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Saturday, 19 June 2021

Meet Australia's most unlikely wine tourism destination

Wine tourism has never been more popular, which is why even regions that are unsuitable for growing wine grapes are jumping on the bandwagon.

Take the Gold Coast in Queensland; a beach destination with a lot to offer. But not known for its vineyards. 

I was very surprised to see a press release this week promoting the merits of Gold Coast hinterland wineries. 

It said, in part: "Gold Coast wineries produce some fabulous offerings for wine lovers, and a visit to some of our beautiful vineyards, cellar doors, wine bars and restaurants should feature on any foodie’s itinerary."

That is just a tad disingenuous, as nearly all of the grapes used by Gold Coast wine producers are grown several hours away in the much cooler Granite Belt region near Stanthorpe.

That said, there are several worthwhile destinations for wine lovers, including Witches Falls at Mount Tamborine, 

You can watch grapes grow as you taste their array of wines accompanied by a platter of local cheeses. They freely admit that their wine grapes are grown on the Granite Belt 200 km away, but the wines are made on site. 

One of the largest Gold Coast wineries, Cedar Creek Estate (above), does grow some warm-climate varieties verdelho and chambourcin on site. 

You can enjoy lunch here next to a picturesque garden overlooking the vineyards. 

Near Canungra, you'll find O'Reilly's Canungra Valley Vineyards, where you can feast on picnic baskets and enjoy music at weekends. 

At Mount Cotton – an hour’s drive north of the Gold Coast – Sirromet Wines is a family owned and run winery spread across eight hectares. Again, a lot of fruit comes from the cooler Granite Belt. 

Sirromet create a wide range of wines  including lesser known varietals like montepulciano and have a renowned on-site restaurant. 

For full details see: www.destinationgoldcoast.com/blog/gold-coast-wineries/

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