Spending the day or weekend in Stanthorpe and looking for the best Stanthorpe wineries to visit? With over 50 wineries in the Granite Belt Region, obviously you’re not going to have time to visit them all. So, which one’s do you visit? If you’re combining your visit with Girraween National Park walks, I would recommend you choose a couple of amazing wineries.
A hidden gem in the Granite Belt Wine Region, Stanthorpe presents a unique wine-tasting experience, blending award-winning wines, stunning landscapes, and warm hospitality.
Why visit Stanthorpe Wineries
Famous for its premium wines, Stanthorpe is also home to Queensland’s oldest family-owned and operated winery, Ballandean Estate, as well as 50 other wineries to choose from.
It’s unique cool climate results in snug winters and crisp mornings, creating an ideal backdrop for wine tasting experiences. This region has a rich history, from its origins in tin mining to its current status as a wine-producing hub. With full dams supplying the area’s wineries, you can expect great harvests and abundant opportunities to indulge in the finest wines.
One of the key players in the region’s wine industry is the Queensland College of Wine Tourism, which is based in Stanthorpe and plays an essential role in the northern vinicultural industry of Australia. The Granite Belt, also known as the granite belt wine country, boasts several award-winning wineries, such as Heritage Estate Wines, further solidifying its status as a premium wine destination.
Where is Stanthorpe?
Stanthorpe, situated over 800 meters above sea level within the Granite Belt, is well-known for its cool climate wines. This picturesque wine region lies approximately 3 hours southwest of Brisbane, and 3h30m from Gold Coast, making it a perfect getaway destination.
The Granite Belt is characterised by its distinct seasons, spring frosts, and even winter snow – all within the subtropical climate belt of Australia. We visited at the end of September and it was hot because the air is so dry here. Even though it was only about 25C, it honestly felt like 35C.
Tasting Experiences and Tours
Immersing yourself in Stanthorpe’s wine tasting world unveils an array of experiences and tours tailored to your liking. From guided wine tours to the vine+dine journey experiences at Heritage Estate Winery, there’s something for everyone.
The vine+dine journey at Heritage Estate Winery is a 1.5-hour wine tour event that includes a tour of the vineyard, a fascinating winemaking talk, and a mouthwatering five-course meal with wine pairing. For a more rustic and authentic experience, head to Girraween Estate Wines, where you can sample seven top-notch wines while listening to the winemaker’s entertaining stories.
If you don’t want to drive around the wineries, jump on Filippos Tour! Led by a knowledgeable guide, you’ll visit select wineries, learn about local wine-making processes, and sample exclusive vintages. It’s the perfect opportunity for those who don’t want to end up being the delegated driver who can’t do many wine tastings.
Cycle your way around the Stanthorpe wineries
One of the best things to do in Stanthorpe is to experience the beauty of the Granite Belt region up close with this bike tour around the wineries. Pedal through scenic landscapes, stopping at various vineyards for tastings. It’s an active and intimate way to savour the region’s finest wines.
Strangebird Wine Trail
For those seeking a more unconventional wine experience, the Strangebird Wine Trail is a must-visit. Established in 2007 by Peter McGlashan and Jim Barnes, this trail showcases some of the alternative and lesser-known wine varieties in the Granite Belt region.
The Strangebird Wine Trail presents unique wines like Savina Lane Wines’ offerings:
One intriguing example is the Pinotage from Ravenscroft Vineyard, which offers a deliciously different taste experience for wine enthusiasts, especially for those who enjoy a glass of pinot noir.
Visiting Stanthorpe Wineries: Top Picks
Here are some of the best wineries in Stanthorpe you should consider visiting. We met a lot of locals when we visited and they recommended some of the more quieter hidden gems which produce outstanding wine you need to know about.
1. Boireann Winery
Boireann Winery is unique hidden gem we were told about by locals to visit. It is also one of the top red wine producers in Queensland, famous for its commitment to quality. Founded in the late 1990s by Peter Stark and Therese Fenwick, the winery has earned a reputation for producing some of the best reds in the Granite Belt.
Tastings are often led by the owners, providing an intimate and informative experience. You can also buy local cheeses and other produce to enjoy with your wine.
Boireann Tannat: A deep, rich red wine known for its robust structure and complexity.
The Lurnea: A blend of different red varieties, resulting in a versatile and balanced wine.
