The Granite Belt Wine Region is home to olive groves, orchards bearing apples, pears, plums and peaches and of course a diverse quiver of Granite Belt wineries. It is the numero uno Queensland wine region and the only place in the state where it is cool enough to grow commercial quantities of grapes.
The Granite Belt is known for its beauty and diversity with four distinct seasons. The occasional snow in winter and cool summer nights are what to expect from this region. Granite Belt is inundated with unique National Parks to explore, amazing wines, impeccable food, trails to cycle or even a pyramid to climb.
Allow us to take you down the rabbit hole journeying through some of the best Granite Belt wineries in the most popular wine region of Queensland
How to Get There
A 3 and a half hour drive from the city of Gold Coast via the National Highway 15.
Just over a 3-hour drive from the city of Brisbane via the National Highway 15.
Flights arrive daily to both Brisbane and Gold Coast (Coolangatta) airports. From here, you can hire a car and drive to the Granite Belt Wineries. Or, there are charter buses available that operate daily.
Things to Do
- Hire a bike and travel the 34-kilometres of paths that go past various wineries and breweries throughout the region.
- Walk through the old town of Stanthorpe and explore the century-old buildings and historic sites.
- Explore Red Bridge (East along Quart Pot Creek) – find a perfect picnic spot and admire the pools flowing over granite beds.
- There are unique National Parks throughout the Granite Belt. A well-known one is Girraween National Park where you can spend the day exploring the thousands of hectares of forests, plants or you could climb the pyramid. The most popular things to do in this particular park are going bushwalking or rock climbing.
- At Quart Pot Creek you will discover a Visitor Information Centre (if needed), great picnic spots and perfect playgrounds for kids.
The Granite Belt Wine Region
Now, you’ve come to Queensland, tried your luck on the hot sands, done your dash at the theme parks and you thought you’d venture out into the highlands for a splash of vino. Well we hope you packed a woolly jumper because it can get pretty chilly in the Granite Belt Wine Region.
Contributing factors like sub-zero temperatures, wineries reaching altitudes of 1000 meters above sea level, and the odd hint of snow, bound together in what is supposed to be a ‘subtropical’ region makes the Granite Belt one interesting location. If it weren’t for these cool-climate characteristics, there wouldn’t be a wine industry in Queensland!
Most Granite Belt wineries focus heavily on Shiraz – they are known to be dark in colour, complex in flavour and with age they develop a velvety texture so heavily desired by all wine lovers. Other popular grape varieties include Chardonnay, Verdelho, and Cabernet Sauvignon.
As its name suggests, the Granite Belt is partially constructed by large 200 million year-old granite formations situated at the northern end of the Tablelands. The Tablelands (as its name suggests) are table-like plateaus of volcanic rock that start in the south moving north into the Granite Belt. The Granite formations are a vital element to the region’s terroir.
The Best Granite Belt Wineries
The Granite Belt would have to be one of Australia’s least-known wine regions. It runs right along the border of NSW in South-East Queensland. It has interesting yet unique wines and stunning scenery for days – all due to its high altitude and great wine growing seasons.
There are around fifty cellar doors in the region, most offering informative and delicious wine tastings and delicious nibbles to complement the wine. The region stands out more from the rest as they are also known for producing notable Mediterranean varieties of wine such as Sangiovese, Nebbiolo and Tempranillo. We’ve put together a confined list of just 6 wineries for you to explore.
Tobin Wines is a boutique winery that produces an eclectic mix of wine varieties including Shiraz, Semillon, Verdelho, Chardonnay, and Merlot. Tobin Wines produces around 100-160 cases of each variety of their wines annually. They have a list of limited edition wines you’ll want to experience. These wines are truly unique and in a way, express their origins of the Granite Belt by being rugged and majestic.
Each wine at Tobin is very unique in flavour. Hard-work, passion and a world of knowledge are quite evident when visiting this winery, you may even get to meet winemaker Adrian Tobin.
Their winemaking philosophy is ‘old world’ in the sense that respect is paid to the vineyard, the vines and the pursuit of perfection in the quality of the grapes.
