Although Tasmania is considered by some wine writers as a single wine region, the North and South are actually very different experiences. The South is famous for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling (with a large helping of quality Iced Riesling offerings as well as, more recently, Pinot Gris). By contrast, the North of Tasmania (and, perhaps a bit more specifically, West of the Tamar) is where you will find some of the best sparkling wine in the world (and yes, we include France and Italy in “the world”).
Places to not be missed: Our personal favorites are Piper’s Brook and House of Arras (pictured above).
At House of Arras, our highest score went to one of the (relatively) cheaper wines, the Blanc de Blancs which was around half the price of their flagship, EJ Carr Late Disgorged although to be totally fair, we loved that too and have consumed many a bottle!
At Piper’s Brook, everything is exceptional (the site was chosen because the soil and climate best matched the Champagne region of France) and their lunch menu is equally delightful.
Other wineries worth a visit: Jansz, Ninth Island and Josef Chromy make absolutely wonderful wines and all are within a short drive of Launceston. If you are already visiting Piper’s Brook and House of Arras, Jansz is already on the route, so well worth stopping to check out.
A final thought: Tasmanian wines are not cheap compared to other regions in Australia but there are a lot of really interesting styles out there to sample, many of which do not make it into Australian retail shops so the only way to find them is to visit the cellar door – after this, most can be ordered online pretty easily.