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Flirting in Tasmania, Australia by Meredith Griffin

Flirting in Tasmania, Australia by Meredith Griffin

I’m finishing my international journey in Tasmania, Australia to flirt with this New World wine region, where it will actually be winter now.

This island has a cool maritime climate due to its more southernly latitude from the mainland and of course, being this far south the hours of sun are much longer in the summer months. Due to its cool climate, like England, it’s become known for producing high-quality sparkling wine. So naturally, I need to sample a couple, especially those from Tamar Valley and Pipers River.

Yet, typically, when we think of Australia we think Shiraz (everyone else calls it Syrah), which is the wine that put them on the map as a wine-making country. These reds are typically full body bursting with fruit flavors. Shiraz isn’t grown as much in Tasmania as the mainland because of its cooler climate.

I’m venturing here to explore the still wines they’re making, specifically Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling from Coal River Valley, which is located in the more southern part of the island.

Tasmania is a small island south of the mainland of Australia. It’s approximately the size of Ohio and the area under vine has almost tripled in the past 20 years. Vines were first planted in the 1950’s but it’s just come into its own recently. Many of the producers are small and I’m learning few of the wines are exported which means it may make it harder to find.

I located a few bottles of Tasmanian wines in a local wine shop in San Francisco that were all under $20 per bottle. Even the Jansz “Premium Cuvee” Brut was only $20, which, by the way, was co-founded by Louis Roederer over 20 years ago. You gotta think if a Champagne house is investing in Tasmania, the region must be capable of making delicious bubbles!

Tolpuddle is a crush-worth Chardonnay to splurge on. It reminds me of a Chablis from France with its medium body and smooth texture, plus brighter acidity and minerality than most Chards.  Lemon notes pop from the glass, followed by apple and peach. It’s a food friendly wine that would be delicious with shellfish. 

Wineenthusiast.com wrote that Tasmania is a “food and wine lover’s paradise.”

What more is there to know?

Cheers!

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