‘Show us what you’ve got’: Granite Belt takes on world
THE Granite Belt is set to pit itself against the world.
Many would attest that the region produces some special drops of wine, but this their chance to put them against some of the originators.
The inaugural Queensland International Emerging Wine Challenge will be held next Saturday, February 22, judging on Thursday 20, with vintages from across the state to take on the worlds best.
"We believe we make better wine in our emerging varieties than where the variety originated," Sirromet's Mike Hayes said.
"For instance we'll be combating our Vermentino's against where Vermentino came from in Europe which is Sicily.
"Tempranillo up against Spanish Tempranillo. French Viognier up against our Viognier's.
"The challenge is out there. We think we're better.
"If you think you're good and think you're the best then come beat us because we think we're damn bloody good too," Mr Hayes said.
Thanks to support through the International Wine Tourism funding grant, co-supported by Wine Australia and the Queensland Government, the event was able to get off the ground.
Chief judge Tony Harper is joined by judges from Spain and Hong Kong, as well as celebrity judge Craig Zonka from the ABC and the Granite Belt's own Peter McGlashan.
More than a dozen local wineries have put their hand up to partake.
"We've got 32 varieties and we have 25 wineries and 84 wines to take them on.
"Got to be honest … I'm blown away by the response a bit," Mr Hayes said.
Fiano might have originated in the Campania region of Italy, but Severnlea's Savina Lane Wines think they can challenge for the best.
"We feel we've got to support the Queensland wine industry for starters and it'd be good to benchmark our wines and see how they stack up," winery owner Brad Hutchings said.
Savina Lane will be entering their Fiano, as well as a Petit Manseng and a Graciano.
"I don't think we can say ours are any better or worse until we taste them.
"But personally I think we're making world class wines on the Granite Belt," Mr Hutchings said."
A public tasting, dinner and a masterclass will be held at Stokehouse Q on Saturday 22.
For tickets head to eventbrite.com.au