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Hot on the trail
Australia’s smallest state is home to some big names in Australian wine, plus a few rising stars. Tyson Stelzer ventures to Tasmania on a mission to sample its bottled bounty and seasonal produce. photography Alicia taylor
Freycinet vineyard, near Bicheno
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wine trails tasmania online
From wilderness walks to innovative art, Australia’s island state awaits your personal discovery. Visit qantas.com/travelinsider
tep into Hobart’s
Ethos Eat Drink, via an 1820s carriageway and courtyard kitchen garden, and be surprised – no menu, no chalkboard, no list of specials. Instead, a flow of dishes so fresh they change according to supply. Every ingredient is local; if chef Iain Todd doesn’t know the first name of the grower, he doesn’t use it. This celebration of fresh seasonal produce is symbolic of a new era in Tasmanian food and wine – which includes some of the most memorable wine trails anywhere. Tasmania’s cool climate and unspoilt landscape are increasingly attractive to big names from the mainland who are buying estates and vineyards. Meanwhile, small players are taking control of their own wine production. An ever finer and more diverse range of sparkling, still and sweet wines is emerging. Tasmania’s wine production has increased tenfold in the past 20 years and has almost doubled in the past decade. The state has no official wine subregions, but there are three wine trails that are particularly compelling. The Tamar Valley around Launceston and Pipers Brook in the north-east are Australia’s epicentre of sparkling wine production, home to more than 30 estates including all the biggest names in Tasmanian wine. In the south, the Derwent Valley and Coal River Valley are home to dozens of wine estates within a half-hour drive of Hobart. This is the place to discover many of Tasmania’s most famous boutique wineries and most celebrated vineyards. The drive from Hobart to Tasmania’s east coast winds through hills, following river valleys, to the coastline flanked by Maria Island and teeming with all manner of gastronomic delights; ultimately exploring the mountainous Freycinet Peninsula. There are a dozen cellar doors to visit along the way, showcasing Tasmania’s characteristically refined chardonnays and pinot noirs. Tasmania retains a rugged, unspoilt, adventure-beckoning mood – misty mountains, towering old-growth forests, windswept beaches. Natural beauty is overlaid with a well-preserved heritage and the unflustered mood of the locals. It is little wonder that Tasmania welcomes double its population in visitors every year. 4 8 Q A N TA S a pr i l 2014
Above (clockwise from top left): Ethos Eat Drink; chef Philippe Leban at The Source; interior at Ethos Eat Drink; fresh produce at Ethos Eat Drink; Freycinet vineyard (opposite) a pr i l 2014 Q A N TA S 49
tasmania wine trails
From left: Nick Glaetzer of Glaetzer-Dixon Family Winemakers; Pooley; scallop gnocchi, ponzu foam, spinach and yuzu at The Source Restaurant
CELLAR DOORS Gasworks
2 Macquarie Street, Hobart. (03) 6231 5946. gasworkscellardoor.com.au This downtown cellar door has tastings of an ever-changing list of 16 wines and 300-plus bottles at cellar door prices. Open: Wed-Sun 10am-6pm.
Domaine A/ Stoney Vineyards 105 Tea Tree Road, Campania. (03) 6260 4174. domaine-a.com.au Winemakers describe Domaine A as Tasmania’s only true château, home of the state’s most revered and long-lived cabernet sauvignon. Open: Mon-Fri 10am-4pm.
Tamar Ridge 1a Waldhorn Drive, Rosevears. (03) 6330 0300. brownbrothers. com.au/wines/tamar-ridge One of Tasmania’s most comprehensive wine portfolios, from the value Devil’s Corner brand to a decadent dessert wine and premium Pirie sparklings, the brainchild of Tasmanian wine pioneer Dr Andrew Pirie.
Jansz 1216b Pipers Brook Road, Pipers Brook. (03) 6382 7066. jansztas.com Champagne lovers will feel at home at sparkling wine specialist Jansz, with elegantly crafted sparkling wines and Australia’s finest rosés. Open: daily 10am-4.30pm.
Bay of Fires 40 Baxters Road, Pipers River. (03) 6382 7622. bayoffireswines.com.au Sourcing grapes from every key zone in the state. Still and sparkling wines share the limelight, led by Arras, the most awarded set of sparkling wines in the country. Open: daily 10am-5pm (11am-4pm June-August).
WINEMAKERS TO WATCH Glaetzer-Dixon Family Winemakers
93 Brooker Avenue, Hobart. 0417 852 287. gdfwinemakers.com Tasmania’s first winemaker to win the prestigious Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy (2011 Royal
Melbourne Wine Awards, best young Australian red), Nick Glaetzer has single-handedly raised the profile of Tasmanian shiraz. Tastings by appointment.
Tasmania’s most important wineries. Now in his eighties, Joe can still be found helping talented young winemaker Jeremy Dineen and team. Open: daily 10am-5pm.
1431 Richmond Road, Richmond. (03) 6260 2895. pooleywines.com.au A family affair for three generations. Don’t miss this little cellar door in the atmospheric old sandstone stables of Belmont Lodge. Open: daily 10am-5pm (11am-5pm April-September).
