Our Story

Puglisi family vignerons. Established 1932.

We are Queensland’s oldest family-owned and -operated winery.

Wine has been made on the Estate since 1932, while the cellar door was opened to the public in 1970.

Ballandean Estate blends the history of five generations with modern winemaking methods that results in a remarkable wine experience.

Producing quality, boutique wines that express the unique characters of the Granite Belt in Queensland is what keeps the Puglisi family enthusiastic and innovative.

Puglisi family at Ballandean Estate Wines

Wine industry pioneers

We are gathering our storytellers, opening up our cellars, and unlocking our museum collection to share our family story of Australian wine making with you. 

The father of Queensland wine

Angelo Puglisi

Since 1932 our family has produced wine from our vineyards in Ballandean. We are exceptionally proud of our contribution to the unfolding story of the Granite Belt Wine Region. The future of the Granite Belt as a successful Australian wine region is in the hands of many talented professionals — and our future generations will continue to be an integral part of the story. 

A warm welcome awaits you at our cellar door

Ballandean Estate Wines has so much to offer for a great day out with friends and family. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff will ensure your visit is one to remember.

  • Cellar door is open from 9am to 5pm every day, except Christmas and Good Friday.
  • We have spacious and comfortable tasting rooms with iconic 150-year-old barrels.
  • Tours are at 11am daily (currently unavailable due to Covid-19)
  • Visit The Gourmet Food Gallery, a hall of local and international products available for sample and sale 7 days per week.
  • Grab a gourmet vineyard picnic and indulge amongst the vines.
  • Our relaxed and award-winning restaurant The Barrelroom produces outstanding cuisine.  Eat local, drink local is our mantra. All food is sourced from within 3 hours of the restaurant. This is a Granite Belt dining experience you will never forget. Did you know that The Barrelroom has been awarded a Chef’s Hat?

Strange Bird Wine Trail

100 faces of small business

A Queensland icon

The Puglisi family story

Ballandean Estate was listed by leading wine expert James Halliday as one of Australia’s Ten Dark Horses of the Wine Industry in 2015.

We have events running all year, from lunches to master classes and vintage celebrations.  

Opera in the Vineyard is one of the largest annual regional events on the Granite Belt.  The event is one of South East Queensland’s premier cultural events, and the jewel of the Granite Belt’s social calendar. It provides an intoxicating mix of music, wine, food and an unforgettable time.

Ballandean Estate’s most outstanding feature is the Puglisi family’s commitment to excellence.

Winner of Qld Winery of the Year 2013, 2105, 2016.

  • As a team, the Puglisi family is committed to building a successful business, increasing awareness of the industry and promoting the region by organising events that attract large numbers of tourists and encourage them to return again and again.
  • Individually, members of the family are representatives on local and regional wine and tourism committees that assist in promotion and expansion of the region.
  • The Puglisi family who operate the business are Angelo and Mary Puglisi, along with the daughters and sons-in-law, Leeanne and Mario Gangemi and Robyn and Ian Henderson.

A vinicultural vision

2018 marks the 50th anniversary of Shiraz plantings on the Opera Block vineyard at Ballandean Estate, Queensland’s oldest family-owned and -operated winery. Estate founder Angelo Puglisi had a vision to develop a viable and sustainable commercial wine industry in the Granite Belt region, and in 1968, he planted a block of Shiraz vines with his new wife Mary on his Ballandean farm, cementing the Puglisi winemaking future.

Book launch

Mr Puglisi’s remarkable vinicultural legacy has been be celebrated with a book launch, The Father of the Queensland Wine Industry – Angelo Puglisi, by Tom McSweeny. The biography will be launched on Friday 2 November 2018 at the Stanthorpe Art Gallery at 6pm.

In a nation where most producers pulled up their vines in the late eighties at government behest, this is a remarkable achievement, and testament to the vision of Angelo and Mary Puglisi, pioneers of the wine industry in Queensland.

A Granite Belt jewel

“Our cool climate Shiraz is a vinicultural jewel. Most Shiraz vines in Australia are under 15 years old—and the older the vines, the lower the yield and more luscious the fruit,” said Angelo Puglisi.

