SHERALEE DAVIES

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“TAS­MA­NIA: Now Aus­tralia’s top wine tourism re­gion!”

So pro­claimed the re­spected UK pub­li­ca­tion, Drinks

Busi­ness, last month. The word con­tin­ues to get out about our spec­tac­u­lar is­land, its wine, food and com­ple­men­tary ex­pe­ri­ences.

Over the past year, a quar­ter of a mil­lion in­ter­state and in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors called in to one of the is­land’s cel­lar doors. That’s more than one in five of all vis­i­tors, and an in­crease of 20 per cent on 2015.

Global recog­ni­tion of our wines is mo­ti­vat­ing more and more peo­ple to travel to Tas­ma­nia for the unique and per­son­alised ex­pe­ri­ence of vis­it­ing one of the is­land’s 95 cel­lar doors and sam­pling their of­fer­ings.

Due to the abil­ity of our tal­ented grape grow­ers, wine­mak­ers and the pre­mium wines that can be crafted in our gen­uinely cool cli­mate, Tas­ma­nian wines at­tract a pre­mium price of more than dou­ble the coun­try’s av­er­age.

Peo­ple are vis­it­ing to try some of the coun­try’s best wines, in­clud­ing sparkling, pinot noir, ries­ling, chardon­nay, pinot gris, sauvi­gnon blanc and a whole lot more.

Of course we are bi­ased, but this view is sup­ported by our wines reg­u­larly win­ning tro­phies and medals in ma­jor na­tional and in­ter­na­tional wine com­pe­ti­tions.

Even the French re­cently de­clared Tas­ma­nia “the next wine par­adise” — high praise in­deed, given the re­spect in which we hold that coun­try’s es­tab­lished and in­flu­en­tial wine re­gions (Le Fi­garo Mag­a­zine, Jan­uary 2016). The Open Vine­yards Week­end is an ex­cel­lent op­por­tu­nity to get out and visit some of Tas­ma­nia’s tal­ented wine pro­duc­ers along the East Coast, through the Coal River, Der­went and Huon val­leys and around the d’En­tre­casteaux Chan­nel.

From the ul­tra­mod­ern to the rus­tic, our cel­lar doors of­fer a di­ver­sity of ex­pe­ri­ences. More of­ten than not, you will have an op­por­tu­nity to speak di­rectly with the grape grower, wine­maker or fam­ily mem­ber at these vine­yards.

The Open Vine­yards Week­end on March 4-5 is unique in of­fer­ing a chance to visit some of the vine­yards that may not have a cel­lar door or nec­es­sar­ily be open to the public very of­ten.

So take the chance to visit some of your favourites and get to know some new vine­yards. Re­mem­ber to en­joy re­spon­si­bly — it’s about qual­ity and not quan­tity! Sheralee Davies is chief ex­ec­u­tive of Wine Tas­ma­nia, which was es­tab­lished in 2006 as the peak rep­re­sen­ta­tive body for Tas­ma­nian grape grow­ers and wine­mak­ers.

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