Tasmanian bacchus

Now, ancient Georgia was the birthplace of wine. The grapevine doesn’t lie. And we all know how the French feel about the subject. Ooh la la. But Tasmania is setting the New World alight, producing world-class vintages quicker than you can swirl, sniff, gargle and spit. A more southerly latitude and a cooler climate means Tasmanian wines can prove more distinctive than those produced on the Australian mainland. With that in mind, let us take you on a magical mystery tour of this antipodean gem, from the Tamar Valley in the north to Derwent in the south. Budding sommelier or complete novice, we’ve put together a unique Tasmanian experience that you simply can’t resist.

grape expectations in northern tas

Close your eyes and picture the scene. Southern summer sun, thousands of hectares of immaculate vineyards and the open road – that’s your backdrop for the next seven days. Pure. Unadulterated. Bliss.

Touch down in Launceston, pick up your car and take to the road. Let the boutique wine tour commence as you head to the Strathlynn Winery, home to one of our favourite restaurants in Tasmania.

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the long and wine-ing road

We’ve organised exclusive visits to Ninth Island, Tamar Ridge and Marion’s vineyards, three of the very best in the north. And while you’re in town, stop off at the Grindelwald Swiss Village or the sunkissed fields of Hillwood Strawberry Farm for a taste of Tasmania as you’ve never seen it before.
After wending your way across the central north via the region’s finest growers and grape estates, you’ll blaze a coastal trail in the direction of Freycinet National Park. Keep your eyes peeled for eagles as you cruise through this breathtaking headland, your windows framing rugged granite mountains, azure pools and white sand beaches. Here’s where you’ll begin to realise what makes the east coast of Tasmania so very special. Stop off at Freycinet Vineyard for a whiff of its award-winning pinot noir and then onto Swansea to hole up for the night in our favourite Tas bolthole, The Lair.

southern vines? simply divine

Caught between the rocky peaks of the Hazards and the mindboggling waters of Great Oyster Bay, Swansea boasts a truly spectacular setting. Head to Bark Mill and the Wine & Wool complex for a window onto local history and some hearty fare at the on site tavern.

Carry on south and try to keep your eyes on the road as you cruise through some immense coastal scenery. Make sure you snap the appropriately titled, convict-built Spiky Bridge before weaving through the picturesque port towns of Triabunna and Orford. Stop off at Buckland to view the beautiful stained glass window of the Church of St John the Baptist and then head on towards Hobart via the eerily intact Richmond Gaol.

MONA, hobart and home

After a restful night at the MONA Pavillions, wake up to explore the incredible Moorilla Estate, where eccentric art lover David Walsh has quite possibly produced the most creative space in the antipodes. From its cutting-edge winery to the immodestly modern Moo Brewery, the flavours and techniques on show are paving a way that only a few dare follow, so be sure not to miss out on a tasting session or two. You might need a little Dutch courage before entering the estate’s newest attraction – MONA – Walsh’s Museum of Old and New Art. With exhibited pieces ranging from the beautiful to the bizarre (via the downright disconcerting), MONA guarantees a gallery experience like no other. You will be wowed.

Tasmania’s capital Hobart has so much to offer and we’ve got a couple of ideas to ensure yet another day to remember. Wander through the waterfront warehouses, with their studios, galleries, bistros and boutiques. Take in the awe-inspiring coast on a cruise around Peppermint Bay, or let us whisk you across the water to Bruny Island for a wildlife adventure that’ll blow your socks off.

Next up, make your way from Hobart to Derwent and kick back for an afternoon of sunkissed bliss at the Meadowbank Estate. Visit the cellars, talk vintages and sample the casks (take it from us, 2008 was a great year).

Yo-yoing back north, make sure to visit the Callington Mill and head into the pretty little township of Ross. For a touch of Old World that never got old, head to the ever-immaculate Woolmers Estate, a world heritage property and the quaintest, most laid back environment to reflect on your wonderful wine-ding journey before heading for Launceston and home.

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