NICE DROP: Glen Ireland is proud of her 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon.
NICE DROP: Glen Ireland is proud of her 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon. Ewan Leighton

Elite red receives rave reviews

SURELY there's nothing better than relaxing on the deck relaxing on a clear Granite Belt afternoon.

Well, add a multi-award winning drop of red to the scene and you've got yourself a deal.

That's a day in the life of Harrington Glen Estate owner Glen Ireland who's been receiving rave reviews about her spicy 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon.

So far the wine has picked up best Queensland red at the Australian Small Wine Makers Show in October last year, one of only three gold medals given to Queensland wines at the same show, and more recently, five stars from Australia's leading wine publication, Winestate.

But according to Mrs Ireland, like most things in life, it's only going to get better with age.

"I think it's going to develop to be even better," Mrs Ireland said.

"It's a 2008, you could give it at least 10 years.

"With a bit of age on them they just seem to improve."

Mrs Ireland said the secret to her award winning drop was obvious - good grapes.

"We've got good grapes," she said.

"About 80 per cent of a good wine starts in the vineyard.

"It all starts with good grapes.

Granite Belt wines are beginning to make waves on the national wine scene, and Mrs Ireland said she expected that to continue.

The main hurdle, according to Mrs Ireland, is getting Queenslanders to drink Queensland wines.

"Having good fruit and a good season there's no reason why they (Granite Belt wines) shouldn't continue to be successful," she said.

"If you could get Queensland people to drink them and appreciate what we have to offer what would help.

"It's just to try and change the thinking of Queensland people.

"They think we don't grow good grapes compared to the other states."

But while many of her red had been a success Mrs Ireland said it wasn't always possible to enter every wine into competition.

"Sometimes you don't have enough to put in a show, you have to have a certain tonnage," she said.

And to get a certain tonnage things have to go right.

Like most farmers across the district, Mrs Ireland is a slave to the weather.

Compared to last year, she said the vintage had ended well and the season's grapes were looking good.

"They look pretty good, but yields were down," she said.

"They were nice and clean and seem to be good quality."

But until that bottle is popped wine makers play the waiting game.

"So far it's shaping up to be okay, but time will tell," Mrs Ireland said.

Stanthorpe Border Post

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