A toast to Tas­ma­nia

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - FRONT PAGE - Graeme Phillips

DE­SPITE bud­getary cut­backs, the drawn- out forestry saga and other prob­lems, Tas­ma­nia has notched up some no­table wins in re­cent years that should see us go­ing into 2013 with added op­ti­mism.

Not ex­actly a boom but nor is it all sim­ply de­press­ing doom and gloom.

MONA and MOFO have been tourism game- chang­ers and, with their plans for win­ter, David Walsh, Brian Ritchie and the MONA team clearly haven’t fin­ished yet.

And the new TMAG and al­ways- im­prov­ing Fes­ti­val of Voices will build fur­ther on MONA’s phe­nom­e­nal success.

FOOD GLO­RI­OUS FOOD

Cygnet- based celebrity chef Matthew Evans ( pic­tured on cover) has given the state more pos­i­tive ex­po­sure than all our years of tourism ads com­bined, through his tele­vi­sion show

Gourmet Farmer on SBS, which is about to re­turn to our screens for a third se­ries.

This ex­po­sure has been re­in­forced by the na­tional ac­claim af­forded our nat­u­ral and value- added pro­duce through es­tab­lish­ments such as award- win­ning Ho­bart restau­rants Garag­istes and Ethos and the sus­tain­able farm- based cook­ing school, The Agrar­ian Kitchen, at Lach­lan.

Brand Tas­ma­nia’s Culi­nary Am­bas­sador, chef Tet­suya Wakuda, who has two restau­rants in the World Top 100 list, con­tin­ues to take our food story to the world. Asked how to best sum up the state of the food in­dus­try in Tas­ma­nia, Tet­suya says: ‘‘ I don’t know of any other place in the world where the com­bi­na­tions of clean, fresh air, re­li­able rain, fer­tile soil, abun­dant sea life and an en­thu­si­as­tic farm­ing com­mu­nity all come to­gether to pro­vide such high- qual­ity out­comes.’’

RAISE YOUR GLASS

Ho­bart’s host­ing of the In­ter­na­tional Cool Cli­mate Wine Sym­po­sium last Fe­bru­ary did much the same glob­ally for our wine in­dus­try.

Tas­ma­nian grapes con­tinue to at­tract the high­est prices in the coun­try with de­mand con­sis­tently out­strip­ping sup­ply.

Nick Glaet­zer’s 2010 shi­raz win­ning the pres­ti­gious Jimmy Wat­son Tro­phy and a Tas­ma­nian- fruited chardon­nay be­ing judged the best in Aus­tralia opened main­land eyes to Tas­ma­nia’s po­ten­tial be­yond our award­win­ning sparkling wines and pinot noirs. Tas­ma­nian wine­mak­ers took out Gourmet

Trav­eller Wine’s Wine­maker of the Year and Young Wine­maker of the Year and 31 Tas­ma­nian wines are in­cluded in James Hal­l­i­day’s cur­rent Best of the Best se­lec­tion as pro­duc­ers like Poo­ley, Bay of Fires, Home Hill, Press­ing Mat­ters and oth­ers con­tinue to dec­o­rate Tas­ma­nia’s wine tro­phy cab­i­net.

As a re­sult, three ma­jor main­land play­ers and a num­ber of smaller ones have re­cently in­vested in the in­dus­try, with Hill- Smith only this month an­nounc­ing the pur­chase and plans for ma­jor ex­pan­sion of the Frog­more Creek vine­yard at Penna.

Wine tourism is grow­ing and a new gen­er­a­tion of young wine­mak­ers such as Kate Hill, Peter Dredge, Gilli Lip­scombe, Jim Chatto, Re­becca Duffy, Shane Hol­loway, Fran Austin, Nick Glaet­zer, Vaughn Dell and Linda Morice, Anna Poo­ley, Justin Bubb and oth­ers have moved here to in­vig­o­rate the in­dus­try with their youth­ful tal­ent and en­ergy and make Tas­ma­nian wine their fu­ture.

On top of that, dis­till­ing has grown to now be an ex­cit­ing new and fully- fledged Tas­ma­nian in­dus­try and our whiskies are re­ceiv­ing un­prece­dented in­ter­na­tional ac­claim and com­mer­cial success. Our ar­ti­san brew­ers and cider mak­ers are also on a sim­i­lar track to success.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST

Mean­while, lux­ury lodge Saf­fire, at Fr­eycinet, has suc­cess­fully plugged Tas­ma­nia into the top- end of the global tourism mar­ket and Ho­bart was re­cently rated among the top 10 most live­able cities in the world.

With aqua­cul­ture es­ti­mated to sup­ply al­most two- thirds of global fish sup­ply by 2020, the ex­pan­sion of Tas­ma­nia’s aqua­cul­ture in­dus­tries and UTAS aqua­cul­ture re­search, to­gether with Tas­ma­nia’s em­pha­sis on sus­tain­abil­ity, are plac­ing the state at the fore­front of what will be­come two of the ma­jor food de­vel­op­ments of the coming cen­tury.

And, while Tas­ma­nia as the na­tion’s food bowl might smack of po­lit­i­cal hype, there’s lit­tle doubt that ex­panded ir­ri­ga­tion schemes in var­i­ous parts of the state will de­liver greater pros­per­ity and ex­cit­ing new op­por­tu­ni­ties for all our agri­cul­tural and re­lated food in­dus­tries.

It’s ex­cit­ing, it’s pos­i­tive mo­men­tum and it’s good news to carry into what I trust will be a pros­per­ous year for all.

FLAVOURABLE DIS­TINC­TION: ( Clockwise from main) The Agrar­ian Kitchen’s own­erchef Rod­ney Dunn with his wife Sev­er­ine De­manet; chef Tet­suya Wakuda; and award­win­ning wine­maker Nick Glaet­zer.

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