Nine New StrangeBirds join the flock in Granite Belt Wine Country

New alternative varieties join this quirky trail

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A cellar door in the Granite Belt wine region in Queensland

A cellar door in the Granite Belt wine region in Queensland [©GBWT]


The latest edition of the StrangeBird Alternative Wine Trail has just been released with 9 more alternative varieties on the quirky Granite Belt trail.

With some classic favourites now making the cut and some rare varieties steeped in European history, the trail is more exciting than ever before.

Granite Belt Wine & Tourism Marketing Manager Sarah Reeves said "with 25 varieties in total making the exclusive Granite Belt trail, wine and food lovers have a unique opportunity to pair food perfectly with an alternative wine variety."

"Gone are the days when shiraz accompanied red meat and chardonnay paired with seafood. The alternate varieties now available mean consumers can fine tune their wine choice to create a more individual food and wine experience, curating the perfect balance of flavours," she said.

The new varieties also carry some interesting European history, while others have bought the best new world varietals to Australian vines.

"South African winemaker Mark Ravenscroft brings the glorious signature South African Pinotage to Australian palates, while Fiano is believed to have been the grape behind the ancient Roman wine Apianum," Ms Reeves said.

"The verdelho that gave fame to Robert Channon Wines is back on the alternative list while Tannat is welcomed to the fore with its high tannins (hence the names). Saperavi hails from the ancient wine making region of Georgia and Sangiovese, while alternative to Australia, is actually pivotal to Chianti blends and is the number one red varietal in Tuscany," she said.

The StrangeBird alternative wines of the Granite Belt have witnessed tremendous success since the trail was developed in 2007.

The 2014 James Halliday Wine Companion rates 11 of these varieties from ten Granite Belt wineries with 90 points and above (6 with 94 points and above), with the StrangeBird newcomer Tannat already on the list.

Contact the Stanthorpe Visitor Information Centre on 1800 SO COOL to have a brochure sent to you, or visit to download the digital version.

The new varieties are:

  1. Fiano (Ballandean Estate, Heritage Wines, Savina Lane)
  2. Frontignac (Heritage)
  3. Graciano (Savina Lane)
  4. Pinotage ( Raven’s Croft)
  5. Sangiovese (Boireann, Jester Hill)
  6. Saperavi (Ballandean Estate, Ridgemill Estate)
  7. Savagnin (Heritage Estate)
  8. Tannat (Boireann, Summit Estate)
  9. Verdelho (many of the wineries)



  • Granite Belt (QLD)

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July 31st, 2013
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