Support dries up for small-scale wine producers
WARWICK drinkers are encouraged to love the wine they're with, as smaller neighbouring producers give bottle shops a riesling to buy boutique.
Winemakers on the Granite Belt face a rosé future filled with more sales and accolades than ever before, but the supply runs almost dry just 45 minutes north.
Owner of Just Red Wines Tony Hassell said he'd given up trying to sell his wine in Warwick.
"Warwick bottle shops have never been that good at supporting the Granite Belt wine industry,” he said.
"I tried to sell my wine to three separate shops in town but it was just too difficult.”
Mr Hassell said he wasn't sure why Warwick business owners weren't coming to the party, as sales across the country continue to rise.
"They used to tell us we were a bit dearer than the big distribution chains,” he said.
Just Red Wines start from $14 and are currently stocked at the cellar door, Top Pub and Central Hotel in Stanthorpe.
The family business survives thanks to the support of wine-lovers from urban centres.
Winemaker Glen Robert from La Petite Mort said big business made selling locally a poor decision.
"It's pushed us out of the market,” he said
"There's no point approaching wine stores affiliated with big business because they expect to be supplied at a very low cost.
"We can't really afford to run our business at those prices.”
The decision to overlook local boutique wines means Warwick residents are unable to sip support for the boundary-pushing project that earned Queensland it's first-ever spot on the Young Gun of Wine Awards.
Warwick Hotel's Gary Watt said he'd noticed an improvement in the quality of Granite Belt wines.
"There's better winemakers and there's older vines,” Mr Watt said.
The Warwick Hotel stocks eight local wines but gravitates to more established winemakers such as Ballandean Estate.