm log-fires on crisp winter days – and on rare occasions you may even come to see snow.  Summer nights on the Granite Belt mostly drop below 20 degrees.


    How Winemaking Began on the Granite Belt

    Wine grapes were first planted on the Granite Belt in the 1860’s by the local Catholic parish priest, Father Jerone Davadi. Later many Italian families settled in the region and grew vines to make wine for their own consumption.  The children of those first pioneers studied at home and overseas, bringing with them a new enthusiasm for lesser known grape varieties.  The Puglisi family of Ballandean Estate are the longest operating winery in Queensland, having planted their wine grapes in the 1960’s and patriarch Angelo Puglisi is since widely heralded as the ‘Father of the Queensland Wine Industry’.


    The Granite Belt – Known for Apples and Stone Fruit

    The Granite Belt is a wonderful place to grow wine grapes, apples, strawberries and all kids of stone fruit and vegetables.  There are more apples grown on the Granite Belt than anywhere else in Australia.  Varieties grown on the Granite Belt: Royal Gala, Golden Del, Red Dels, Fuji, Pink Ladies, Grannys, Sundowners, Jazz and Jonathons.