Qld Wine Pioneers Awarded February 20 2011
The first ever couple awarded for their outstanding contribution to the Queensland Wine Industry recently at the Brisbane RNA Wine Show were John and Heather Robinson from Robinsons Family Vineyards. Usually this award is given to one individual but Heather and John have worked as a team for over 36 years establishing their winery on the Granite Belt.
They were pioneers of the Queensland Wine Industry when they introduced wine grape varieties into the state in 1969 and planted their vineyard at Ballandean. They chose the granite belt region for the sole purpose of making premium wine. John always had a love for wine; he worked in France, and Heather shared his passion because it was in her blood. (Her family established Saltram’s in the Barossa Valley.)
John and Heather have always been passionate about growing wine grapes on the Granite Belt of Southern Queensland. They took this passion to the public when they opened the first satellite cellar door in Queensland underneath their home in Toowoomba. This made the wine easily accessible to the public and soon Heather began wholesaling their wines throughout the state. John also helped with the wine industry legislation in the early days due to his law background, helping to form the Queensland Wine Industry Association.
Gold Medal winners with the first red wine they ever made, Robinsons Family have achieved success in national wine shows for now over 30 years. Sparkling wine was first made at Robinsons Family Vineyard in 1988 and they were awarded for their efforts when they won the Trophy for The Best Sparkling Wine at Griffith Wine Show. John was also one of the first barrel fermented Chardonnay makers in Australia in the early 70’s and their Chardonnay wines have always been multi-award winners.