When we arrived in Tasmania we were immediately taken aback by the beauty of the place—sheep herding land turned to wine country.
We began our trip with a benchmark tasting, roughly 50 wines from various regions and vintages. It became clear that there was a huge variance in the style dependent on region. And due to the marginal climate, there is major vintage variation. Overall we were taken aback by the elegance and complexity of these pinot noirs and excited to visit the producers to learn more.
Our first tasting was at Stephano Lubiana. His family is from Friuli with a major history of winemaking. He makes classic Derwent Valley Pinot. The Derwent is slightly warmer and drier than some other parts of Tasmania, so the pinots tend to be dark-fruited with a touch more concentration. Lubiana’s wines were very fresh and well balanced. Very impressive.
Next up was Pressing Matters. They specialize in riesling and some pinot. The rieslings were some of the best I’ve ever tried in the New World—high toned, floral with super-high acid. He makes various styles dependent on the level of residual sugar. Greg Melick, the proprietor, turned out to be a major Burgundy geek—we tasted their pinot noirs next to some Burgundies and let’s just say that he was very happy with our opinion! We are so impressed by these wines.
Outside of winery related activities, the dining and cocktail scene in Hobart is growing and vibrant. We had cocktails at The Glass House and dinner with Damien, the sommelier, at Me Wah. All in all a very exciting first day! —Carlton McCoy
This story appears in the print issue of jan 2019.
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