Courier Mail, The (Brisbane), 22/06/2002, pg. 10

RAYMOND Costanzo has always been surrounded by grape vines.

He learned to walk around the wine barrels stacked in the cellar at his parents Golden Grove Estate winery in Stanthorpe.

But it was not until he worked in other wine regions of Australia that he realised winemaking was chemistry as well as an art form.

His graduation as the first local to complete a Bachelor of Applied Science in winemaking is a sign of the maturity of the Granite Belt as a winegrowing region.

For Raymond’s grandfather Mario, who emigrated from Italy, grape vines were planted for table grapes. Winemaking was just a hobby.

Sam Costanzo expanded the family vineyard and began to sell bulk wine in 200-litre drums.

As the bulk market grew, he began bottling and has won more than 100 medals for his wines.

Raymond hopes to follow his father’s lead, especially focusing on fortified wines: Port, Muscat and Tokay.

The 2003 vintage will be his first at Golden Grove as winemaker and he expects to produce some impressive wines.

“Granite Belt wines have improved a lot in the last few years and they’re getting more recognition,” he said.

“But there’s still a lot of potential. Our climate and our soils are as good for winemaking as South Australia.”

Copyright 2002 / Courier Mail