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Ultimate Guide to the Queensland Wine Region


Australia’s Queensland has been producing a variety of wines for more than 100 years. See more wine pictures.
©­iStockphoto.com/Ginevre Marlow

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­The "land down under" is known for many things -- kangaroos, didgeridoos, dingoes, koala bears, eucalyptus trees and the late Steve Irwin, just to name a few. But as you can see, wine didn't make that quick list. Australia is often overlooked as a wine-producing powerhouse, yet its viticulture is rich and full of history. For a young country and state, Australia's Queensland has been in the wine producing business since its establishment almost 150 years ago. Today, this wine region has expanded to cover almost 3,700 acres (1,500 hectares) of land.

In Queensland's early years, its wine was sold locally, but as word of quality grapes and wine spread, the wine producing market started to expand. Today, there are several smaller regions that together comprise the Queensland wine region. Only two of these, South Burnett and the Granite Belt, are officially recognized by the Geographic Indications system, but the other areas are all distinct enough that they have been divided into their own unofficial regions by Queensland citizens.

These smaller regions are:

  • Darling Downs
  • Gold Coast Hinterland
  • Sunshine Coast Hinterland
  • North Burnett
  • Brisbane & Scenic Rim
  • Somerset Valley
  • Western Downs
  • North Queensland

[source: Queensland Wine]

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­­While in the younger years, viticulture was not a priority in Australia, and therefore Queensland, the establishment of the Ballandean Estate helped change that. In the 1960s, the estate was built in what is now the most recognized region in the area, the Granite Belt. After settlers, who were mostly of Italian descent, had spent years cultivating grapes, they were sure the area was capable of great wine. After producing quite a bit of well-received red wines, the Granite Belt and the Queensland region had made a name for themselves. Today, the region is known for its light, fruity wines that match the area's cuisine and carefree atmosphere.

As Queensland continues to produce its quality Australian wines and experiment, it continues to gain popularity. Its fan base has spread beyond the local borders, first spreading across Australia and then expanding across the globe.


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