Meet some smaller Tasmanian sparkling wine producers
Curly Haslam-Coates introduces three of her favourites
By Curly Haslam-Coates
I think of Tasmanian sparkling almost like Alice discovering Wonderland or Edmund, Lucy, Peter and Susan discovering Narnia. At first it seems small with only a few sparkling producers, but on greater inspection there are many more, all with stories and histories to be discovered.....
Joyously, with Tassie being small but perfectly formed, it is not difficult to combine touristic and vinous pleasures.
Puddleduck Vineyard is situated twenty minutes from Hobart just outside the historic town of Richmond.
Quirky and friendly, Jackie and Darren Brown were awarded the 2012 Tourism Tasmania Award for Best Tourism Winery, and I can recommend dropping by after collecting some fine Tasmanian produce for their reverse BYO!
Their Bubbleduck sparkling wine is made in the traditional method (second fermentation in the bottle you’re pouring from), which gives richness and complexity alongside the crisp, refreshing fresh lemon and green apple characteristics. It's a blend of pinot noir and chardonnay, and makes a fine picnic indeed as you watch the ducks, waddle and the corgies seeking cuddles.
For those of you in need of a sparkling red, the Muddleduck sparkling merlot is a pleasure to be sure.
Heading north to the Tamar Valley, a short drive outside of Launceston, there are many familiar names to be found but just past the Batman bridge at Moores Hill, Otto the weimaraner – a star of Wine Dogs Australia – will greet you affectionately and deliver you to Julian and Fiona.
A real family affair, their two young daughters are often to be found playing nearby, the cellar door boasts a shelf full of empty bottles of the finest bubbles of Champagne and Tasmania. They are die-hard sparkling wine fans and Julian’s desire to create a single vineyard prestigious sparkling wine is being realised.
Traditional method and 100% chardonnay, a blanc de blancs, the Moores Hill sparkling won a gold medal at the 2013 Tasmanian Wine Show. Lean, clean and with intense fruit purity, in its youth it is perfect paired with another Tasmanian classic, oysters. However, if you can find a sturdy hiding space, this sparkling will most definitely reward you with careful cellaring.
A trip to Tasmania is often incomplete without a trip to Cradle Mountain. A place with no TV, no phone signals, just pure unending rugged beauty. En route to Cradle Mountain there are many beautiful and edible tourist spots from waterfalls and beaches to honey, chocolate and cheeses.
Also on the north-west coast – just outside the coastal hideaway of Port Sorell – you will find Ghost Rock. Cate and Colin Arnold head up the small cellar door with a big personality. Ghost Rock is often to be found rocking out to live music, welcoming artists and joining folks in matrimony! All occasions which deserve a glass of bubbles or two.
Their vintage pinot chardonnay ‘Catherine’ is a traditional method sparkling wine with rich yeasty flavours coming through with ripe stone fruits, fresh lemon and apples, creating a wine that is the perfect match to the peace, beauty and solitude of Cradle Mountain. So pick one up en route, and enjoy it by Dove Lake! (with some oysters or fresh cray for a decadent picnic if you choose).
These are but a few of the sparkling treasures you will find as you wind your way around the island state. Who will you discover on your next visit?
Curly Haslam-Coates makes discovering Tasmania’s sparkling wine pleasurable and fun with a disarming combination of Dr Who references and a wealth of knowledge from almost two decades of experience in the wine industry. Highly knowledgeable on sparkling wine across the globe, Curly has chosen Tasmania. Vintage Tasmania is about championing Tasmania and highlighting the people who make it sparkle.