Award-winning winery, cellar door & events in Stanthorpe
Stanthorpe and the Granite Belt are known as great wine-growing country. One stand out winery among many is Heritage Estate. Pop in for wine tasting, book for an event lunch or dinner. Don't forget about the winery tours and accommodation.
The winery has a wide selection of wines. I quite like their very smooth and drinkable merlot. A fan favourite is their sparkling shiraz. When I was talking with Robert Fenwick, who owns and runs the winery with his wife, Therese, he emphasised his passion for more classic dry style wines. These wines have less sugar and have a clear lingering taste that goes well with food.
Wines are matched with each dish when you order a meal
Their pinot gris is probably one of the best examples of this type of dry wine. Another wine to look out for is their Fiano, which is a less used grape variety from which they have produced an incredibly aromatic wine.
They accommodate casual visitors well with outdoor seating and an enclosed veranda with comfortable chairs. It is a great place to stop to sample a few glasses of wine and they also do coffee for those who have to drive.
Relax with a coffee or a glass of wine at Heritage Estate Winery
Along with wines and dining, they also sell a range of other products. One thing to note: Ever wondered why it is so hard to buy Queensland wines in bottle shops even though they are highly regarded? The simple fact is that wineries like Heritage Estate simple doesn't produce the volume that the chain bottle shops need. So really, your only options are to buy online or head into the winery.
Pop in to Heritage Estate Wines to pick up wines and other products
For people who love their wines so much that they want to enjoy them and be able to just stumble back to bed, then you can stay at Heritage Estate. Well, the other reason is that both their in-house and cottage accommodation is well-furnished to give you a bit of heritage luxury. So it becomes part of a total package of food, wine and accommodation.
I was lucky enough to attend a dinner hosted by Robert and Therese. They change their menu every 3 months for the seasons to make use of the best seasonal food. So if you do attend a dinner there, expect something different from what I had, but I can share the experience I had with you. Plus, being July, they had the dining room decked out for Christmas in July. This is something nearly every place does in the Granite Belt does and is yet another reason to go to the countryside in winter.
The menu was a degustation menu and they started with prawns, oysters and salmon, all delicately flavoured, so that you can appreciate the seafood. It was served with a Pinot gris that complemented the food nicely.
Entree with the degustation menu at Heritage Estate Winery
The next course on the degustation menu was seared kangaroo loin. They dressed this up with plenty of flavour from tuna, anchovies, capers and cheese. Accompanying this was a fiano wine. This grape variety is experiencing a great deal of interest and Heritage Estate has created a rich fruity aromatic wine from them, so you are smelling fruits along with the dish.
The winter warmer of the evening was the duck served on a goats cheese and polenta base, surrounded by peas. I know that duck is considered an upmarket food found in fancy restaurants, but the look, smell and taste is more of a great home-cooked meal. Which is a good thing on a winter's night.
They go all out with dessert, serving multiple desserts together in a well-balanced and inviting combination. It comes with a sweet muscat that is sweet enough to complement the dessert, but not too sweet as some dessert wines can be.
What you get with all of this is an introduction of the wines from Robert and Therese who host the events, as well as a great combination of food and wine. There is a strong sense of both tradition and experimentation. Their emphasis on dry wines and classic style pairings is part of the cycle in wine trends, as people relearn what worked in the past while seeking out what else they can do or experiment with.
If you are in the granite belt area and want to sample some wines or buy a few bottles, then a stop at the lovely Heritage Estate Wines is a good idea. Of course, you can plan around one of their daytime or nighttime events where you can enjoy wine tastings, learn about the food or attend a wonderful black-tie dinner.
The author visited the Heritage Estate Wines as a guest of Southern Queensland Country Tourism.