Nestled in the heart of Queensland’s Granite Belt the rolling hills of Mt Banca provide the perfect backdrop for the Banca Ridge Cellar Door and Winery. Descending to the cellar, the oak barrels are not the only presence in the room; the aromas are enticing and welcoming. It is the ideal setting for introducing visitors to the award winning 2016 Viognier. 

With each sip producing a striking combination of tangy fresh citrus and pear notes it is easy to understand the viognier’s recent win. The wine took out the championship position against 18 other contenders in the Alternative Variety White category at the 2018 Queensland Wine Awards. Any wine aficionado would tell you that behind all great wines are great winemakers. The win is not only for the label but the students involved in its creation. The Banca Ridge label is a part of the Queensland College of Wine Tourism (QCWT) which provides training to budding young winemakers. 

Chrissy Mattiazzi, Campus Manager at QCWT was elated by the win, saying the Queensland wine industry produces some exceptional wines, especially in the Granite Belt. “When they announced the winner, I was quite shocked. Given that we are a training college and all of our winemaking is done with students, it is a great confidence boost for the students that were involved in the making of this particular wine.”

The viognier is not the only champion wine on site, Banca Ridge’s 2017 Tempranillo was victorious in the School Produced Wine category at the 2018 Australian Small Winemakers Show. A quality product begins with quality training says Chrissy. “As you can see from our awards last year, the label is going from strength to strength. It shows a quality product and it is all being achieved in a training context to encourage and assist the Queensland wine industry.”

There is no doubt these latest achievements have added a spring to the step of the winemakers at Banca Ridge, with the success driving the team even further. While the winemakers behind the label are overjoyed by the latest accomplishments, at the heart of Banca Ridge is true passion for the craft. It is about training young winemakers and creating something with which the customer will fall in love. Chrissy says the awards are secondary; they will come if you focus on the craft and creating for the customer. 

Chrissy is excited to see what the future possesses for the label with confidence it will continue to prosper. “I believe the Banca Ridge label will continue to grow and continue to assist our young people in their training endeavours. We aim to continuously improve our wine, moving with the times and of course creating wines our customers love.”

Sampling a Banca Ridge drop, it is evident something magnificent has been produced in its barrels. The recent wins are sure to be amongst a long line of accolades for this vineyard and cellar door.

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