Unmissable Tasmanian Cellar Doors
Whether you’re embarking on a dedicated wine and food adventure or fancy mixing it up a little (a cellar door visit is doubly rewarding after one of Tassie’s many great hikes), you’ll find your perfect destination within the list below. From the lush North to the rugged and beautiful South, we’ve put together a go-to guide for visiting Tasmania’s best cellar doors, as well as a few notes of handy insider information to make your visit to each an unforgettable (and enviable) experience.
Northdown, North-West Tasmania
While the wine at Ghost Rock is undoubtedly awesome (enthusiastic and informal adjectives are fitting here), it’s the combination with the cellar door’s amazing restaurant overlooking Bass Strait that draws visitors off the beaten track to this incredible vineyard perched on Tassie’s Northern edge. Local sourcing is the focus of their outstanding eatery – menu items are inspired by each season’s bounty, nurtured by local growers and makers. If local quail and Stanley octopus sound like menu items to be found only in trendy urban eateries then Ghost Rock is the exception to the rule – the urban part only. Well-priced wines, fun(ky) options included, are grown and produced on site, with a variety of styles to try in a range of intimate, tailored wine tasting experiences depending on the mood.
Find Ghost Rock at 1055 Port Sorell Rd, Northdown on the North West Wine Trail.
Drink: Anything that you’re offered – there are a range of interesting alternative styles to discover alongside the classics.
Eat: The aforementioned lobster tacos.
Do: Not assume to be able to get a table by just rolling up. Book to avoid (bitter) disappointment.
Gravelly Beach, Tamar Valley, Tasmania
There is much beauty in a well-executed combination of attention to detail and simplicity, and Stoney Rise are the masters of it. While it’s the former that best describes the wines (as well as words like complex and nuanced), the experience at Stoney Rise is beautifully straightforward. Choose a seated, self-guided wine tasting flight at this trendy wine bar-esque cellar door and add a few snacks from the small plate menu – think exceptional-quality classics like French onion dip, Wagyu bresaola & La Belle sardines, paired with fresh locally-baked sourdough (winemaker Joe’s favourite dish is the three cheese & onion jam toastie). From here, settle in for an afternoon of great wine, great food, river views and good company. This elegant yet relaxed architecturally designed building has a minimal footprint – it’s all about the surrounding outdoor space and expansive Tamar vistas.
Drink: Stoney Rise vineyard’s own exceptional wines, or something from the carefully-chosen international wine list.
Eat: With a focus on high-quality ingredients, anything from the small plate selection is a safe bet and if in doubt, sample a few.
Do: Take the scenic route, turning off the West Tamar Highway and onto the C728 or if you’re coming from the North, the Auld Kirk Road under the Batman Bridge.
Rowella, Tamar Valley, Tasmania
Holm Oak is located at the top of the Tamar Valley, where warm welcomes and an array of wine experiences (as well as a cosy fire in wintertime) await. You’ll be greeted by wine dogs Bella and Nyah, resident pigs and the cellar door team including winemaker Bec (when things are a little quieter in the winery). The key goal of Bec and viticulturalist husband Tim is to produce single vineyard wines with personality and character that reflect the place in which their family lives, Tasmania’s pristine Tamar Valley, as well as their own personalities. Rustic, down to earth, not super polished but genuine and authentic well describe both. The experience of wine isn’t just about the liquid in the glass and with Holm Oak’s new (opened in January 2023) sensory garden, there is a whole new realm of fascinating wine education to be experienced. Foraging for edibles to pair with each of the wines from fresh herbs to berries, visitors will take their wine knowledge to whole new level by combining flavours, aromas and textures throughout 90 minutes of guided garden immersion.
Drink: A tasting flight of red, white, rosé, sparkling and sweet wines, depending on your taste.
Eat: Choose your own picnic items from the cellar door’s providore, smallgoods and cheeses both coming highly recommended.
Do: While guests are welcome to take an independent tour of the sensory garden, the guided experience is definitely recommended. Reservations are essential.
Kayena, Tamar Valley, Tasmania
In the upper reaches of the Tamar Valley, find Small Wonder nestled into native bushland on a peaceful hillside overlooking the valley, trees and vineyard below – a truly idyllic outlook in the summertime and autumn when the vines are lush, green and laden with ripe bunches of grapes. The name of the vineyard is quite literal, being home to a small but wonderful 20 hectares of vines. Rolling lawns made for lazing on (glass of wine in hand) provide the perfect space to relax and decompress. Choose your spot on the grass (bring a comfortable rug) or a picnic table and order your nibbles – there’s a vineyard platter (all the good grazing things) or a cheese platter to choose from and add on bread and dips if you’re up for a feast.
Drink: A selection of white varietals, including highly-rated Riesling and Chardonnay, along with several Pinot Noirs from which to choose.
Eat: Your choice of grazing plates – with a side of bread and dips for a hearty feast.
Do: Enjoy the outdoor space, weather permitting.
Pipers Brook, Pipers River, Tasmania
Serene, relaxed and friendly best describe Delamere’s vineyard home – a beautiful farmyard-like haven and the place where husband and wife duo Fran Austin and Shane Holloway chose to raise their family and follow their winemaking dream. Located within the winery, the cellar door is always abuzz with activity and is where their award-winning and much-celebrated Delamere wines are made from start to finish. Last year alone Shane & Fran were nominated for GT Wine’s Winemakers of the Year and also received the gong for Best Small Cellar Door in Tasmania’s North East. The stunning established gardens at Delamere are a home for free range ducks, chickens and guinea fowl, while there is plentiful space for children to roam within eye-sight of the cellar door and tours are also available by request. Delamere also have your picnic needs covered – the perfect accompaniment to the range of wine on offer which ranges from crisp bubbles to single block Pinot Noir.
