Divine Fruits doesn’t always share growers stories. We love to boast about our amazing culinary adventure. We’re talking about Stanthorpe. This gorgeous rural town delivers the most picturesque Winter scenes. We know too well as we recently enjoyed a mid-week getaway. The Granite Belt Region will have you revisiting time and time again. The food and wine is amazing – we keep going back!
HERITAGE ESTATE WINERY
The Granite Belt offers fabulous boutique accommodation and there are many to choose from. We always share the love and stay at different locations. It was Heritage Estate Wines cosy cottage that won our heart. Built in 1864 this retreat is completely enveloped by nature. We enjoyed our strolls throughout the forest breathing in the fresh country air every morning. The cottage has the original cedar lining and the scent was absolutely incredible. Who needs essential oils! Relax alongside the toasty warm fire, watch a movie and enjoy a good night’s rest in a super comfy bed. Did we mention the spectacular sunset views? We delighted in a glass of Heritage Estate’s amazing Temperanillo whilst gazing into the sunset on the deck. Don’t forget the winery offers 3 cellar door wine tastings and you can indulge in a scrumptious lunch at the Thulimbah Old Church Café.
We simply can’t go to Stanthorpe without stopping in to see the growers at Nicoletti Orchards. Daniel and Toni treated us with sweet crunchy apples. YUMM! Apple trees are dormant in Winter and Daniel and the team were pruning. There was more work on hand as Daniel drove us to the top of the orchard to do some maintenance work on a tractor. WOW! What a beautiful view! We were able to see the entire apple orchard for the first time. Daniel and the rest of the Granite Belt growers have been busy using new technology to try and locate water beneath the ground, we wish them the very best. It’s great to see the trees looking very healthy. Daniel and Toni have plenty of work to do to continue nurturing their apple trees.
GRANITE BELT WINES
Did you know that the Granite Belt covers some 400 hectares of vineyards in Queensland? It’s no wonder people flock to this amazing destination to enjoy some of Queensland’s award-winning wines. Cellar door tastings are offered on most days of the week. Be sure to head to Granite Belt Wine Country for more details. As we were on a tight schedule, we could only fit 3 wineries in this trip. All are within 20 minutes drive around Stanthorpe. Rest assured the scenic drive to each one is always fun.
Our first stop was Robert Channon Wines. Winemaker Ashley shared his knowledge of the wine making process. A short time after we headed over to Ridgemill Estate Wines. We’re animal lovers and were pleasantly surprised to see the cutest and friendliest goats. After our tastings we just couldn’t resist the temptation to head to the goat feeding station. Loads of fun! Folks don’t forget there are a number of gorgeous cabins if you’d like to extend your stay. The next day we drove to the Pyramids Rd Wines. Winemaker Warren is very passionate about wine. Warren and wife Sue also host amazing events. On the same road you’ll find the spectacular Ballandean Pyramid. It’s stands 15m high and is a man-made stone pyramid, definitely worth a snap. We loved every minute of the cellar door tastings and brought home several amazing wines.
GIRRAWEEN NATIONAL PARK
For years we’ve been wanting to see the incredible Giraween National Park. Well we finally got there this time. Did you know that the name ‘Girraween’ means place of flowers? The park is around half an hour drive from Stanthorpe. We were totally in awe of the magnificent vegetation and spectacular granite rocks. The vegetation dates back to 1827 and there are around 780 native plants. The vibrant wattle trees immediately captured our attention. The park lends itself to recreation including walks and hikes, camping and family picnics and more. Gazing upon the gigantic granite rocks and boulders so perfectly balanced was breathtaking. Our half hour walk was refreshing, a multi-sensory experience for sure. We couldn’t take on the long bush walks as our pooch was waiting in the car. Next time we will extend our stay at this glorious park.
Folks I’m sure many of you enjoy a flavoursome cheese. Stanthorpe Cheese is one place you don’t want to miss. It’s a short 10-minute drive out of town. Owners Rosco and Karen have been making artisan cheeses for about 12 years. From matured cheddar to pepper, triple brie to the blue vein these delicious grazing foods are made from a single herd of Jersey Cows from one farm. That’s why they taste so good! The store offers much more. They make their own chutneys and range a number of local products including Lirah Vinegar, Mt Stirling Olives, Granite Belt Honey and lots more. Daily tastings are on offer and their lunch menu is scrumptious!
THE BARREL ROOM
If you enjoy good food and wine, The Barrel Room is one restaurant you need to add to your list. Located in Ballandean Estate’s Winery Bobbi and Matt will deliver a dining experience you will be raving on about for weeks. The restaurant setting with 160-year-old wine barrels creates the perfect ambience. We were pleasantly surprised with our starter, a wild mushroom and truffle infused soup with black truffle oil. It was mouth-watering! My main was a succulent lamb rump with creamy polenta, roasted cherry tomatoes and greens with grated regiano. My partner enjoyed the chicken ala fungi marsala with roast pumpkin and steamed greens. Just divine! All of the dishes were perfectly paired with a Ballandean Estate Sinatlis 2017 wine. After a delightful lunch we strolled around the vineyard.
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