Tamar Valley Wine Tours
Visit the Wineries of Tasmania
Tasmania is a relatively new wine-growing state compared to the rest of the Australia. While the first Aussie vines were planted in the late 1700s, Tasmania didn’t really start producing wine until the 1970s.
The state’s largest wine-growing area is the Tamar Valley, which is home to more than 20 vineyards specializing in the production of cool-climate wines. It’s located half and hour from Launceston in the northern part of the state.
Tamar Valley Wines
The Tamar Valley’s cool nautical climate makes it the perfect location for producing the pinot varieties: pinot noir and pinot grigio. The region also creates some stunning chardonnays, rieslings, cabernet sauvignons, and cabernet francs.
With fewer vineyards than most wine regions in Australia, it’s quite achievable for travelers with time on their side to visit them all. However, if time is limited the following wineries are not to be missed.
1216 Pipers Brook Road, Pipers Brook
Pipers Brook is one of the oldest wineries In Tasmania and it remains a dominant force in the local industry to this day. Its pinot noirs and chardonnays are award winners. The cellar door offers tastings, and a range of wine accessories and gifts. The vineyard’s Winery Cafe is also a great spot to enjoy a light meal or coffee.
167 Adams Road, Lebrina
Brook Eden only produces a small selection of wines, but this boutique range has earned several medals at major wine shows. The cellar door offers free tastings of all these award-winning wines, and visitors can purchase them at discount prices. Travelers are also invited to bring a picnic lunch to enjoy in Brook Eden’s stunning cottage gardens.
Iron Pot Bay Wines
766 Deviot Road, Deviot
Travelers must book in advance to visit Iron Pot Bay’s cellar door, but it’s worth the effort. The winery offers excellent views of the Tamar River, and some spectacular wines. The Kyra, a sparkling blend of chardonnay and pinot gris is particularly interesting. Flek the friendy Jack Russell dog welcomes all winery guests.
653 Auburn Road, Kayena
Tamar Ridge is a fairly new vineyard, but it’s been attracting some big attention at wine shows around the country. It’s set amongst a massive 40-hectare plot, allowing it to produce a diverse variety of wines including rieslings, chardonnays, pinot noirs, and cabernet merlots. The cellar door offers free tastings of these wines and more seven days a week.
The Tamar Valley’s nearest city is Launceston, which is a 45-minute flight from Melbourne and 95-minute flight from Sydney. Qantas, Jetstar, and Virgin Blue fly daily to Launceston.
Tourists traveling from Melbourne can also take the Spirit of Tasmania cruise from Port Melbourne to Devonport. The ship sails every night, and during peak periods there are also day voyages. These large ships have enough room for travelers to bring their car, caravan, or motorbike. Devonport is a one-hour drive from Launceston.
Travelers can drive the Tamar Valley Wine Route in just three and a half hours leaving Launceston. Of course, this is without stopping and there’s no fun in that. Locals recommend spending two or three days in the area to really soak it all in.
While driving is easy with good sealed roads, coach tours are popular options for travelers who’d rather leave the car at home. Valleybrook Wine Tours offer half and full day group tours of the region, while Venture Wine Tours conduct more private chauffeured tours for couples.
While Launceston is close by, the Tamar Valley offers a range of accommodation for travelers who’d rather stay in the country.
Budget travelers will be thrilled with the area’s affordable accommodation options, including the Beauty Point Tourist Park and the Tamar Cove Motel. For tourists seeking luxury, the Tamar Valley offers indulgent resorts and picturesque bed and breakfasts like the Tamar Valley Resort and the Kateland.
One of the area’s most unique destinations is the Low Head Pilot Station, which offers rooms in revamped lighthouse keeper’s and boat crew cottages.
March – During the Northern Open Vineyards Weekend, wineries throughout the region open their door for cellar tastings. There’s also plenty of food and entertainment available.