The South Burnett region has a modern history of viticulture dating back to 1993. South Burnett is rich in diversity and natural beauty. The regional climate can be classed as sub-tropical, with its diverse range of soils all having a pH level suited to viticulture. The region's main wine styles include Verdelho, Chardonnay, Semillon, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
The town of Kingaroy is arguably the most well-known of the South Burnett towns and the majestic Bunya Mountains are also located nearby, providing a lush backdrop for the South Burnett Valley. The regions’ attractions include the beauty of World Heritage Listed Fraser Island, the largest sand island in the world, as well as an abundance of beautiful beaches.
There are more than 10 wineries in the region, and more than 400 hectares of wine grapes.
Queensland 's largest vineyard (175 hectares operated by Clovely Estate) is located in South Burnett.
The climate combines mild winters and warm summers, making it similar to the Hunter Valley.
Most vines are planted approximately 550 metres above sea level.
Key varieties include Verdelho, Chardonnay, Semillon, Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
Wine tourism is very important in the region, with all producers operating a cellar door.
The district is less than three hours from Brisbane and two hours from the Sunshine coast.
The South Burnett was the first Geographic Indicator approved in Queensland (2001).
The climate can be classed as sub-tropical. November through to March is warm, with and the heaviest rainfall during December, January and February.
There is a diverse range of soils, described in ascending order as light sands, a variety of light clay red soils through to brown and black clays. The red, brown and black soils are of moderate to high fertility, and all have a pH level suited to viticulture.
Verdelho: South Burnett Verdelho has been well received. This variety appears to be well suited to warmer days and cool night. Wines are often aromatic, with herbaceous and tropical fruit flavours.
Chardonnay: As one might expect, this ever-flexible and accommodating variety performs well in the region. The wine tends to be soft with pleasant and clear varietal character in a nectarine and melon spectrum. The use of quality oak and modern winemaking practices has produced many wines with good complexity and structure.
Semillon: The style of the Semillon has some of the softness of the region’s Chardonnay and is relatively quick to develop. However, it does provide a distinctive varietal flavour, with some citrus and herb characters.
Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot: This region is producing medium bodied wines with soft, sweet berry flavours. As the vines age, more extract and structure can be expected when vintage conditions are favourable.
Shiraz: The warm climate produces wines which are smooth and supple, light to medium bodied and with soft tannins. There are none of the spice and pepper notes sometimes evident in the Shiraz of the Granite Belt. Instead, ripe cherry, plum, mint and chocolate flavours are present in varying degrees.
Map Coordinates: 26° 00' S
Altitude: 300 – 600 metres (984-1968 feet)
Heat degree days, October - April: 2500 (cut off at 19ºC (66.2ºF) but otherwise not adjusted)
Growing season rainfall, October-April: 490 millimetres (19.3 inches)
Mean January temperature: 23.8°C (74.8 °F)
Relative humidity, October-April, 3 pm: Average 51%
Harvest: End January – Early March
Brett Heading, Owner, Clovely Estate, South Burnett, Queensland
Clovely Estate, located in the centre of South Burnett, is Queensland's largest vineyard (175 hectares or 430 acres). All wines produced use estate-grown fruit and are made in its own winery. Clovely Estate is owned by Brett Heading, whose family has been a land holder in the district for many years. The winery's success owes much to his investment, vision and confidence in the South Burnett region.
Brett says the winery was formed in 1998, when the historic Murgon Cheese Factory was purchased and transformed into a state-of-the-art winery.
“The establishment of our own winery has allowed Clovely to take total control of the entire winemaking process, from grape to glass,” he says.