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Angelo Puglisi

Ballandean, Darling Downs South West

Ballandean Estate was responsible for planting some of the first wine grapes in Queensland’s Granite Belt. Their commitment to tourism has helped shaped what has now become a multi-million dollar wine region.

My name is Angelo Puglisi. My company is Ballandean Estate Wine. We are in the little township called Ballandean.

My parents came from Italy from Sicily, many, many years ago. Our business is making wine and making sure that we have good quality product. If you have pride in your product and you have pride with your family business, then I think the whole of the family puts every bit of effort into making sure that we don’t, for want of a better word, stuff up and make mistakes. We are very careful in making decisions on every aspect of the business. So the whole family works together and we all consult each other all the time.

There is much satisfaction in running a successful business, and as long as we can run it successfully, then why would I want to change?

In the early 1930s, an Italian immigrant and his family settled in the Stanthorpe district. They planted some table grapes and began making small quantities of wine. When Angelo and Mary Puglisi took over their family’s farm in 1968, they saw the potential to produce wine commercially. They replanted and extended the vineyards with wine grapes. In 1976, Angelo won a Winston Churchill Scholarship and toured Europe to investigate winemaking regions and their techniques. It was here where Angelo and Mary discovered the business of wine tourism.

They returned home with exciting new concepts of combining food, wine and events. The development of a wine tourism experience, instead of the usual sales path of bottle shops and restaurants, was born. This led to the creation of bus tours, a café, a food gallery, a restaurant and annual events. More than 25 years ago, Opera in the Vineyard commenced at Ballandean Estate and in that time, in conjunction with the Rotary Club of Stanthorpe, has raised over $1.3 million for Queensland charities.

Ballandean Estate began exporting their products in 1995. Since then, they’ve exported to the UK, USA, Taiwan, Singapore and China – but still see the Australian interstate market as a tough challenge. In 1999, their daughters Leanne and Robyn were welcomed to the team so as to continue their business into the next generation. Together they continue to work on building their brand and reputation through consistency, quality and top-class customer service.

Ballandean Estate’s commitment to wine tourism attracts more than 4,000 tourists to their cellar door every year, and has been open to the public 363 days a year for the last 48 years. This commitment has been noticed and Ballandean Estate Winery has recently been listed in the Top 50 World Wine Experiences by the 2018 Gourmet Traveller Wine magazine. With 85 years of experience in the wine industry, Ballandean Estate Winery is looking forward to its future in the unfolding story of the Queensland wine industry.

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