The Best Tasmanian Wineries & Cellar Doors 2019
Remote, cold and rugged, but above all spectacular, Tasmania’s reputation as a cool climate wine growing region – and holiday destination – par excellence continues to grow, punching well above its weight against those across the Bass Strait. Take a tour of Tasmania’s best wineries and cellar doors for 2019 with this Guide from Wine Selectors.
The climate might be cool but Tasmania’s status as a premium destination for food and wine lovers is hotter than ever. While the region saw its first commercial vineyards take root in 1865, these plantings were short-lived, and it wasn’t until the 1970s that winemakers started again in earnest to explore the potential locked up in the soils of old Van Diemen’s Land.
What has become apparent is that, in terms of climate and soil, the region is an ideal place to make cool climate wines really shine. From the sandstone and schist of the Derwent Valley to the peaty alluvial soils of Coal River Valley and the gravelly basalt, clay and limestone of the Tamar, Tasmanian Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in particular have commanded the attention of the world for their heightened flavours, aromas and elegance. Tasmanian Sparkling, too, is now widely regarded as Australia’s finest, evoking favourable comparisons to the qualities of Champagne.
Indeed, with some wineries now seeing their third generation take the reins and a host of young guns pushing the envelope, the scene there has become as dynamic and vibrant as the wines that result from such passion and dedication. Read on for Wine Selectors top picks for the best Tasmanian wineries and cellar doors for 2019.
Situated in the rolling hills of the upper Coal River Valley, Nocton Vineyard was planted in 1999, making it among the valley’s oldest. Taking its name from an old Scottish term for ‘farmstead where wethered sheep are kept’, it consists of over 34 hectares of ‘winemaking nirvana’, where rich dolerite-based soils and Triassic sandstone subsoil harmonises with pristine air and pure water for sublime growing conditions.
Nocton produces a large array of cool climate wines that convey the terroir marvellously, including Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Sparkling. They’re even pioneering cool climate Merlot, which is sure to intrigue – visit their cellar door to discover it for yourself. Just 15 minutes from Hobart Airport, it’s a small venue with a big view, offering tailored and tutored tastings with Estate and Reserve labels poured for you to explore and enjoy.
373 Colebrook Road, Richmond TAS 7025
Thursday to Monday 10am to 4pm
Visit the Nocton Vineyard website
Established in 1985, Pooley Wines lays claim to being Tasmania’s first third generation wine family. With two unique sites in the Coal River Valley of Southern Tasmania, Cooinda and Butcher’s Hill, they are also Tasmania’s first and only fully accredited environmentally certified sustainable vineyard, with a host of trophies and medals to their name. Across the two sites viticulturist Matthew Pooley and winemaker Anna Pooley produce superb cool climate specialties that express the region at its best, including Pinot G, Riesling, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, as well as distinctive takes on Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
No visit to Pooley would be complete without taking a tasting flight at the historic Belmont House, an 1830 sandstone stables and coach house and home to their cellar door. Awarded Gourmet Traveller’s Best Small Cellar Door in Southern Tasmania on four occasions (most recently in 2017 and 2018) as well as Best Wine Tasting Experience in Southern Tasmania in 2016 and 2019, it’s an introduction to premium Tasmanian wine not to be missed.
Butcher’s Hill Vineyard & Cellar Door
1431 Richmond Rd, Richmond TAS 7025
Open daily 10am to 5pm
Visit the Pooley Wines website
Grey Sands Vineyard seeks to push the boundaries of what is possible in wine, with a focus on exciting the senses through wines that are “concentrated, complex, intriguing and sometimes confronting”. The westernmost of Tamar Valley vineyards, it was started by Bob and Rita Richter on a grass-covered block of land in 1987. Deciding against irrigation, the resulting vineyard is entirely hard, hand-pruned and close-planted to ensure maximum concentration rather than yield.
Minimal intervention is the order of the day, allowing the fruit its own natural expression, and across the seventeen varieties grown at Grey Sands there is extraordinary scope to experience wines unlike anywhere else. Those eager to sample the intrigue of Grey Sands are recommended to visit the Grey Sands ‘cellar door’. Distinct from the typical cellar door, Bob and Rita have established a ‘collector’s garden’, a marvellous arrangement of mature conifers, birches, maples, exotic perennials and more to enjoy a picnic in, with a lovely view towards the Tamar Valley.
Or join them on their deck, if the weather allows! A genuine one-of-a-kind winery, and a must-see for visitors to the region.
6 Kerrisons Rd, Glengarry TAS 7275
Open the first whole weekend of the month October to April only, 12pm to 5pm, or by appointment.
Visit the Grey Sands website.
Located along the East Coast of Tasmania two hours by car from Hobart, Devil’s Corner embraces its wild remoteness with a passion to produce award-winning cool climate wines of unmistakeable character, from Riesling to Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and more, as well as an esteemed range of Pinot Noirs. Visitors are encouraged to experience the premium wines alongside the freshly-shucked flavours of Freycinet Peninsula oysters at The Fishers, from the nearby Freycinet Marine Farm, or accompanied by a pizza from Tombolo Café.
Undoubtedly however, the highlight – besides wines from the sure hand of winemaker Tom Wallace – is the lookout, an architecturally-designed tower offering unparalleled views of vineyards sweeping down to Moulting Lagoon against the backdrop of the Hazard Ranges. It all makes for a memorable, ultra-modern destination, that’s more than worth the journey.
