- Tasmanian wine country is split into a series of micro-climates, thanks to a diverse landscape of coastal expanses, lush bushland and imposing mountain ranges. But as varied as its territories may be, there is one thing Tasmanian wineries have in common – cool-climate elegance. From East Coast country to CBD adjacent, the following cellar doors offer a myriad of ways to experience the state's fine wines. Book your intimate and personalised Tasmanian wine tour with these tips from the locals.
Clover Hill, Piper's River
Located just 50km north-east of Launceston is the Clover Hill cellar door. As Tasmania’s premier sparkling house, Clover Hill winemakers consistently craft estate-grown wines of the highest pedigree. They are dedicated to the harmonising union of the idyllic Tasmanian Pipers River terroir, the superior quality of traditional sparkling fruit and the elite méthode traditionnelle process. These three pillars are at the foundation of the Clover Hill values, resulting in sparkling wines that are characterised by signature elegance, complexity and finesse.
Pressing Matters, Coal River Valley
Set in the picturesque Coal River Valley wine region, and only 30 minutes from Hobart, is the Pressing Matters winery and cellar door. Prepare for a rustic and intimate experience with by- appointment tastings of a range of rieslings varying in sweetness levels, as well as pinot noir and cabernet sauvignon. The tranquility of the cellar door’s location is interrupted only by the occasional roar of lions at feeding time at the nearby wildlife park.
Nocton Vineyard, Richmond TAS
The Nocton cellar door may appear small in stature, but makes up for it in genuine and friendly service. Expect a warm welcome upon arrival, followed by a seat on the deck overlooking the vines. Cellar door staff are on hand to take you through a guided tasting of wines, paired with a cheese or planted-based grazing platter and the stunning view. The winery is just a 25 minute drive from Hobart's CBD, but features all the benefits of a serene, country setting.
Spring Vale Vineyards, Cranbrook
Spring Vale is a historic family property. The cellar door is housed in a convict-built stable, circa 1842 – the building and its surrounding homestead maintain their original rustic architecture but with stunning and contemporary edge. The winery menu covers a large range of wines to please any palate and offers staff led tasting. Any wine can be selected to enjoy at the winery restaurant, Mel’s Kitchen, a modern Asian dining experience open from Wednesday–Monday.
The Ridge North Lilydale, Upper Piper
The Ridge North Lilydale winery and cellar door was established by partners Harry Rigney and Susan Denny to translate their passion for land-care into fine Tasmanian sparkling and table wines. In recognition of its excellence, the Ridge North site has been awarded Best Small Vineyard by The Royal Agricultural Society of Tasmania; their wines have also been awarded gold medals. Book online Monday–Saturday for your personalised experience, including a flight of 4 wines and delicious grazing platters of cheeses, pâté, fruit and nuts – no bookings are required on Sundays.
Kate Hill Wines, Huon Valley
The Kate Hill cellar door is an intimate tasting room only 25 minutes south of Hobart, situated in an 1880’s heritage-listed cottage, surrounded by beautiful country gardens. The relaxed setting makes for the perfect opportunity to taste the range, chat with Kate and Charles and learn more about the beautiful Huon Valley. Take a stroll in the gardens, enjoy a bottle of wine and gaze up the valley at the spectacular, majestic Sleeping Beauty.
Plan your trip and book online for seated tastings for up to six people – for larger groups, contact the cellar door team directly. Guided tasting sessions run for a 45 minute duration with the option to add on a cheese or crudo platter. The architecturally designed building features indoor and outdoor seating to make the most of the breathtaking view over the Clover Hill vineyards and surrounding Lebrina scenery.
Local tip: Book to enjoy a guided tasting at the Clover Hill cellar door. Expect sparkling rosé, blanc de blancs and late disgorged brut styles on pour – plus the Clover Hill Idiom collection, the winery’s table wine range.
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The winery’s vineyards grow on black cracking-clay over one of the few non-frost affected limestone sites in Tasmania. The results are elevated, cool-climate styles – expect complex and balanced rieslings and elegant pinots noirs. Owner Greg Melick recommends the consistently awarded R69 Riesling and the recent trophy-winning release of the 2016 Pressing Matters Pinot Noir for styles that best showcase the winery’s unique limestone-based terroir and the benefit of multiple clones and rootstocks.
Local tip: Call ahead and book your intimate, guided-tasting of Pressing Matters’s cool-climate wines. Taste the full riesling spectrum with the winery’s specialised range of styles – from super-dry to sweet.
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“We get very excited by our new release wines,” says winemaker Alain Rosseau. “The 2019 Estate Pinot Noir and the 2019 Estate Merlot are drinking amazingly after a dry vintage – and our first release of chenin blanc is a very exciting addition”. Nocton is the only producer currently growing chenin in the state and makes a fresh and fruity style with plenty of cellaring potential. The rich soils of the winery’s Richmond location result in the production of exquisite fruit.
Local tip: At just 25 minutes from Hobart’s CBD, Nocton Vineyard is the perfect location for an impromptu tasting with friends, overlooking stunning vineyard vistas in the afternoon sun.
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The Spring Vale winery also happens to be just around the corner from the world-renowned Freycinet National Park, with it’s stunning coastal walks and bush hikes. The location’s unique climate is unexpectedly dry, with warm days and cool nights that contribute to the clean, slow and steady ripening of fruit. The resulting wines are unmistakably east-coast, with elegant and fruit-driven characteristics and complex structure and depth. “We are most well-known for our Estate Pinot Noir with its fruit-intensity, structure and style,” says winemaker Barry Kooji. “But in more recent times we have also produced a shiraz, pinot meunier and pinot noir blend in our rosé.”
Local tip: Round out a day spent at the nearby Freycinet National Park with a lunch at Mel’s Kitchen, paired with Spring Vale Vineyard’s wines.
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The winery is set in a commanding position in striking Upper Piper, under Mt. Arthur. The Ridge North Lilydale is the highest of any Tasmanian vineyards, resulting in fruit with resilient acidity, striking tannin and elevated sugars. This fruit is then transformed by winemaker Fran Austin into wines of superb balance, with tension between the triangulation of fruit sugar, acidity, and tannin. The winery produces a classic Tasmanian sparkling wine and rosé, plus award-winning pinot noir and chardonnay table wine.
Local tip: Book ahead for a personalised wine flight matched with gourmet grazing platter – or drop by on Sundays between 10:30am–5pm.
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"When people arrive at our cellar door, they often remark 'What a great spot',” says winemaker Kate Hill. “The Huon Valley is Tasmania’s coolest wine region, perfect for exceptional-quality chardonnay and pinot noir fruit: perfect for both sparkling and table wine.” Kate recommends sampling her 2012 Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir for its creamy, rich and vibrant fruit palate – a result of eight years on lees. “Not many people get to live and work in such a beautiful part of the world while doing what they love most – in our case, crafting great wine.”
Local tip: After sampling the Kate Hill range, purchase a bottle of sparkling and head down the road to Maasaki’s at Geeveston to enjoy one of Australia’s best sushi restaurants.
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Discover more about Tasmania in our essential guide.
*This article was produced by Halliday Wine Companion in partnership with the featured wineries.
Top image credit: Wine Australia