The last time I visited Sirromet, they had a tiny cellar door operation where you could do a short tour and tasting and that was basically it. Unless you had organised to visit Lurleen's for a fine dining meal, you had done all you could do. Times have changed. Lurleen's is still packing them in with fabulous food by Andrew Mirosch but the cellar door is now enormous and has it's own outdoor eating area with a substantial pub style menu as well as huge bar. There's live music on the weekends when the festivities spill out onto the lawns with plenty of tables and umbrellas for the crowds. On busy weekends, they have a second bar set up on the lawns. There were crowds but it wasn't crowded. With views all the way out to Moreton Bay and over to Stradbroke Island, who wouldn't want to sit on the lawn, let the kids run amok on the play equipment and share a bottle of wine?
Although the tour ahead of us had several people on it, strangely, there were only the two of us on our 2pm slot. After an overview of the development of the winery and the vines planted on the property (Chambourcin), it was off to the Barrel Room to hear more about winemaker Adam Chapman and the Granite Belt vineyards that produce most of the grapes for Sirromet. Close by is the climate controlled, private cellar of the owner TE Morris (spell it backwards...). As I looked down at the enormous cache of old and new world wines, I could see at least five boxed bottles of Henshcke's Hill of Grace sitting on the floor and the tell tale red caps and white tissue paper of multiple Penfold's Grange cellaring in racks. I want to be invited to one of his parties!
We progressed to the wine making area proper, with fermentation vats, crushers and all the usual hoses, pipes, stainless steel that accompanies wine making these days. There was a visit to the area where the sparkling wine is capped and disgorged, before being sealed and then it was on to the 'behind closed doors' tasting room, where the barrels are cellared. There were 8 wines to taste, suited to a wide range of palates and pockets. Many look down their nose at Qld wines and think Sirromet is too commercial. This may well be the case but the many happy revellers enjoying the winter sunshine didn't seem to mind. The other thing to remember about Sirromet is that it has demonstrated that it's possible to run a large scale winery in Qld and turn a profit. This can only mean there are more wineries on the horizon and surely that can't be bad for the economy.
After our tour, we spent 20 minutes listening to the band before climbing the tower for vistas over the bay and surrounding countryside. On the way out we stopped at the Laguna, a large pond fringed with paper barks. There's a lovely jetty and grassed area where wedding ceremonies are held as the wallabies sit on the fringes, grazing and checking out the bridal party.
If it's been a while since you been out to Mt Cotton, it may be time for another visit. A voucher for winery tour and tasting would make a great gift for that someone who's hard to buy for. Sirromet used to have a label called Perfect Day and you can certainly see why. Don't think of Sirromet as a winery. Think of it as a great destination that just happens to sell wine.
850 Mt Cotton Rd
Mt Cotton Qld 4165
7 days a week