Colleen Willis is pouring wine for (from left) Peter Whitelaw, Ruth Whitelaw, Morwenna Harslett, Roger Willis and Alec Harslett.
Colleen Willis is pouring wine for (from left) Peter Whitelaw, Ruth Whitelaw, Morwenna Harslett, Roger Willis and Alec Harslett.

Fancy a taste of the good life?

FOR 35 years a group of Stanthorpe wine lovers has been quietly having more fun than the rest of us.

The Granite Belt Wine Society meets every month for a tasting night but few people outside the organisation know about it.

With so many new wines on the market to taste, the club could technically continue for years to come.

But as the members age, they have kickstarted a drive to attract younger recruits and ensure the society’s future.

President Colleen Willis said unlike some other groups representing winemakers and growers, the Granite Belt Wine Society was for lovers of wine.

“It was started 35 years ago largely by young families who wanted a social outlet and to taste and learn about wine,” she said.

For decades they have met monthly, enjoying themed tasting nights focused on varieties, regions, events and labels.

“In January we will be tasting Austrian wines and in February we have planned a Rose, roses and chocolates theme for Valentine’s Day, trying different Roses,” she said.

“Every second year we go on a trip. Last year it was to Geelong and next year it will be to the Canberra wineries.”

Ms Willis said the organisation had kept under the radar without social media or advertising and had grown through word of mouth.

However she said it was time to boost the membership to ensure the club’s longevity.

“Our members are good fun people and good friends and we love coming to our meetings but how long can we go on for?

“We are not short of people but the trouble is we’re all old and we don’t have a succession plan.

“We want younger people to be part of it.”

Ms Willis welcomed people to a fun tasting event where guest speaker Ian McLead, who has been involved in the Queensland Wine Awards and the Tattersalls Wine Club in Brisbane, will impart his tasting expertise.

A $20 cover charge will include the wine tasting as well as nibbles.

The event will be held at the Stanthorpe RSL from 7pm on October 11.

Anyone interested in attending should contact Denise Harslett (0428 833 168) or Colleen Willis (0438 100 577) by Friday October 4.