Award Winning Granite Belt Vineyard
The nearly 20 acres of vineyards at Robert Channon Wines produce approximately 50 to 60 tonnes of grapes each year. The relatively small size of our vineyard and tonnage is typical of the boutique size of the dozens of wineries across Granite Belt Wine Country.
The grapes we grow in our own vineyards are our only source for the wines we produce. In whites we grow Verdelho, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay and our red varieties are: Pinot Noir, Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.
The combination of factors including soil, climate, and sunlight that gives wine grapes their distinctive character.
At a high altitude 950 metres above sea level, this is Queensland’s coolest region, providing a cool climate well suited to winegrowing. Our grapes flourish over the summer growing months with long warm days and cool nights.
Our vineyards are planted in decomposed granite soil (unsurprisingly since we’re on the Granite Belt) and naturally suited to winegrowing as they are well-draining and acidic.
The Granite Belt’s long warm summer days allow our grapes to ripen with a fullness of flavour and they receive the ideal exposure to sunlight with our fully enclosed-netting over the vineyard taking out about 9% of the sunlight.
Why We're Unique
Our beautiful Singing Lake serves as more than just a pretty view – it’s our valuable water supply for irrigation of our vineyards when the season doesn’t deliver the necessary rainfall.
Fully Netted Vineyards
Robert Channon Wines stands out amongst the Granite Belt wineries as one of few that have installed a fully-enclosed permanent netting over their entire vineyard.
“In our first two or three years we had terrific trouble with birds and we were losing up to 20% of our crop to them. We tried the traditional way of dealing with birds, using sound scaring systems and nothing worked. We could have gone to drape over nets which is what everyone else uses, but they are very labour intensive and not entirely satisfactory because the birds are still more clever than the nets. So we put up big, total netting structures over first one vineyard as an experiment and because it was so successful, in the following year we netted the second one as well.” Robert Channon
Fully netting the vineyards was a big capital expense that has since paid itself off many times since.
There has been a three-fold dividend paid every year in the vineyard. Firstly the netting excludes all birds, reducing grape loss to zero. Secondly, though not designed to withstand hail, the netting affords crop protection against hail events. When hail does fall onto the netting it delivers a huge weight across the surface areas, causing the collapse of nets, breaking ironbark posts and snapping cables – an inconvenience and expense that is better than loss of the crop! Thirdly the netting reduces the sunlight reaching the vines by 9%, which is a significant advantage since the Granite Belt is a northern wine region and has very direct sun overhead. The reduction in sunlight allows us to take off more leaves around the fruit zone, letting in more sunlight and ventilation.
In 1998 we found the perfect land for our winery. It had good soils and elevation, great views and a great water supply.
As soon as we had completed the purchase we started to plant our first vineyard. This is when the story of our now famous Verdlho began with a stroke of luck. When we planted our first vineyard at Robert Channon Estate there were only 14 wineries in the Granite Belt.
The cellar door opened for visitors in 2001. By that time there had been a huge expansion on the Granite Belt and there were 28 wineries (now there are approximately 40).
Just before the release of our first wines in 2001, we received a legal challenge from champagne house, Moet and Chandon to our proposed use of our name "Channon” on our wines. When the press picked up the story, we became international mega stars for about 12 hours and the name challenge went away. As far as we know, despite all our subsequent efforts to take over the international champagne market, Moet and Chandon has gone on from strength to strength and we remain small and happy in our boutique market place.
Won Silver Medal for our 2002 Verdelho at the London International Wine Show
Our big Chardonnay triumph! We are one of the few small wineries in Australia to have won a national trophy at a national show for a champion wine - effectively a 'Best in Australia' award. We did it for the first time with our Reserve Chardonnay 2002 which won the Trophy for the Best Chardonnay in the Royal Brisbane Show 2004.
Our Verdelho was selected as the Queensland Parliament's 150th Anniversary White Wine
Our 2008 Sparkling Chardonnay won the Trophy for the Champion Sparkling Wine in the Australian Small Winemakers Show.
Our Verdelho was served at a formal banquet for the Queen on an official visit to Brisbane.
Our brand new online cellar door goes live!