“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.