Australia has been known for its Outback region, a place of wild untamed beauty. Now, there are many other regions in the country that have come to the forefront of the new Australia. One of them is the Granite Belt in Queensland and it has become one of the most commercially successful regions in the country.
Because of the influx of Italian immigrants into the Queensland regions, many of the known traditional industries in the old country were introduced into Australia. Historically, the first Shiraz grapes were planted in the region back in 1965 and since then the winemaking industry has slowly and steadily set its roots in Queensland to make it the top winemaking region in the Australian continent.
Nowadays, the region boasts of long grape plantations and winemakers that produce the top Australian blends of Chardonnay, Semillon, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. The location is prime perfect for grapes and winemaking. Queensland is located on the eastern area of the Great Dividing Range with an altitude of eight hundred meters from sea level. The weather is also punctuated by spring frosts, with cold nights at the beginning and the end of the season with high humidity. During the summer, there are sub tropical monsoon rains, which may seem not typical of Australia but perfect for growing grapes for winemaking.
The winemakers of the region are small to medium sized farms owned by families scattered all throughout the Queensland region. Most of the vineyards employ trellising methods for the grapes, trickle immigration for the nutrient requirements and nettings for protection against birds and hail.
The following are some of the wines produced in the area and their characteristics that make it true Australian products of the earth:
- The Semillons of Queensland are very similar to the Hunter Valley variety. Often, this wine is bottled for five years. If opened early, the wine exhibits tropical fruit characteristics but when aged to its fullest would result in classic honeyed and toasted wine of a true classic Semillon;
- The Queensland Cabernet Sauvignon is characterized by a full, dark and rich flavor that it sometimes overwhelms the senses. The basic ingredients to this wine are cassis, red berries and sweet fruit flavors punctuated by vanillin oak;
- The Shiraz from Queensland is the showcase of the region’s wine industry. The Shiraz here is dark in color, strong bodied with flavor and tannins. When aged properly, the spices in the wine develops into the sweet velvet wines reminiscent of Hunter Valley variety;
Queensland’s wine industry is still in its infancy but its produce has made it one of the country’s best kept secrets. While there are many larger wineries in the region, there are many smaller backyard winemakers and even microbreweries that can provide you every kind of wine that you may fancy. From Chardonnays to Shirazes to Cabernets, you can find one in every corner of the winemaking capital of Australia. So pick your spot and be inebriated of not just only your palate but for your other senses as well while in Queensland.