“I am excited to announce the pre-release of our 50th Anniversary 2018 Opera Block Shiraz at our vineyard party on November 10. 2018 was an exceptionally low-yielding year—we have produced only 150 dozen of the Opera Block Shiraz for this vintage. The long ripening season and cold nights have delivered a delicate cool climate Shiraz, intense purple with concentrated berry fruits. We will be bottling this beauty in 2019.”

Angelo’s decision to convert from table grapes to wine grapes was brave and he and Mary worked hard to produce wines of quality and create a market for their Granite Belt grown wines. Those first vines have been lovingly nurtured over the years and now produce the award-winning Opera Block Shiraz—refined, elegant with intense fruit typical of a cool climate profile.

Wine pioneers

 “Mum and Dad were real pioneers, and they dreamed of a Queensland wine industry at such a young age, at just 25 (Angelo) and 19 years (Mary) of age. . Up until the Puglisi’s 1968 Shiraz planting, wine in Queensland was mainly a by-product of table grape production by a few European families who were selling the grapes to market and using the leftovers to make wine. A far cry from the wine grapes of today!

“Visionaries from the start, the Puglisis visualised opening a cellar door and being the catalyst for Queensland’s Barossa and Hunter Valley on the Granite Belt. They knew that wine tourism would follow once there was wine to sell and some more cellar doors in the region. When they opened the cellar door four years after planting the Shiraz, there were only 300 wineries in Australia—now there is over 3300!

“We have been here a long time, since 1932. The 50 years of Shiraz gives legitimacy to the entire Queensland wine industry.  I always say that Mum married the Queensland wine industry when she married Dad.  Not only are we celebrating 50 years of Shiraz, the Puglisis are celebrating a golden wedding anniversary too, 50 years strong!” says Robyn Puglisi-Henderson, daughter of Angelo and Mary Puglisi.

Leeanne Puglisi-Gangemi of Ballandean Estate on the Granite Belt was elected to the Winemaker’s Federation (WFA) board of 12 at an historically significant annual general meeting on 13 November 2018. Ms Puglisi-Gangemi is the second Queensland board member to be elected since WFA’s 1999 inauguration and the first Queensland female board member to be elected.

“I am thrilled to be elected to a platform where I can continue to improve the business and regulatory environment for Australian winemakers and grape growers. Educating national and international consumers about the quality of Queensland wines has driven my advocacy.

“Queensland now has over 1500 hectares of vines and a new generation of talented people guiding production in Queensland. We are just so lucky to have David Littleproud, Federal Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources lobbying on behalf of the wine industry. As a long-term Warwick resident, the Minister has an acute understanding of the important role agriculture and small business plays in creating jobs and promoting economic growth across rural, regional and remote Australia,” says Ms Gangemi-Puglisi.

Read full article here

The birth of the Queensland wine industry

Winemaking at Ballandean Estate was first established in the early thirties, when Salvatore Cardillo brought his family to settle in the Stanthorpe area. Salvatore planted some table grapes on his farm, and from these made quantities of wine.  When his son-in-law, Alfio Puglisi, took over the farm in 1941, this practice continued.

Angelo Puglisi, the father of Queensland wine

When Angelo and Mary Puglisi took over the farm from Angelo’s parents in 1968, they saw the potential for a new industry and began to make wine commercially.  Angelo and Mary replanted the vineyard, moving from table grapes to wine grapes.  These were some of the first wine grapes to be planted on the Granite Belt, a modest beginning for this now multi-million dollar industry.

Tradition meets innovation

When Angelo won a Winston Churchill Scholarship in 1976 he and Mary toured Europe to discover wine making techniques and regions.  The biggest discovery they made on this trip was the ‘business’ of Wine Tourism.  They eagerly returned home with ideas of mixing food, wine and events and the development of wine tourism instead of taking the usual sales path of bottleshops and restaurants.

Over time, this led from bus catering, to a café, a food gallery and small events including the annual Gamekeepers Dinner.  These activities have transformed over the years into providing an exceptional dining experience in ‘The Barrelroom’ and the inception 26 years ago of Opera in the Vineyard.   Along with the Rotary Club of Stanthorpe, Opera in the Vineyard has raised over 1.3 million dollars for Queensland charities.

