The sunlight was just hitting the top of the trees – the garden was surrounded by bush.
But it was still very frosty on ground level after below zero temperatures overnight.
The property also had a private 9-hole golf course on-site. Hubby had a go at a few holes at the end of the day, and even convinced me to swing a club. Bridie meanwhile had more fun running around the course – she must caught the scent of some roos.
We stayed at the dog-friendly Granite Gardens, about 15km out of Stanthorpe. It was beautifully landscaped, and at night was floodlit. I enjoyed exploring it in the early morning.
The pond was still and the reflections were wonderful. Of course, local granite was a big feature of the garden.
We ventured across the border into Queensland, into the region known as the Granite Belt. There were certainly lots of rocks about!
Geologically, this region is of the same make-up as the country we’d travelled through since Armidale, but for Queensland this place was an anomaly since it wasn’t subtropical or semi-arid. That is, it’s high up (at least 800 metres above sea level), and isn’t humid. And because the soil is so poor it’s perfect grape-growing country. Yes, Queenslanders can make wines too.
There are about 60 wineries in the area, mostly around the towns of Ballandean, Stanthorpe and The Summit. Unlike in the Hunter Valley or Margaret River, these are mostly small winemarkers, growing only a few acres of vines at most, but that makes wine tasting all the more enjoyable.
Outside of vintage time, which it was in mid-winter, winemakers had time to chat about their wines. They were on the whole a passionate lot, who seemed to really care about quality more than quantity.
The result showed in their wines. They were yummy! And it didn’t seem to matter what the variety, there were lovely reds and whites to be had. Hubby and I were so enamoured by them that we brought back 5 cases from half-a-dozen wineries. Don’t worry, we won’t be drinking them all at once – quite a few require a bit of cellaring. We’ll certainly be looking forward to sampling them in the future.