Freycinet 15919 Tasman Highway, near Bicheno. (03) 6257 8384. This amphitheatre-shaped hillside property was the first commercial vineyard on the east coast and ranks high among the state’s most iconic. Open: daily 10am-5pm (10am-4pm May-September).
Josef Chromy 370 Relbia Road, Relbia. (03) 6335 8706. josefchromy.com.au Joe Chromy escaped war-torn Czechoslovakia after WWII and went on to develop many of
Stefano Lubiana Wines 60 Rowbottoms Road, Granton. (03) 6263 7457. slw.com.au Long home to some of Tasmania’s most refined boutique wines, Steve and Monique Lubiana’s property overlooking the Derwent has just opened an Italian-inspired eatery, serving lunches from its own biodynamic kitchen garden. Open: lunch Thu-Mon.
The Source Restaurant Moorilla, 655 Main Road, Berriedale, Hobart. (03) 6277 9904. mona.net.au Wines have been made at Moorilla for more than 50 years and have recently taken on a newfound elegance, a perfect match for chef Philippe Leban’s sensitivity in the kitchen. Fresh local produce has a contemporary French or Japanese twist. Open: breakfast & lunch Wed-Mon, dinner Wed-Sat. a pr i l 2014 Q A N TA S 51
wine trails tasmania Frogmore Creek 699 Richmond Road, Cambridge. (03) 6248 5844. frogmorecreek.com.au A great Tasmanian wine success story, Frogmore Creek recently renovated the cellar door and restaurant to showcase one of the most spectacular winery outlooks in the country. Fresh produce is sourced from local suppliers, including the owner’s own garden. Open: lunch daily.
Kreglinger Pipers Brook 1216 Pipers Brook Road, Pipers Brook. (03) 6382 7527. kreglingerwineestates.com The still and sparkling wines of Pipers Brook, Ninth Island and Kreglinger tick every box of quality, value and distinctive northern Tasmanian character. Its Winery Café is the most atmospheric place to discover them, alongside a contemporary menu of local produce. Open: daily 10am-3.30pm.
Ethos Eat Drink 100 Elizabeth Street, Hobart. (03) 6231 1165. ethoseatdrink.com Ethos Eat Drink is a microcosm of fresh Tasmanian produce and local
wine, serving a choice of six- or eight-course menus of creative, authentic and uncomplicated cuisine. It’s exciting, unexpected and exploding with flavour. Open: dinner Tue-Sat. T he Ugly Duck Out 2 Franklin Street, Swansea. (03) 6257 8850. theuglyduckout.com.au “Ecotarian” is the way Robyn Klobusiak describes herself, and the evidence is in the kitchen garden of vegetables, herbs and fruit trees that surrounds the car park of her unpretentious seaside diner in Swansea. Open: breakfast, lunch & early dinner (until about 7pm) daily.
Stillwater 2 Bridge Road, Launceston. (03) 6331 4153, stillwater.net.au Spectacularly housed in historic Ritchie’s Mill on the Tamar River at the mouth of Cataract Gorge, Stillwater’s ambience would be its high point – that’s if its contemporary, seasonal Tasmanian menu, skilfully stocked bluestone cellar and impeccable service didn’t conspire to steal the show. Open: breakfast & lunch daily, dinner Tue-Sat.
Black Cow Bistro
70 George Street, Launceston. (03) 6331 9333. blackcowbistro.com.au Stillwater’s upmarket steakhouse in downtown Launceston is a showcase for dry-aged, free-range, grass-fed Tasmanian beef. Local pinot noir sensibly leads the wine offering, expertly assembled by young sommelier and co-owner James Welsh. Open: dinner daily.
321 Davey Street, South Hobart. (03) 6220 2123. islingtonhotel.com The timeless grandeur of an 1847 mansion set in a large garden and with every modern comfort. A magnificent glass atrium has captivating views of Mount Wellington. It’s worth staying for the food alone. From $395.
Mona Pavilions 655 Main Road, Berriedale, Hobart. (03) 6277 9900. moorilla.com.au Overlooking the Derwent, MONA’s eight self-contained pavilions include spa, wine cellar and touchpad-controlled everything. From $600.
The Henry Jones Art Hotel 25 Hunter Street, Hobart. (03) 6210 7700. thehenryjones.com Downtown on the docks, five-star Henry Jones is a showpiece of tasteful renovation. Metre-thick sandstone walls, heavy beams and the machinery of the old IXL jam factory are highlighted amid a modern ambience. From $365.
Freycinet Lodge Freycinet National Park, Coles Bay. (03) 6256 7222. freycinetlodge.com.au It may be in a national park, with rooms nestled into bushland, but this is no rustic retreat. Modern and stylishly appointed, even the floors are heated. Ask for spa room 34, just a stone’s throw from the beach. From $341.
Saffire Freycinet 2352 Coles Bay Road, Coles Bay. (03) 6256 7888. saffire-freycinet.com.au Tasmania’s most luxurious retreat won the Australian Hotels Association best Australian resort-style accommodation two years in a row, and best overall hotel accommodation in 2011. The focus is personal and the staff attentive. From $1500.
For airfares and holiday packages to Tasmania call Qantas Holidays on 1300 735 542 or visit qantas.com/holidaysaustralianway Saffire Freycinet
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