Tasmania is building a fierce reputation for its locally handcrafted gin. Visit the distilleries to meet the makers and learn about the botanicals used across the island. The beautiful, historic sandstone buildings of Shene Estate & Distillery at Pontville near Hobart are also home to the multi-award-winning Poltergeist Gin. McHenry’s in Port Arthur will help you craft your own blend under the guidance of master distiller, William McHenry. In the north-west, Southern Wild are foraging and blending local botanicals to create Dasher and Fisher gin. Nonesuch Distillery and The Splendid are also making waves with their small-batch premium dry and sloe gins. Served over ice or expertly blended in a cocktail, there is a gin that’s just right for you in Tasmania.
You could spend your entire break exploring Tasmania’s various wine regions and trails. Whether your preferred drop is a glass of bubbles, pinot noir or riesling, you’ll be spoilt for choice. If your base is Launceston, then good news is you are in the Tamar Valley. You don’t need to travel far to taste some of the world’s best sparkling and wine. Don’t miss Josef Chromy, Janz or Relbia Estate or opt for a Tamar Valley Wine Tour and sample a few.
In the north-west, pioneering wineries Ghost Rock and Barringwood are just a couple of many, worthy of a stop. Heading down the east coast you’ll find Spring Vale, Milton and Devil’s Corner along with a variety of celebrated wineries. And just outside of Hobart is the Coal River Valley, a region with countless scenic spots to enjoy a tasting, like Frogmore Creek and Pooley. Find out more at discovertasmania.com.au.
A local dram
Move over Scotland, with an abundance of pure ingredients and innovative distilling techniques Tasmania is taking the lead in making some of the world’s best whisky. The revival of the island’s whisky industry began with Lark Distillery, and the liquid gold has flowed through the island. Be sure to enjoy a dram at the cellar doors of Sullivans Cove, Spring Bay, Old Kempton Distillery and Hellyers Road – just a few of the distilleries you can visit on the Tasmanian whisky trail.
Welcome to the Apple Isle
Tasmania is called the ‘Apple Isle’ for a good reason. Once the world’s major apple producer, today innovative locals are turning heirloom apples into crisp apple cider. Drop into cider houses Frank’s and Willie Smith’s in the Huon Valley – sample their cider and try Willie Smith’s famed apple pie. At Brady’s Lookout Cider Chris Brown is making ‘methode traditionelle’ (sparkling cider). Have a taste and ask Chris about his distant relative Samuel Marsden, he was the first to make cider in Australia in the early 1800s. Or make a day of it and hit the cider trail.
Beer lovers rejoice
Tasmania has a long history of brewing beer, but in the last decade, a growing number of smaller craft breweries have made a name for themselves. Learn where brewing in Tasmania began at historic Cascade or Boag’s on a brewery tour, or discover new craft brews at Little Rivers in the north-east, Iron House on the east coast or Two Metre Tall in the Derwent Valley. You can also drop into the Hobart Brewing Co for a tasting right in the heart of the Hobart or head out on the beer trail.
Drinks for those who don’t
Not all Tasmanian thirst quenchers contain alcohol, and there is a wide range of drinks for those who prefer to teetotal or are looking for a tasty spacer. Like some spice in your drink? Tasmanian Chilli Beer Co. has a range of handcrafted alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks with a twist. Henry’s Ginger Beer and Ashbolt’s Sparkling Elderflower are refreshing locally made drinks. If kombucha is more your thing, keep an eye out for Hobart Beverage Co, which also does a range of refreshing drinks all made from local ingredients. You can also get Wagtails Kombucha on tap at Boodle Beasley in North Hobart or at Preachers Pub, located just behind Salamanca.
Tasmanian Festivals and Feasts
Looking to roll your tasting into one easy session? Tasmania has many regular tasty events where the island’s producers bring their fare to you. There’s Taste the Harvest in Devonport, the King Island Long Table Festival, Taste of the Huon south of Hobart, Festivale in Launceston, now one of the island’s largest epicurean events, and Gin-uary in Hobart an event that brings the island’s bespoke and fragrant gins all under one roof. Or, you can sample the region’s most exceptional food and drink at weekly farm gate markets all over the island. There’s always something to taste in Tasmania.