Wine weekend in Tasmania

I have no issue with going away for a weekend where the sole purpose of the trip is to find and explore wineries. In this instance i decided to check out the Tasmanian wine region of the Tamar valley. This was mainly due to the fact that i was able to secure cheap seats on a Jet-star flight direct into Launceston. On this trip i was also joined by two other wine and food addicts Sheena and Kim.

We set off for our adventure early on Friday morning and shortly there after landed in the freezing cold climate of Launceston airport. Coffee in hand we headed to the rental car pick up and collected our beast, the Toyota hybrid Camry! Which all jokes aside was a really good car.

Heading into town we made our way around the CBD (if you can call it that!) and ended up going to the Cataract Gorge Reserve. Now this is listed as the number 1 thing to do in Launceston and i would totally agree with that! Thanks Trip Advisor.

Cataract Gorge, Tasmania
Cataract Gorge, Tasmania

After exploring the gorge we decided to go for a drive, Initially searching for lunch we ended up at one of the wineries, which considering we had a wine tour booked the next day didn’t seem like the best idea, but we soldiered on.

The first winery in question was Tamar Ridge owned and operated by Brown Brothers. This cellar door had a modern decor and a nice fresh look. Money had clearly spent here. We did the standard tasting of wine offered, which had a few stand outs namely being the Sav Blanc. Admittedly i do love Sav Blanc from most regions if you haven’t already noticed from this blog.

We then headed out the sun drenched balcony and ordered and devoured a cheese platter with a glass of wine each. The grounds and the view that this cellar door offers are amazing! Perched on the hill side you get a good view of the river and the surrounding countryside. Pictures speak for themselves!

Tamar Ridge Wines

IMG_3575

We spent the rest of the afternoon at the lake side Rosevears Tavern, sitting in the sun where we again sampled more of the local wine offerings. The tavern also had its own range of wines. We didn’t eat here but the tavern offered two dining options of which both looked decent. The venue also featured a vast outdoor area and open fire place. By this stage we (meaning me, the tipsy connoisseur) were very drunk except of course our driver Sheena!

Tasmania

After heading back to the hotel we had dinner (post to come) and called it a night. When i say we called it a night we did after being exhausted from the day’s strenuous activities how ever when push came to shove couldn’t sleep. Over the next few hours dance moves were taught (the sexy crawl) and laughs galore!

The next day came the actual wine tour, for this trip we selected a tour with Tamar Valley Winery Tours. Our host for the day was Gillian and in total there was us three and one other lady. Gillian was very knowledgeable on the local area and the emerging wine region. We went back to the Tamar Ridge cellar door which we had seen the day prior for some more tasting.

Over the course of the day we visited around  4 wineries, two of the standouts for me were Velo winery and Iron Pot Bay winery. Both family run business with very down to earth owners and great food and wine (of course).

At Velo we were greeted with a wine tasting of the range with the usual suspects on show. This winery seemed to have a lot of reds, and again as stated previously i’m not  huge fan of red wine but these ones were Ok. Special mention to Lochsley who conducted the tasting who for someone so young had a vast knowledge base on the wine selection.

For me the best part of Vello was the food, initially we were told by our host that we would be getting a platter to share. So we were thinking a platter would be some dip, cheese etc. WE WERE SO WRONG! this was the best platter i have ever seen and tasted. It captured many elements of the fresh produce which Tasmania is known for. I would definitely recommend visiting this winery for lunch with or without the tour.

The other stand out of the tour was the Iron Pot Bay winery and cellar door. On first appearance the cellar door is in fact a shed in a field surrounded by Vineyards. No fancy decor or restaurant. But the host and the product made up for all of that! Even the rain that had settled in by the time we arrived.

Upon arrival we were greeted by the owner and began the tasting, we tried all the wines and i loved every one of them! Even the normal varieties that i wouldn’t usual like, including the red and some of the whites. The story how the current owners came to be was the stuff of my dreams, her and her husband one day decided to buy a winery and develop the brand which they are currently in the process of doing. The winery has a long history and family background so is a perfect fit for the recently new owners and wine makers.

The tour with Tamar Valley Winery Tours cost $115 for the full day, this included lunch at Velo and tastings at the wineries we were able to visit. In my opinion it was very good value and again came down to our host making the day even better.

If you are still here at this point, then congratulations you have read through my ramblings on my trip  to Tasmania and the Tamar valley. I would highly recommended coming to this new and emerging wine region. No its not as big or popular as the Hunter but the people and surroundings make up for this over and over again. We did visit some amazing restaurants while in Tasmania but will feature these in separate posts.

In conclusion a tipsy time was had with way too much wine, cheese, chocolate and food! But you can never have too much of a good thing, most times!

Happy Wining and Dining. TCC.

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