Taste of Tassie Take a gastronomic road trip for a bite of the Apple Isle.
Take a gastronomic road trip around regional Tasmania. You’ll be delighted by the offerings, particularly in the north, writes Laura Barry.
Tourists to Australia’s island state of Tasmania tend to visit the harbourfront city of Hobart, enjoying Salamanca Market, the Museum of Old and New Art and a thriving foodie scene. Meanwhile, other areas – including the lesser-known northern city of Launceston – are undergoing a culinary renaissance, with purveyors of fine foods, winemakers and sustainable growers throughout the region making a living doing what they love.
Geronimo Aperitivo Bar & Restaurant (geronimorestaurant.com.au) on Charles Street in Launceston, owned and operated by Jeremy Kode, is one such place. After years abroad perfecting his gastronomic art, Jeremy returned home to open a restaurant dedicated to serving inspired seasonal food that harnesses the flavours from his parents’ sustainable farm, 20 minutes’ drive away in Longford. There, fruit and herbs are grown, cows roam free in fields, the hand-reared lambs love a cuddle – and not a single unnatural chemical or pesticide touches the land.
Perfect for a nightcap
Hidden away in a ‘hole in the wall’ on Brisbane Street is Red Brick Road
Ciderhouse & Bar (red brick road cider. com.au), which specialises in authentic pear and apple ciders made from natural ingredients using traditional methods. The ciders and perries (pear cider) are sugar-free, unpasteurised, unfiltered and naturally fermented. Proprietor Corey Baker is more than happy to talk you through the range and host a tasting.
Not to be forgotten are the humble bread, butter and basic food groups. A visit to the
Harvest Market (harvestmarket.org.au), held on Saturday mornings in Launceston, will reward you with handmade loaves and delicious almond croissants from Manu Bread, liquid gold from Honey Tasmania, cheese from Coal River Farm and tasty naturally fermented cultured butter handmade by Tasmanian Butter Co.
On the trail of great wine
If you enjoy a glass of sparkling, visit the Josef Chromy Cellar Door, Vineyard
and Winery (josefchromy.com.au) in Relbia. At 19, Josef Chromy escaped the war in the Czech Republic and eventually made his way to Australia, where he started as a butcher before moving into
wine. He now produces some of the Tamar Valley’s finest cool-climate drops. The Cellar Door, in a refurbished lakeside heritage house, offers a four-hour Art of Sparkling Experience for $235. Guests learn about the winemaking process from picking and pressing grapes to sweetening a batch and then, following a two-course lunch, leave with their own custom bottle of sparkling.
Moores Hill Estate (mooreshill.com.au) in Sidmouth is Tasmania’s first entirely solar-powered, off-the-grid winery. It specialises in aromatic wines and pinot noir, with robust fruit flavours and relatively high natural acids. Everything is done by hand at this medium-size winery, which produces an excellent mid-range drop.
In Lebrina, boutique vineyard Apogee (apogeetasmania.com), owned by Andrew Pirrie – a dual finalist in the Qantas/ Gourmet Traveller WINE Winemaker of the Year – focuses on quality of growth and produces a spectacular sparkling rosé. At just two hectares, it’s a similar size to what you might find in Champagne, France. About 15,000 bottles are produced each year, and its Tasmanian sparkling has received international acclaim.
The small, family-run vineyard of
Sinapius Wines (sinapius.com.au) in Pipers Brook produces just 1800 cases of wine each year, and relies on word-ofmouth recommendations to grow its customer base. The growers’ philosophy is highly personal and organic; they don’t meddle with or manipulate the wines they produce. Their vines are grown in high density conditions to ensure high-quality grapes bursting with flavour. Unique blended drops are a speciality – the grapes are picked, pressed and fermented together to create individual flavour profiles.
Launceston offers a wealth of adventures outdoors. Visit Cataract Gorge Reserve (launcestoncataractgorge.com.au) to walk its numerous tracks, cross the bridge that swings over the waterfalls and take in the cool calm this sanctuary offers. Just 10 minutes’ drive from the heart of town, you can spot native hens, egrets, swans and pelicans at Tamar Island Wetlands
(discovertasmania.com.au). Perfect for thrill-seekers, Hollybank Treetops
Adventure (treetopsadventure.com.au) takes advantage of Tasmania’s towering forests to offer a view of the lush natural landscape via ziplines and flying foxes. If the weather turns grey and drizzly – quite likely at some point – pop into the National Automobile Museum of
Tasmania (namt.com.au) on Cimitiere Street and take a peek at more than
100 years of automotive styling and technological advances. South-west of the town is the World Heritage-listed Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park
(discovertasmania.com.au), where walks range from a two-hour circuit of Australia’s deepest lake to a six-day hike of the world-famous Overland Track.
CLOCKWISE FROM ABOVE The Agrarian Kitchen Eatery (theagrariankitchen.com) at New Norfolk is a must-stop if heading south from Launceston towards Hobart; it serves wonderful rustic Australian food. Josef Chromy Winery offers wine tasting with a view. Spectacular Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park. Fine fare at Josef Chromy. Local hero Geronimo. Cataract Gorge.