Ballandean Estate today, Granite Belt ambassadors

  • We attract approximately 40,000 tourists to the cellar door every year and have been open 363 days per year for almost 48 years.  This is a testament to our commitment to tourism.
  • We attend numerous events across the year to promote and sell our wine and our region.
  • We enter wine shows for brand awareness and we communicate regularly with our customers via newsletters and social media.
  • The Cellar Door has grown and changed over the years, expanding, innovating and offering a consistent and quality tourism offering.  We look forward to continuing to be part of the unfolding story of the Queensland Wine Industry.

Four generations of Puglisis

Our history is a major point of difference.  With the fourth generation joining the business we have over 90 years of history in the wine industry.  Reputation, and diversity are also factors which ensure that we continue to grow our business and brand.  Our Gourmet Food Gallery, our Restaurant and our Events offer a large range of options to tourists.

Our customers return again and again because of consistency, quality and service. In the Dec/Jan edition of Gourmet Traveller Wine, we were listed in the Top 50 World Wine experiences.  We are proud to be recognised on the world scale.

Visit our Media Centre

Ballandean Estate’s Media Centre gives you the latest news in one easy location.

  • Take a look at our videos and image gallery
  • Check out our blog
  • Follow our social media posts – join us on Facebook to keep up to date with what’s happening at the vineyard and on the Granite Belt
  • Download media releases

New year, new winemaker at Ballandean Estate Wines

Ballandean Estate is blending a new winemaker into the family fold, 32-year-old Boxi Zhen, who will be starting a new chapter in his winemaking career at Queensland’s oldest family-owned and operated winery. Fourth generation vigneron Leeanne Puglisi-Gangemi says, Mr Zhen is enjoying the thriving community of the Granite Belt, the considerably cooler climate, natural beauty … Continue reading New year, new winemaker at Ballandean Estate Wines

Ballandean Estate brings home a swag of medals from the Australian Small Winemakers Show

Ballandean Estate continues its winning streak with a swag of medals awarded this weekend at a national wine show for boutique winemakers.

Ballandean Estate brings the buzz to Fiano 2022 vintage release

Ballandean Estate is  preparing to release its 10th Fiano vintage this Friday 16 September. Ballandean Estate winemaker Dylan Rhymer lends a sophisticated finesse to the rare white wine varietal, delivering a richer Italian style with mouth-watering acidity, grippy texture and mineral undertones. Estate manager Robyn Puglisi-Henderson says, “Originating in southern Italy, and widely grown throughout … Continue reading Ballandean Estate brings the buzz to Fiano 2022 vintage release

Ballandean Estate farewells winemaker Dylan Rhymer

Big changes are afoot at Ballandean Estate, Queensland’s oldest family-owned and operated winery. After 22 years at the helm, star winemaker Dylan Rhymer will be wrapping up vintage 2022 in the next few weeks. Next stop, Brisbane, as he moves to be closer to family and pursue a career in the bicycle industry. Fourth generation … Continue reading Ballandean Estate farewells winemaker Dylan Rhymer

Ballandean Estate opens the Granite Belt’s first wine lounge

Ballandean Estate opened the Granite Belt’s first wine lounge on Friday 15 July 2022. Signature restaurant The Barrelroom has been made over into a snug and sophisticated space, designed to make you feel like you’re walking into the Puglisi family cellar. Fourth-generation vigneron Leeanne Puglisi-Gangemi says, “I’ve been wanting to do this for years! The … Continue reading Ballandean Estate opens the Granite Belt’s first wine lounge

Ballandean Estate wins 2022 Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Award

Ballandean Estate has been recognised by Tripadvisor today as a 2022 Travellers’ Choice award winner.  This award celebrates businesses that have received great reviews from cellar door visitors on Tripadvisor over the last 12 months. As challenging as the past year was, Ballandean Estate Wines stood out by consistently delivering positive experiences to cellar door … Continue reading Ballandean Estate wins 2022 Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Award

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