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Gold Coast's Top Drops

Ben Hall

Visitors who head for the Gold Coast are undoubtedly a spoiled lot. For one, it’s a holiday destination which has a near perfect climate, bringing new meaning the oft-used phase “endless summer”. But there’s also a mind-boggling choice of activities to keep the everyone on the go. One popular pastime which has evolved in recent years is taking time away from the beach to visit the region’s growing band of top class wineries and vineyards. But today they’re not the only places in which to try something a bit different of an alcoholic nature. From locally produced niche spirits to boutique beers, the Gold Coast now has another drawcard to lure visitors. Here’s four of our favourites to put on your list.

Tamborine Mountain Distillery

This unique distillery operates from a quaint Tudor-style chalet atop Mount Tamborine. Although it’s been producing commercial brews since 1997, the spotlight has fallen on this privately owned distillery recently due to a change in ownership. In the past, visitors would quickly discover that it was very much a family run business, headed up by Michael Ward, who was easy to spot with his big grey beard and colourful shirts. Today the distillery has new owners, Gordon Chalmers and Shumei Hou, who haven’t changed much, although they have opened up a purpose-built tasting house at the front of the property. The distillery still produces the same spirits in the traditional way, and they embrace the flavours and fruits of the Australian bush from locally grown apples and grapes, to lemon myrtle leaf and native forest peppermint (87-91 Beacon Road, North Tamborine,

Burleigh Brewing Company

Back down on the coast, another major player in the world of beer is located just inland from the famous surf breaks at Burleigh Heads. Burleigh Brewing is the brainchild of husband and wife duo, Peta and Brennan Fielding. Their aim was to create a range of beers that deliver a true local flavour. According to Brennan, an award-winning master brewer of well over 20 years who’s also a native of Hawaii, Burleigh Brewing follows a traditional approach to brewing. To those of us not in the know, this means without the use of such things as fermentation shortcuts or foaming agents. Open since 2007, today the brewery produces a range of distinctive beers from the no-carb Bighead lager, to the 28 Pale Ale and “Burleigh in a bottle” Twisted Palm (2 Ern Harley Dr, Burleigh Heads,

Cedar Creek Estate

A picturesque setting in Tamborine Mountain, which makes the most of stunning views and beautifully kept grounds, is just one reason to visit Cedar Creek Estate. The winery boasts one of the largest selection of wines in the hinterland featuring reds, whites, and fortified wines, as well as stocking a changing selection of Queensland’s best local boutique wines. Tastings are available daily, and if you have the time, and an appetite, stay for lunch at the restaurant, which offers a range of stunning outdoor dining settings, or a cosy fireside retreat in winter. Also on site is a purpose built glow worm cave, which is essential if you are a first time visitor, and the Arthur Hamblin Art Gallery (104-144 Hartley Rd, North Tamborine, 

Witches Falls Winery

It describes itself as “a bold winery, lacking in pretension, with a hint of distinction on the nose and excellence on the palate”, but what is clear that the folk at Witches Falls love wine. They love growing it, making it, drinking it, matching it with all kinds of foods, and sharing it with friends. Also located on Tamborine Mountain, the winery produces three distinctive ranges of wines: Granite Belt, Wild Ferment and Prophecy, each providing a unique look at different styles and practices in both viticulture and winemaking. The cellar door is open daily for tastings, along with a range of locally made Jambreen cheeses (79 Main Western Rd, North Tamborine, 


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