Food Blog, Travel, Wine, Wine Regions

Tamar Valley, Northern Tasmania (Self-guided Wine Tasting Tour)

Wine Tasting in Northern Tasmania


Research on Best Wineries to Visit in Tasmania

After much reading I have shortlisted a few wineries to visit in Tamar Valley. According to Halliday Wine Companion, the 5 Star Wineries that are best of the best in Tasmania are:

  • Bay of Fires | House of Arras
  • Tamar Ridge  | Pirie
  • Freycinet
  • Domaine A
  • Stefano Lubiana

Bay of Fires and Tamar Ridge are both near Launceston, the rest are at East Coast and Hobart (south Tasmania).

Get this booklet (FREE) from any Tourist & Information Counter or Tasmania Airport. A very helpful booklet about Tasmanian Wineries.

“James halliday’s Wine Companion”  – show list of wineries ratings in Australia.

Wineries Visited in Tamar Valley

(Driving from Launceston), the wineries that we visited at northern Tasmania are:

  • Pipers Brook Vineyard (also available: Kreglinger Sparkling)
  • Bay of Fires Cellar Door (House of Arras sparkling)
  • Tamar Ridge Cellar Door (also available: Pirie Sparkling/ Devil’s Corner wines)
  • Josef Chromy Wines (3 labels: Pepik, Josef Chromy and Zdar)

Most wineries close at 5pm daily so plan your timing right if you are visiting a few. Some of them have Award wining restaurants so it’s good to book in advance for lunch if you are visiting.


Winery 1: Pipers Brook Vineyard

★★★★★

1216 Pipers Brook Road, Pipers Brook 7254.

Cellar door and cafe: 10am-5pm

Pipers Brook Vineyard – Established in 1974. Producing pretty good cool climate white wine Riesling, Gewurtztraminer, and Kreglinger Sparkling Wine.

Region: Northern Tasmania

Labels:  Sparkling Wine Kreglinger, Pipers Brook Estate, Ninth Island.

Must Taste:

  • Estate Riesling 2014
  • Estate Gewurtztraminer 2014
  • Estate Pinot Noir 2012
  • Kreglinger Vintage Brut Rose 2014

My note:Pipers Brook is located next to another Sparkling producer Janz, if you have time definitely should check Janz out as well. Quite a long drive off the road to reach Pipers Brook Vineyard itself but it’s well-worth it. Beautiful scenery on the way in.

The cellar door is as seen on Pipers Brook logo, established in 1974. There are few labels under their name. Other than the famous Kreglinger, there are Pipers Brook as well as the more entry level Ninth Island.

There are different tiers of tasting ranging from $7 per tasting flight. Tasting fees will be waived if you purchase a bottle. There is a small cafe there as well.

scenery speaks for itself
Kreglinger Sparkling, Pipers Brooke and Ninth Island


Winery 2: Bay of Fires Winery/ House of Arras

★★★★★

40 Baxters Road, Pipers River 7252 ⎮Open 11am-4pm ⎮Tasting Platters available.

Region: Northern Tasmania

Must try: Bay of Fires Pinot Noir, all of the House of Arras Sparkling, Tasmanian Tasting Platter with Wallaby chorizo

Bay of Fires – Pinot Noir (won Best Pinot Noir at the Adelaide Wine Show 14)

This humble looking Bay of Fires Winery is home to the House of Arras, one of Australia’s world class sparkling. It has won multiple awards and producing high-quality Tasmanian sparkling wines that are akin to that of Bollinger RD and Krug. Their sparkling spend on lees from 3 to 10 years prior to disgorgement.

FOOD: We stopped at Bay of Fires Winery to have our lunch there. Really enjoyed it. Tasmanian Tasting Platter for 2 ($40) is perfect for this summer Brunch. 2 Tasmanian cheese, Smoked Quail, Wallaby Chorizo  (hopefully not from one of the road-killed, lol), Chicken Pate, Marinated Artichokes, Artisan bread and Tassie Pepper Berry Relish.