5 ⭐️ Trip Advisor from 99 reviews
5 ⭐️ Google Review from 65 reviews
Pyramids Road Wines
Warren and Sue run the wine-growing operations. They left the hustle and bustle of the Sunshine Coast and relocated to a quieter, more serene destination we know as the Granite Belt Wine Region (from sea change to tree change).
Pyramids Road Wines are full of passion, producing only high-quality and low-volume hand made wines. Their wines are all hand-crafted on-site, and most of the operations are hands-on. From pruning all the way to bottling and labelling, this winery is known as a small scale production.
Their vineyard was planted in 1999, with the more traditional varieties such as Merlot, Shiraz and the classic Cabernet Sauvignon. Their winery is constantly expanding, meaning their production has increased over time to meet supply and demand. Originally, there were only 4 varieties of wine on offer, but today there are 10.
5 ⭐️ Trip Advisor from 90 reviews
4.9 ⭐️ Google Review from 39 reviews
Harrington Glen Estate
An award-winning winery worth visiting. Harrington Glen Estate is a boutique family-owned and operated winery amongst other Granite Belt vineyards.
They are known for their bold, high-quality vines that thrive in the region’s warm summers and sandy soil.
Not only offering multi-award winning red and whites, Harrington Glen Estate provides unique accommodation if you can’t be bothered driving home. A train on top of a hill has been turned into stylish accommodation, overlooking great views in a superb location of Granite Belt.
The vineyard was established a short seventeen years ago, but this hasn’t set them back from keeping up with a few of the ‘older’ vineyards. The first Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon grape plants were cultivated just one year after the vineyard was born. Nine years ago, their cellar door was open. They began making wines directly on-site (after previously using contractors). They are now so established that they sell their grapes to other local wineries.
5 ⭐️ Trip Advisor from 5 reviews
4.8 ⭐️ Google Review from 18 reviews
Ballandean Estate Wines
5 generations and going strong. Queensland’s oldest family-owned and operated winery. Since 1932, Ballandean Estate has been producing unique wines. The cellar door opened to the public back in 1970 and has been offering wine tastings ever since.
Modern winemaking methods that result in an amazing wine experience. This winery is known for its knowledgeable, friendly staff who go the extra mile to ensure you’re looked after and experience an amazing visit at their winery.
The wines are of high-quality, the owners are often around to tell their story and the food at The Barrel Room is something to write home about. This winery is full of determination and passion, and it is not a place you’ll want to miss.
You may even want to take a bottle of wine or two home with you after a visit to Ballandean Estate.
4.5 ⭐️ Trip Advisor from 162 reviews
4.8 ⭐️ Google Review from 93 reviews
Symphony Hill Wines
Symphony Hill Wines formed when a group of family and friends came together quite some time ago, bonding over the love and passion for world-class wine. The team at Symphony Hill Wines are full of determination when it comes to their vineyard.
A stunning cellar door, friendly staff and a free wine tasting are just a few of the things to keep in mind when planning a visit to this winery. The staff are very knowledgeable and take great pride in their work – this is evident when learning about the history of the winery or experiencing a tasting at the cellar door.
They have a great selection of high-quality wines on offer and are quite unique compared to other wines of Australia. Their vineyard is the highest in the region, allowing them to produce a style of Shiraz that is distinct among the rest. Shiraz is usually associated with a warmer climate to allow for a quick ripening and an underlying sweetness to come through. A retention of complex acidity is apparent in the Symphony Hill Wine Shiraz.
4.5 ⭐️ Trip Advisor from 94 reviews
4.9 ⭐️ Google Review from 26 reviews
Granite Ridge Wines
Looks can be deceiving. This small winery may not seem like too much from the outside, but they are known for their amazing wines and great staff.
Founded in 1995 by Winemaker, Dennis Ferguson, Granite Ridge Wines is an award-winning winery; winning Queensland Best Cabernet – 2 years in a row and numerous other awards.
Hand-crafted, boutique wines of the highest quality. The wines are created in small batches to ensure the attention to detail is prevalent throughout the wines and the wine-making process. Granite Ridge Wines are known for producing wines full of flavour. They have a variety of both dry and sweet wines. Ranging from Red to white, sparkling to fortified. As well as a range of cream liqueurs if for some reason you’ve had enough vino!
4.5 ⭐️ Trip Advisor from 17 reviews
4.4 ⭐️ Google Review from 20 reviews