Five Food and Drink Stops You Can Take in Tasmania's North East Region
Hop between cellar doors, breweries and distilleries as you travel across Tassie's north east.
July 03, 2020
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Lovers of sparkling wine and pinot noir, let us take you on a road trip that dreams are made of. The cool climes, pure water, fresh air and rich soil of northeastern Tassie make it an ideal place for making your favourite drops, from wines to excellent whiskey, gin and cider. Book a flight or catch a ferry to Launceston, then embark on your own adventure to meet multiple award-winning winemakers, stop by cellar doors for tastings, and feast your eyes on Tasmania's famously stunning scenery.
From pristine beaches and bountiful wine regions to alpine hideaways and bustling country towns, Australia has a wealth of places to explore at any time of year. We've partnered with Tourism Australia to help you plan your road trips, weekend detours and summer getaways so that when you're ready to hit the road you can Holiday Here This Year.
Under current COVID-19 restrictions in Australia, there are limitations on where you can go on a holiday. Bookmark this for when you can explore once again.
FILL UP AT THIS LAUNCESTON FARMERS MARKET
To try the local food and wine offerings without having to travel far from your hotel, make tracks to the car park by Cimitiere and Cameron Streets in Launceston on a Saturday morning to shop at Harvest Market. Scores of local growers and producers gather to peddle cool-climate wines, craft beers and cider made from Tassie apples, plus fresh veggies, locally produced cheeses and hormone-free meats. Or, if you're just there to sample the goods, there are bakery stalls for cherry pies and fresh loaves, plus farmers selling just-picked berries and stalls with oysters from Bruny Island.
VISIT AN AWARD-WINNING BAY OF FIRES WINERY
If your perfect cellar door includes water views, bubbles by Australia's most awarded sparkling winemaker and a wallaby pizza, stop in at Bay of Fires Wines. Located near Pipers River, the cellar door showcases House of Arras sparkling in addition to the winery's own drops — of which the spicy pinot noir is the high achiever. To accompany your vino, the restaurant serves up an epic tasting plate or wine-matched artisanal pizza. All tastings at the cellar door require bookings. Thirty-minute seated tastings start from $15 per person, but for something extra special book the Premium Arras Tasting ($55) or sign up for the winter twilight tour of the vineyard ($95), which includes wildlife spotting.
TAKE A SPARKLING WINE TOUR
There's no shortage of great sparkling wines in Tassie, but you'll find some of the best at Lebrina vineyard Apogee. Every grape comes from a single vineyard of just two hectares in size, which gives each wine its distinctive flavour profile. What's more, winemaker Andrew Pirie spent years and years researching ideal grape-growing climates before choosing this spot. The cellar door is open by appointment only.
SAMPLE LOCAL ALES
Continue east for half an hour — skirting pretty Mount Arthur Forest Reserve — to reach Scottsdale, home of Little Rivers Brewery. Since 2012, head brewer Chris Cairns has been creating craft beers using both local produce and ingredients imported from all over the world. There are five brews in the core range, varying from an American-style aromatic pale ale to a German-style dark lager, as well as more adventurous limited-release options. The brew bar has a relaxed atmosphere and you can enjoy five 100 millilitre samples of its best sellers for $15. You're welcome to take a picnic and, on weekend nights, you can expect to run into locals and mountain bikers who've just cycled the nearby Dam Busters Trail.
DROP INTO THIS RUSTIC CELLAR DOOR
Another hour's drive east — through a series of stunning conservation areas dotted with cute villages — will land you at Priory Ridge Wines, right near St Helens and the Bay of Fires. The drive is worth it, if for no reason other than to try the pinot noir. The scenery and rustic cellar door are a bonus. Priory Ridge's 20-hectare, north-facing vineyard gets loads of sunshine and grows in nutrient-rich granite soil. Before the grapes came along, it was a sheep farm run by owner Julie Llewellyn's great-grandparents, who settled in Priory in 1889. The cellar door is currently open for takeaway wines only, but once operating again you can ask owners Julie and David all about their oaked pinot noir, barrel-aged like the French do it.
Whether you're planning to travel for a couple of nights or a couple of weeks, Holiday Here This Year and you'll be supporting Australian businesses while you explore the best of our country's diverse landscapes and attractions.
Top image: Picnic at Bay of Fires by Sean Scott.
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