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Tuesday 19 September 2023

Meet the couple changing the perceptions of Queensland wines


Queensland wine is still struggling for widespread acceptance.

While there have always been some talented artisans working in the Granite Belt region, consistency of quality has long been a problem.

Meet Ray and Jenny Costanzo, who are among a new wave lifting the profile of the Granite Belt and Queensland as a whole.

Ray is a third generation winemaker, having completed a Bachelor of Applied Science (winemaking) at Charles Sturt University and honing his skills doing vintages in various parts of Australia and the USA, before returning home to Stanthorpe to follow in his father and grandfathers footsteps as winemaker at Golden Grove Estate.

But the Costanzos also have their own little side project: Storm King Wines with wines that are handcrafted and made in tiny quantities.

Across two vintages, they are producing some of the most exciting wine styles Queensland has to offer with the new releases from the 2022 vintage full of vivacity and nuance.

Founded two years ago, Storm King is named for the area where the couple lives and reflect "a passion for wines that are just a little left of centre result and worth savouring".

The savoury, textural 2022 Vermentino ($40) raw-boned 2022 Shiraz Malbec ($45) and 2022 Tempranillo ($45) - an absolute standout - are made with extended contact with skins, natural ferments, hand plunging, basket pressing and minimal filtrations. 

The tempranillo (above) will change whatever preconceptions you may have about Queensland wine, but be quick: only 660 bottles were produced. 

Sustainability, too, is paramount with recycled grape waste and compostable inks used for the labels, and the use of a more environmentally friendly cork producer. 

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