Tasmania is a diverse wine region, from the Pipers River and Tamar Valley areas in the north to the Coal River, Derwent Valley and Huon/Channel districts in the south. It is developing a reputation, both nationally and internationally, for producing high-quality premium wine from its pristine and natural environment.
With a cool climate that has long, sunny and dry autumns, Tasmania has ideal growing conditions for developing naturally elegant, intensely flavoured and aromatic wines, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in particular. As well as producing stunning wines, Tasmania is also a picturesque gourmet paradise. It has the perfect climate for producing prime cheeses, premium beef, specialty honey, mushrooms and some of Australia's leading boutique beers. Tasmania also features pristine wilderness and natural attractions from bushwalking to rafting – there is something for everyone.
- The region is currently home to around 200 vineyards and 160 licensed producers.
- Tasmania has a long viticultural history with records dating from 1823.
- Principal varieties include Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc.
- Tasmania is widely recognised as the home of premium sparkling wine production in Australia.
- Tasmania enjoys a moderate maritime climate.
- Tasmania is one zone, but has seven wine growing areas – Tamar Valley and the North East areas in the north, the East Coast, the North West and the Derwent Valley, Coal River Valley and Huon/Channel areas in the south.
- Significant climatic diversity is evident among the viticultural areas and dolerite-capped mountains shelter many of the state's vineyards from high winds and heavy rainfall.
- As well as producing stunning wines, Tasmania is also a gourmet paradise.
Tasmania has a moderate maritime climate, cooled by prevailing westerlies off the Southern Ocean, providing conditions that are generally free from extremes. Mild spring and summer temperatures, with warm autumn days and cool nights, allow the grapes to ripen slowly on the vine, resulting in maximum varietal flavour development. This is achieved without losing that essential natural acid that gives Tasmania’s wines freshness and balance.
The Tasmanian landscape is dominated by dolerite-capped mountains that shelter the state’s vineyards from high winds and rainfall. On the lower slopes, the vineyard soils are formed from ancient sandstones and mudstones and also from more recent river sediments and igneous rock of volcanic origin.
Sparkling Wine: These are of great and growing importance to Tasmania. Sparkling wines are usually produced in the traditional bottle-fermented method. In Tasmania, fine balance between fruit and acidity is naturally achieved on the vine. Several labels have gained national and international acclaim.
Pinot Noir: Tasmania’s most widely planted red variety and one of the most difficult to grow successfully. Tasmanian conditions regularly produce soft, luscious and strongly perfumed wines. The wines range from elegant and fruit driven to complex and gamey.
Chardonnay: Because of the cool nature of the climate, extended ripening on the vine allows for greater varietal fruit expression for Chardonnay in Tasmania. They are commonly balanced with partial malolactic fermentation, imparting a lovely butterscotch character. It has a capacity to develop in the bottle and a unique edge to the tangy citrus and apple fruit flavours.
Riesling: A variety which flourishes in Tasmania’s climate, producing subtle but distinctly differing styles. The relatively high level of natural acidity underwrites the wines ability to age. Intense lime, apple and citrus characters are hallmarks of Tasmanian Riesling.
Sauvignon Blanc: Extended ripening periods due to the cool Tasmanian climate yields wines of great varietal fruit character. For example, Tasmania’s Sauvignon Blanc can exhibit a fresh intensity ranging from racy asparagus to tropical lychee and passionfruit.
Other Wines: A range of other aromatic varieties such as Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminer are also being successfully grown in Tasmania. Intense varietal fruit characters with elegant bouquets make these wines enjoyable to drink on release, but they may also age with grace and elegance.
Map Coordinates: 41°07'S (Pipers Brook), 41°27'S (Launceston)
Altitude: 81–210 metres (265-688 feet)
Heat degree days, October-April: 1020 (cut off at 19°C (66.2°F) but otherwise not adjusted
Growing season rainfall, Oct-Apr: 310 millimetres (12.2 inches)
Mean January temperature: 17.2°C (63 °F)
Relative humidity, October-April, 3 pm: Average 51%
Harvest: March-Late May
Map coordinates: 42°45'S (Hobart)
Altitude: 50-175 metres (164-574 feet)
Heat degree days, October-April: 1013 (cut off at 19º C (66.2ºF), otherwise not adjusted)
Growing season rainfall, October-April: 360 millimetres (14 inches)
Mean January temperature: 16.8º C (62ºF)
Harvest: March-Early June
Steve Lubiana, Winemaker, Owner and Operator, Stefano Lubiana Wines, Derwent Valley, Tasmania
After searching Australia for an appropriate winemaking home, Steve Lubiana selected Tasmania for a cool-climate vineyard back in the early 1990s. He is a fifth-generation winemaker and his family’s winemaking origins reach back to Trieste in Northern Italy.
"I discovered a parcel of land overlooking the spectacular tidal estuary of the Derwent River at Granton, a mere 20 kilometres north of Hobart. The vineyard was first planted with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir during the spring of 1991. From those humble beginnings, it has expanded to 18 hectares of closely spaced vines, which now also comprise Merlot, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Riesling and Nebbiolo. Despite its growth, Stefano Lubiana Wines remains a family-owned and operated business, passionately focussed on producing small quantities of hand-crafted, cool climate, Tasmanian wines,” Steve says.
"Steve Lubiana wines are well known for pushing the boundaries of winemaking techniques in Tasmania and we are always exploring innovative methods to extract maximum aroma, flavour and palate dimensions in our wines. We regularly experiment with yeasts (wild and/or inoculated) and we use whole bunch fermentation where appropriate.
"Our business boasts a state-of-the-art winery facility, capable of processing up to 300 tonnes during vintage. The winery features a temperature-controlled barrel hall to prevent temperature fluctuations through varied seasonal conditions. It also permits regulation of temperatures during fermentation, thus allowing better management of the process and advancement in overall quality."