ON SHOW: Ray Costanzo’s proud to have his wine on sale at First Choice stores around the state.
ON SHOW: Ray Costanzo’s proud to have his wine on sale at First Choice stores around the state.

Winery’s fresh challenge from landing state deal

THE hardships of the past year have been eased for one Granite Belt winery, which now has four wines stocked in a major Australian liquor store.

Golden Grove Estate were selected to be showcased on a promotional basis in Liquorland and First Choice stores across the state following the outbreak of COVID-19.

Winemaker Ray Costanzo said partnering with the national organisation, who typically opt for more cost-effective wines, was a new experience for him.

“I’ve never been one to look at the big guys, but we were firm on our price and they ran with it,” Mr Costanzo said.

“They know we are a small producer and that was the biggest thing.

“People are really looking for more local stuff and it’s forced (major retailers) to look locally as well.”

The winery’s shiraz, nero d’Avola, tempranillo and barbera are currently stocked in some First Choice Liquor stores across the state.

Mr Costanzo said the Ballandean vineyard was facing a fresh set of challenges with stock depleting due to the increased demand.

“We’re running out of wine and I need a vintage, I need a season,” he said.

“This year I didn’t pick a thing from our vineyard, normally we’d pick 60 tonnes.

“The past three months have been unbelievable; it’s just been the most amazing time.”

Mr Costanzo said on the back of the boom, he was working to further future-proof his business.

“I’m already looking at securing grapes from down south as a precaution to have something in the bank, just in case something happens,” he said.

“I just can’t afford to have a crop lost to a hailstorm.

“I love making wine from the Granite Belt and my own place, but to secure grapes for the business, I have to look further afield.”

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