March 03, 2023
8 mins Read
Tasmania is renowned for its production of rich and unique cool-climate wines. Pinot noir, chardonnay and sauvignon blanc varieties are abundant here, although you’ll find other varieties in smaller quantities. The island is scattered with wineries, offering ample opportunity for visitors to discover a taste of Tasmania while situated among beautiful landscapes. Head to some of these spots to discover why Tasmanian wineries have carved out a reputation as some of the world’s best cool-climate producers.
My number-one pick for friendliness. Puddleduck has a quirky gift shop, selling every duck item you can think of. They also have 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. Puddleduck produces premium Tasmanian wines from grapes grown at a single site vineyard, then processed within an hour of picking.
Go for: The Reverse BYO picnic, where you bring the food and the wine is supplied.
Personal pick: 2019 Puddleduck Bubbleduck Sparkling
Where: 992 Richmond Road, Richmond
This family-owned winery combines wine making-knowledge from around the world. Between them, owners Claudio and Linda share wine-making experiences from France, Italy, New Zealand and South Australia. Now perched on the gentle slopes of Eastern Tasmania, Freycinet Vineyard produces an array of cool-climate wines. An olive grove also thrives on the fertile soil, adding to the picturesque and romantic feel of the location. (Olive oil is available to try onsite, too!)
Go For: Great coffee, local cheese and olive oil — the Mediterranean meets the Tasmanian here.
Personal pick: 2018 Louis Chardonnay
Where: 15919 Tasman Highway, Apslawn Tasmania 7190
As far as premium Tasmanian wine goes, Pooley is a slickly marketed establishment. The cellar door is located next to the family’s private residence, a beautiful sandstone farmhouse. It’s also located in a unique microclimatic location, being well protected from prevailing winds but still highly influenced by maritime conditions.
The long growing season can extend into May, and involves high sunshine hours, lots of winter rainfall and the occasional frost and snow. These elements all combine to provide excellent conditions 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.
Personal pick: 2020 Butcher’s Hill Pinot Noir
Where: 1431 Richmond Road, Richmond
If you’d rather exchange your wine glass for a champagne flute, head to Jansz in North-Eastern Tasmania. This luxury wine house is purely devoted to crafting sparkling wine, drawing inspiration from the pristine surrounds of Tasmanian nature. In the wine room, your guide will show you why Tassie sparkling wine is some of the best in the world– and honestly, it won’t take much to convince you.
Go For: The sumptuous cheese platters of beautifully-curated local products. It’s treat for the eyes and the taste buds, too.
Personal pick: 2021 Jansz Sparkling Rosé
Where: 1216B Pipers Brook Road, Pipers Brook
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 winemaker, 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 on the southernmost island off Australia.
Go for: The Osteria. Experience a taste of Italy while surrounded by the beautiful rolling hills of the Tasmania landscape.
Personal pick: 2020 Syrah
Where: 60 Rowbottoms Rd, Granton
If you’re passionate about pinot noir, head to Tamar Ridge Wines in Northern Tasmania. The winemakers there specialise in pinot noir, and strive to constantly experiment with new and unique flavours. Just a half-hour drive away from Launceston, the Tamar Ridge Cellar door offers a charming view over the Tamar River and dynamic dining options. (Look out for Seafood Saturdays, as well as special dining events).
Go For: The Pop-up restaurant. Friends of the vineyard, Hubert & Dan, take care of dinner every second Thursday night. They serve up seasonal produce that pairs well with Pinot, and other cool-climate wines.
Personal pick: 2020 Estate Pinot Noir
Where: 1A Waldhorn Drive, Rosevears, Tasmania
This winery was recommended to me by a local and I was glad that I made the stop. Home Hill has a large flash cellar door with fountains at the entrance.
Owners Rosemary and Terry briefed architect Brian Wyatt that simplicity was the priority and that the building had to blend in with the vineyard. The winery is located in the picturesque rolling hills that surround 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.
Personal pick: 2018 Kelly’s Reserve Pinot Noir
Where: 38 Nairn Street, Ranelagh
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
Personal pick: 2020 Rose Pinot Noir
Where: 70 Dillons Road, Gardeners Bay
The old rustic farmhouse at Derwent Estate has a beautiful view of the Derwent River from its back veranda. 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.
Personal pick: 2018 Calcaire Chardonnay
Where: 329 Lyell Hwy, Granton
Frogmore Creek produces two different labels: 42 Degrees South and Frogmore Creek (which includes the Winemakers Reserve range and the Single Block Series range). I came here more than a decade 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. With a home base 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 and a relaxing beverage on the outdoor deck.
Personal pick: 2021 Frogmore Creek Chardonnay
Where: 699 Richmond Road, Cambridge
Even in the height of summer, the wineries 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.
Many of these wineries charge a $5 tasting fee that is refundable if you make a purchase. You don’t need to worry about dragging the bottles you buy back home, as most places will ship (for a fee) even if you include bottles from other establishments.
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Pity the road surface is so appalling ! Always in sesperate need of upgrading, and has accident statistics to prove it.
Lots of detailed information as well as a great writing style that enthuses me to visit these wineries.
Great articles about Tasmania. We’re finally going for the first time from Perth next February so your magazine has been really helpful with planning where to go and what to look for. Thanks a lot for the great tips.