Drink: A range of different wine styles, which make for an insightful comparative tasting.
Eat: Seasonal produce for a picnickers palate, also available to take away.
Do: Take advantage of any opportunity to try the limited release block and museum wines on offer
Lebrina, Pipers River, Tasmania
If you’re the type of person that usually finds ‘breathtaking’ experiences underwhelming, the view from the Clover Hill cellar door is one of those rare occasions where the phrase really holds true to its meaning. For the aesthetically inclined, the architecture and its connection with the site provides fodder for intellectual exploration too. Outdoors, enjoy the natural setting more intimately, including the afternoon sea breezes which roll in from the North – worthy of at least a few long, deep breaths. Experiencing the wine can be done several ways, the most highly recommended being one of Clover Hill’s masterclasses, which range from a vineyard tour and tasting to chocolate, cheese and sparkling pairing (as well as others in between). Given the exceptional restaurant on site, an exploration of the relationship between sparkling wine and food is also a must. Every dish, prepared the way only a true culinary artist can, has a fascinating story of creation which is focused primarily on how best to pair with the portfolio of wine on offer. Don’t miss all things pickled, cured and umami for the perfect sparkling accompaniments.
Drink: The range of different styles on offer at Clover Hill provide a wonderful opportunity to explore the nuances of sparkling wine.
Eat: The menu is constantly changing, so put your trust in the chef to enjoy the best of what’s on offer (you’re in good hands).
Do: Elevate the Clover Hill experience with an educational masterclass by trying your hand at making sparkling wine in a dosage workshop – a fun yet fascinating experience.
Richmond, Coal River Valley, Tasmania
If you’ve heard some of the media buzz about Pooley Wines in recent times it is quite possibility in connection to their winning of Halliday Wine Companion’s 2023 Winery of the Year – an accolade added to a long list of ‘best’s’. A ‘dedication to perfection’ guides Pooley Wine’s vineyard and winemaking practices, manifesting in top rated Riesling and 99-point Pinot Noir (among others). The property which makes up today’s Pooley Estate is home to several impressive, historical and other worldly buildings including the convict built coach house which today houses the cellar door and adjoins the impressive heritage listed Georgian homestead of Belmont. While a visit to Pooley Wines will likely (and rightfully so) be primarily about the exceptional selection of wine, the local cheeses, charcuterie and woodfired pizzas on offer (the latter are available on weekends) are equally satisfying. The opportunity to taste through a stable (pardon the pun) of such highly awarded wines doesn’t come up every day – drive past at your own regret.
Drink: The 2020 Jack Dennis Pooley Pinot Noir scored 99-points in the 2023 Halliday Wine Companion. While this particular vintage is famously hard to get your hands on, try your luck for a taste of the current vintage at the cellar door.
Eat: Woodfired pizza, available on weekends – the perfect pairing for the range of different Pinot Noirs on offer.
Do: Try the flagship wines in the cellar door line up if they are available on the day of your visit.
Granton, Derwent Valley, Tasmania
The story of Derwent Estate’s heritage is a very Tasmanian one – from convict beginnings, the cellar door was built in 1820 on the site of what was previously one of the island’s first and consequently oldest lime quarries. Sitting on the verandah of the Rathbone Cottage cellar door overlooking the Derwent River evokes a sense of relaxation akin to a long afternoon visit at an old friend’s house. A tasting through the Derwent Estate range is generous in both the variety of wine styles on offer and the information that accompanies them and can be paired with a delicious local grazing platter. Across the lawn the understated Shed Restaurant serves up an expertly prepared chef’s menu of the tastiest produce from across the island, with an extensive list of plates from which to choose (try as much as you possibly can – although it might require a repeat visit). Five generations of careful custodianship as well as a dedicated vineyard, winery and hospitality team make everything from the welcome to the wine and the food utterly memorable.
Drink: The generous tasting experience includes the full 11(ish) wines in the Derwent Estate range, so allow enough time to properly enjoy them all.
Eat: A selection of plates to share (or to enjoy on your own) at the Shed Restaurant, or a platter at the cottage during your tasting.
Do: Plan a visit to both the cellar door and The Shed – in either order.
Flowerpot, Huon Valley & D'Entrecasteaux Channel, Tasmania
Located on the shores of the D’Entrecasteaux channel at Flowerpot and overlooking Bruny Island, the impressive cellar door is home to some of the island’s most exciting wines which are grown in the adjacent vineyard and crafted in the adjoining winery. The vineyard came about almost by accident back in 2010. Brothers Jonathon and Matthew Hughes were looking for a vineyard in the Huon Valley when they noticed that a cherry orchard, located on today’s vineyard site, was for sale. Mewstone as it is today is a huge accomplishment in just over 12 short years, created by the combination of an impressive winemaking CV (Jonny is the winemaker) and a fair portion of hard-working passion. Seasonal platters (changing regularly to reflect the spoils of Tassie’s south, ocean and land alike) are also up for grabs. Daydream-worthy views and contentment-worthy food are the perfect pairing for a cool and crisp glass of Mewstone Chardonnay or a your choice of the intriguing selection of wines on offer.
Drink: Guided tastings include around 8 of the vineyard’s wines, from classy Riesling and Pinot Noir to skinsy blends & edgy Pet Nat. Tastings at Mewstone are a guided experience, so be sure to book.
Eat: A seasonal platter for two, which comes (very) highly recommended.
Do: Ask about the history of the vineyard. Chances are you’ll be hosted by Johnny or his wife Margie themselves, who have more than a few good stories to share.
Tassie's Wine Trails have many paths – to create your own visit the Wine Trails website.