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Granite Belt

This area will be completely unrecognisable to anyone who has not been there for a decade. It’s full of B&Bs, eco-lodges, glamping options and every other level of accommodation. Restaurants and cafes now abound. The quality of the wines has soared. The local wineries, many of which sell a significant percentage of their product through cellar door, understand and appreciate visitors and are ideally equipped to look after them.

Bent Road Winery

Star Cellar Door

0418 190 104
bentroadwine.com.au

It might seem odd, or perhaps a typically Queensland thing, to name a winery as the Star Cellar Door, when it is not officially open to the public. Fear not, you will be most welcome, though you need to make contact first for an appointment.

That’s because Andrew and Glen are pretty much it at the winery and they need to make certain they are there to welcome you. Do make the effort to visit.

Next problem is finding the place, but if a road-train delivering an entire 120-year-old church intact – now their tasting facility – can do it, you’ll make it.

This is a winery where, as Hunter S. Thompson might have said: “When the going gets weird, the weird turn professional.” The winery’s La Petite Mort label features a skeleton draped over a dining table with a bunch of grapes.

It’s a fascinating place to visit, walking to the beat of a very different drum. They have a series of qvevri, giant terracotta jars imported from Georgia and buried, to make skin contact wines. Square barrels. Much more.

And don’t be surprised if during your visit, you get a chance to lend a hand. The wines, some of the very best of the region, range from traditional and familiar to wild and wonderful. KEN GARGETT

OUTSTANDING WINE: 2016 La Petite Mort Tempranillo Reserva, A$45

Ballandean Estate
BEST LARGE CELLAR DOOR

(07) 4684 1226
ballandeanestate.com

Symphony Hill
BEST SMALL CELLAR DOOR

(07) 4684 1388
symphonyhill.com.au

Tobin Wines
Best Tasting Experience

(07) 4684 1235
tobinwines.com

Golden Grove Estate
Cellar Door with Best Food

(07) 4684 1291
goldengroveestate.com.au

Savina Lane Wines
Best Additional Cellar Door Experience (Vineyard & cellar tours)

0419 723 755
savinalanewines.com.au

Ridgemill Estate
Cellar Door with Best Accommodation

(07) 4683 5211
ridgemillestate.com