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July 20, 2020

Queenslanders visit the Granite Belt for the first time

After opening its doors ten days ago to interstate visitors, Ballandean Estate Wines is reporting a minimal impact on visitation. Queenslanders continue to embrace a wine country getaway as visitors pour in from the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane primarily.

Leeanne Puglisi-Gangemi, fourth-generation vigneron at Queensland’s oldest family-owned and -operated winery on the Granite Belt, says,

Like all businesses along the NSW-QLD border, we’ve been intrigued as to how the lifting of border restrictions will impact our business. Before Victoria’s COVID situation escalated, we were anticipating an influx of grey nomads.

Since the borders re-opened, we have hardly any visitors identify as from New South Wales. And yes, we’ve been asking! Everyone who comes through our cellar door is required to sign in under our COVID-safe venue plan.

Up until the last few weeks, most of our visitors have been return visitors that know and love the Granite Belt for  all of its natural beauty, fine wine, abundant gourmet delights, quirky charms and country hospitality.

What we have been thrilled to discover is that a huge proportion of our Queenslander visitors are here on the Granite Belt for the first time.  For so many Queenslanders, the Granite Belt has been sitting on their ‘One Day’ wish list.  Now it seems that has rapidly changed to ‘This Year’ and ‘Good to Go!’

Until you experience the glory of the Granite Belt in person, it can be hard to compete with the abundance of destinations within an hour of Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

If the last few weeks are anything to go by, the Granite Belt is set for its best spring season yet! This has traditionally been a quieter time of year. However, we have tastings booked up online through to September, and accommodation house are reporting unheard-of occupancy rates.

I expect that our Tenterfield locals are staying put to avoid the border patrol, and that our southern visitors are either staying put or venturing further north chasing the sun after months of border restrictions.

We hope that Queensland continues to remain COVID-safe and that we can maintain then improve upon the current level of restriction for venues. I think that people are really understanding the importance of hand hygiene, social distancing and contact tracing at venues.

Our cellar door hand Elijah Smith made me a hand sanitiser holster to help me keep safe as I serve tastings to over 500 people each weekend. 

Ms Puglisi-Gangemi was instrumental in successfully lobbying the Office of Liquor and Gaming for some easing of restrictions and is an active member of the Queensland Wine Industry Association .

How to make sure you book an unforgettable wine tasting experience at Ballandean Estate

  • We’d love it if you could book your tasting in advance online or over the phone. Our peak times are over lunch and on Saturdays, and we highly recommend booking first.
  • If you want to come in on the day and have not yet booked, we ask that you pick up the phone and call us on (07) 4684 1226 so that we can fit you in.
  • Walk-ins are always welcome, keep your beanie handy as we could be wine-tasting under the pergola in the winter sun if there is an overflow of people.


For all media enquiries please contact: Robyn Puglisi-Henderson or Leeanne Puglisi-Gangemi

Ph: (07) 4684 1226 Leeanne@ballandeanestate.com, Robyn@ballandeanestate.com 354 Sundown Rd Ballandean 4382 www.ballandeanestate.com

Welcome to Ballandean Estate, Queensland’s oldest family owned and operated winery. Our family has been making wine on our Granite Belt estate since 1932, and we would love to share our estate grown and made wines with you. This year we are celebrating 50 years of Shiraz plantings in our high altitude vineyard and our 30th vintage of Semillon Sauvignon Blanc. As a multi-awarded 4.5-star winery, Ballandean Estate has an excellent range of mainstream and alternative wines that showcase our cool climate and granite terroir with elegance—just marvellous matched with Queensland’s outstanding produce.

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