South Burnett Wines

AS SOUTH Burnett grape vines come to their full maturity, the region's winemakers say it is an industry that will age well.

Crane Wines has some of the oldest vineyards in the South Burnett and its owner, Judy Cooper, said the only way for winemakers was up.

"The wines in the South Burnett, you can put them against any wines in Australia, developing new and interesting varieties, it's positioned for growth," she said.

"We've only been here 10 years, it's slow going.

"People don't seem to know where the South Burnett is.

"It's gaining slowly but people haven't identified the South Burnett region as a tourist destination."

Nick Pesudovs, a winemaker at Moffatdale's Dusty Hill for the past 16 years, said vines in the South Burnett produced a better quality fruit each year.

"Most vineyards are reaching 20 years of age," he said.

"The maturing of the vine is starting to grow and increasing every year and maturing the style of wine.

"The more a vine matures the more concentrated the flavours become."

Mr Pesudovs said the region was the perfect climate for growing Mediterranean grapes and exploring European varieties.

"It's becoming very successful, the expansion of vineyards into the Mediterranean varieties of Spain and Southern Italy," he said.

"Australians seem to be taking on these varieties."

Several wineries in the region are growing a wide variety of grapes, from Sangiovese to Nebbiolo, Tempranillo and Viognier.

Dusty Hill is only about the fourth winery in Australia to grow Portuguese grape Paderio.

"It likes that nice hot warm summers," he said.

Mr Pesudovs said the South Burnett's Barbera grapes were talked about the most.

He said the region had recovered from the floods and had had three great years.

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