17 Mar Tasmanian Wines – Coming into the Limelight
Until very recent times, Tasmania was one wine-producing region in Australia that always got nudged into the shadows. In terms of both, perception as well as geographically, this island state spent a number of years simply going about its business without any fanfare. The average wine lover focused largely on wines that were produced by pioneers such as Tamar Ridge and Pipers Brook.
But today, all that has changed and within a very short span of time, this state has gone from being almost a non-entity in the wine space to the one in the limelight. Today, the region boasts of a stunning collection of different cool climate wines that are able to hold their own in the global market of premium Tasmanian wines.
A Tiny Island With Compelling Presence
Considering that Tasmania is a very small state, it has taken complete advantage of its cool climate. It is home to some of the most unique and diverse wines in the country and has built a rock solid reputation of quality against quantity. It is home to 160 wine producers and almost 1750 hectares of land are dedicated to grape-vine plantations. Tasmania accounts only for less than 1 percent of the overall wine production in the country. However, it’s a heavy weight in the premium wine segment and represents 10 percent of it.
It’s true that Tasmania is classified as a “cool climate” wine region, but it actually has quite a varied climate. For instance certain parts of the state such as Richmond, Tamar Valley and Coal River Valley are distinctly warmer as well as drier than the wine-producing regions in Victoria.
A Young Wine Making Region
Tasmania also has a lot of variation in climate, soil and wine styles, but it isn’t defined by sub-regions in the manner that Victoria is. In a way, the fact that Tasmania has no sub-divisions is an indication of how young the state is with reference to being a wine-producing region.
Most of the backyard wine makers in this state tend to use grapes that have been imported from South Australia. However, the revitalization of the wine industry in Tasmania as we see it today can be easily traced to 1956. At this time, the Jean Miguet the French vintner, and his wife Cecile concertedly planted a vineyard named “La Provence” in north-eastern Tasmania, close to Lilydale. Despite facing a lot of opposition from the parochial community in the state, the couple continued with their plantings.
Tasmania’s Wines Today
- The state is renowned for Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir as well as many different sparkling wines from noted producers like Jansz. In some segments of Tasmania, the vine growing conditions are ideal for the late ripening of certain varietals including Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.
- Most of the grapevines in the state have been planted in the northern areas – Tamar Valley & Pipers Brook, and areas surrounding Bicheno on the East Coast. Some vines have also been planted in the south in Coal Valley River, Huon Valley, Richmond as well as Lower & Upper Derwent.
- Tasmania also produces some of the finest sparkling wines in Australia
- Tasmanian wine makers take their business very seriously. They are now using the latest and most advanced approaches and techniques which include new varietals and experimental & natural winemaking.
- Over the last decade, there has been an increase of 25% in the vineyard plantings in this island state.
Quality Wine Producers
Tasmanian wine makers work hard and consistently to maintain their reputation as quality wine producers. Today, the wines that are produced here are distinctive and unique and have undoubtedly made their mark even on the global wine scene.
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