“S niffing and swirling, we were taught the art of tasting, unaware there was so much more to wine than we thought.”
BENT ROAD WINERY
BENT ROAD WINERY
The next stop was the rustic Ballandean Estate. Open and operating since 1932, this family-owned cellar door delighted us with rare alternative wines. Our group was hung-up over their adventurous fortified Rumball liqueur, bursting with the delicious taste of chocolate and rum. With the $5 tasting reimbursed with any purchase, we were busy sampling whatever wine we chose off the menu, as well as purchasing glass fineries and mouth-watering dried meats. It was our first encounter with wine barrels, and we were shocked at the sheer volume they held. A tipple here and a tipple there, the samplers quickly added up. It was time for lunch, so we made our way over to Masons Winery for a scenic, wine-filled meal. After delighting in gorgeous stuffed mushrooms and a hearty lasagne – washed down with a bottle of wine, of course – we ventured outside to explore the impressive vineyard. Rows upon rows of grape vines were the perfect spot for photos. Our Instagrams were all filled with blue skies and green vines as we documented our day so far on the ride to Bent Road Winery. As we reached Bent Road, our karaoke had gained significant volume. We were an orchestra travelling down the wide streets of Stanthorpe, eager as ever for another tasting. This bubbly team of four fellas were so passionate about their wine, and we got to follow the production process in detail,
learning the techniques and seeing the equipment used in modern winemaking. After nibbling on cheese and devouring more wine, we were in the highest of spirits. Skipping down the rows of vines we were basking in the sunshine and each other’s company. Somehow, we were still kicking after ticking off four wineries. Balancing Rock was our final destination as the bus rolled up the dusty driveway. We quickly saw the inspiration behind the name, with two balancing rocks featured on the property alongside a lake and yet another charming vineyard. The final drops of wine from the Granite Region did not disappoint, quenching the last of our thirst and preparing us for the long journey home. As the organiser for such a jam-packed day, I was surprised to leave so incredibly relaxed. Allan took the reins and made our vino journey seamless. From Merlots to Muscats, the bus cabin was filled with everyone’s purchases, proud to be supporting our local cellar doors. We soon bid adieu to Stanthorpe with an unforgettable pink sunset, testing the limits of our voices with yet more karaoke as we ventured back to beautiful Brisbane with our new wines and developed palates. MASONS WINERY
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