Pyramids Road Wines
We first visited this winery over 10 years ago when they were still in their infancy, and have kept coming back ever since. The wine here is consistently fantastic (so much so that the barrel ferment chardonnay and 2012 shiraz aren’t available for tasting as they have sold out). Warren the owner and winemaker isn’t here today but we have had the pleasure of him conducting our tastings in the past. He is very passionate about the wine he makes, the evidence is in the way he talks about the wine and the wine itself. This is a small hands on winery with pretty much everything happening on site. The red wines are all made from grapes grown here with the Verdelho and chardonnay grapes sourced from nearby vineyards.
Upon tasting the 2014 Verdelho I immediately know some of this will be making its way back home with us. It just screams summer, it is so refreshing, particularly after climbing the Pyramid! Once again all the reds are delicious. The 2012 cabernet sauvignon is very good with hints of spice and lovely blackberry flavours. I would be happy to drink this now, but Warren says his cab savs need a couple of years to hit their straps, so I will be adding this one to my “cellar” to bring out and drink in the future. I would happily get a mixed case today but the budget isn’t going to extend that far on this trip. We grab some merlot which is luscious and with lots of cherries and berries on the palate, a Mourvèdre which is nicely balanced with spice, tannins and berries, and a 2011 Shiraz that wasn’t on tasting but we remember it from last year and it was good. Harry has been playing nicely in the corner with a big basket of toys but his attention span for this stop is waning. Time to move on. Off to try a winery that has recently changed owners and names, Girraween Estate.
Girraween Estate Wines
Girraween Estate is about 10 minutes down the road from Pyramids road wines and has a pretty backdrop of bushland and granite. The cellar door is quaint and the lady who greets us welcoming. We find out they produce mostly sparkling wines here and a few stills. I taste all the wines on offer and find the 2011 shiraz to be my favourite of them all, with its nice smooth tannins, berry and liquorice flavours it’s very easy to drink. Harry has had a ball running around checking out the flower garden and sheds. I have only passed a few wines to Chris to taste as he is saving himself for our next winery which is his favourite here on the Granite Belt, Bungawarra Wines.
The first drops of rain start to fall as we pull into the driveway at Bungawarra. We are met at the entrance by a friendly dog looking for a pat. Harry has bought his bag of toys with him and as he sits down on the verandah to play the dog sighs and plonks down beside him. There is no one about as we step in the doorway so we ring the bell. Jeff comes out and says hello and asks what we would like to taste. Everything please! This is a lovely little winery that practices sustainable agriculture and has a history dating back over 100 years (the muscat vines are 80 years old). The variety and quality of wines here at Bungawarra is very appealing.
The 2013 reserve chardonnay is outstanding and the 2014 Foundation chardonnay is a refreshing summer quaffer (and a bargain at $120 a case). The 2013 Gurwurtztraminer is zingy and spicy, begging to be teamed up with some Asian food. A few cars pull up and more people stream into the little cellar door. Harry is interested in meeting the new arrivals and comes in from the verandah to chat. Jeff is quietly spoken, his deep voice soothing as he talks about his wine. He makes the wine tasting experience a relaxing one.
I am impressed with all the reds, however the 2009 Paragon, a powerful blend of cabernet, shiraz and malbec full of plum, cherry and spice with a lovely soft finish is my favourite today. I also can’t pass up the 2012 Malbec with its rich berry flavours and smooth tannins developing from maturation in French oak and the 2012 Shiraz Cabernet. For a bit of fun we throw in a bottle of the unique Festival Red and a rich and velvety smooth liquer muscat.
The rain has gotten heavier and any plans of an afternoon walk along Quart Pot Creek in town have been extinguished. So the only thing to do now is head to the Bramble Patch and get some waffles. Walking, waffles. They both start with W don’t they?
At a Glance
Pyramids Road Wines
25 Wyberba Lane Wyberba via Ballandean
20 minutes south of Stanthorpe
Open Daily 10am – 4:30pm http://www.pyramidsroad.com.au/
Giraween Estate Wines
41 Hickling Lane, Wyberba
30 minutes south of Stanthorpe
Open weekends 10am – 5pm http://www.girraweenestate.com.au/
Bents Road Ballandean
Open daily 10am – 4pm
20 minutes south of Stanthorpe http://www.bungawarrawines.com.au/
The Bramble Patch
381 Townsend Road, Glen Aplin
Open daily 10am – 4pm
15 minutes south of Stanthorpe http://www.bramblepatch.com.au/
Quart Pot Creek
Located in Stanthorpe township, pathway follows the creek up to the old railway bridge.