Travel blogger and Australia Traveller reader Roshan Lewis is an experienced wine-weekend tripper, meandering around most of Australia’s best wine regions. She heads to Hobart to explore the Southern Wine Route, and find her 10 ultimate Tassie wineries.
We start in the Coal River Valley wine region and then continue along the Derwent River. Then travel further south through Huonville, Ranelagh and Cygnet.
Even in the height of summer, the wineries and the route itself were not too busy. In fact, we were the only ones at almost all of the wineries, although a lot of them were setting up for weddings.
Tips for tasty tipples
Many of these wineries charge a $5 tasting fee that is refundable if you make a purchase. You don’t need to worry about getting the bottles you buy home as most places will ship (for a fee) even if you include bottles from other establishments.
The top 10
1. Puddleduck Vineyard
My number-one pick for friendliness. Puddleduck has a quirky gift shop, selling every duck item you can think of, a huge dam that serves as a duck pond and lots of ducks, of course.
The boutique, family owned and operated vineyard was established in 1997, and produces premium Tasmanian wines from grapes grown at our single site vineyard, and then processed within an hour of picking in our energy neutral winery.
Go for: The annual fundraising duck race in March and the Reverse BYO picnic, where you bring the food and the wine is supplied.
Signature wine: 2012 Bubbleduck sparkling.
Personal pick: 2014 sauvignon (Fume) blanc.
Where: 992 Richmond Road, Richmond
2. Frogmore Creek
Frogmore Creek produces four labels: Frogmore Creek, Meadowbank, Stormy Bay and 42 Degrees South. I came here eight years ago for a wedding and the winery is just as lovely as I remember it. There is an interesting wooden floor upstairs that tells the story of wine including smelling pots for different varieties.
With a home base is located in the Coal River Valley, just 20 minutes from Hobart, guests are treated to a backdrop of the rolling hills, vineyard and waterways complimented by the rustic charm of the space.
Go for: Sweeping water views in the vines and a relaxing beverage on the outdoor deck.
Signature wine: 2010 Frogmore Creek Evermore riesling.
Personal pick: 2014 Meadowbank Mardi sparkling.
Where: 699 Richmond Road, Cambridge
3. Pooley Wines
As far as premium Tasmanian wine goes, Pooley is a slickly marketed establishment.
The cellar door is located next to the family private residence, a beautiful sandstone farmhouse.
It also lives among a unique microclimatic location, being well protected from prevailing winds but still highly influenced by maritime conditions.
The long growing season, which can extend into May, with high sunshine hours, predominately winter rainfall and the occasional frost and snow, combine to provide an excellent condition for cool climate grape varieties, such as Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio, Riesling and Chardonnay.
Go for: The authentic old sandstone stable that serves as the cellar door and the premium pack specials.
Signature wine: 2012 Family Reserve pinot noir.
Personal pick: 2010 Family Reserve cabernet merlot.
Where: 1431 Richmond Road, Richmond
4. Derwent Estate
The old falling-down farmhouse at Derwent Estate has a beautiful view of the Derwent River from its back verandah.
Nestled on North facing slopes which run down to the Derwent River, the vineyard has a perfect aspect for the production of cool climate wine grapes.
Go for: Cider made the wine makers’ way and to see fossils collected on the estate grounds.
Signature wine: 2011 Calcaire chardonnay.
Personal pick: 2014 pinot gris.
Where: 329 Lyell Hwy, Granton
5. Stefano Lubiana Wines
This establishment is very popular with the locals and when you step inside you can understand why. It features a fireplace, Italian food and sparkling wines. We even had to line up for a tasting!
Stefano (Steve) Lubiana is a fifth generation wine maker, who, alongside his wife, carved out a niche in the Tasmanian wine industry upon the opening of their property in 1990.
The vineyard wraps itself around the picturesque foothills of the Derwent River estuary, located in the southern most island off Australia.
Go for: A look at the famous dog featured in the Wine Dogs book series and the Osteria.
Signature wine: 2005 Stefano Lubiana vintage brut.
Personal pick: 2012 Stefano Lubiana merlot.
Where: 60 Rowbottoms Rd, Granton
6. Nandroya Wines
Nandroya’s cellar door is simple and to the point, only making pinot noir and sauvignon blanc cool climate wines.
Nandroya is an indiginous name for a family living in harmony. The growing of the grapes and the making of wine is based on the principle of harmony with the environment, as the space acknowledges the Melukerdee, the First Nation band who lived in this area.
As for location, Nandroya lies above the river which links Mount Wellington and North West Bay on rich well drained volcanic soils. The vineyard and cellar door are a short 20 minute drive from Hobart. No excuses!
Go for: The back-to-basics cellar door and view of the mountains.
Signature wine: 2012 sauvignon blanc.
Personal pick: As above!
Where: 262 Sandfly Road, Margate
7. Home Hill Wines
This winery was recommended to me by a local and I was glad that I made the stop. Home Hill has a new large flash cellar door with fountains at the entrance…
Owners Rosemary and Terry’s brief to architect Brian Wyatt was that simplicity remained a priority, and the building had to blend in with the vineyard, picturesque rolling hills and surrounding Sleeping Beauty and Mount Wellington mountain ranges.
As luck would have it, The Huon Valley sits on the same degree of latitude as Bordeaux in France (albeit forty-three degrees south of the equator rather than north).
These regions share a similar climate, with winters featuring fog, frost and snow, and an abundance of spring rain. This allows for the slow ripening of fruit during warm months and the perfect conditions for cool climate wine to be produced.
Go for: Alpacas and the feeling of being right in the heart of the Huon Valley.
Signature wine: 2005 Home Hill pinot noir.
Personal pick: 2013 Home Hill sylvaner.
Where: 38 Nairn Street, Ranelagh
8. Panorama Vineyard
The view at Panorama lives up to the name at this vineyard!
Their accolades include multi award winning trophies, gold, silver and bronze medals for Panorama Pinots, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnays and Sauvignon Blanc varieties – it also includes an extensive selection of elegant wines.
Go for: The picnic and BBQ facilities and the view overlooking Huon River.
Signature wine: 2003 Reserve pinot noir.
Personal pick: 2011 tempranillo.
Where: Cygnet Coast Road, Cradoc
9. Hartzview Vineyard
Found off the beaten track and in a forest, Hartzview Vineyard is known for its ports, fortified wines and liqueurs. The tasting room has custom-made stained glass windows and old ceramic port bottles.
Go for: A Heritage Pickers Huts self-guided discovery walk and the toy box that keeps toddlers amused.
Signature wine: 2008 Reserve pinot noir.
Personal pick: 2014 pinot rose.
Where: 70 Dillons Road, Gardeners Bay
10. Gasworks Cellar Door
If you don’t have time to get out of Hobart and visit some wineries, come here. You can try all different varieties of wines from all over Tasmania at Gasworks. Purchase up to 12 tastings of all different sizes, but be careful – I accidentally got 3 x 100ml glasses, a lot of wine to drink after a full weekend of wine tasting. It’s a tough life…
Where: 2 Macquarie St, Hobart