Balladean Estate Wines has launched its latest visitor offering, At Our Table, an intimate look behind the scenes at one of Queensland’s oldest family owned and operated winery on the Granite Belt.
Leeanne Puglisi-Gangemi, daughter of estate owners, Angelo and Mary Puglisi says her family has been making wine on the Granite Belt estate since 1932. “We saw a real opportunity to provide visitors with a complete and intimate experience of our operating vineyard and winery led by a Puglisi family member. We are the fourth generation of family working on the estate,” said Leeanne. “Spring provided us with the perfect opportunity to launch At Our Table. This weekly event is a celebration of family, food and wine, a personal invite from the Puglisi family into our world of winemaking, viticulture and local produce on the Granite Belt. ‘Eat local, drink local’ is our mantra, and upheld in the highest regard by The Barrelroom’s owner-chefs Travis Crane and Arabella Chambers, who run the vineyard restaurant.”
At Our Table’s ever-changing seasonal menu targets low food miles and quality over price-led decisions. Travis and Arabella grow much of the produce in the kitchen garden. “What we don’t grow, we source as paddock gate to plate produce—we have Ballandean pork, organic local turkey, Mallow sheep, even wild Ballandean venison! Ballandean Estate and The Barrelroom are committed to supporting local and regional farmers and the Granite Belt’s artisan producers. Every Monday, we are hosting a vineyard tour and luscious long lunch in the Barrel Room for one to eight visitors from 11am until 2:30pm. Our guests meet at the cellar door then head out to the Opera Block, where we are celebrating 50 years of Shiraz plantings for a viticultural master class—you may run into Uncle Sam or Dad pruning the baby vines and having a yarn, there is just so much history to explore.”
Angelo had a vision to develop a viable and sustainable commercial wine industry in the Granite Belt region, and in 1968, he planted a block of Shiraz vines with his new wife Mary on his Ballandean farm. “From the vineyard tour, we then visit the winemaking facility, where guests have the chance to meet our winemaker Dylan Rhymer, who is always happy to explain how we produce the intensity of colour, cool climate flavour profile and silky tannins our wines are world-famous for. All that fresh country air really works up an appetite! Our next stop is The Barrelroom, where our guests are introduced to the five wines that will be accompanying the long lunch. We love to share our Strangebird varietals; they are such great food wines.
“We then share a divine two-course meal accompanied by our wines. Imagine an entrée of organic bullock pastrami, crumbed hen egg, potato, snow peas, buttermilk, followed by an organic Mallow sheep, potkin, beetroot, onion, goat’s cheese main. The Barrelroom’s owners Travis and Arabella are committed to showcasing the best of local produce and minimising food miles. All of the food comes is sourced within 3 hours’ drive, and they grow as much as they can in our kitchen garden, everything from wild asparagus to flourishing mint planted by our great-grandfather.
“We aim to provide a fully immersive and educational gourmet experience. Our hosted lunch is a great chance to relax and unwind, or ask a thousand questions—the journey is the destination!”
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