Explore the wineries and history that make up the Granite Belt wine region
Wine grapes were first planted on the Granite Belt in the 1860s, by the local Catholic parish priest, Father Jerome Davadi. Later many Italian families settled in the region and grew vines to make wine for their own consumption. The children of these first pioneers studied at home and overseas, bringing with them a new enthusiasm for lesser-known grape varieties. Over the past decade Granite Belt wineries have made their mark at national and interstate wine shows and the region is now recognized as a small but unique producer of premium wines.
The Granite Belt is situated on the northern edge of the great New England Tableland, right on the border between Queensland and NSW, at around 1000 metres above sea level. At this elevation, it’s one of the highest wine regions in this country and almost 900 metres higher than Bordeaux in France or the Napa Valley in the USA. The unique terroir with its longer growing season and deep granitic gravels combined with the innovative approach of the region’s winemakers and vignerons, produce cool climate wines of elegance and complexity.
Long before the Granite Belt gained a reputation as Queensland’s premier wine region, a multi-million dollar horticultural and agricultural industry flourished – growing apples, peaches, plums, apricots, cherries and dozens of row crops such as tomatoes, capsicums and hand-picked beans, all of which are still grown here with great success. The Granite Belt is now the nation’s largest producer of apples and supplies the vast majority of summer salad vegetables, such as tomatoes and lettuces, to Australian consumers.
The region is a landscape of dramatic beauty and diversity with four distinct seasons. In their unique national parks, 200 million-year-old Triassic granite formations emerge from thick forests and house-sized boulders balance precariously one on top of the other.
The last few years has seen a number of emerging varieties grown with great success on the Granite Belt which is officially recognized as a wine-producing region under its own GI (Geographical Indicator) and the region has a growing reputation as one of Australia’s top producers of alternative variety wines.
In 2016, Granite Belt wines won numerous Champion and Best of Show Trophies and a barrel-load of gold and silver medals at state, national and interstate wine shows such as the Mediterranean Wine Challenge, the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show, The Australian Small Winemakers’ Show, The RNA Royal Queensland Wine Show, Queensland Wine Awards, Winestate Magazine and many others.
Respected wine judge and writer Mike Bennie, who contributes articles on wine for most of Australia’s leading magazines, and is also Editor-At-Large and contributor to The Wine Front, a major online wine commentary website, visited the region for the first time, early in 2017 and made the following observations :
“Granite Belt has to be one of Australia’s most exciting wine regions. Indeed, the scope of wines possible from the region is startling, and the overall sense of quality, very high.
Visit the Granite Belt wine region at the 2017 Brisbane Good Food & Wine Show, where 5 of the region’s best wineries will come together to welcome you to taste your way around their world-renowned wines including…
Thinking of visiting the Granite Belt? Visit the region’s official website to help you plan your trip and see what’s on here.