A toast to Tasmania
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.