My Note: Wonderful afternoon at Bay of Fires Winery Amazing wines and cosy sitting area for brunch. Highly recommended.


Winery 3: Tamar Ridge & Pirie Tasmania

★★★★★

 1a  Waldhorn Drive ⎮ Cellar Door 10am-5pm ⎮ Platters available all day.

Region: Northern Tasmania

Must Try: Pirie NV Sparkling, Tamar Ridge Pinot Noir, Devil’s Corner Chardonnay

Buy: Get a few bottles of older vintages of Pinot Noir if you like something different. (We bought a bottle of Tamar Ridge Pinot Noir 2003 for $50, not bad for an older vintage ex-cellar release).

Beautiful cellar door of Tamar Ridge with spectacular views of the Tamar Valley and mountains.

My note: Beautiful cellar door at Tamar Ridge Cellar door. Very impressed with Pirie NV and Devil’s corner Revolution Chardonnay. Nice to be able to get older vintages of Tasmanian Tamar Ridge Pinot Noir as well.


Winery 4: Josef Chromy Wines

★★★★★

370 Relbia Road ⎮ Cellar Door 10am-5pm ⎮ Award winning restaurant Booking needed *

Region: Northern Tasmania (15 minutes south of Launceston, 10 min from Launceston Airport)

Must Try: Lunch at Josef Chromy’s Restaurant 4 course $75/pp (very popular, remember to make reservation in advance), ZDAR Chardonnay and Riesling, Josef Chromy Chardonnay.

 

Josef Chromy Restaurant – Highly recommended. Booking in advanced is needed.

Josef Chromy Restaurant – Tasmania’s best food and wine experience.

Josef Chromy Wines Cellar Door

Beautiful gardens of Josef Chromy looking over picturesque lake to vineyard and winery. You can also book for a unique Go Behind The Label winery tour.

My note: Amazing lunch at Josef Chromy, can be quite crowded as it is one of the popular spot in town. Very established winery can be somewhat commercial comparing to the previous 3 wineries that visited. But definitely worth visiting.


Summary

1. Wine Map: Attached a copy of Launceston wine map. Most of the wineries are located at the north of Launceston. Except 3 of them like Josef Chromy are at the south of Launceston.

2. Flying in: Jetstar always has some great promo flying in from Melbourne to Launceston in a very good price. Our flight ticket was less than $200/pax 2 ways

3. Tasmanian Wine Style: mild summer and long autumn in Tasmania creates very elegant cool climate wines such as Pinot Noir, sparkling wines, Riesling, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc. Especially Pinot Noir and Sparkling wines do particularly well here at this region.

4. Terroir of Tasmania: dolerite-capped mountains that shelter the wine regions from high winds and rainfall. On the lower slopes, the vineyard soils are formed from ancient sandstones and mudstones and also from more recent river sediments and igneous rocks of volcanic origin.

5. Climate of Tasmania: moderate maritime climate. Mild spring and summer, warm autumn days and cool nights. Tamar Valley in Northern Tasmania also influenced by Tamar River that moderate the weather in the region

6. Latitude of Tasmania: 41-42 degrees south

7. The majority of Tasmania’s grapes are grown in:

  • the Tamar Valley wine growing area, which produces approximately 40%
  • the East Coast wine growing area, which produces approximately 20%
  • the North East (Pipers River) wine growing area, which produces approximately 19%
  • the Coal River Valley wine growing area, which produces approximately 13%
  • The remaining wine growing areas, including the Derwent Valley, North West and the Huon/Channel, contributed approximately 9% to the total harvest in 2013.

For more information please check out Wine Tasmania Official Website, click here.


That’s it for my first official wine post!

Took me sometime (Long time actually) to organise all the information I have. Tasmania is definitely one of the region to look out for in the world of wines.

Cheers! Till the next post!

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