It’s time to explore wine regions in Tasmania along Australia’s coolest wine trail. So come along for a swirl and a sip. Put your nose into a glass of Aussie Vinifera and guess what region it’s from.
Tasmania may be famous for its beautiful places to visit but Tasmania’s wine has recently been going off the charts with unparalleled vintages that have caught the attention of international wine snobs.
Many insiders swear that rivalling wine-producing neighbours in Victoria and South Australia can thank Tasmania for the burgeoning grape vines in these states.
James Halliday, Australia’s lauded wine critic and vigneron explains on his website how wine has been made in Tasmania years before vines were even planted in either of those states.
Don’t take his word for it though.
It’s time to unfurl the bouquet of the Apple Isle’s exotic wine regions in a state that has – at last count – 160 wine producers.
Discover the acclaimed wine regions with some tasting notes.
- 5 Wine Regions In Tasmania
- 5 Best Wineries Tasmania – North East
- Wineries in Tasmania – Tamar Valley
5 Wine Regions In Tasmania
By Ilona Kauremszky
1- Huon Valley for cool climate wines
A handful of boutique wineries make this region on the Southern Wine Route a popular stop for wine lovers.
Located 40 minutes south from the capital of Hobart, see the floor of Huon Valley festooned in grape vines and realize it’s similarity to Bordeaux, France.
The Huon Valley lies on the same degree of latitude as the legendary French wine region albeit 43 degrees south of the Equator.
Some favourite stops include Panorama Vineyard, beautiful for its radiant views on the north-facing banks of the Huon River and best-known for top-class Pinots, full-bodied cabernet sauvignon, medal-winning chardonnays and fresh sauvignon blancs.
The vintners secret: hand harvested with each grape inspected.
Then there’s Home Hill Winery, home to a popular roadside restaurant that pairs fabulous local seasonal ingredients with the winery’s new and popular vintages.
Sample award-winning Pinot Noir, chardonnay and sylvaner, along with sparkling wines.
2- North East and Tamar Valley wine region
Tasmania’s wine bastion, the island’s largest wine region is home to over 20 wineries.
From Launceston, follow the iconic looped wine route from Launceston northward to Rowella with the fertile banks of the Tamar River in view nearly the entire way then head eastward to Pipers River and veer south to Relbia.
The entire 145km route can be done in two hours but we recommend making winery stops along the way.
In Rowella, Holm Oak Vineyards dubbed Tasmania’s best kept secret is the idea of a husband and wife team, Rebecca and Tim Duffy.
The sprawling estate sits on the former oak grove of the acclaimed Alexander Patent Racquet Company known for manufacturing the ‘wizard’ racquet used by Australia’s tennis champion Jack Crawford who won Wimbledon in 1933.
The oak trees are long gone but spot some vintages named in homage to its tennis racquet roots.
The wine cellar is known for its icy cool wines and popular Pinots.
3- North West Wine Route
Some of Tasmania’s prettiest towns sit on this coastal edge and so do a bumper crop of wineries.
The wee town of Devonport makes a good launch pad for this coastal wine tour.
Only 15-minutes from Devonport be sure to stop at the Barringwood Estate.
This gorgeous vineyard lies on a dramatic steep north facing slope overlooking the lush Don Valley toward the ever changing Bass Strait.
Ask about their Pinots and chardonnays.
4- East Coast Wine Route
Between Orford and St. Helens off Tasmania’s rugged east coast is a picture-perfect world of wineries.
You’ll want to wear your sunglasses though when sightseeing as the region boasts more sunny days than any other part of Tasmania.
As you drive by the stunning vistas in the area, make time to explore the fabled wineries.
Considered the first commercial winery on the east coast, Freycinet Vineyard is a family-owned winery that has been producing wines since the 1980s.
Wine critic James Halliday says this popular wine stop is rated by visitors to Tasmania as one of the very best wineries on the island.
Note vineyard tours are available by appointment only.
And in Cranbrook, Spring Vale is pouring out some classics like Pinots, chardonnays and sauvignon blancs.
The small family run winery has some unique history too.
The winery has an original convict built stable which is now the cellar door that is often used as the backdrop for wine tastings.
5- Southern Wine Route
You don’t have to go far for wine samplings. Once you arrive in Hobart, you’ll discover vineyards are nearby.
Only 15km from Tasmania’s capital visit Coal Valley Vineyard, a five-hectare family run winery that overlooks the Coal River estuary, is renowned for its superior wines.
Then later head south to the sleepy little island settlement of Lunawanna on Bruny Island and make a stop at Bruny Island Wines.
You have just reached Australia’s southernmost vineyard.
Take a winery tour and don’t forget to try the wine tastings big on Pinot Noir and chardonnay.
No matter which way you swirl your glass, whether you’re saying “Bottoms up” or “Down the hatch” or that good old fashioned word, “Cheers” the wine-tasting experience is like no other in Tasmania.
Regarded as the home of the world’s best sparkling wines outside only Champagne itself, there’s no wine region less crowded yet more picturesque in the whole of Australia.
Tasmania’s North East has some of the best wineries Tasmania has to offer.
What’s more, Tasmanian sparkling wine and Tasmanian Pinot Noir are some of the best in the world.
So, if you’re planning on heading south, here are five wineries to put on your list.
5 Best Wineries Tasmania – North East
By Craig Tansley
1- Bay Of Fires Wines
Could you find a prettier tasting room in Australia?
This Tasmanian winery has floor-to-ceiling windows that look out across mountains of native forest and 20 hectares of rolling vineyards.
