More reasons to visit ridgemill estate
ridgemill estate is located in the centre of the Granite Belt region at Severnlea, the perfect base to explore over 50 cellar doors, gourmet providores, galleries, walking tracks and natural attractions.
Each year several festivals are held in the region. Accommodation bookings need to be made well in advance for any long weekends and festivals to avoid any disappointment.
The Granite Belt: Queensland’s premier wine district
The Granite Belt continues to build on its reputation as Queensland’s leader in quality cool climate wines, with over 700 hectares planted with wine grapes harvesting approximately 1600 tonnes a vintage and more than 50 wine producers.
There are a number of grape varieties grown on the Granite Belt. You’ll find Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Chardonnay, Verdelho and Viogner. Of increasing interest are the “Strange Birds”- alternative varieties Tempranillo, Saperavi, Tannat, Jacquez and Mourvedre. For more information please see http://www.granitebeltwinecountry.com.au/pages/strange-bird/
Stanthorpe has an altitude of around 800 metres. The climate ranges from spring frosts, cold nights at the beginning and end of the season, with relatively low humidity, peak summer temperatures and intermittent heavy late seasonal rainfall, all of these contributing to the unusual climate. The cool winters and dry weather allow for a slow ripening process, which results in the development of superior flavours and characteristics.
The granitic soils are typically sandy and well drained, which is good for viticulture. The mineral composition of the soil gives some wines a ‘flinty’ character.
Stanthorpe Heritage Museum
The Kambu Wal aboriginal tribe used the Granite Belt as their summer hunting grounds, long before Allan Cunningham discovered it in 1827. The history of the Stanthorpe can be seen through the heritage trail and museum. On visiting the Granite Belt you can trace Stanthorpe’s early times and the hardship the townsfolk endured. They developed industries that today are used by the ever expanding multicultural population. On visiting Stanthorpe you can learn more about the diverse range of industries and the strong Italian influence.
There are two national parks to visit on the Granite Belt. Girraween National Park has massive granite outcrops, balancing boulders and clear tumbling cascades awaiting your visit. You can picnic, bushwalk, camp and climb scrambling cliff faces. During spring, wildflowers can be seen amongst the huge granite boulders and Girraween’s forest of Red gum, Stringybark and Blackbutt. You might even be lucky enough to see one of Girraween’s endangered species. If you love to visit national parks Girraween National Park is a must.
The other park is Sundown National Park, which has two parts. The south is accessible by the family car where the northern side is only accessible by 4WD. In contrast to Girraween’s rounded granite hilltops and open valleys, the Severn River has carved its way through Sundown’s high Traprock country making spectacular sharp ridges and steep sided gorges. Access to this area is difficult. The Park is best visited between May and September when you can expect cold nights, frosty mornings and warm days.
Stanthorpe’s other industries
Stanthorpe’s cool climate is home to some of the biggest apple orchards in Queensland. Other local produce includes stone fruit, pears, nashi, table grapes, berries, olives and a large range of vegetables. Also unique to the Granite Belt is the heart-friendly Beefalo red meat. Lavender farming is a more recent addition to the area.