We were driving along Townsend Rd when we spotted a train up on the hill so we decided to take a look and found ourselves at the Harrington Glen Wines Estate.
Driving up to the cellar door is picturesque with a statue of the 3 muses in the garden setting. I stop to take photos while the two V’s (Val and Varinia) drove on up to the winery. On arriving at the Cellar Door, we look back over the spectacular view of the vineyard.
This winery is owned by Harrington (Harry and his wife Glen) hence the name Harrington Glen Wines. It turns out that Harrington is a Christian name that is handed down through the family and not only is it Harry’s name but also that of his son and grandson. We are greeted by Harry, who is very friendly and helpful. When we explain that I am writing about wineries in the Granite Belt, he gives me lots of information about the winery and offers us a tour of the wine making process.
The V’s tasted the 2009 Verdelho which they both enjoyed, followed by the Toy Boy Port, which they declared delicious, and then the Chocolate Toy Boy Port.
Harrington Glen wines have produce a number of award winning wines such as their 2006 Shiraz which won medals at the Royal Agricultural Society of Qld show and the Mediterranean Challenge. Click Here for a comprehensive listing of their wine varieties along with tasting notes.
The couple brought the property as a holiday home and after having their grapes made into wine by contractor wine makers, decided to begin producing their own wine and to that end they came to an arrangement with Stephen Oliver to be their wine maker.
Stephen is a young local lad who was trained locally and was in the first group of graduates from the Queensland College of Wine Tourism (QCWT). He also has the distinction of being one of the 10 finalists in the Queensland winemaker of the year chosen from candidates representing Australia and New Zealand. In 2008 he received a number of awards including the Best Queensland Red at the Small Winemakers Show. He is a personable young man who along with Harry, is more than happy to show and discuss the production line of the winery with us. He also has the distinction of having been one of the 10 finalists in the “Young Winemaker of the Year Award” held in November 2009, and he is also the only Queenslander to have been chosen in the nine years that that this event has been held. So Harry has a very talented young man making his range of wines. Stephen is assisted by Tim who graduated from QCWT in 2009.
The winery is currently processing white wine which will continue until mid-April. They will be starting to harvest the red grapes tomorrow.
So their annual schedule is:
- Currently (March) processing whites until mid-April
- Jun – Jul is when they bottle the wines so that the workers spend the minimum amount of time outside in the winter weather, which is quite severe. In fact Stanthorpe reaches extremely cold temperatures in the winter and is the coldest place in Queensland.
- Aug – Sep is when pruning of the vines begins.
Harrington Glen Wines grow 3 types of white grape – Verdelho, white muscate and viognia; and 3 types of red grape – Shiraz, Cabernet and Merlot.
When the grapes are delivered to the shed they are put through the crusher which removes the grapes from the stems. The stems are used for composting.
They are then put through the press which has two bamboo sieves attached. These are being sterilized ready for the next days harvestwhen we are there. Then the skins and juice are placed in large vats ready for fermenting.
This year has been particularly bad, weather wise, for the local wineries as they have had to contend with late frosts, hail, a heat wave and torrential rain all in a short period of time.
Now Harrington Glen Wines isn’t just a winery it also has an art gallery attached where local artist display their paintings. The selection was limited momentarily as a number of the paintings had been removed to be shown at an Art Exhibition.
And the piece de resistance is the bed and breakfast, which is a short drive up a fairly steep hill at the back of the winery which been constructed from an old Melbourne train. Glen takes us up to have a look around the B & B and I have to tell you that this is really something to see. The views are spectacular.
The B&B is designed to accommodate up to 3 couples who are friends or related. Everything you could possible need to make your stay comfortable, is provided, including a dishwasher.
The views from two of the bedrooms, verandah and the main bedroom toilet are spectacular. The rooms are fully furnished with comfortable fittings and there are large soft couches to sink into at days end, after a day of visiting wineries and the other attractions that are available in the Granite Belt.
The beautifully coloured bed covers are made from Alpaca wool and they add a stylish touch of elegance
Harrington Glen Winery
88 Townsend Rd
Glen Aplin, QLD, 4381
Ph: 07 4683 4388