A mild, sunny climate and clean air, soil and water - all we need for the best food and wine.
Tasmania is a gourmet paradise, where people live close to the land and sea and there is an easy flow from harvest to plate. The island has four distinct seasons that make it perfect for producing prime cheeses, mouth-watering berries, wide-ranging vegetables, stone fruits, herbs, premium beef, specialty honey, mushrooms, cool-climate wines and some of Australia's leading beers.
Enjoy regional fare, friendly encounters with growers, makers and chefs, and celebrate the delights that come with the changing of the seasons.
On Saturdays, visit Salamanca Market in Hobart, and you'll find a range of local produce. You can sample special herb vinegars, mustards, bush honeys, organic goods and meet the producers. Or visit one of the specialist delicatessens across Tasmania to taste locally produced condiments, smoked and fresh produce and luscious cheeses.
Cheeses are consistent award winners; made by international and boutique producers and include specialties like wasabi, sheep's milk pecorino and goat's milk varieties. Seafood and fish is highly sought after interstate and overseas, including Atlantic salmon, ocean trout, blacklip and greenlip abalone, scallops, pickled octopus, rock lobster (crayfish) and Pacific oysters.
In Tasmania, the locals can still dive along coastal reefs for abalone, harvest oysters from the rocks, or catch a wild trout in a highland stream. And visitors quickly learn that the man in the vineyard with his sleeves rolled up is just as likely to be the property owner.
Organic farming is also growing and includes production of vegetables, herbs, milk, cheese, yoghurt and honey. Speciality mushroom varieties such as Tasmanian white, honey brown, shitake and oyster mushrooms are plentiful. Other quality produce includes wasabi, gourmet sauces, the velvety smoothness of handmade chocolates and fudge, and ice cream featuring organic berries.
Tasmania has more than 200 vineyards producing superb sparkling wines that attract national and international attention, as well as delicately flavoured pinot noirs, sauvignon blancs, chardonnays and rieslings.
The island also grows top quality hops for its own beer producers and those interstate. Its two major beer producers, J Boag & Sons and Cascade Brewery make two of the best-selling premium beers in Australia with Boag's Premium one of Australia's most awarded beers. Meanwhile, the Lark Distillery in Hobart produces single malt whiskies and a range of liqueurs.
On an island with so much bounty, food and wine is good cause for celebration. Leading the food and wine festivals is the waterfront favourite, the Taste of Tasmania, in Hobart (late December-early January), where the buzz of the finish of the ocean racing classic, the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, sets the pace.
Tasmania’s quality wines are made from grapes grown in climates similar to those of the famous European wines – with mild summers and long autumn days that ripen the grapes slowly and surely.
You can tour the Tasmanian Wine Routes easily by car or on guided tours. The island's Wine Routes include the Tamar Valley, north of Launceston along both sides of the Tamar River and east to Pipers River; the Derwent, Coal River and Huon Valleys (together comprising the Southern Wine Route), an easy drive from Hobart; and the growing wine regions of the North West and the East Coast.
Pipers Brook Vineyard, Pipers Brook - is a leading winery and vineyard located in northern Tasmania. It is home to some of Tasmania’s premium cool climate wines. Visitors to Pipers Brook Vineyard have the opportunity to taste wines from the Kreglinger, Pipers Brook and Ninth Island labels.
Stoney Rise Vineyard, Gravelly Beach - is located just outside of Launceston, northern Tasmania. The vineyard is set in picturesque surrounds overlooking the Tamar River.The vineyard is comprised of three hectares (7.4) of Pinot Noir and one hectare (2.4 acres) of Chardonnay.
Jinglers Creek Vineyard, Relbia - is on the Tamar Valley Wine Route near Launceston Airport, northern Tasmania. Since 1998, Jinglers Creek Vineyard has been producing wines that are entirely estate grown on a small family-owned property at Relbia. Two hectares of Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc are carefully tended throughout their many weeks of growth and development.
Darlington Vineyard, Orford - is a producer of fine cool-climate wines on Tasmania’s east coast. The vineyard is located at Orford, an hour’s drive north of Hobart (81 kilometres / 50 miles). Set on 1.5 hectares of vines overlooking the historic Darlington settlement on Maria Island. Darlington’s range of light, delicate wines includes pinot noir, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and riesling.
Morningside Vineyard, Tea Tree - is located at Tea Tree in southeast Tasmania’s Coal River Valley wine region. Tea Tree is a 30-minute drive from Hobart (35 kilometres), a few kilometres from the historic village of Richmond. Morningside’s three hectares (seven acres) of vines were planted in 1980 and the vineyard was the first to be established in the Tea Tree area. The vineyard has consistently produced elegant, age-worthy wines including riesling, chardonnay, pinot noir and cabernets - a blend of cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and petit verdot.