Pyra­mids Road Win­ery nur­tures

Pay­ing the price for per­fect pam­per­ing

Life & Style Weekend - - TASTE - WINE With Travis Schultz

FOUNDERS of Pyra­mids Road Win­ery, War­ren and Sue Smith are cer­tainly not your av­er­age school teach­ers.

Hav­ing left their call­ing to plant a vine­yard in 1999, th­ese ed­u­ca­tors are far from stereo­typ­i­cal vi­gnerons and some might sug­gest, per­haps might har­bour just a touch of in­ner hip­pie.

Though both War­ren and Sue work the vine­yard, th­ese days Sue tends to take charge of the busi­ness side of the cel­lar door op­er­a­tions and with his flow­ing grey beard, back­stage in the win­ery War­ren could be mis­taken for the Man From Snowy

River, lost in a bodega.

As own­ers and op­er­a­tors of one of the Gran­ite Belt’s most well-es­tab­lished winer­ies, their pas­sion for wine mak­ing has re­sulted in them tak­ing an ex­traor­di­nar­ily ‘hands on’ ap­proach to their trade.

From prun­ing and train­ing the vines, to har­vest­ing and bas­ket press­ing, it is all done by War­ren and Sue and by hand. Even the bot­tling!

But alas, there is al­ways a price to pay for such at­ten­tive nur­tur­ing of vines and pam­per­ing of the fruit, and here, it’s sim­ply quan­tity.

The Pyra­mids Road Vine­yard is only about two hectares in size and yields rel­a­tively small quan­ti­ties of high qual­ity berries.

The to­tal pro­duc­tion of their flag­ship Verdelho (for which fruit is sourced from a nearby grower) and shi­raz sits at only about 150 cases of each per an­num, while their chardon­nay, mer­lot, caber­net sau­vi­gnon and petit Ver­dot are limited to around 75 to 80 cases each year.

While most of their wares are sold through the cel­lar door, there are in­tu­itive peo­ple like Sun­shine Coast restau­ra­teur, Chris White of Hun­gry Feel at Bud­erim who knows his wine and chooses to sup­port Queens­land’s premier wine re­gion.

At Chris’s restau­rant, you’ll find Gran­ite Belt wines like Pyra­mids Road, along­side those from pro­duc­ers like Ridgemill Es­tate, Golden Grove Es­tate, Bents Road Win­ery, La Pe­tite Mort and Witches Falls.

Sadly, my favourite Pyra­mids Road wine, Bernies Blend doesn’t yet grace the Hun­gry Feel wine list, but their 2016 Petit Ver­dot is an able sub­sti­tute.

It dis­plays a deep ruby-es­que hue in the glass and de­liv­ers hints of bloom­ing roses on the nose but unc­tu­ous ripe cher­ries and all­spice across the palate.

The Gran­ite Belt re­gion is of­ten over­looked by wine crit­ics and con­sumers alike, per­haps be­cause the styles of wine aren’t al­ways com­pli­ant with the un­writ­ten rules as to what Aus­tralian wine should look like.

But it is a re­gion that stamps its own ter­roir on the wines born in the dis­trict.

Be­ing only about three hours’ drive from Bris­bane, it’s the per­fect venue for a week­end es­cape, if not for the visit to the pic­turesque Gir­raween Na­tional Park (that Pyra­mids Road shares its bor­der with) but for the oeno­log­i­cal ex­pe­ri­ence that the Gran­ite Belt and Pyra­mids Road has to of­fer. Travis is a Sun­shine Coast busi­ness­man with a pas­sion for food and wine.

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