Vineyards and Wine Bars
Appreciation of high-quality wines is gathering momentum in Brisbane.
Traditionally, Australia’s cellar doors have been dominated by imports and wines from southern states. But Brisbane has come of age and some top-shelf wines are being produced at wineries short distances from the city.
Sirromet Wines is at the forefront of production with a well-established vineyard on Mt Cotton, south-east of Brisbane. The family-owned winery, opened in 2000, has received more than 650 national and international wine awards.
The quality of the wine is maintained through the consistency of the exceptional fruit grown at Mt Cotton and Granite Belt vineyards. The team of winemakers has produced a high-class selection of table, sparkling and fortified wines now freely available.
The spectacular hilltop winery is well worth a visit. You can take a guided tour and then relax with a glass of wine and a cheese or antipasto platter at the cellar door. In addition, Sirromet has become well known for its award-winning cuisine prepared by its executive chef at Restaurant Lurleens.
How to get there: Sirromet Winery is at 850 Mt Cotton Rd, Mt Cotton, about a 40-minute drive from the Brisbane CBD, travelling along the M3 and State Route 21.
Scenic Rim Wine Country
Ironbark Ridge Winery: Established in 1984, it is the oldest vineyard in the area and is surrounded by picturesque mountain views. The vines are planted by hand and the fruit handpicked. Ironbark Ridge produces award-winning wines, among them chardonnay, shiraz, shiraz grenache blend, shiraz, grenache and dolchetto blend, and vintage port. The historical tasting room built in the early 1900s was a miner’s cottage and now offers cellar door tastings and sales, along with a selection of cheeses, olives and coffee.
How to get there: Ironbark Ridge is on Middle Rd, Purga, south-west of Ipswich and off the Cunningham Hwy. It is a 40-minute drive from Brisbane.
Normanby Wines: The first vines of verdelho and shiraz were planted in 1999, followed by other varieties over the next three years. Success soon followed, with the first vintage verdelho winning a bronze medal, and shiraz listed in the top 100 Australian wines in 2002. The winery has collected more than 60 awards. The vineyard is positioned in the beautiful valleys of the Scenic Rim and offers some spectacular views. The winery offers tours, or you can just enjoy the wine and learn how it is made. The cellar door is open daily, 10am-5pm.
How to get there: The vineyard is 1km from the rural township of Harrisville, between Boonah Rd at Peak Crossing and the Cunningham Hwy. It is 25 minutes south of Ipswich and less than an hour from Brisbane.
Kooroomba Vineyard: A lavender field blending in with a 6ha vineyard is a spectacular sight for anyone visiting the winery. The property consists of a restaurant, cellar door and lavender shop and provides breathtaking views of the Scenic Rim mountain range. Kooroomba has a large variety of wines, including chardonnay, verdelho marsanne, shiraz, cabernet and merlot. The unusual verdelho marsanne blend has been served in Paris, receiving high praise from the French. The lavender fields have French, Italian, New Zealand and Australian varieties bred to flower for most of the year. The cellar door is open 10am-5pm, Wednesday to Sunday and public holidays, except Christmas and Good Friday.
How to get there: The winery is at 168 F.M. Bells Rd, Mt Alford, a 90-minute drive on the Ipswich-Boonah Rd, via Yamanto.
Bunjurgen Estate: Close to the Kooroomba Vineyard, Bunjurgen offers easy drinking shiraz and boutique chambourcin wines combined with picturesque views of the Scenic Rim. The winery has an unusual background. Among the wines is a superior-quality release named the Colonel’s Selection. The first four vines were planted in 2003 by two colonels – father and son - and two family friends, both nurses. The Colonel’s Selection is awarded to the estate’s premier wine, with the fruit handpicked to assure quality. The cellar door is open 10am-5pm, Wednesday to Sunday and public holidays.
How to get there: The estate is at the intersection of Bunjurgen and F.M.Bell and Brent Roads, Bunjurgen, just south of Boonah. It also is a 90-minute drive from the CBD.
Non-cellar door wineries: Welgan Estate Wines, 56 Brook Rd, Anthony (between Harrisville and Kalbar); Barney Creek Vineyard, Seidenspinner Rd, Barney View (south of Beaudesert); Woodlands of Marburg, 174 Seminary Rd, Marburg; The Overflow 1895, 1660 Beaudesert-Boonah Rd, Beaudesert.
The CBD and surrounding urban villages provide a wide range of venues for wine buffs to indulge themselves in local, national, imported and boutique wines of any description. Here is just a small selection of wine bars:
Anise Bistro & Wine Bar - an intimately styled European wine bar. A cosy retreat with seating limited to 21 people, Anise offers a seasonal menu of Provencale cuisine with a modern twist.
Moo Moo Wine Bar and Grill is in the Port Office Hotel. It serves Australian and international wine along with its renowned steaks.
Cabiria, in Caxton St, is a wine bar, luncheonette and oyster bar. It features an entire wall of wines, all of which can be tried in 100ml pours, along with a menu featuring classic dishes in smaller serves - the perfect accompaniment to savouring fine wine and good company. The cellar room has 300 carefully sourced wines from around the world.
Canvas Cocktail and Wine Bar is in the thriving precinct of Logan Rd, Woolloongabba, serving a selection of boutique wines, craft beer and cocktails. Its dining options include tapas.
Bar Barossa's mission is simple: bring amazing, handcrafted wines to your table and tell the story. The popular venue is at the corner of Adelaide and Macrossan Sts, the City.
A cutting edge bar in the Prince Alfred Hotel, Chill'd is all about wine, cocktails and good times. With the latest techniques, stunning decor and amazing ambience, Chill'd is sure to impress.
Cru Bar and Cellar, in Fortitude Valley, has changed the way Brisbane thinks about food, wine and entertaining. No longer is fine wine strictly the preserve of elite restaurants.
South Bank’s Cove Bar & Dining is reminiscent of a trendy bar from New York’s Greenwich Village. Cove offers between 15 and 20 varieties of oysters with a range of wines.
Claret House, in the trendy suburb of Teneriffe, is a favourite among locals for its wine and tapas. Its founders visited cellar doors throughout Australia to select the wines, and they have thrown in a few delicious foreign brands as well.