The best wineries in Tasmania: Pooley’s Wines, Puddleduck Vineyard, Stefano Lubiano, Frogmore Creek, Mewstone Wines
Tassie’s cool climate produces a range of diverse and distinct wines. The island’s location at 42-degrees south is on a similar latitude to the wine regions of France and its five grape-growing regions are increasingly turning heads internationally for the outstanding quality of its wines. It’s well worth packing the car (or e-bike!) to tour the Tamar Valley wine region in the north, the vineyards of the East Coast, or around Hobart the cellar doors of the Coal River Valley, the Huon Valley and the Derwent Valley. Many producers only sell their wines locally, so it’s a good excuse to visit.
Mewstone Wines, 11 Flowerpot Jetty Rd, Flowerpot
The accolades for this boutique vineyard in the Huon Valley just keep rolling in: Halliday’s Best New Winery of the Year 2019 and Best New Act in the 2018 Young Gun of Wine are among the most recent. Brothers Matthew and Jonny keep impressing with their not-the-norm, small-batch offerings. Try their Hughes & Hughes barrel-ferment reisling or the Hughes & Hughes pied de cuve pinot noir for a snapshot of what they’re doing. The pinot is a product of the 100-per-cent whole bunch technique made with Coal River Valley grapes.
Pooley’s Wines, 1431 Richmond Rd, Richmond
Come here for reisling, chardonnay, pinot grigio and pinot noir. Pooley’s in the grand dame of Tasmanian wine, established in 1985 in the Coal River Valley. The winery’s imposing sandstone farmhouse and outbuildings form the sentry to the charming colonial village of Richmond, about 20 minutes from Hobart. The best day of the week to traipse out is on Sunday, when the woodfired pizza oven is cranked up and you can sip the signature 2012 family reserve pinot noir from a bean bag on the lawn overlooking the flats surrounding the Coal River with pizza in hand. The family operates two vineyards in the area.
Frogmore Creek, 20 Denholms Rd, Cambridge
This big-name establishment produces four labels: 42 degress South, Frogmore Creek, Stormy Bay and Meadowbank. Try them all at the $5 wine tastings (refundable on purchase), or by the glass over lunch in the airy restaurant with sweeping views over the vines, lawns and barrel-lined flagstone courtyard. Frogmore has also recently opened up a city venue at the renovated Macq01 wharf at Hobart’s waterfront, so if you like what you try at the Cambridge cellar door you can order it as an appertif after hours in the Frogmore Creek Lounge. Try the Winemakers Reserve Collection.
Puddleduck Vineyard, 992 Richmond Rd, Richmond
Possibly the most friendly and relaxed of the cellar doors. Come here for the novel Reverse BYO picnic, where you bring the food and they supply the wine (buy it onsite). Pick a grassy spot around the lake to throw a blanket on, or choose a table on one of the covered decks. There’s a cafe onsite, gift shop selling everything rubber ducky, and of course wine. Try their flagship 2016 Puddleduck Bubbleduck, a 60-per-cent pinot noir and 40-per-cent chardonnay blend. There are five wines on offer at the cellar door tastings including the bubbleduck, fume blanc and pinor noir.
Stefano Lubiana, 60 Rowbottoms Rd, Granton
If there’s a Godfather of Tasmanian wine, Stefano is it. His biodynamic offerings are produced without synthetic treatments, additivies or pesticides from Burgundian vines he’s been cultivating since 2010. The label’s 25ha estate on the northern outskirts of Hobart on the River Derwent estuary sproduces its ‘Collina’ flagship Chardonnay ($100 a bottle) only in the best years, along with its showstopping 2008 Grande Vintage flagship sparkling, aged on lees for seven years. Head here for a tasting paired with an authentic, hearty Italian lunch. Lubiana is a fifth-generation wine maker. Top tip: make a lunch booking if you know you’ll be coming out.