The Queensland College of Wine Tourism in Stanthorpe brings together industry, education and amazing food and wine experiences. The College opened in 2007 and is an $8.5 million state-of-the-art education and training facility for the Queensland wine tourism industry. Nestled in the heart of the Granite Belt, Queensland’s premier wine country, the Queensland College of Wine Tourism incorporates award-winning Varias Restaurant, a Conference and Function Centre and the Banca Ridge Winery and Cellar Door.
The college is located on the campus of Stanthorpe State High School and provides specialist training from secondary to tertiary levels. Open for a la carte morning tea, lunch, and dinner, with picnic hampers and BBQ packs available to take away with a perfectly paired bottle of wine. In the warmer months, enjoy a meal on the deck overlooking the spring-fed dam and vineyard, and in winter retreat indoors to dine by the fireplace.
The Queensland College of Wine Tourism is one of the leading industry training partners in Queensland in the areas of Food and Wine Tourism, providing training from secondary to tertiary levels in viticulture, oenology, tourism, hospitality, and business. It operates a commercial vineyard, winery, tourist centre, seminar and function facility featuring a 300-square-metre barrel and bottle storage area, laboratory, and large training kitchen for food preparation and wine tasting.
Within the facility, award-winning Varias Restaurant presents a world-class dining experience offering an a la carte menu for morning tea, lunch, and dinner. The restaurant won Best Restaurant in a Winery category in the Queensland and Northern Territory Savour Australia™ Restaurant and Caterers HOSTPLUS Awards for Excellence for four years running, from 2015 to 2019 and was a finalist in 2020.
The focus at Varias is on procuring the best local produce, which is then skilfully prepared and served by hospitality students to a high industry standard. The seasonal menu at Varias showcases the farmers and artisan producers of the area. Buying direct from the source supports the local economy and highlights a wide variety of produce such as Mallow Organic Lamb and Mt Stirling Olives.
Adjacent to Varias Restaurant is Banca Ridge Winery and Cellar Door with tastings and sales of an extensive range of award-winning wines. Banca Ridge wines are made on-site in the college’s teaching winery from fruit, mostly grown in the college and high school vineyards.
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The Queensland College of Wine Tourism is ideally located in Stanthorpe in the picturesque Granite Belt region, Queensland’s premier wine-producing area. Perched one thousand metres above sea level and just a few hours from Brisbane near the NSW border, the area is known for its unique growing and ripening conditions, unlike anywhere else in Australia and boasts over thirty winery cellar doors.
While the town of Stanthorpe in the heart of the Granite Belt welcomes visitors to its cooler climate all year round, the best time to visit is during spring (September to November) or autumn (March to May) when the weather is pleasant, and the region's natural beauty is on full display.
Surrounded by magnificent national parks including Girraween and Sundown, Stanthorpe offers a range of accommodation options to suit different preferences and budgets, including hotels, guesthouses, cabins, campgrounds, and winery stays.
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