CHEERS TO THAT: Stephanie Elms and Leeanne Puglisi-Gangemi getting ready for influx of cellar door weekend visitors as they taste test Australia Day wines. Picture: Ballandean Estate Wines
CHEERS TO THAT: Stephanie Elms and Leeanne Puglisi-Gangemi getting ready for influx of cellar door weekend visitors as they taste test Australia Day wines. Picture: Ballandean Estate Wines

CELLAR-BRATION: Wineries cheer at epic Australia Day weekend

A huge Australia Day weekend for several Granite Belt wineries has given many operators new hope for 2021.

Both Ballandean Estate Wines and the Granite Belt Motel reported huge visitation numbers, with thousands of tourists descending on the region.

Ballandean Estate Wines client relations manager and Granite Belt ambassador Leeanne Puglisi-Gangemi said many visitors were coming to the region for the first time.

"The last few days at the Ballandean Estate's cellar door have been mind-blowing, we've shared our estate-grown and estate-made wines with over 1000 amicis," she said.

"These are people who've had friends visit the Granite Belt for the first time over winter and spring, and are keen to experience our delights based on the strength of the stories they've been told."

 

Sammi and Andy from Toowoomba at Ballandean Estate Wines planning their upcoming wedding. Picture: Ballandean Estate Wines
Sammi and Andy from Toowoomba at Ballandean Estate Wines planning their upcoming wedding. Picture: Ballandean Estate Wines

 

Granite Belt Motel owner-operator Michael Jensen reported similar successes, which boosted confidence as the venue's multimillion dollar renovations get under way.

"Not only have we been fully booked for Friday and Saturday nights, we are at capacity midweek too," Mr Jensen said.

"Momentum continues to build for our business and the region, with major projects underway: road works, a new dam, wind farm and new attractions and venues planned or under build.

"We are seeing a lot of families coming here for the weekend, getting out to the orchards and picking stone fruit, meeting alpacas, gathering strawberries, exploring the maze and walking and swimming in our waterways and national parks."

Ms Puglisi-Gangemi said she hoped travellers would continue adapting to COVID-19 measures.

"The Granite Belt is continuing to build on its reputation as a safe destination," she said.

"It is fantastic our visitors really understand the importance of hand hygiene, social distancing and contact tracing."

 

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