Two days at MONA, including dinner at Source restaurant, fishing for fresh flathead at day break (well that was Mr Nomad, I did partake in the eating ritual though...)and Taste of Tasmania festival, we get on to the wine trail.
This is a man with big plans. Restaurant and large expansions are planned for 2013. In the mean time we enter the cavernous warehouse and are surrounded by palettes of wine and the detritus of wine making with like-minded travellers, sipping and supping at the makeshift cellar door. Having planted the vineyard in 1991, the Stefano Lubiana vineyard has gone a long way to establishing southern Tassie as a wine destination. With biodynamic management, this is a winery going the whole hog.
Beautifully balanced wines, full of slow ripening fruit flavours and an Italian twist, with the Moscato style Riesling perfectly suited to a summer’s night at home in Sydney-town. But it was the 2009 Estate Pinot Noir that took my fancy and sent me to dream land with fields of cherry trees a little reminiscent of this...
Cherry pickin' Mornington Peninsula
Fresh and bold with a beautiful fragrant, red fruit aroma, and length on the palate that leads you down a garden path. Delish.
2009 Estate Pinot Noir
Price: $45 rrp
Quaint. Little. Boutique. Adorable. In the minds eye I see this as the quintessential wino’s dream. A patch of dirt, toiling the land and producing supreme wines. A little rickety gate just off the Lyall Highway about 20km out of Hobart, gives rise to a little rickety timber structure housing the cellar door.
This block of land has been in the Hanigan family since 1913. It is stunning - north facing, and sloping down towards the Derwent River are rows of hand pruned vines.
Photo courtesy of derwentestate.com.au
Considering the parameters of the site, it is no wonder that the Pinot Noir from here for me was an absolute standout. Really intense, plum on the nose, red berries on the palate, with a fresh, soft mouth feel, this wine will stand the test of time. I am thinking middle of winter, duck ragú and loads of parmesan cheese, this wine and big cashmere blanket - sublime.
2009 Pinot Noir
Price: $35 rrp
From here we headed across the Derwent River to Pooley Wines. Did I mention picturesque? 1830’s sandstone building, grape vines and ivy growing freely and the ol’ master of the stables, Digger - the golden retriever, who has seen this winery prosper over the years.
It is here I strike up a conversation with John, proprietor, and custodian of this beautiful patch of land. John has much to smile about, the wines are as spectacular location. The Margaret Reisling in particular, for me was a standout as well as the Pinot Noir. We haven’t been drinking much Pinot of late, however this Tasman jaunt could be changing that. The flavour, the colour, the food friendliness of these bold, beautiful reds are astounding.
2011 Margaret Pooley Tribute Riesling
Price: $40 rrp
2008 Pooley Butchers Hill Pinot Noir
Price: $40 rrp
Rosé and Pinot Noir in the sunshine with local cheese, and the two resident Corgy’s. It is here I must lament that Charlie, our beloved Dingo pup is staying with his Grandma and not exploring wine country with us. Charlie couldn’t find accommodation anywhere due to the time of year – New Years, the taste festival, Sydney to Hobart, and the only warm weather that Hobart sees year-round. So our fix of winery pooches must suffice until we get home 10 days from now.
Did someone say passionate? That’s right – when asking the locals around where else to visit on our sojourn, Puddleduck vineyard kept popping up. This dude is passionate about wine and about Tasmania. With two corgis running around and a lake straight out of a Jane Austen novel, picturesque springs to mind. Insert a purple and green building and the twang of the Aussie accent and we’re right back in the land of Oz. With a name like Puddleduck and the Sparkling called Bubbleduck, here is someone having fun with wine and making a really good drop, be it bubbles or the more serious Cabernet Sauvignon.
and the quirky label (Rosé)...
Price: $28 rrp
Sigh. Now time for a drive to Launceston...