2. Ballandean Estate Wines
Ballandean Estate Wines is the most famous winery in Stanthorpe and is a historical landmark in Australian winemaking being the oldest family-owned and operated wineries in Queensland. Run by the Puglisi family, the winery has been instrumental in establishing the Granite Belt as a premium wine-producing region.
Offering cellar door tastings and winery tours, Ballandean also has an art gallery and an Italian restaurant on-site, making it a full-day experience for visitors. But what pulls a lot of visitors to this winery is the 150 year old wine barrels on show to see for yourself. This was the busiest winery we visited and felt a bit more like an operation than an intimate setting.
Opera Block Shiraz: A robust red with notes of blackberry and plum, framed by smooth tannins.
Ballandean Estate Muscat: A sweet dessert wine, featuring opulent notes of raisin and spice.
3. Mountview Wines
We loved Mountview Wines for its quirky decor and friendly welcome by the cute dogs! Established in the late 1980s by the Williams family, the winery has thrived under expert vineyard management and a winemaking philosophy centered around capturing the essence of the region’s unique terroir.
They are particularly noted for their sustainable farming practices and commitment to quality over quantity, specifically famous for their ‘bloody good red’ wine. Order a cheeseboard and enjoy relaxing in this fun winery.
Mountview Merlot: This flagship red wine is known for its velvety texture and rich palette of plum, cherry, and vanilla notes, making it a great companion to hearty meals.
Mountview Sparkling Chardonnay: This effervescent white offers a vibrant mix of green apple and citrus notes, rounded off with a delicate creaminess that speaks to its expert craftsmanship.
4. Ravenscroft Vineyard
Ravenscroft Vineyard is another hidden gem the locals told us to visit during our Stanthorpe wineries visit. Known for its exquisite Chardonnay, Ravenscroft has evolved into a key player in the local winemaking community, known for its commitment to both traditional and innovative viticultural techniques.
The staff are extremely knowledgeable and passionate, providing an informative yet unpretentious wine tasting experience. A significant aspect of their visitor experience is the emphasis on pairing their wines with local produce, a win in our eyes. They also sell local jams, cheeses, and other gourmet items, making it a one-stop-shop for food and wine lovers.
Ravenscroft Pinot Gris: This white wine captures the essence of the Granite Belt’s soil and climate. It offers a rich array of pear and apple flavors, balanced by a crisp acidity that leaves a refreshing finish.
Ravenscroft Viognier: A lesser-known but highly acclaimed grape variety, Ravenscroft’s Viognier showcases a beautiful bouquet of floral notes, accompanied by subtle hints of peach and apricot.
5. Whiskey Gully Wines
Established in the late 1990s, Whiskey Gully Wines is a boutique winery that has garnered a reputation for producing high-quality wines with a distinctive character. Named for its proximity to a creek that once served as an illicit distillery site, the winery captures a slice of local folklore while delivering modern winemaking excellence.
Whiskey Gully Shiraz: Known for its full-bodied nature and complex flavors of dark berries, plum, and a hint of spiciness, this Shiraz is a favorite among red wine enthusiasts.
Whiskey Gully Verdelho: This white wine offers a refreshing palate of tropical fruits like pineapple and mango, balanced with crisp acidity, making it a perfect summer drink.
6. Symphony Hill Wines
Symphony Hill Wines is a relative newcomer in Stanthorpe, but it has already made a significant impact. Since its establishment in the early 2000s, the winery has garnered numerous awards and accolades, including multiple gold medals at wine competitions.
The modern tasting room, designed with a minimalist aesthetic, is a delightful place to explore the wines. Private tastings and winemaker-led tours can be arranged.
Reserve Shiraz: An elegant red with hints of dark chocolate and blackcurrant.
Gewürztraminer: A floral and aromatic white wine, perfect for summer sipping.
7. Hidden Creek Wines
For those seeking something off the beaten path, Hidden Creek Wines is a hidden gem worth discovering.
Each of these boutique winery offers something unique, from Boireann Winery’s tastings by appointment to Ballandean Estate’s wide range of cool climate wines.
Hidden Creek Cabernet Sauvignon
Hidden Creek Pinot Noir
8. Sunset session at Summit estate wines
We visited Summit Estate Wines for their sunset session which is held on Friday and Saturday nights. It’s a spectacular spot to watch the sunset with a bonfire and live music. They serve up pizza and cheese boxes to enjoy while you either sit by the fire or bring a picnic blanket to enjoy sitting on the grass with wine tastings to choose from.
