If you’ve ever wondered how grapes get turned into wine, you can have all your questions answered at one of the South Burnett’s largest wineries during the October long weekend.
On Saturday, October 4; Sunday, October 5; and Monday, October 6, Kingsley Grove Estate near Kingaroy will be running free tours of their modern, state-of-the-art winery between 10:00am and 5:00pm each day.
Owners Mike and Pat Berry – both qualified, award-winning winemakers – will explain the wine-making process from the moment the grapes go into the crushers until finished bottles roll off the production line, as well as all the steps in between.
They will also explain how the processes that any particular wine might go through at any winery will vary depending on what type of wine the winemaker is trying to produce.
Most white wines (though not all) are meant to be drunk “young” and tend to get moved through a winery fairly quickly.
But most red wines are usually meant to be drunk when they’ve acquired a bit of age and character, so they can spend months to years in a winery’s oak barrels before they’re ready for bottling.
The amount of time a wine spends in a winery also depends on what the winemaker is trying to achieve as an end result.
Australians tend to favour straight varietal wines (ie wines made from a single grape variety, such as shiraz or merlot) while Europeans tend to favour blends made of many different grape varieties.
So when Australian winemakers produce blends, they need to balance the characteristics of all the different varieties they use against one another to achieve the effect they want in the finished product – a very complex task that demands a lot of skill and experience.
However, Mike and Pat will explain all this in clear, jargon-free English and provide visitors with a rare chance to see modern Australian wine-making plant and equipment up close.
Afterwards, guests can relax at Kingsley Grove’s cellar door, taste the winery’s wide range of wines and even enjoy a fresh pizza cooked in the Estate’s wood-fired pizza oven.
Pat’s $15 pizzas are renowned for their sensational taste – and Kingsley Grove’s sangiovese (an Italian wine variety now grown in the South Burnett) is renowned as the perfect accompaniment to pizza.
While bookings for Kingsley Grove’s winery tours aren’t essential, if you’re coming in a tour group you can let them know in advance by phoning (07) 4162-2229 or 0418-184-868 or by emailing them.
You can also find out more about Kingsley Grove Estate on South Burnett Wine.