Thunderbolt Farm Estate Winery

Claudia's Country Restaurant
Stanthorpe, Queensland, Australia

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Article from the Courier Mail October 2007

 Below - Q Weekend visits Claudia's Country Restaurant (Winter/Spring 2008)


Primavera 1
08/31/08 9:25 pm
PRIMAVERA 1.
Our coldest August for 17 years is over and the parrots have donned their mating colours. Nests are being built, song is in the air and the first grape shoots will quickly appear to start the 2009 Vintage. The Granite Belt Spring Wine Festival Season (now called Primavera ) is upon us so there will be the customary influx of visitors from now till the final event, the Australian Small Winemakers Show (Public Tasting, 25 October)
I’ll be writing more about these special Primavera events but at the moment there is no better view of wattle gilding the hills than from the deck of Claudia’s country Café at the Thunderbolt Farm and cellar door. Set high on the hills of the Granite Belt the view from this lookout is magnificent. Positioned on the eastern side of the range of hills above the valley through which flows the Severn River, the deck of this charming restaurant is protected from winter winds. In the warm glow of an afternoon’s sun, guests linger over yet another glass of wine, reluctant to stir from the tranquility of the setting.
Keith and Claudia chose to call their farm after the famous bushranger who roamed the New England Tableland as far north as the Granite Belt. In honour of Fred Ward, otherwise known as Captain Thunderbolt, because he appeared suddenly usually from behind huge granite rocks, they named two of their wines Stagecoach White and Bushranger Red.
Keith says they wanted a crisp clean wine to balance between their drier Semillon and the fruity wines and thus the Stagecoach White was created.
The Bushranger Red is light in colour, smooth to the palette and fruity to the taste. It is a particularly good wine to drink with pasta.
My favourite wine is their Rose. It is not too dry and has just the right amount of flavour to make it a classic. I have spent many a pleasant Sunday afternoon sitting on the deck, looking down the slope to the town of Stanthorpe in the distance, listening to classical music and quaffing this wine.
Claudia has a background of German, French and Italian cooking and has created a restaurant in the true European sense. It is located a few kilometres south of Stanthorpe and only 5 kilometres away from Das Helwig Haus B&B. It is set on a large farm where guests have a view down a long slope, where geese float on ponds and sheep wander through hectares of grape vines.
Take it from me. This café and cellar door is well worth a visit, and only five minutes drive away from your couch at Das Helwig Haus B&B. www.webstation.com.au/accom/helwig