Archive for October, 2020

October Surprise – Day 3

Posted: October 6, 2020 in Uncategorized

Good nights sleep only disturbed by pesky wildlife from about 5 am on had us fully charged and raring to go after our casual breakfast. Here is me raring to go

As wineries don’t open until mid morning we opted to stop in at Stanthorpe for a coffee first. As suspected the place is not really cafe society folk so we ended up with an ordinary take away flat white we drank on a park bench as no sitting in cafe. Thought the benches were a bit uneven until realised there was a homeless person still sleeping on it.

We headed off in general direction of Ballandean as the most likely suspects tendered to be grouped around down there . The local term for gathering of wineries in a close area is “ heaven”. Ballandean Estate was very good and we did beat any crowds by getting there early . A tour group did arrive soon after but only 3 in it so not so much a tour group as a group of losers with nothing to do on a Tuesday


As we found last time the cellar door staff are very friendly and helpful in recommending other wineries in region if after a particular grape variety. After we bought a few bottles Tobin’s just up the road was recommended as a unique winery . Not on our list but why not. In Maryhole we would call it pretentious rather than unique. To be fair he does advertise as fine , premium wines and has a price list to match . It was a bit busy by now and slow service so we bailed after he got to the $80 Moscato 😏 They do have big women in the area who seem adverse to clothing – win,win.

As we had visited Stanthorpe some years ago we had a fair idea of the best wineries and next on list was Symphony Hill. After Ballandean our cellar door experience had dipped and continued here. As a tour group was expected we were set up out in the back where all the forklifts practice reverse parking apparently. The Finnish lass said it may be a bit slow with the tour group so we relied on our old trick of order two different wines at once and sample both. After all you were going to tip half out with driving . Then stumbled on the best idea anyway and just helped myself to the vat .

We ordered two to be sociable and then out into the real world to check on this massive tour group and fuck me it’s the same 3 losers we saw at Ballandean 🤦🏻‍♂️ Getting a pit peckish by now so stopped in at Jamworks for a very passable beef curry as you do and CLP bought some Sheila stuff for the pantry. Hope the jam works tonight because a bit bunged up if ya get my drift and we haven’t hit the cheese factory yet

Having stopped drinking alcohol for 20 mins it was time to reattach the wobbly boot and headed to Harrington Glen just up the road. Walked in and were told doesn’t do much tasting midweek as he has to drink all the leftovers. His logic escaped me as did our $5 tasting fee for him. With a Verdelho and a 2021 Cab Merlot on offer to taste we passed. When in doubt stick with the old faves . Next stop Rumbalara . The closest we may ever get to Africa 😰 Rumbalara is a very honest winery and makes wines to suit their customers and not win awards. Hence the bottles start at $15 each and never go above $25 . Certainly drinkable in our Qld climate and do like the no bullshit approach. All varieties are named after animals so we got a Lion, Buffalo and Zebra so now we can start our own zoo when we get home

I have a theory that there is a limit to how many wineries one can do justice to in a day and I think it may be 4 . By the end of our last visit I had drunk enough and taste discrimination was lacking a tad . I was prepared though in case CLP wanted to soldier on .

Luckily I mentioned soap, candles and cheese and we were away. The Cheese factory was on outskirts of town but as our social calendar was not bulging at present we pressed on. After 8 toothpicks worth of cheese we headed home. Quite afternoon now as will pick up a frozen” chef prepared” meal for tonight from brewery . We have the technology . It’s called a microwave.

Been a fun few days catching up with family and the two days here. Long day tomorrow with about 6 hrs driving before Maryhole appears on horizon.Will break it up with first 4 hr stint to Flashman Inc at Sunny Coast and then a break before heading home later in afternoon . Back to reality then and the approaching sweltering summer . No more trips planned yet but then the best ones usually are the spontaneous ones.

October Surprise – Day 2

Posted: October 5, 2020 in Uncategorized

We had our usual Stamford buffet breakfast Covid Style – you point at food and they put it on your plate . On the road by 730 am to be at Toowoomba by 0900 to meet up with some of clan at Picnic Point Lions Park. It is a great area for kids and had a wonderful time with half the 6 pack. Anastasia Beaverhausen has done a pretty good job but this new rule of “ only 3 Grandmuchins at a time “ is a bit poor

Then it was onto Stanthorpe via Warwick for our 2 night stay at Granite Belt Brewery . On outskirts of town we dropped into Sutton’s Cidery and Juicery for a light lunch . For some reason they also wanted me to log in AND provide a urine sample. Well , it had been a long drive…

On to our lodgings and luckily they had log cabins and not just a cold room. When we saw our Cabin 7 we felt right at home

Thought best plan was to look at a map of wineries while sampling our first ale . Did I mention the brewery was on site 🕺🏻 We have dinner at the on site restaurant booked tonight so we’re looking for a light afternoon.

Most of the wineries we are interested in are about a 30 min drive south of Stanthorpe so will do in one hit tomorrow . We chose Ridgemill Estates as first winery as close by. Excellent cellar door and friendly staff and purchased a couple of reds. As it turned out was our only winery of the day 😰

Then onto the Brass Monkey Brewery – which was closed sadly. It is a public holiday of course so there will be closures. Brass Monkey theme does seem popular around here . Here is one I prepared earlier

We decided to check out the metropolis that is Stanthorpe then and not sure whether it was because it was a PH or that Stanthorpe is just dull but man it was quiet. Tomorrow may confirm our suspicions

First I’m pressions of log cabins are would be great in winter so may return . Wi Fi is spotty as one may expect so hope peace and quiet is the trade off for the night. Expected to get down to 8 degrees – Darool Darool . We have a continental breakfast hamper included so really don’t need to poke a foot outside door until 9 am

Unless we find a winery open at 8 am ….

October Surprise – Day 1

Posted: October 4, 2020 in Uncategorized

After a few attempts to visit Victoria this month we finally gave up and settled for a few days closer to home. Granite Belt appealed as gave us an opportunity to catch up with Toowoomba clan on way through and when we found a place with log cabins and a brewery on site ,well it seemed like destiny. First up though a day and night in Brisvegas and a catch up with Ferguson Matriach at the Low Security Twilight Home.

We then made a slight detour to catch up with ADJG at Burbank for an early birthday drink for Julia. And by early I mean Champers at 10 am 🕺🏻
We had booked our usual hotel for the night – Stamford Plaza- and thought would try for the usual early check in at midday. Luckily our room was ready or else it was back to ADJG – so I mean lucky for them of course. It’s all self park now as well but at least room on site . As we arrived a very long limo pulled up in front and 4 people got out. Initially I thought the All Blacks were in town but they were actually women. A group to avoid methinks and luckily they went to 16 th floor and we are on 12 th. I think their footsteps would be good for about 2 floors of cement so we should be ok. Nice room as usual

The Stamford does look pretty busy actually and then it into CBD for lunch. To be fair we made it a block before we stopped for a beer at the Buffalo Bar. This part of town was pretty dead so we settled in for a beer and some of their famous buffalo wings. Ah no, not available today Sir. Some chips , chicken and burger then I guess and watch the world go by

Speaking of said world I would suggest many other countries would wish they were in our shoes at present. At Noosaville yesterday and again today people are out and about, casual and carefree, eating, drinking and being merry . Hardly any masks at all or social distancing. Have we gone a bit early – time will tell .

Glorious weather so will probably duck out for a walk and maybe early dinner a bit later on. Sadly pool is in shade all afternoon and still some pesky kids around . At least no NRL or AFL players around….