Take a road trip to Winya Wines
RACQ is shining a light on local Queensland businesses doing it tough in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Nestled in the picturesque valley of Sandy Creek (about an hour drive from Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast) is Winya Wines, a winery and beef cattle property which is struggling to get back on its feet after the devastating effects of COVID-19 and drought in the region.
Owner of Winya Wines Cellar Door Sue Pratten said she was unsure if her winery, which had been operating for the past 12 years, would ever reopen fully.
“Naturally COVID has affected us all, and the impact on our business has been devastating,” Ms Pratten said.
“We haven’t been able to get all of the business back up and running because we were forced to close for 12 weeks.
“We may only be small but it has been tough as we had to let staff go and haven’t been able to get the vineyard or our barbecue meals back up and running because of the expenses.”
Ms Pratten said economic uncertainty had forced her and husband Gary to change the way they did business.
“We’re continuing with our wines, but for how long we don’t know,” she said.
“We are currently only open Friday–Sunday and offer wine tastings and cheese platters. We want to see how it all plays out until the end of the year when we can make our final decision.
“Most in the region are in the same boat as us.”
Ms Pratten said there was still plenty of country charm and fun to be had at Winya Wines.
“We’re trialling a period where we just do tastings and offer it with paired cheeses for a little bit of an experience,” she said.
“We also offer a bit of camping for small groups of self-sufficient campers and caravanners along our creek bed.
“We’re also pet and family-friendly.”
Ms Pratten encouraged all Queenslanders to get out and explore their own backward and help a local business or two along the way.
“When all the borders open again, and all the tourists start coming back, it will make a world of difference,” Ms Pratten said.
“We have noticed over the last couple of weekends more people are out and about as they’re sick of being in lockdown.
“There have also been a few silver linings in that we have had nice rainfall lately and cattle prices are starting to come back. We now just need some traffic to come through as everyone in the region does.”
Do you know of any other hidden gems like Winya Wines in our great state? Give them a shout-out on the RACQ Facebook page, and we’ll continue to profile road trip destinations and tourism operators to help Queensland get back on its feet. #QldersForQld