Out & About

A long way from the hum­ble tent, the pavil­ions at Sanc­tu­ary by Sir­romet take glamp­ing to a whole new level of lux­ury and com­fort.

Virgin Australia Voyeur - - OCTOBER - Words ARI­ZONA ATKIN­SON

Wine, dine and glamp at Queens­land’s Sanc­tu­ary by Sir­romet.

It was un­veiled as “Queens­land’s first vine­yard glamp­ing ex­pe­ri­ence” — but to even call it glamp­ing seems like cheat­ing. The pavil­ions at Sanc­tu­ary by Sir­romet in Mount Cot­ton are more lux­ury cabin than any­thing as­so­ci­ated with a tent. Sure, there are can­vas walls, but there are also plush robes, a tiled bath­room con­tain­ing lo­cal or­ganic soap and skin­care, wi-fi, air-con, a mini­bar and a Ne­spresso ma­chine. What is en­tirely ac­cu­rate about this ex­pe­ri­ence is the word ‘sanc­tu­ary’. On a 226-hectare prop­erty, sur­rounded by gum trees and over­look­ing a la­goon, it’s very easy to for­get you’re just 30 min­utes from Bris­bane’s CBD.

Sir­romet is the brain­child of en­tre­pre­neur Terry Morris (in case you were won­der­ing about the ori­gins of the name, it’s TE Morris back­wards) and has been op­er­at­ing as a win­ery and multi-venue es­tate since 2000. As we drive in on a Satur­day morn­ing, the prop­erty is a hive of ac­tiv­ity. Wal­la­bies graze by the en­trance, ac­tive types are com­plet­ing the fivek­ilo­me­tre Sir­romet Parkrun, the cel­lar door is heav­ing with tourists, a duo is play­ing live mu­sic, cou­ples are brunch­ing at Restau­rant Lurleen’s and fam­i­lies are or­der­ing share plates on the Tus­can Ter­race while the kids spill out onto the play equip­ment.

Ar­rive on a Fri­day and you may also spot a trac­tor pulling a trailer-load of grin­ning guests. Be­hind the wheel is Adam Chap­man, Sir­romet’s chief wine­maker, and the guests — of­ten with glass in-hand — are on the es­tate’s Gourmet Food Sa­fari. The sa­fari takes four hours and cov­ers four dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions, start­ing with canapés and sparkling chardon­nay pinot noir on the Ar­bour Lawn (a pop­u­lar spot for wed­dings), fol­lowed by seafood on the Supa Golf turf (yes, the prop­erty also has a nine-hole golf course), seven-hour slow-cooked lamb at the fire pit and con­clud­ing with dessert in the spec­tac­u­lar Bar­rel Hall.

The food is pre­pared by Sir­romet’s new ex­ec­u­tive chef, Mat Ful­ford, for­merly of Lit­tle Big House in Bris­bane, who

ac­com­pa­nies guests on the sa­fari. He’s been ex­per­i­ment­ing with in­cor­po­rat­ing wine and its by-prod­ucts into his menus — the house-made sour­dough, made with the yeast lees of Sir­romet’s shi­raz, is a stand-out. Dur­ing the sa­fari Chap­man will an­swer any ques­tions about the ac­com­pa­ny­ing wine, which in­cludes the award-win­ning 2013 Le Sau­vage ‘The Wild’ Chardon­nay, and ex­plain pair­ings in terms even a novice can un­der­stand. “You need some­thing heavy with all these big flavours; you need that ‘boom boom!’,” he en­thuses with a shake of his hands.

Chap­man says Sir­romet is on par with Cal­i­for­nia’s Napa Val­ley in terms of the di­ver­sity of its wine of­fer­ing — caber­net sauvi­gnon, mer­lot, shi­raz, pinot gris, chardon­nay, viog­nier, verdelho. The ma­jor­ity of the grapes are grown in the cool, dry Gran­ite Belt, about three hours west at an al­ti­tude of 1200 me­tres. While you won’t see the vines them­selves, the sa­fari does in­clude a be­hindthe-scenes peek at Sir­romet’s pro­duc­tion fa­cil­i­ties… and a taste from one of the tanks.

When you’re full and flushed, it helps to have your bed (king-sized, with lux­ury linen) within walk­ing dis­tance. But if you can re­cover from the sa­fari in time for din­ner, wan­der down to Restau­rant Lurleen’s. Here, Ful­ford’s tast­ing menu might in­clude dishes such as Cape More­ton Span­ish mack­erel with tom yum broth and gera­nium, or duck breast with pre­served apri­cot, chick­peas and lilly pilly. The restau­rant boasts views of More­ton Bay and North Strad­broke Is­land; both great for a daytrip if you’re plan­ning to make a long week­end of it.

North Strad­broke Is­land — ‘Strad­die’ to lo­cals — is reached via wa­ter taxi or car ferry from Toon­dah Har­bour (a 20-minute drive from Sir­romet). Here you can wan­der the charm­ing town of Point Lookout and en­joy a re­laxed lunch with a view. If you’re up for an ac­tion-packed ad­ven­ture, drive a lit­tle fur­ther to the Port of Bris­bane and join the fish­er­men on the ferry to More­ton Is­land. Sun­set Sa­faris run one-day tours that in­clude snorkelling and kayak­ing over the fa­mous Tan­ga­looma wrecks — where you might be lucky enough to spot a whale, dugong or dol­phin — and sand-to­bog­gan­ing down the is­land’s mas­sive sand dunes.

Al­ter­na­tively, take a tour of Bris­bane’s thriv­ing craft brew­ing scene. Dubbed the ‘Brew­muda Tri­an­gle’, the New­stead/ Tener­iffe area has a bunch of brew­eries within walk­ing dis­tance of each other. Check out Range Brew­ing for pil­sners and pale ales served in Scandi-in­spired glasses; the in­ter­na­tional award-win­ning Green Bea­con Brew­ing Co; and New­stead Brew­ing Co, housed in a 1940s bus de­pot.

New­stead Brew­ing Co’s ales can also be found on tap at Eat Street Northshore, a drink­ing and din­ing precinct formed from ship­ping con­tain­ers on a dis­used wharf in Hamil­ton. With more than 70 ven­dors of­fer­ing cuisines from around the world and river­side views, it’s a fit­ting end to a long week­end in Queens­land.

CLOCK­WISE FROM TOP Sir­romet Wines’ Cel­lar Door Café; the sun shines on a Sanc­tu­ary by Sir­romet pav­il­ion; en­joy share plates and wine pair­ings.

CLOCK­WISE FROM TOP In­side one of the Sanc­tu­ary by Sir­romet pavil­ions; the win­ery has 100 hectares un­der vine; home to a va­ri­ety of fish and coral, the Tan­ga­looma wrecks off More­ton Is­land are an amaz­ing snor­kel­ing site.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.