Stanthorpe Trip 2008

Posted by John on Mon 25-Feb-2008

The weather leading up to the weekend of 16/17 th February was anything but promising for our trip to the Stanthorpe area, but cleared up just in time for a great weekend.

7 cars met to leave from Brisbane, and we linked up with Darren and Elle at Aratula to make up our group of 8 Prii. First stop was Warwick for a quick coffee and make plans for a lunch stop before it was on to our first port of call at a winery. When we drove into the carpark, there was a tour bus there. Bugger! That meant a heap of people. On entering though, the bus mob were grazing on lunch, so we had the tasting area to ourselves. Justin and Micheala were introduced to the joys of wine while the rest of us enjoyed tasting (and buying a few bottles). Suitably satisfied, we had a quick nibble on some cheese to cleanse the palates, and it was on to lunch.

Castle Glen WineryLunch at the Big Apple was Italian-influenced, although their (large) home-made pies were excellent too, and everyone left happy. Castle Glen Winery was next on the road, where they have an amazing selection of liqueurs on offer, followed by a cheese factory just up the road. Everyone was stocking up with their preferred selections at each stop, and we moved on to another winery. Last stop of the day was to be a lavender farm, but a GPS aberration took us a very long way round via a creek crossing and some cattle-dodging. Sorry, folks! We eventually found the destination just as a shower and chilly breezes arrived. After everyone had bought their future presents etc, the rain had passed and we headed for our motel in Town, and a welcome cuppa before dinner.

Anna's RestaurantAnna’s Italian restaurant was our dinner destination, and was just a short stroll over the bridge for most people. They have a great buffet on Saturday nights, and there is something there for everyone. A great night of feasting, chatting and generally enjoying good company followed, until we noticed that our group was the last one in the place. We then decided to call it a (great) night, and returned to the motel to catch up on some sleep.

Sunday morning was a little cloudy, but fine, and we were on the road to our first stop at an olive farm. The owners were VERY interested to see a group of Prius in their yard, as they had recently hired one, and were quite keen to buy one soon. We were able to explain anything they wanted to know (plus more), so hopefully there will be a new happy Prius family in Stanthorpe soon. On to more Prius appreciative people at Jamworks, where everyone stocked up on yummy home-made jams and sauces, before indulging in decadent hand-made chocolates further down the road.

We were then due for lunch at Ballandean Estate winery, where we were fortunate to have the place to ourselves due to a large bus group running late. Our lunches had been pre-ordered, and were ready soon after arrival. Refuelled, we had a very informative and entertaining tour of the winery courtesy of Angelo Puglisi, the winemaker and one of the district’s founders. By then, the bus mob had finally arrived, and the restaurant was full as we made our exit for some tasting. During lunch, Greg had conducted a small quiz on the winery. Darren was the deserving winner, and was presented with a bottle of wine of his choice as a prize.

Ballandean Estate wineryLunch over, it was time for dessert…..on to the Bramble Patch, a specialist berry garden where a wide variety of fresh berries and berry products such as jams, coulis, preserves and delicious desserts and ice creams were available. Everyone tucked into various goodies while we waited for the rain to stop, then it was on to get some fresh fruits. Back up through Stanthorpe to where most of the orchards were to stock up on some fresh stone fruit, apples picked straight off the tree, and raspberries before finally heading for home after a happy and busy weekend. Thanks to all who came and made it such a success.