What a fruitful start to 2018 with loads of scrumptious stone fruit filling our summer days! We hope you enjoyed the festive period and are recharged for whatever it is that you do. Our small break consisted of lots of rest and recreation squeezed in with family and friends and a wonderful getaway over the New Year’s Eve weekend.
Now let’s talk about Stanthorpe. As most of you are aware some of our growers are from the beautiful township of Stanthorpe. Historically known for its’ tin mining, this highland region is now horticulturally rich producing some incredibly flavoursome apples, pears, stone fruit, tomatoes and other vegetables. The fruit is full of flavour due to the high altitudes cool dry climate and rich granite soil and the wineries are a definite must-see.
Over the New Year’s Eve weekend, we had some business planned so we extended our trip over for a 3-day weekend getaway with our 3-year-old pooch Bubbles. This time to see more of Stanthorpe’s amazing scenery.
Stanthorpe’s accommodation is diverse with an array of gorgeous cottages, country houses, hotels, motels, lodges, villas and B&B’s. We stayed at the Granite Garden Cottages and Lake Retreat which is a short 15-minute drive from the centre of town. What a pleasant surprise to drive in and see a range of stunningly bright rose beds and well-groomed gardens.
The cottages are well-equipped with everything you need on site and a gorgeous terrace overlooking the pretty lake, roses and shrubs and we must not forget the cute little bunnies that came out at dusk every night. This is where we spent most of the time with a good book in hand listening to the native birds chirping away, who needs music!
Food was on the agenda of course and Stanthorpe is quite diverse with cafes, bakeries and European and Asian restaurants. There’s also local farm and orchard eateries and cheese, olives and wine within and outside the district. Upon arrival, we decided to stop into Vincenzo’s At the Big Apple in Thulimbah as it was late, and we were famished! A traditional Italian pizza hit the spot with Stanthorpe’s local wine to finish off our dinner.
The following day we ventured out to a little village on the outskirts called Severnlea. Our goal was to create a tapas platter of yummy locally grown produce, Kaso Plums and I.M. SWEET apricots for lunch back at the cottage. We stumbled upon Severn Brae Estate on the side of the road and we had to pull over when we saw the word cheese. Here we sampled some cheeses and of course, we bought some. There’s also an interesting display of sterling silver bric-a-brac.
Tapas just isn’t tapas without some olives and, so we stopped in at Mt Stirling olive estate in Glen Aplin a few minutes down the road. Everything is just a quick drive away. Did you know that they have 3500 olive trees on site? Harvest is on around February/March. Now there was plenty of sampling to do with standard, marinated, green and black olives. We weren’t going to miss out on this taste test. Well, it’s a definite yes from us and so we bought some delicious olive paste, dip and marinated olives. Yum! At last, we reached our dessert station at Sutton’s Juice Factory, Cidery, Distillery and Shed Café. The apple pie is simply unforgettable! You’ll need to add this one to your list.
From there we headed over to Moonrise Estate Winery. Well wasn’t that a pretty site to see! The vineyards beauty certainly created a lovely setting to taste test their endless list of organic wines. Owner Trevor amazed us with his incredible knowledge of not only the flavours but to the finer details of how the wine is grown but also the storage using French Oak wine barrels and in addition to this explaining how to read and interpret the ingredients on wine labels. Hats off to you Trevor! Yes, we did it, we bought some wine too!
Apples Just Aint Apples
Of course, we had to accomplish our business plans and our first trip to the growers was at Nicoletti Orchards in Pozieres. We were greeted with some delightful refreshing apple juice from the growers very own apple orchard. This is our second year representing this wonderful 3rd generation family. Growers Toni and Daniel are very positive about this year’s crop with harvest being a week earlier. Next week you’ll see some delightful varieties in local fruit shops throughout South East Queensland. We’ll also be sharing some of Aussie Apples mouth-watering recipes and there’s more to come.
Our last stop was at Terry’s Sweet Persimmons orchard in the gorgeous little village of Applethorpe. Growers Terry and Susan produce some scrumptious tasting persimmons, we know as we indulged in them last season. We had a lovely walk throughout the orchard with a quick photo shoot. Persimmons are a bi-annual crop which means they have a very good crop every second year. This is the year folks and we’re in for a bumper.
Don’t forget our growers from the Goulburn Valley the ‘Food Bowl of Australia’ – I.M. SWEET apricots with only a week left of these deliciously healthy treats and the amazing Kaso Plums are here to stay until the beginning of April! So much fresh fruit yippee!