Granite Belt Terroir

The Granite Belt offers more than 55 vineyards and 40 boutique cellar doors, and approximately 530 hectares of vineyard plantings.

It’s a versatile growing region due to varying elevation. Almost 65% of planting are Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Merlot vines. While Verdelho represents a mere 5% of all plantings, it has achieved significant success. The Granite Belt is also a major grower of alternative wine varieties creating its famous Strangebird Alternative Wine Trail.

Growing Conditions

The Granite Belt is unique in Australia for its combination of cool weather and decomposed granite soils, the cool arid climate and high rock content soil creating conditions which mirror great wine regions elsewhere in the world. Comparisons are made to Clare Valley, northern central Spain (Rioja and Ribera del Duero), the northern Rhone (Hermitage and Cote Rotie) and south west France.

Altitude: 600 – 1000 metres - the vineyards of the Granite Belt are amongst the highest in Australia.

Seasonal temperatures (Celsius): Spring: 5.1 – 25.2; Summer: 14.1 –27.4; Autumn: 9.5 – 24.9; Winter: 0.9 – 16.2. (Bureau of Meteorology)

Rainfall: Approximately 750mm per annum which falls mostly during the summer hail storm season. Most crops are watered from drip or trickle irrigation from on-farm water storage to manage the precious resource. In fact, the Granite Belt’s apple, grape and vegetable producers are recognised as among the highest value adding industries in the entire Murray Darling basin for the small amount of water used.
Soil: The two principal soil types are highly permeable, granite speckled sandy, grey-black soil with the other a light brownish grey. The sandy, decomposed granite soils are generally well drained and naturally acidic.  

Wine Education

Max AllenWine appreciation can be heightened by learning more about the wine making process, the characteristics of the various wine styles and grape varietals. In Stanthorpe on the Granite Belt we can offer you opportunities to increase your wine knowledge and appreciation, from winery tours with the winemaker to weekend courses.

Hear what Max Allen, wine writer, has to say about Queensland wines in this podcast, courtesy Australian Wine & Brandy Corporation.

How Does the 100 Point System Work?
A 100 point system is used by the world's leading wine judges. As a guide the rating is as follows:

  • 94-100Exceptional in every way. The pinnacle of the style.
  • 90-93Excellent quality. A wine of style and character, with all components in balance.
  • 87-89Good quality, with sound varietal character.
  • 84-86Ordinary and affording little drinking pleasure.
  • 80-83Poor quality, lacking balance or fruit integrity.
  • 75-79Faulty or distinctly lacking in some way.


Wine Experiences

ballandeanestate1Vineyard & Winery Tour at Ballandean Estate Wines
Ballandean Estate offers three winery tours daily for visitors at 11am, 1pm and 3pm. The tour includes a vineyard walk, then a production and barrel room tour, finishing at the cellar door and is available to all-comers. Tours are free, no booking required - simply arrive just before the start time. Other enquiries (07) 4684 1226 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Winemaker for a Weekend at Queensland College of Wine Tourism
For bookings and information phone (07) 4685 5050.

Viticulture/Winemaking, (Wine) Tourism, Hospitality and Business Training.
The Queensland College of Wine Tourism at Stanthorpe offers secondary, TAFE and tertiary levels through its partnership with USQ, Faculty of Sciences, Southern Queensland Institute of TAFE and 13 Gateway Schools to the Wine Tourism industry. Information (07) 4685 5050 or visit the QCWT website.

Wine Master Class Service for the Hospitality Trade
symphonySymphony Hill Wines offers a free wine education service to trade as part of their extended wholesale support service. As an award-winning winery local to restaurants in South East Queensland, we invite your staff to drive up and visit us. During their visit they will see first-hand how wine is grown and made and the winemaker will lead you through a master class of our beautiful range of wines. The master class is both informative and enjoyable and is suitable for your whole team, whether they be front or back of house staff. The duration and itinerary of the master class is flexible and can be fine-tuned to your requirements. For bookings, further information or to organise a date, please contact Ewen Macpherson on 07 4684 1388 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Queensland wine

qwiaQueensland's wine industry is one of the state's best keep secrets and it is growing. The history of the industry dates back to the 1860s - and like all good wines, it has developed with age.

With over 1500 hectares of vines and a new generation of talented people at the top, the creation of quality Queensland wines has had wide acceptance nationally and internationally.The Granite Belt is the largest of the Queensland wine regions, with a over 500 hectares under vine.

The peak industry body is The Queensland Wine Industry Association Inc (QWIA). QWIA is a state body formed in 2001 to assist with the co-ordination of the Queensland wine industry, with the support of the Queensland Government.

For further information visit QWIA's website.

Granite Belt Varietals