Evolving, emerging wine regions
Tropical climate combined with a summer wet season mean that wine production in this northern state is challenging. In spite of this, several regions are producing world-class wines as a result of altitude, macro and microclimates and dedicated producers.
While grapes were first planted in cooler parts of the Sunshine State more than 100 years ago, until relatively recently, Queensland was not known as a wine grape growing area. It was considered too close to the tropics and too hot to produce quality wines.
But perceptive grape growers and winemakers noted that in the higher altitudes of the ranges running inland, there were cooler climates and rich volcanic soils.
As the pioneer vignerons to the Granite Belt region suspected, being 700 to 1000 metres above sea level does have a significant cooling effect and allows the production of some stunning wines as the grapes of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Chardonnay and Viognier grow through warm springs and summers and relatively cool autumns