Hobart and surrounds
So you like wine? We have some outstanding blends here. Let’s start by heading straight to Mona. Take the boat there and back. Make your way to cattle class and sit on a sheep if you must – saves dollars for wine time. Wander the museum for a few hours, then enjoy a pinot deep below in the Void bar. Don’t spend too much time down there, the Ether Building awaits. This is where they encourage you to “quaff Moorilla wine.” There’s a long winemaking history on this little peninsula that’s worth finding out about.
Spend the entire day at Mona and be the envy of your friends by dining in Mona’s new restaurant Faro. It’s in the Pharos Wing (don’t ask!). Or time your trip to collide with the Golden Hour – it’s communal dining on a rooftop. Don’t worry, they heat the outdoor concrete seats.
Today, explore the Coal River Valley. Start your morning with a triple cream brie. Why not? The family-run Wicked Cheese Company won’t tell a soul. Also drop into the Coal Valley Farm for another round of handmade cheese. There’s chocolate too!
If you like jazz, Frogmore Creek is the go. They call it Wintermore and it’s all about live music on Friday nights around an open fire. It’s held until August and begins with a fine Tassie drop on arrival and a chef-led menu.
Riversdale Estate has a superb French Restaurant that’s sure to provide a warm and unforgettable experience. If you fancy staying the night, there are seven self-contained French provincial cottages offering spectacular views and a deep claw foot bath to sink into.
Coal Valley - second day
A little further up the road is Puddleduck, a family-owned vineyard complete with a pet duck named Lucky. During winter, ice hangs off the vines but this doesn’t stop family members getting out there to work. Eight out of the 12 staff are family. Their 2017 pinot has a curiously sweet black cherry, dark chocolate, earthy feel to it. You must…you simply must indulge.
Next, drop into Pooley Wines. This elegant vineyard high on the hill looks down over Richmond. It has a three-generation history worth asking about over an award-winning drop.
There’s 5,000 vines at Darlington Vineyard – that’s quite a few. The vineyard is just 1 km from Prosser Bay. Don’t leave Orford without dropping in. Spend the day admiring their vines then walk the beach like the locals do. There are good reasons that many Hobartians have holiday shacks up this way.
You’ll see Freycinet Vineyard before you pull over. Geoff and Susan planted their first vines in ’79 and in doing so, were the first commercial winery on the east coast. Many more have followed since. There’s Milton, Spring Vale (which also has a brilliant and rather Splendid Gin), along with Gala Estate and Craigie Knowe, the oldest vineyard on the east coast.
Next stop – Devil’s Corner. Here you can climb up the architectural ‘look out’ and take your first elevated peek across Tassie’s stunning east coast. Back down the stairs there’s Patricia Cabernet Sauvignon to enjoy along with Tombolo Café’s wood-fired pizza.
Just 15 minutes from Launceston, Josef Chromy is worth a visit. Winter there is a dream. Dine looking over the lake and lush rolling hills. You might also choose to head up to Pipers Brook and call in at Jansz for some bubbles, or stay in Launceston for a night and make the most of one of Australia’s oldest cities.
If you’d prefer to base yourself in the beautiful Tamar Valley, Wines for Joanie in Sidmouth is an ideal winter retreat. The 1940s restored cosy cottage has gorgeous rural views, a crackling fire and of course, excellent wine.
If you’ve still got a few glasses in you, go to Moores Hill. They’re the first off-grid vineyard around here and they also have a pup named Otto you must meet. There’s also a fireplace so you can stay huddled up with your red.
There’s so much more if you’re curious. There are more than 30 cellar doors spread over the Tamar Valley which is why it’s considered one of the Top 10 wine routes in the world. If you’d like someone else to do the hard work for you, why not do a wine tour so you can sit back, enjoy the view and stop and smell the… wine.