Summit Estate Rosé: A light and refreshing wine, perfect for sipping as the sun goes down.
Summit Estate Reserve Shiraz: A robust red wine, rich in flavors of dark berries and spices, suitable for those who prefer a more intense wine experience.
Summit Estate Malbec: A velvety and fruit-forward wine, excellent for those who enjoy a full-bodied red.
9. Heritage Estate Wines
Heritage Estate Wines is an award-winning winery founded in the 1980s. A cornerstone of the Granite Belt wine scene, it has received numerous accolades for its focus on organic farming practices and eco-friendly winemaking techniques.
They also offer a rustic and charming cellar door set in a converted apple barn. You can also indulge in gourmet meals at their on-site restaurant, which offers panoramic vineyard views.
Heritage Estate Shiraz: An aromatic and balanced red wine, rich in dark fruit flavors and subtle spice.
Chardonnay: A full-bodied white, featuring flavors of tropical fruits and a touch of vanilla.
10. Pyramids Road Wines
Established in the early 2000s, Pyramids Road Wines is a boutique winery known for its unique, handcrafted wines, made with minimal intervention. The winery offers a cozy and intimate tasting room where you can meet the winemaker and learn about their artisanal approach. Occasionally, they also host wine-making workshops and grape harvest experiences.
Mourvèdre: A savory red wine that offers a complex palate of dried herbs and black fruit.
Verdelho: A crisp and refreshing white wine, perfect for summer.
11. Golden Grove Estate
Golden Grove Estate family-owned winery is a must-visit for fans of alternative wine varieties.
Golden Grove Durif
12. Savina Lane Wines
Savina Lane Wines is renowned for its exquisite, small-batch wines. The winery specializes in growing ancient and alternative grape varieties. This cellar door offers a luxurious setting for wine tasting, including an option to pair wines with local cheeses and chocolates.
Fiano: A textured white wine with notes of honey and spice.
Montepulciano: A smooth and flavorful red, offering a rich tapestry of dark fruit and herbs.
13. Ridgemill Estate
Founded in 1998 by Spanish couple, Tom and Cath Jimenez, Ridgemill Estate has quickly risen through the ranks to become one of Stanthorpe’s must-visit wineries. Besides the traditional cellar door experience, Ridgemill also offers charming cabin accommodations overlooking the vineyard.
Saperavi: An ancient Georgian grape variety that produces deeply colored and richly flavored wines.
Viognier: An aromatic white featuring vibrant notes of peach and honeysuckle.
14. Jester Hill Wines
Jester Hill Wines is a family-run winery known for its relaxed atmosphere and community vibe. The winery offers casual tastings in its welcoming cellar door as well as seasonal food and wine events.
Touchstone Grenache: A light-bodied red with a spectrum of red fruit flavors, from strawberry to raspberry.
Roussanne: A rare white grape variety that yields complex and aromatic wines.
15. Seventh Wines
A newcomer in the Stanthorpe wine scene, Seventh Wines has already made a significant impact with its commitment to sustainable farming and unique grape varieties. If you’re on your way to Girraween National Park, you’ll pass by the very chic Seventh Wines. They also provide vineyard tours for those interested in the winemaking process. You can stay here and there’s a restaurant on site as well.
Malbec: A full-bodied red wine with flavors of blackberry, plum, and a touch of pepper.
Albariño: A high-acidity white wine, featuring flavors of citrus and green apple.
Food and Dining in Stanthorpe
Beyond its world-class wineries, Stanthorpe presents a wide selection of food and dining choices to appease your palate.
Some of the highest-rated restaurants & cafes in Stanthorpe include ZEST Pastries, Granite Belt Brewery, Brinx Deli & Cafe, Little Larder (pictured above) Suttons Juice Factory for the best apple pie you’ll ever try and more! To elevate your wine-tasting experience, consider food pairings such as a cheese platter with Banca Ridge Winery’s late picked Verdelho or oysters with Ridgemill Estate’s Riesling 2021.
Discover more things to do in Stanthorpe
Looking for more things to do in Stanthorpe? Check out our Stanthorpe and Girraween National Park guides!