NB: Due to overwhelming popular demand, Mater Prize Home lottery No. 301 sold out early. You can purchase tickets in our latest lottery here.
Queensland has been harbouring a secret all this time—despite its usually hot and humid climate, there are pockets in South East Queensland where the weather and soil conditions perfectly align to produce some exceptional grape-growing conditions. Queensland’s unique conditions dictate what grape varieties can be produced locally, so the top varietals you will most often come across include Shiraz, Chardonnay, Semillon, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Verdelho, and Chambourcin.
From Queensland’s six recognised wine regions, two are practically neighbours with our latest Mater Prize Home lottery No. 301: Gold Coast Hinterland and Scenic Rim. Which means, there’s no excuse not to fill your new wine cellar (included in the prize home) with locally grown wines.
From filling your weekends at your Gold Coast hinterland prize home with picturesque (and delicious) winery road trips to stocking your new cellar with local wines and fond memories from your wine-tasting adventures, make your way to these close-to-home top wineries in South East Queensland.
Distance from prize home: 25mins
The serene setting of this winery at the foothills of the Scenic Rim warrants allocating a full day to sample the variety of artisan wines grown on-site while also enjoying a gourmet picnic hamper beside the babbling Canungra Creek that lies behind the 163-year-old homestead. If you want to learn more about the wines, head to the cellar door to chat with one of the knowledgeable sommeliers. Your grape knowledge will be tested here, with lesser known wines like Chambourcin, Nebbiolo, Verdelho, and Marsanne amongst the locally grown varieties. O’Reilly’s also make some exceptional dessert wines that offer the perfect excuse to end your meals on a sweet note. Afterwards, find yourself a seat out the back of the property to take in the relaxing atmosphere and live music as you get better acquainted with your new favourite wines.
Want to make your visit even more memorable? Opt to picnic with an alpaca!
Distance from prize home: 25mins
Rally the whole family into the car—furry members included—and take the short journey 30 minutes from home to Witches Falls Winery for a lovely family day out. The kid and dog-friendly vineyard on Mount Tamborine makes amazing white wines and vegan-friendly red wines, along with a delicious homemade apple cider. If you want to really experience the wine making process from start to finish, this is the place to go. As Tamborine Mountain’s only working winery, Witches Falls Winery produces and bottles all of its wines and products on site. You can watch while you sip by peeking through the double windows behind the bar to witness the winemakers as they work. Or, for just $10 per head, the wine tasting experience allows you to sample six pours of your choosing as your host fills you in on the tasting notes and insider secrets of each drop.
While you’re in the area, make sure you pop in to Witches Chase Cheeses to find the perfect local cheese pairings to go with your wine haul.
Distance from prize home: 30mins
Another close-to-home gem in the Tamborine Mountains, Albert River Wines offers a unique day out for the family as it’s also home to a working farm. Before trying out the homegrown wines, first meet the friendly farmyard animals living on the historic colonial farm during an interactive tour. You’ll get to experience life on a sheep station and try your hand at cracking a stock whip and throwing a boomerang. After all that hard work, you will have earned yourself a glass or two from the vineyard’s own collection. Blended from the winery’s estate-grown fruit and quality contract grown Queensland grapes, Albert River Wines produces a diverse range of sparkling wines, white wines and red wines to please all palates. Time your visit for lunchtime so you can enjoy your vino alongside the restaurant’s menu of modern Australian with an Asian fusion. Overlooking the lush green valley of vines with a stunning backdrop of Tamborine Mountain, the restaurant is located on the sweeping verandah of “Auchenflower House”—a famous Brisbane landmark and iconic Queenslander that was previously home to three former Queensland Premiers—Sir Thomas McIllwraith, Sir Arthur Palmer and Thomas Ryan.
Tip: Save room for dessert. ARW’s legendary chilli chocolate creme brulee with a refreshing strawberry sorbet is a must-try!
Distance from prize home: 1hr 5mins
It’s hard to beat the picture-perfect setting at this Beaudesert winery, which is surrounded by the Scenic Rim and Lake Wyarralong on either side. But The Overflow Estate 1895 is so much more than a pretty face. Its seven estate-grown and award winning wines will become regular staples in your personal wine collection. Made from Italian and Spanish grapes grown on the winery’s some 2500 vines, sample your way through the selection of Vermentino, Fiano, Tempranillo and Montepulciano varieties during a tranquil day out here. To top things off, the gourmet cafe and restaurant hero local produce through traditional French cooking techniques led by Chef de Cuisine Olivier Boudon in the kitchen. It’s a foodie and wine connoisseur’s dream destination for a decadent day out.
Distance from prize home: 1hr 30mins
The stunning lavender fields attached to this winery are worth the extra drive time alone. Best enjoyed with a glass of Kooroomba Vineyard wine in hand, it’s the perfect place to calm the mind (you can thank the soothing effects of lavender’s aroma for that) and try the local vino as you stroll through both the lavender farm and vineyard. Located in Mount Alford, the restaurant features a menu of French country style cooking to complement the rustic setting that overlooks rolling hills and mountains. The vineyard makes only four wines, but each one will win you over in its own way. The Kooroomba Chardonnay is a medium weight wine with notes of pears, melons and tropical fruits blended with light oak. Easy to drink and a true crowd pleaser, the Kooroomba Alba features ripe, delicate apple aromas with classic texture. Well structured with a tasty and balanced oak, the Kooroomba Cabernet Sauvignon goes down a treat on a cold winter’s day. And the Kooroomba Port features a bouquet of raspberry, plum and light vanilla that’s young and fresh on the palate.
Ready to spend your weekends meeting local winemakers and discovering Queensland’s unexpected and unique wine country? Buy your tickets today to win this Mater Prize Home lottery and start making good use of your new at-home wine cellar. Plus, for every ticket you purchase you’re helping support the vital medical research and patient care at Mater.