1 Sherbert Avenue, Apslawn TAS 7190
Open daily from 10am to 5pm
Visit the Devil's Corner website
In the heart of the Tamar Valley and on the banks of the Tamar River you’ll find Tamar Ridge, where passion and science meet in pursuit of premium wines. Primarily specialising in Pinot Noir but with Pinot G, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling also in the mix, vines are planted on northerly and north-easterly undulating slopes, with soils consisting of clay subsoils and topsoils of quartz sand to clay loam.
The differing soil types allows the planting of a variety of Pinot Noir clones, while the strong maritime climate protects the grapes from the extremes, with long sunny days and gentle rains producing the ideal growing conditions for wines of quality and character. At the Cellar Door, visitors can taste their way through an immersive flight of Pinot Noir and other cool climate specialties, and share a bit to eat from local seasonal platters from on-site friends Hubert + Dan on the deck, or down on the lawn, enjoying enchanting views of the pristine Tamar Valley. Sublime.
1A Waldhorn Drive, Rosevears TAS 7277
Open daily from 10am to 5pm
Visit the Tamar Ridge website
Bay of Fires
Home to three premium wines labels in their own right – House of Arras, Bay of Fires and Eddystone Point – Bay of Fires Cellar Door is a wine lover’s dream. Each label focusses on different winemaking philosophies and styles, but one thing is consistent between them – they all reflect the unique Tasmanian terroir of their surroundings. A collaborative venture founded in 1990 by a team of passionate winemakers and viticulturists sharing a common dream, Bay of Fire presents alluring wines that are distinctly Tasmanian – handpicked, and specially selected for quality and character.
The cellar door itself, a modern, welcoming venue, offers sweeping views over the vines, the winery and Pipers River, set amidst an ideal backdrop of beautiful, established gardens. Seated Tastings are available, where visitors are taken through the details of Methode Traditionelle Sparkling winemaking for Vintage Arras Sparkling Wines, before delving into Bay of Fires’ still wines and notable award winners. There’s also the 1.5hr Premium Arras Experience, offering a tour of the winery and vineyard before proceeding through a tasting of $500 worth of Arras Sparkling at a private tasting. Hard to beat, for those looking to indulge a little!
40 Baxters Road, Pipers River TAS 7252
Open Thursday to Monday, 10am to 5pm
Visit the Bay of Fires website
Recognised for his commitment and contribution to quality food and wine in Tasmania, Josef Chromy OAM has owned and developed some of Tasmania’s leading wineries such as Rochemcombe, Jansz and Heemskerk. Josef Chromy Wines is the culmination of his experience in Tasmania’s Tamar Valley, offering visitors a chance to explore the passion and product of one of our premier winemakers with tastings, vineyard tours, and more.
Today, his charming cellar door is set inside the original 1880s homestead, surrounded by stunning manicured gardens, and idyllic views over the surrounding vineyards and lakes. Relax inside by the open log fire, or stop for lunch in the hatted Josef Chromy Restaurant for excellent locally sourced produce matched to the elegant, cool climate Sparkling, aromatic whites, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir on offer. One of the pinnacles of Australian winemaking, and an essential stop on any wine tour of Tasmania.
370 Relbia Rd, Relbia TAS 7258
Open daily from 10am to 5pm
Visit the Josef Chromy website
Moorilla at Mona
No mention of Tasmania’s cellar door scene could pass without listing Moorilla at MONA. The second Tasmanian winery to be established and the longest in continual operation, Moorilla was founded in 1962 and focusses on a small, yet high quality output with estate-grown fruit, small batch winemaking in a gravity-assisted winery.
The best way to experience their ultra-premium wines is at MONA’s exquisite cellar door. Take a seat beneath a bona-fide John Olson masterpiece to sample their iconic wines, which emphasise texture and complexity as well as Sparkling styles. There are over 18 to choose from, but if you’re craving something different, selections from their Moo Brew beer label are also available to explore. Or better still, take a guided tour of the Moorilla Vineyard, and taste vino straight from the tank for the ultimate way of immersing yourself in the works of a legendary name in Tasmanian winemaking.
665 Main Road, Berriedale 7011
Open daily 9:30am to 5 pm
Visit the Moorilla website
Nestled in the heart of Tasmanian wine country, Pipers Brook Vineyard in the Tamar region has been producing exceptional cool climate wines since 1974. The unique combination of geography, temperate climate and proximity to Bass Strait helps to capture the purity of Tasmania across their range of award-winning wines, with particular emphasis given to Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Riesling along with Sparkling – all estate-grown and bottled for the highest control of the resulting product.
Tasmania’s largest family-owned winemaker, its cellar door offers tastings of the Pipers Brook, Kreglinger and Ninth Island ranges for you to sample while learning about the vineyard’s history, with a café offering a seasonal menu of locally-sourced produce that makes for a perfect grazing experience. For those after something a little more exclusive, guests can book the two-bedroom Pipers Brook Villa and wake each morning to stunning views overlooking the estate’s vineyards. Further, if you’re travelling by campervan, make sure to book ahead to secure free onsite RV parking. Beat a path to Pipers Brook, and experience all that one of the original pioneers in Tasmanian wine has to offer.
1216 Pipers Brook Rd, Pipers Brook TAS 7254
Open daily from 10am to 4pm (Summer), Thursday to Monday 11am to 4pm (Winter)
Visit the Pipers Brook website
For more information on visiting Tasmania, be sure to visit the official Wine Tasmania website. But, if you'd like to sample some of the wineries listed in this guide before you visit, explore our wide selection of Tasmanian wines and find out more about the wineries listed here in our Meet the Makers section.
What’s more, with the Wine Selectors Regional Release program, you'll experience a different wine region each Release with all wines expertly selected by our Tasting Panel, plus you'll receive comprehensive tasting notes and fascinating insights into each region. Visit our Regular Deliveries page to find out more!