Apple and Grape podcast launches

Robyn Puglisi-Hendersen 1992, family archive.

By Emily-Rose Toohey

Ballandean Estate Wines hosted the launch of a weekly podcast on Saturday exploring behind the scenes stories about Stanthorpe’s Apple and Grape festival.

At the event, Southern Downs Regional Council Mayor Vic Pennisi showcased 8mm film archival footage his father shot of the fashion regatta at Storm King Dam from 1955 and 1964.

Podcast producer Lou Bromley said the series, titled ‘Beyond the Crown’, will feature ten episodes celebrating the festival’s past Queens, Princesses, and Young Ambassadors.

“Beyond the Crown is part-oral history, part-documentary and part-photographic,” Lou said.

She said that Stanthorpe has hosted Australia’s longest-running apple festival since its establishment in 1954.

“It finally evolved into the Apple and Grape Harvest Festival in 1966 and now draws over 60 000 people to Stanthorpe,” Lou said.

She said she was surprised to discover that the smallest apple growing district in Australia hosts the longest continuous running apple festival in the country.

“It’s a wonderful birthday surprise for Stanthorpe turning 150 in 2022,” Lou said.

She said episode one of the podcast is about Dorothy Papagallo, who was Miss Orchardist 1957 and one of the first Queens.

“Her family grew apples, stone fruit and vegetables in the Ballandean area, a property which now hosts Accommodation Creek Cottages and Granite Ridge Wines,” she said.

Episode 1, ‘Sputnik and the Festival Queen’ is available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts for listening and will be updated weekly until mid-March.