The Tamar River Valley runs from Launceston to the Bass Strait and is dotted with vineyards, wineries, orchards, farms and maritime motifs. We wish we had more time in the Tamar Valley – it was a great introduction to Tasmanian wines and the wide river is truly magnificent. We were also happy to meet some local inhabitants at Seahorse World up at Beauty Point…
Our visit to this winery was mainly to sample some Van Dieman’s Brewing beers but we ended up having a lovely wine tasting session at this stunning winery. There was a beautiful garden out the front with topiary and fountains.
We tasted a few of the wines on the list but the following four stood out above the rest…
The NV Sparkling was delightfully fruity with the flavours of pears and apples. It was creamy and smooth without any acidity. The 2010 Sparkling had a gorgeous honey roasted nut smells, which was surprising. It was crisp, dry and refreshing with citrus and green apple notes. The Pinot Noir had spent 11 months in the barrel and was more ripe that the Pepik Pinot Noir that had matured for less time. This wine was much smoother, with more warm fruits and vanilla flavours.
Our favourite – the Ruby Pinot had hints of caramel and toffee, with plenty of spirit, fruitcake, roasted honey hazelnuts and burnt fig.
Moore’s Hill Estate
This winery was quite fancy – the beautifully rustic cellar door overlooked the vineyard and something about the place was a bit intimidating. We did a quick tasting before moving on.
The 2015 Signature Riesling had lovely elderflower aromas and despite being acidic, it was smooth and bright with a quick finish. Juz’s favourite was the 2015 Chardonnay that had spent 4 months in oak. It had great aromas, was warm and peppery and had a buttery brioche aftertaste. Dave’s favourite was the 2015 Cabernet Merlot, pungent with sweet currents and very dry.
We also sampled the Late Harvest Riesling with 100 grams of residual sugar. It was just sweet enough to satisfy a sweet tooth and finish with a clean mouth.
This was our favourite winery of the region. Our tasting session was relaxed and friendly, and their wines were exceptional. The onsite resort overlooks the river and it seemed to be a popular place.
During our tasting session, we found that we liked a lot of the wines on the list. The NV Sparkling had gorgeous bready brioche flavours and we learnt that the word ‘structure’ actually means something like acidity. The 2009 Blanc de Blanc is a sauvignon blanc that is actually easy to drink – smooth refreshing without being too acidic.
We finished the session with a delicious Botrytis, harvested in June 2013. It was full of apricot jam flavours, and quite sweet at 147 grams of residual sugar.
Bay of Fires
This winery seemed very exclusive, and we felt a little uncomfortable walking into the place wearing a flanno and dirty jeans. But, as with most places, if you can talk the talk, the staff loosen up and realise you’re not just there to get drunk.
We sampled their selection of sparkling wines and without a doubt, the best and the favourite was the $130 bottle of 2002 Late Disgorged Sparkling. It was a soft, creamy sparkling with shades of sourdough and nougat, honey and truffles. Complex and delicious.
We heard about this place because they did good sparkling wines, chardonnay and pinot noir. In a relaxed atmosphere, we tried their wines and scored a few favourites.
The 2014 Naissante Pinot Gris had beautifully fruity aromas with hint of guava. The Fumé Blanc with sauvignon blanc grapes had gooseberry and apple flavours with a hint of oak. Overall, the 2014 Delamere Pinot Noir was the winner – an earthy and elegant wine with great depth and smoky French oak.
Little River Brewing Co.
We scored a six pack from Scottsdale because the brewery was closed. Our favourites are the Golden Ale with its sweet honey smells and rich flavours, well balanced hops, and the European Dark Lager with heaps of chocolate and coffee without too much bitterness.
Ok – nothing to drink here. This is a lavender farm and the only thing we had was the Lavender Ice Cream. It was creamy and delicious, and then we followed the winding road through Scottsdale through to St Helens.