Shake off those winter blues with a visit to one of Australia's best wine-growing regions. Spring is the perfect time to visit Tasmania; be sure to add these wineries with a difference to your itinerary.
Devil's Corner Cellar Door & Lookout
At the Devil's Corner Cellar Door on Tassie's east coast, it's hard to know where to look first. The cellar door, with its sculptural form and its rustic materials – think metal and textured local timber – is one of Tasmania's most striking pieces of contemporary architecture. Equally eye-catching, however, is the natural setting, on the edge of a tranquil lagoon with views across the Hazards and Freycinet Peninsula. Either way, this is not a visit to be rushed. Order up a plate of fresh-from-the-sea oysters or a wood-fired pizza to accompany one of Devil's Corner's award-winning wines: perhaps a delicate pinot grigio or the full-bodied Mt Amos pinot noir.
Stefano Lubiana Wines
Stefano Lubiana has winemaking in his blood. This fifth-generation winemaker has been in business for a quarter of a century and is dedicated to doing things the old-fashioned way, including growing grapes biodynamically and using wild yeast. His small-batch wines made in the Derwent Valley include acclaimed sparkling wines, rieslings and merlot, but what he is best known for is his polished pinot noirs. Time your visit to this simple cellar door for the middle of the day so you try some of the restaurant's Italian farmhouse style dishes, all made with organic produce grown on site. The honey is harvested from local bees, the meats are all free range, and the breads are baked in the restaurant's wood-fired oven. Even the coffee beans are certified organic.
Ghost Rock Vineyard
If you are passionate about good food and wine, then Justin Arnold and his partner, Alicia Peardon, are your kind of people. The young couple run Ghost Rock Vineyard and Cellar Door near Devonport, which celebrates gastronomic delights of all kinds. Naturally visitors have the opportunity to try some of Ghost Rock's award-winning wines – top picks include their pinot gris, pinot rose, riesling and the Catherine Sparkling – but food gets equal billing at their dedicated gourmet hub, Hundred Acres. Sign up for one of their hands-on cooking classes or perhaps a half-day workshop, which includes the opportunity to get out into the vineyard and learn more about winemaking along with a cooking session.
Moores Hill Estate
The Tamar Valley offers the sort of tranquil countryside that Tasmania does so well: think neat orchards and well-kept pastures interspersed with verdant forests and vineyards. This is one of Tasmania's most acclaimed wine regions, home to plenty of high-profile wineries. Moores Hill Estate can boast something that none of its neighbours can: it is the island's first winery powered entirely by solar energy. That means its rieslings and pinot noirs are not just delicious; they are also good for the planet. After something to nibble on while you sample the wares? The winery serves up platters showcasing local cheeses, meats and seafood. If you are visiting in winter, treat yourself to a truffled cheese toastie made with local truffles.
Bay of Fires Wines
The Bay of Fires Winery is nestled in lush towering woodlands along the banks of the gentle Pipers River. Photo: Kevin O'Daly
Some people come to Bay of Fires for the beaches, and it's not hard to see why: the bay is lined with perfect sweeps of pristine white sand, fringed by native bushlands. For others, however, it's all about the wine, specifically Bay of Fires Wines. This powerhouse winery produces a broad range of delicious drops, but is perhaps most famous for its sparkling wines. If you love a burst of bubbles in your glass, there is plenty to choose from. Try something from the Arras range, maker of Australia's most awarded sparkling wines; perhaps the almondy blanc de blancs, a sophisticated sparkling rosé, and a rich late disgorged chardonnay pinot noir.
Lying just 30 minutes outside Hobart, historic Richmond is hands down one of Tasmania's prettiest town. Its outstanding collection of Georgian architecture dates back almost 200 years and every structure has a story to tell, from the convict-built bridge to the historic gaol. Wine aficionados will want to make a beeline for one particular sandstone property on the edge of town, which is the headquarters of Pooley Wines. In addition to its historic setting, his third-generation family-run winery has an impressive array of wines; its rieslings and pinot noirs in particular have garnered many awards.
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