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A visit from acclaimed travel writer Kerri McConnel has showcased the best wineries in Queensland and the Granite Belt. Heritage Estate scrubs up and Kerri polishes the story with aplomb.

Stanthorpe wine tours: Visiting some of the Granite Belt’s best wineries

Kerri opens with “HERITAGE ESTATE WINES – Before I got to taste a single drop at Heritage Estate Wines, there was so much to take in first. Owner Rob Fenwick meets us at the door and guides us inside the cellar door. As you enter the building which also serves as a restaurant, there’s a feeling of nostalgia that envelopes you. The dark timber and brick from the converted apple store give it a moody ambience. In the corner, co-owner Therese has scooted over to the pianola, inherited from the original winemaker’s grandmother, and is pounding out a lively piece to welcome us.

Above us, the steel beams were once part of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the table we sat at for lunch is a significant part of Queensland’s history. In 1859, the Queensland government was formed whilst sitting around the rosewood leather-topped table. Outside, an original cottage from 1864 provides guests with an opportunity to stay the night at a vineyard.”

The story continues from the ambiance to the quality of the Halliday 5 Star Wines. “Heritage Estate Wines stands out for several reasons. Here at the Cottonvale location, vines are grown at 960 metres above sea level in a terroir that is most suitable for growing white grapes. Further down the road at Ballandean, another cellar door produces their red varieties, growing at around 840 metres altitude and with a slightly different soil structure.

They are also a five-star James Halliday winery and have been so for the past five years. Currently, three of their red wines are rated at 95 points, by James Halliday, a leading Australian wine writer and critic. ”