Located just under 3 hours from Brisbane in Queensland’s south east lies Stanthorpe and the Granite Belt. Although well known for its cold winters, it is also a great destination for foodies with the region bursting with fresh produce, amazing wineries and lip smacking eats. Here are some of the best reasons foodies want to visit Granite Belt and Stanthorpe:
Experience Wine in a New Light
Between Stanthorpe and Ballandean lies dozens of amazing wineries offering you a chance to sample some of the area’s most loved wines. Robert Channon Wines is one such winery that is a must visit. Recognised as Australia’s premier Verdelho producer, Robert Channon Wines is famous for being the first winery in Queensland awarded five stars by James Halliday.
Ballandean Estate is another ideal spot to enjoy some wine tasting. Aside from being one of the oldest wineries in the Granite Belt, it also has a restaurant where you can taste exquisite meals, perfectly paired to their award winning wines.
For something a little different, why not take a bike tour along the ‘Strange Birds Wine Trail’. The trail highlights some of the lesser known or emerging grape varietals (which they call ‘Strange Birds’) that are now grown in the area. To be recognised as a ‘Strange Bird’ the varietal must not make up more than 1% of Australia’s vines. So if you are keen to try a few different wines, such as Durif, Marsanne, Sagrantino and Barbera the trail is a must do.
Nothing Like Cheese and Wine
There is no better food pairing than great wine and delicious cheese. With so many great wineries in the region, is it any wonder that Stanthorpe Cheese is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike. For the past 12 years Stanthorpe Cheese have been making artisan cheeses from a single herd of purebred Jersey cows. The resulting cheeses are totally unique, changing with the conditions and seasons. When it is raining and the grass is rich and luscious, the cheese reflects this with bright yellow colours and earthy aroma. During the winter months, when the cows eat more hay, the cheeses are often more intense in flavour. Offering a daily selection of cheeses at their peak of perfection for you to sample, it is the perfect spot to grab some cheese to go with your favourite Granite Belt wine.
How Do You Like Them Apples?
No visit to Stanthorpe or the Granite Belt is complete without a visit to Sutton’s Farm for a giant piece of their delicious apple pie. Made with apples from their own farm, the pies are so popular they generally make up to 160 pies at a time, cooking up to 800kgs of apples per week. Sutton’s Farm is also a great stop for the best and freshest apples, juices, preserves and everything apple related. Their rustic cafe is open daily 9.30am – 4.30pm serving various apple dishes, from dry cider in champagne glasses to warm apple pie and cider ice cream.
Fresh fruit isn’t the only thing Granite Belt has to offer. You can head on out to Jamworks Gourmet Foods to try their locally made wares. They have over 100 kinds of jams and fruit preserves, and you can even sample some. And if you want to try something that’s not purely jam, they also have a cafe with delicious dishes and drinks! Oh and their ice creams are amazing.
Beer lovers are well catered for in the Stanthorpe region with a number of great country pubs and local craft breweries.
Granite Belt Brewery is a 1000L microbrewery with an onsite bar and restaurant that is set on 30 acres of Stanthorpe bushland. Open daily for beer tastings, you can enjoy a tasting paddle while enjoying the sunshine on their large rear deck. With a number of seasonal releases on offer, you will be spoilt for choice.
Brass Monkey Brew House is another local nano-brewery situated within the alluring surrounds of the picturesque Granite Belt area. Family owned and operated with all beer brewed and bottled onsite, they offer onsite tasting and takeaways.
For the serious home brewer, a stop off at Possum Lane Hop Farm, Queensland’s first commercial hop producer, is a must. They currently grow eight varieties of hops including Victoria’s Secret, Cascade, Chinook, Fuggles, Halletau, Hersbrucker, Goldings and Saaz.
While wine and the cold weather may be the main reason people flock to Stanthorpe and the Granite Belt, the region has so much more to offer in terms of food. There’s locally-made cheese, fresh apple dishes, hand-poured jams and heavenly pastries, not to mention some amazing cafes and restaurants. You truly can’t run out of good food experiences in the Granite Belt!
Have easy access to the best Stanthorpe restaurants when you stay at Granite Belt Retreat. Set on 30 acres of natural bushland just five minutes from Stanthorpe, our country estate features 20 cedar cabins complete with log fire, a 1000 litre microbrewery, plus a bar, restaurant and function centre. Book a stay now and enjoy a relaxing country escape!