But that’s just the site – the wine coming out of it keeps winning awards all over the world, especially the Arras premium sparkling wines, which recently won a Gold Medal at the London International Wine Show and have long been regarded as amongst Australia’s finest sparkling wines.
Bay of Fires Wines is at 40 Baxters Rd, Pipers River, 03 6382 7622.
2- Pipers Brook Vineyard
Pipers Brook may well be Tasmania’s second-biggest producer of wine (and it was the first winery in the region), but the drive in feels like you’re lost in the bush completely.
If you’re in the area at night, it’s a good spot to look up into the sky for the Tasmania Aurora.
You’ll drive up a long dirt trail slowing for passing geese, getting glimpses of the ocean as you pass through hillside after hillside of ripening grapes before arriving at a medieval French-style winery.
Pipers Brook Vineyards’ Pinot Noirs are amongst the world’s best but equally impressive are the vineyard’s sparkling wines, the cream of which is the premium Kreglinger label – the only wine in the Southern Hemisphere to carry its own royal seal.
Pipers Brook is at 1216 Pipers Brook Rd, Pipers Brook, 03 6382 7527.
3- Jansz Tasmania
Located right next door to Pipers Brook Vineyard, visiting Jansz couldn’t be easier (they don’t call this little corner of Tasmania “Sparkling Tasmania” without good reason).
Long regarded as one of the world’s finest sparkling wine producers, there are none of the pretences you’d expect with this kind of reputation (of which you’ll find in Champagne!).
In fact, the atmosphere at Jansz Tasmania couldn’t be more different entirely – the emphasis is on casual here, with the tasting room located within a cosy old farmhouse surrounded by grapes and looking out over a private lake.
Jansz Tasmania is at 1216B Pipers Brook Rd, Pipers Brook, 03 6382 7066.
4- Dalrymple Vineyards
Located less than a kilometre from Jansz and Pipers Brook Vineyard you’ll soon see why visiting the Pipers River wine region is so easy… and rewarding.
This smaller vineyard is a real beauty queen – with views across tea trees, gums and rows of grapes to the Bass Strait in the distance from the winery’s cellar door and outside picnic area.
Dalrymple’s Pinot Noirs are world-class, but equally cherished are the estate’s Sauvignon Blancs and Chardonnays.
Dalrymple is at 1337 Pipers Brook Rd, Pipers Brook, 03 6382 7229
5- Delamere Vineyard
Nothing captures the rustic magic of Pipers River more than this pretty-as-a-picture vineyard – one of Tasmania’s longest running family owned and operated wineries.
From the moment you arrive down a winding bush track to the estate’s picturesque cellar door and Chilli the dog welcomes you, you’ll know you’ve arrived in a special part of Tasmania.
But there’s nothing cute about the wines here – Delamere Vineyard’s sparklings, Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays are amongst the country’s finest.
It’s also located very close to all wineries listed above.
Delamere Vineyard is at 4238 Bridport Rd, Pipers Brook, 03 6382 7190.
Wineries in Tasmania – Tamar Valley
By Karen Halabi
One of the best day trips from Launceston is a visit to Josef Chromy Winery. Driving into the pebbled entrance to Josef Chromy, the picturesque view over the vineyard and lake is reminiscent of being in Europe, but at the same time so very Tasmanian.
The Josef Chromy Cellar Door is located in the estate’s original 1880s homestead, surrounded by lovely gardens. Some say it’s one of the most picturesque wineries in Tasmania.
Inside, there’s an open log fire, where you can sip fine Tasmanian wine and enjoy views of the vineyards and lakes.
The fork-tailed lion that embellishes the Josef Chromy Tasmania wine label is similar to the coat of arms of the Kingdom of Bohemia in the 12th Century.
Bohemia, as you may or may not know, is, or rather was, part of former Czechoslovakia, which split into to nations, the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
In 1950, Josef escaped from his war-torn Czech village, fleeing across borders. He managed to avoid minefields, sniffer dogs and soldiers.
Finally, he immigrated to Australia., where over the next 40 years he used his skills as a butcher and small goods producer to build Blue Ribbon Meat Products into one of Tasmania’s leading brands.
The company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in 1993.
The money he made gave Chromy the opportunity to invest in Tasmania’s fledgling wine industry.
He went on to own develop some of Tasmania’s leading wineries, including Rochecombe (now Bay of Fires), Jansz, Heemskerk and Tamar Ridge.
At 76, when most people would be well and truly retired, Chromy decided to launch Josef Chromy Wines.
Since the birth of the brand in 2007, Josef Chromy Wines has won 14 trophies and 170 medals. It’s one of the most successful labels in Australia.
The Josef Chromy cellar door, vineyard and winery at Relbia, is a fifteen-minute drive south of Launceston.
It’s set in a picturesque 61ha vineyard and has a state-of-the-art winery that produces wine – such as Josef Chromy pinot gris, Josef Chromy sauvignon blanc, Josef Chromy chardonnay, Josef Chromy Riesling and Josef Chromy pinot noir – made from cool climate fruit.
These days, Chief Winemaker Jeremy Dineen is in charge of making wine.
There are three labels: the limited edition Zdar range, reserved for ‘exceptional’ parcels of fine wine; Josef Cromy; and Pepik, the more casual wines for everyday drinking.
You can enjoy a light lunch, gourmet platter or one of the chef’s seasonal specialties.
The food and wine are outstanding, particularly the tasting plates which are matched with particular wines, some of them award-winning.
A stunning new restaurant and function centre that overlooks the picturesque lake and vineyard has recently opened and the restaurant that was formerly located in the cottage has relocated there.