If you’ve missed out on Queensland’s iconic Stanthorpe Apple and Grape Harvest Festival don’t be too disappointed. This fantabulous 9-day event is already locked in for 2022! Mark your calendars now as this one promises to be bigger and better!
Having visited Stanthorpe for the umpteenth time, we were absolutely enthralled by the scenery on the drive down. The prettiest rolling hills now beautiful and green. As you know, over the past 4 years our land has been extremely dry. Previously all we could see was landscapes of dreary tones of browns and yellows. Driving through Maryvale was certainly refreshing with gorgeous greener pastures on both sides of the highway. The recent rain has definitely assisted the drought-stricken areas. Many farmers are now able to plant crops for the first time in years. We were so pleased to see livestock graze new pastures. Love driving through the scenic Cunningham’s Gap.
Brick Creek House
The Granite Belt offers many types of accommodation from hotels to apartments to farm stays and more. Our little abode for the weekend was a rustic country style bed and breakfast. A short 10-minute walk to town, perfect! Property owner Belinda greeted us with a warm welcome. Well, it was a sheer delight to be amongst the natural surrounds of trees, luscious garden beds and a pristine pond. This property offers a shared outdoor entertaining area, picture-perfect views if you need to work on your laptop.
Our room was beautifully themed with soft tones and we drifted off into deep sleep quite easily. We were spoilt with champagne and a lovely cheese board. Did we forget to mention the garden-fresh, delicious homecooked breakfast! Belinda grows her own baby bell peppers, tomatoes, eggplants, herbs and yummy pastured eggs. Of course, we mustn’t forget the tangy homemade relish. If you love B&B’s and a serene setting this is definitely a property worth staying at.
Hats on tick, comfy shoes tick, we were super keen to enjoy ‘The Big Weekend’ at the Stanthorpe Apple and Grape Harvest Festival! We decided to walk to town, the air is so fresh and clean. What a fantastic sight to see High Street filled with hundreds of excited festival-goers. Everyone had a smile on their dial. People enjoyed the street entertainment whilst filling their bellies with dagwood dogs, fairy floss and more! Happy melodies filled the air as the Granite Belt Community Band played many Australian traditional songs. So good to be back!
Food, Wine and Cultural Fiesta
This colourful festival features many activities including the food, wine and cultural fiesta. Weeroona Park was the place to be. It is the perfect setting that offers patrons an opportunity to taste some of the Granite Belt’s incredible wines. From Jester Hill Wines to Ridgemill Estate and the Granite Belt Brewery’s refreshing crafted beers and ciders, there were plenty of beverages to enjoy. The beers and ciders quenched our thirst for sure.
Our tummies were grumbling and it was time to indulge in some tantalizing food. From Mexican to Indian and other amazing multi-cultural foods, we finally decided on sharing some healthy Japanese and a scrumptious wood-fired pizza. Now the difficult decision to pair our meals with the perfect wine hmmm. Heritage Estate’s Tempranillo was the winner! You can’t have a festival without an incredible line-up of musicians. I must say the entertainment was exceptional. Brisbane based octet The Steel Syndicate energized the crowd and the music was infectious! Everyone was up grooving and singing to some fantastic tunes.
Market on the Mountains
The next day we set off to wander through the Stanthorpe Apple and Grape Harvest Festival Market on the Mountains. It was wonderful to see so many local businesses passionate about sharing their stories. Of course, we have some of our favourites. We stocked up on our much-loved gourmet condiments from Lirah Vinegar. Mt Stirling Olives have many varieties of appetizing olives. We bought our favourite, the olive and sundried tomato tapenade. Well, you can’t leave without dropping by to see the Jamworks team. Oh, dear, the boozy peach and chardonnay jam was sensational! It’s got to be one of the best jam’s I have ever tried! Ok, so a lady can’t get by without her natural aromatherapy products. I found just the perfect range, Radha Organics. I’m impressed with the eco-luxury face and body care range!
Apple Day with Nicoletti Orchards
We’re absolutely thrilled to know that Nicoletti Orchards as an Industry Sponsor this year. Apple growers Daniel and Toni were super excited to be involved with the Apple Day program. So many fun activities including the apple peeling competition were enjoyed by many. Did you know that the record for the longest peel at this festival is 6.25m. Kerrie Stratford is the champion.
The crowd enjoyed free crunchy new season Nicoletti apples. I must say though, the highlight was definitely the Paddock to Piazza cooking demonstrations. Queensland College of Wine and Tourism’s Head Chef Andrew Simpson created some amazing food featuring Nicoletti produce. A yummy Apple & Pear Slaw and a mouth-watering Apple Strudel. If you’re heading up to Stanthorpe, you need to add Varia’s Restaurant on your list. The food is exquisite.
Win News and Queenslander Weekender
How fantastic for Nicoletti Orchards to be featured on Win News. Channel 7’s presenter Victoria Carthew from Queensland Weekender also paid a visit and was mesmerized by the apple trees. Don’t forget the Pink Lady’s will be on their way in a few weeks time. The program for this event is enormous and unfortunately, as we live on the Gold Coast we only had time to visit on the final weekend. So, if you plan to go to the Apple and Grape Festival in 2022 we recommend staying for at least a couple of weeks. This will give you an opportunity to see the sites of the remarkable Southern Queensland Country. Trust me, you’ll be going back again and again!