Tasmania ... the perfect place to produce wine
OUR TASMANIAN WINES
Tasmania has about 250 vineyards. Most producers are small, often family-owned ventures, producing handcrafted wines. Wursthaus Kitchen has carefully selected from the best of these for our range of local wines.
Vineyards by region ...
HUON AND CHANNEL
Both the Huon Valley in Tasmania and the Bordeaux region in France lie at 43 degrees on the map of the world. Both have a maritime climate and the rainfall has a similar pattern.
Grape harvest in Tasmania’s south is between April and late May, around two weeks earlier than in the north. Some varieties such as Riesling, however, ripen as late as June. Key grape varieties in the south are Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. Table wine and sparkling wine are the predominant styles.
The Derwent Valley vineyards are clustered around Berriedale and Granton on the west bank of the Derwent River as it flows towards Hobart and the sea. The Derwent Valley is ideally suited for grape growing and produces about seven percent of Tasmania’s wine.
COAL RIVER VALLEY
One of the fastest growing wine areas in Tasmania, major irrigation projects have transformed the Coal River valley into a viticultural haven where some of Tasmania’s best winemakers are producing award-winning wines.
The Coal River valley produces about 18% of Tasmania’s wine.
At the 2004 Tasmanian Wine Show, wines from the Coal River valley won half of all the trophies and gold medals, and won more gold and silver medals than any of the other five wine-producing regions in Tasmania. The area consistently produces some of Tasmania’s best wines.
An international spotlight fell on the Coal River valley when, in 1997, at the World Wine Competition, wine from Stoney Vineyard won the first three gold medals. Today wine experts from all over the world visit the valley’s vineyards.
The east coast of Tasmania is home to the producers of some of the State’s best wines. While most of the vineyards are small, quality is high. Freycinet Vineyard is considered by some commentators to supply Tasmania’s most consistent and exciting Pinot Noir.
The east coast offers a higher Growing Degree Days (GDD) index than other viticultural areas of Tasmania, although careful site selection is an important factor for success.
Pipers River remains an important viticultural region of Tasmania in terms of quality and output. It produces about 30% of Tasmania’s wine.
With a climate close to that of Champagne in France, this region is known simply as ‘Sparkling Tasmania’. Many of Tasmania’s premium sparkling wines originate here. It is particularly suited to the aromatic white varieties.
The climate is cooler than many areas of Tasmania. The mean January temperature is around 16.5 degrees celsius. There are 1,600 hours of sunshine between October and April.
TAMAR VALLEY / RELBIA
Many grape varieties do well in the Tamar Valley region because the river provides protection against frost. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc are notable, while varieties such as Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon ripen with consistency.
The Tamar Valley produces about 40% of Tasmania’s wine.
South of Launceston, the area surrounding Relbia is developing into a significant wine-producing region. The region’s mild summers and long hours of autumn sunshine help sustain the slow ripening period needed to achieve optimum fruit maturity. The low annual rainfall (average 680 millimetres) helps in the natural regulation of vine growth.
This is one of the coolest and most marginal areas of Tasmania in which to grow wine grapes. The growing season generally starts later than the rest of Tasmania and thus later than the rest of Australia.
The north-west of Tasmania is home to a number of small, lifestyle or family-oriented wine producers. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are the dominant grape varieties while less mainstream varieties such as Shonburger and Muller Thurgau also make an appearance.
Unavale is the only commercial vineyard on Flinders Island.
Wine delivery service
We have an Australia-wide wine delivery service. Minimum of 1 case. (Freight charges apply.) Contact us for details.
Wine production in Tasmania
To create quality wines producers need optimum growing conditions. These exist where there are long, mild summers with cool temperatures that come about not so much from high altitude as from latitude. Tasmanian producers therefore have distinct advantages because of both the climate and geography of the island. These are particularly suited to the production of high quality Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
In the eastern half of Tasmania where most of the vineyards are situated, there is also plenty of sunshine and low rainfall, which is ideal. Even in summer, the temperatures remain in the twenties celcius for seven months of the growing period, allowing the wines to take on a mellow, slow-matured flavour.
The Tasmanian wine industry formed in earnest in the 1970s and grew rapidly in the 1980s. It is a boutique industry with the focus on handcrafted wines.
Tasmanian winemakers have adopted world-class quality standards and the latest technology and have combined these with traditional winemaking skills. The result has been numerous international awards for Tasmanian wines.
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