The tradition of winemaking on Ballandean Estate was first established in 1930, when Mr Salvatore Cardillo brought his family to settle in the Stanthorpe area. With the flood of Italian immigrants who settled in certain parts of Queensland in the first half of the century came many customs and values from the homeland… including a love of good food and wine.
Salvatore planted some table grapes on his farm, and from these made quantities of bulk red wine, some of which he sold locally. When his son-in-law, Mr Alfio Puglisi, took over the farm in 1941, this practice continued.
When Angelo and Mary Puglisi took over the farm from Angelos’ parents in 1968, they saw the potential for a new industry in the area and decided to make wine commercially. Angelo and Mary replanted the vineyard, moving from table grapes to several varieties of wine grapes. These were the first wine grapes to be planted on the Granite Belt and to this day, produce the finest quality grapes in the state. A modest beginning for this now multi-million dollar industry.
Today Ballandean Estate produces some 18 styles of wine, from Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc to Shiraz, Tawny Port and alternative (Strangebird) varieties such as Viognier and Sylvaner. Each of these styles has been rewarded with medals from the many International, National and Regional Shows entered each year.
The winemaking equipment and expertise of staff are utilised by other Queensland wineries for their own production. Ballandean Estate holds contracts with 2 wine producers around the state for the processing of grapes to wine. The winery boasts the oldest working barrels in the state, these 130 year old relics grace the Barrel Room Café with their overwhelming presence. Ballandean Estate can crush up to 500 tonne. Each year Ballandean Estate stages one of the largest cultural events on the Southern Downs, that is ‘Opera in the Vineyard’. This event presented jointly with the Stanthorpe Rotary Club, attracted 1500 guests in 2007. The outdoor concert was staged in the landscaped venue overlooking the beauty of the vineyard and nearby National Park. This widely acclaimed, annual charity event was held for the 15th time in 2007 and benefits many Queensland charities. In 15 years, we have raised many hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity. Added to the repertoire of functions is Jazz in the Vineyard held in October and Priscilla in the Vineyard held in March/April each year.
As a tourist destination, Ballandean Estate has much to offer. The Barrel Room Café offers casual dining and is situated within the winery complex and offers a variety sumptuous meals. The café is open every day. Ballandean Estates most outstanding feature is the commitment of the family to excellence. As a team, the Puglisi family is committed to building a successful business, increasing awareness of the industry and promoting the region by organising events that attract large numbers of tourists and encourage them to return again and again. Individually, members of the family are representatives on local and regional wine and tourism committees that assist in promotion and expansion of the region. As substantiation of their commitment, Angelo and Mary Puglisi were presented with a Tourism Ambassador Award in 1998. In 2003, Angelo Puglisi was awarded as a Queensland Great, during the Queensland Week Celebrations.
The winery employs 14 permanent staff including vineyard, winemaking, cellar, café and administration staff. The Puglisi family who operate the business are Angelo and Mary Puglisi, along with the daughters and son-in-laws, Leeanne and Mario Gangemi and Robyn and Ian Henderson.
The winery is open 7 days per week and offers every tourist: Complimentary vineyard tours, Complimentary winery tours, Complimentary tasting, Casual dining in the Barrel Room Café every day, All inclusive catering for functions and tour groups.
Over the past 30 years, the company has grown in leaps and bounds and has contributed greatly towards enhancing the image and reputation of Queensland wines in both the domestic and international markets.
Situated 250km South-west of Brisbane on Queenslands’ Granite Belt, Ballandean is the area’s largest and oldest winery. Angelo Puglisi’s ancestors first made wine on the site in 1931 and Angelo and Mary and their family now continue the tradition. From 1974 to the present day Ballandean Estate has received an enviable array of awards which now adorn the walls of the tasting room.
Ballandean Estate’s national and international recognition for the production of a quality range of wines is for this family based operation just the beginning. Today, modern growing, production and management techniques are being embraced by the Puglisi family.
A total of 80 acres from two separate properties is still hand picked and every bunch is carefully examined before being processed. This attention to quality control is certainly demonstrated in our products.
The vineyards are 840 metres above sea level and the Granite Belt enjoys summers with low humidity and bracing winters with frosts and the occasional snowfall. Our high country climate ensures that our wines are uniquely Granite Belt.
The Puglisi family is proud of the quality of their wines and hope you will appreciate them also. Next time you are in the Granite Belt, come and enjoy our award winning wines, our hospitality, and why not stay for lunch or coffee in the Barrel Room Café.
Ballandean Estate Wines
P.O. Box 5 Ballandean, Qld., 4382
Ph. (07) 4684 1226Fax. (07) 4684 1288