This weekend, vineyards in the south and east of the island had an “open weekend”.
Within a two hour drive from Hobart, 50 wineries opened their cellar doors for free wine tasting and sales.
The vineyards varied, large, small, old, new. Some had food available, lunch options, cheeseboards, wood fired pizzas and live music.
We visited five vineyards over the weekend and enjoyed all the wine samples on offer. We chatted to staff and other visitors. Many cellar doors are set in wonderful locations with stunning views.
“Devil’s Corner” is one of the larger vineyards with 160 hectares of vines. They overlook Great Oyster Bay and The Hazards mountain range in Freycinet National Park. A new Cellar Door complex has been designed from old shipping containers covered in wooden palings, including a unique viewing tower.
“Freycinet” vineyard is tucked in a valley and produces beer and olive oil as well as wine.
“Milton” has an idyllic view overlooking a lake and 11 hectares of vines.
“Wobbly Boot” is a small boutique vineyard, growing two varieties of grapes on just a couple of hectares. They send their harvest to a winemaker and produce only one red and one white wine. There cellar door is an old residential property with views down the Coal River Valley.
The owner was happy to give us a tour, explaining that the netting protects the ripening fruit from birds, mainly flocks of starlings, but also from possums and wallabies. The current drought conditions is impacting wildlife as well as food producers. Wildlife is wandering closer to properties to find food and water. The river that boarders the vineyard has dried up for the first time in living memory. The vines are irrigated so the fruit look good for harvesting in a few weeks time.
The fifth vineyard will be the subject for my “Thursday Doors” post later in the week.
Australia has a $40 billion wine industry and is the world’s fourth largest wine exporter.
Tasmania produces cool climate wines such as Pinot Noir, sparkling wines, Riesling, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Gris.
Tasmanian wine is just 0.5% of the nations total, but has a reputation for high quality wine. In 2014 all of Tasmania’s wine sold at over $15 per bottle, compared to only 7% of the total of Australian wine.