Leeanne Puglisi-Gangemi welcomes return of tastings at Queensland’s oldest winery. Picture: Matthew Purcell
Leeanne Puglisi-Gangemi welcomes return of tastings at Queensland’s oldest winery. Picture: Matthew Purcell

Operators of state’s oldest winery ‘relieved’ by fast-tracked changes

AFTER months of forced closure, family-owned winery Ballandean Estate reopened its cellar door for tastings on Saturday.

The changes, announced by the State Government late Friday, came as a relief to wineries on the Granite Belt and throughout Queensland.

Leeanne Puglisi-Gangemi, fourth-generation vigneron and wine industry leader, has spent the last few weeks working with Queensland Wine Industry Association and lobbying the Office of Liquor and Gaming for some easing of restrictions.

“It was frustrating to see cellar doors excluded from the lifted restrictions that enabled restaurants and cafes to host ten patrons at a time,” Mrs Puglisi-Gangemi said.

“Wineries have so much space.

“We believe that wineries should be able to offer cellar door tastings with numbers reflecting the size of the venue and its COVID-safe plan.

“We are thrilled that wineries are now able to provide seated tastings to guests and continue to sell bottles for takeaway.

“All of us have really been missing the face-to-face contact we enjoy at Queensland’s oldest family-owned and -operated winery.”

Ballandean Estate’s cellar doors sales have been reduced by 70 per cent since lockdown. However, online sales have increased exponentially.

“It has made the world of difference.

“We would like to thank every person who is getting behind our family-owned and run business and keeping us afloat,” Mrs Puglisi-Gangemi said.

Here is what Ballandean Estate Wines can now offer under its COVID-safe venue plan:

  • Tastings for up to 8 people at any one of our five dedicated tasting zones.
  • A selection of wines will be available for tasting during each personalised 45-minute tasting session. Due to COVID regulations, our tasting experience has changed to a sit-down style.
  • Dine-in lunch and dinner for up to 30 guests at The Barrelroom.
  • Takeaway meals and local meal delivery from The Barrelroom.
  • Gourmet picnic hampers that can be consumed in the courtyard, on the estate or taken home.
  • Express takeaway wine and food lane at the cellar door.
  • Tour group visits of up to 40 people on the premises.
Stanthorpe Border Post

COUNCIL UPDATE: How SDRC is working for you this week

premium_icon COUNCIL UPDATE: How SDRC is working for you this week

The biggest council stories shaping the future of the Southern Downs.

Sparky shocked at crown of Stanthorpe’s best

premium_icon Sparky shocked at crown of Stanthorpe’s best

Four decades of experience under his belt, has seen a pillar of Stanthorpe’s...

Real estate boom from metro buyers

premium_icon Real estate boom from metro buyers

Agents on the Granite Belt are reporting a significant increase in those looking to...