Wine and beer in Tasmania
Tasmania is perfect for the production of cool-climate wines. © Tourism Tasmania and Richard Eastwood
Producers have distinct advantages in creating quality wines in Tasmania because of the climate and geography of the island.
Optimum growing conditions exist where there are long, mild summers with cool temperatures that come about not so much from high altitude as from latitude.
Tasmania also has plenty of sunshine and low rainfall, which is ideal, in the eastern half of the island where most of the vineyards are situated. Even in summer, Tasmania’s temperatures remain in the twenties celcius. It stays like that for seven months of the growing period, allowing the wines to take on a mellow, slow-matured flavour.
The Tasmanian wine industry, which formed in earnest in the 1970s and grew rapidly in the 1980s, is a boutique industry with the focus on handcrafted wines. In the 1990s many in the industry began to embrace wine tourism with a number of wineries providing accommodation and sponsoring cultural events. Some wineries in Tasmania established restaurants alongside their cellar doors, further enhancing the island’s reputation for great cuisine.
Tasmanian winemakers have adopted world-class quality standards and the latest technology. They have combined these with traditional winemaking skills. The result has been numerous international awards for Tasmanian wines.
Tasmania has about 250 vineyards. Most producers are small, often family-owned ventures.
Many cellar doors in the vineyards have a homely, intimate feel, but there are also some large, well-established producers with impressive facilities.
The vineyards are clustered in eight different areas of Tasmania, each with its own distinctive characteristics and micro-climate. The following links give maps and information on each region and on several of the vineyards:
DID YOU KNOW?
Tasmania is as far from the equator as is the famous French wine-producing area of Bordeaux.
premium beers in tasmania
Tasmanian breweries have won international awards for their premium beers.
cascade brewery in Hobart is Australia’s oldest brewery. Their Premium Lager, named Top Premium Beer in Australia, is one of the most awarded beers in the country.
j boag & son in Launceston has won many awards including gold medal in the 2005 International Monde Selection.
whisky distilling in tasmania
There are three small whisky distilleries in Tasmania and another two are coming on line in 2007.
Jim Murray, one of the world’s foremost authorities on whisky, lavished praise on the six-year-old Sullivans Cove Bourbon Cask produced by the Tasmania Distillery at Cambridge. He called the whisky “sensational, truly beautiful and brilliant.”
tasmanian wine trail
For those who appreciate wine, Tasmania offers something special. In a relatively small area you can enjoy many varieties by following one of the established wine trails. See the tasmanian wine route website for details.