Fine soil, sun-soaked slopes and a warm(ish) climate have elevated the Tamar Valley into Tasmania’s premier wine country. Growing areas cluster around Rosevears on the west bank and the Pipers River area east of George Town but are spread throughout the area. Armed with a Tamar Valley Wine Route brochure from the visitor centre in Launceston (tamarvalleywineroute.com), you could explore the countryside dropping into vineyards to sample crisp and fresh cool-climate wines – pinot noir and sparkling wines are specialities. Most are open daily 10am–5pm, though many close in July and August.
Delamere Vineyard delamerevineyards.com.au. Pinot Noir and Chardonnay crafted by traditional methods are the mainstay of this small-scale vineyard, one of Tasmania’s longest running family-owned wine estates – and a lovely rustic place it is too. Also produces a more experimental range under the Naissante brand.
Jansz jansztas.com. The first vineyard in Tasmania to pioneer the traditional méthode champenoise to produce sparkling wine, and their Premium Cuvée recently took top honours for international sparkling wine at awards of wine magazine Decanter. Also produces a rosé and a few whites.
Pipers Brook Vineyard kreglingerwineestates.com. Established in 1974 though now part of the Kreglinger group, Pipers Brook is among the area’s most well-known wine estates, renowned for its Pinot Noir, though also producing a refined Riesling, Gewurtztraminer and Pinot Gris. Its winery in a modern complex also has a café and lovely vine-covered courtyard.