Wine Tasting Trip at Tasmania – Tamar Valley

Wine Tasting in Tamar valley

Hello there, if you are reading this post, meaning you’re quite into wine to some extent! Welcome to the club!

Admit it, as a wine drinker I’m sure you had Australian wines before. It is one of the top wine producing country in the world and its style and price are mostly friendly and yet easily accessible from most cities around the world.

The general impression of Australia wines is those big bold Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon blend, and the oaky Chardonnay. Those are mostly produced from the warmer regions of Australia such as Hunter Valley (2 hours from Sydney), South Australia like Barossa Valley etc.  But if you have a taste for Burgundian wine and like something lighter and more elegant in style, you should look south to Tasmania!

Tasmania is a big island just south of Australia mainland. It is quite isolated and wild. The weather is much cooler than the mainland and it produces one of the world BEST sparkling wines and some seriously good cool climate wines such as Pinot Noir, Riesling, Chardonnay etc.

Tasmania world map where is tasmania in the world
There it is, very south of the world, below Australia’s main island

Quick Facts on Tasmanian Wine 

1. Wine Style

Elegant, cool climate style red, white, and sparkling wines.

2. Grape Varieties
  • Pinot Noir – 44% (used for both table and sparkling wine)
  • Chardonnay – 23% (used for both table and sparkling wine)
  • Sauvignon Blanc – 12%
  • Pinot Gris – 11%
  • Riesling – 5%
  • Other varieties include Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Gewürztraminer.
3. Terroir (Geeky info, skip this if you are not that into soil… )

Dolerite-capped mountains (Dolerite = a kind of subvolcanic rock) 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.

4. Climate

Moderate maritime climate.

5. Latitude of Tasmania:

41-42 degrees south

6. Main wine regions of Tasmania (North to South)
  • Tamar Valley (Northen Tasmania)
  • Pipers River (North East Tasmania)
  • East Coast 
  • Coal River Valley (East of Hobart)
  • Derwent Valley (Northwest of Hobart)
  • Northwest
  • Huon/Channel

Tasmania 3 wine regions map tamar valley, derwent valley

 

Wineries we visited in Tamar Valley, Tasmania

  • Pipers Brook Vineyard
  • House of Arras
  • Tamar Ridge
  • Josef Chromy Wines

Most wineries close at 5 pm daily so plan your timing right if you are visiting a few. Some of them have very good restaurants (ie: Josef Chromy) so it’s good to book in advance for lunch (especially weekends) if you are visiting.

Tip: You can get this free booklet in any Tourist & Information Counter or Tasmania Airport. All the info you need for Tasmanian wine.

Tasmania's Wine Trails 2017 booklet

“James Halliday’s Wine Companion”  – useful guide if you happen to have a copy

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.Labels:  Kreglinge Sparkling, Pipers Brook Estate, Ninth Island.

Wines to try:

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

My personal note: Pipers Brook is located next to another Sparkling producer Janz, if you have time definitely should check out Janz as well to try out their sparkling wines! (Delicious!)

The winery is as seen as Pipers Brook’s logo, established in 1974. 

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.

Beautiful view of the way to Pipers Brooke.


Winery 2:  House of Arras/ Bay of Fires Winery

★★★★★

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

House of Arras has one of the best sparkling wine in Australia, but yet it has such humble looking cellar door.

Wines to try: Bay of Fires Pinot Noir, House of Arras sparkling wine

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

House of Arras wine tasting at tasmaniaHouse of Arras has won multiple awards and producing high-quality Tasmanian sparkling wines that are akin to that of Bollinger RD and Krug. The sparkling wines spend on lees from 3 to 10 years prior to disgorgement.

FOOD:

We had our lunch at House of Arras and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a not so crowded weekday, and the summer weather was lovely!

Tasmanian Tasting Platter for 2 ($40) – 2 kinds of Tasmanian cheese, smoked quail, wallaby chorizo (Wallaby = a native Australian animal that looks like a kangaroo, but smaller), chicken pate, marinated artichokes, artisan bread and Tassie pepper berry relish. Delicious!

 Highly recommended.


Winery 3: Tamar Ridge & Pirie  ★★★★★

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

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 (14-year-old bottle) for $50, not bad for an older vintage ex-cellar release).

Devil’s Corner’s wines are available for tasting as well here at Tamar Ridge cellar door because they are all owned by Brown Brothers Group.

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 *

Must Try:

Lunch at Josef Chromy’s Restaurant (4 courses $75/per person)

Josef Chromy is a very, very popular restaurant for lunch! Remember to make a reservation in advance.

Josef Chromy Tasmania lunch

Restaurant – food was really good!

food at josef chromy tasmania

Josef Chromy Wines Cellar Door - looking from the outside
Josef Chromy Wines Cellar Door – looking from the outside

Amazing view from Josef Chromy cellar door

Overlooking the picturesque lake beside the vineyard of Josef Chromy. You can also book for a unique Go Behind The Label winery tour.

My note: Very established winery can be somewhat commercial comparing to the previous 3 wineries that we visited. But definitely worth visiting for the quality wines and lunch!


Summary

1. Wine Map of Tamar Valley

Most of the wineries are located at the north part of Launceston. Josef Chromy is at the south of Launceston near to the airport.

Wine Map of Tamar Valley, Tasmania Wine Region

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

 

Thank you for reading this post!
Are you a fan of Tasmanian wines? 
Which are your favourite Tasmania wine producers?
Comment below! 

 

Reference:

 

 

 

Read my other wine region trips:

Wine Tasting Trip at Tasmania – Tamar Valley
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