The climate might be cool, but Tasmania’s status as a premium destination for food and wine lovers is hotter than ever.
It may seem like an overnight success story in Australian wine, but Tasmania’s first commercial vineyards date as far back as 1865.
The plantings were short lived, however, and it wasn’t until the 1970s that winemakers started again in earnest to explore the potential locked up in the soils of old Van Diemen’s Land.
What has become apparent is that, in terms of climate and soil, the region is perfect for the production of quality cool climate wine – particularly when it comes to chardonnay, pinot noir, and sparkling wines.
From the sandstone and schist of the Derwent Valley to the peaty alluvial soils of Coal River Valley and the gravelly basalt, clay and limestone of the Tamar, Tasmania produces wines typified by their heightened flavours, aromas and elegance, winning the affections of wine lovers around the world.
In fact, Tassie Sparkling is now widely regarded as Australia’s finest, evoking favourable comparisons to the qualities of Champagne.
Indeed, with some wineries seeing their third generation take the reins and a host of young guns pushing the envelope, Tassie’s winemaking scene has become as dynamic and vibrant as the wines that result from such passion and dedication.
While the Tamar and Pipers River may be major producers of quality wines, wine tourism remains slow-paced.
Indeed, there’s every chance the person offering you a cellar door tasting is also the viticulturist or winemaker responsible for the very wine you are sampling.
Among the cellar doors that should be on every visitor’s list are the bigger players of the Apple Isle like the highly-celebrated Josef Chromy, Pipers Brook/Kreglinger, Bay of Fires/House of Arras, and Tamar Ridge.
But there are also dozens of small producers including Chartley, Iron Pot Bay, Holm Oak, Wellington & Wolfe, Cape Bernier and more that are well worth a detour from the East and West Tamar Highways.
Cape Bernier, a family-owned vineyard overlooking stunning Marion Bay. Photo: Wine SelectorsNo doubt about it – when it comes to wine, Tasmania really is a destination that punches well above its weight.