Unmissable Cellar Doors Tasmania
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.
Ghost Rock Wines
Ghost Rock Wines is located in Tassie’s North West, a short drive from Devonport (and the Spirit of Tasmania terminal). With its rich and fertile volcanic soils, this region is known for everything from berries and vegetables to truffles and some of the island’s most famous dairy products. Although the vineyards in this area are few and far between, squeezed in as they are amongst farmland, they are well worth the visit!
From the cellar door to the vines, everything that can be found at Ghost Rock is the creation of local Justin Arnold and Alicia Peardon. Alicia is a Jamie Oliver alumni who quit her restaurant job to join Justin at the winery. Together they have driven this pioneering regional vineyard into a new era of natural winemaking and hospitality excellence. Only established in 1999, Ghost Rock is relative newcomer to the Tassie wine scene. However, the Arnold family know the area intimately, with Justin's family having farmed the Cradle Coast since the mid-1800s.
While the wine is undoubtedly awesome (enthusiastic and informal adjectives are fitting here), it’s the cellar door’s amazing restaurant overlooking Bass Strait that draws visitors off the beaten track. Local sourcing is the focus of their outstanding eatery – menu items are inspired by each season’s bounty, nurtured by local growers and makers. Ingredients are carefully sourced right across Tasmania, from the pristine waters of the Tarkine to small artisan farms dotted around the island, each with their own specialty. If local quail and Stanley octopus sound like menu items found only in trendy urban eateries then Ghost Rock is the exception to that rule – (the urban part only)!
While “we had no idea that this was here” might one of the most commonly used phrases by visitors to the cellar door, the secret about Ghost Rock is out, so be sure to reserve your table – this destination wine and food haven is incredibly popular (and lobster taco FOMO is real!). 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.
Stoney Rise Wine Company
Located in a beautiful "beachy-feeling" hamlet on the Tamar River / kanamaluka, Stoney Rise is not your average cellar door. Built by Joe and Lou Holyman on their carefully chosen vineyard and winery site, the tasting room is more like a trendy wine bar (with a very spacious lawn perfect for enjoying sometimes-sunny Tasmanian weather). This elegant yet relaxed architecturally designed building has a minimal footprint – it’s all about the surrounding outdoor space and expansive Tamar vistas.
Lou encourages visitors to take the rivers’ edge drive to get to Stoney Rise, which winds past neighbouring vineyards, berry farms, country pie shops (the inside word is to stop at the River Grass Café) and green paddocks extending right down to the gently sloping water’s edge. Upon arrival you’ll likely meet Lou herself or otherwise one of the awesome cellar door staff. Winemaker Joe might pop by if you’re lucky, although he’ll more than likely be in the vineyard (he’s been known to firmly announce that winery work is boring - luckily Stoney Rise takes a hands off approach to winemaking anyway).
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 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 (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.
A delightful experience all-round, one of the things that sets Stoney Rise apart is their drinks menu – if a tasting isn’t what you’re after, choose a glass of wine from their comprehensive and varied list. You’ll find an exceptional and diverse global wine selection to accompany the vineyard’s own, as well as gin, beer and a serious non-alcoholic range as well. The variety on offer is astounding, as is winemaker Joe Holyman’s own selection produced from grapes grown on-site. Explore a variety of styles across the Stoney Rise, Holyman, No Clothes (a good cellar door conversation starter) and Yes Miss ranges – the Yes Miss wines made by Joe and Lou’s sixteen year old son Oscar.
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.
Holm Oak Vineyards
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. The picturesque roads that meander along the Tamar River / kanamaluka to eventually arrive here are a delightful precursor to your visit, where 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 vineyard takes its name from the trees that line the boundaries, which were planted by the original owner destined for a tennis racquet factory in Launceston (although fortunately they never made it there). Following your arrival at Holm Oak, don’t forget to feed resident General Manager Pinot D’Pig and his sidekick Mayonnaise – the ideal attraction for children if you’re dragging them along for the ride.
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. Be prepared to leave with a full cup – not just of wine, but knowledge, inspiration and wholesome memories too.
Visits to Holm Oak are truly ‘choose your own adventure’, with one tasting option aptly named as such. Whether you’re planning a quick stop or prefer to linger a while (we recommend the latter), there is an experience to suit. Wine flights come tailored by Bec, or self-selected if you have a particular fancy. When it comes to the wine itself there is something for every preference guaranteed, including several varietals and wine styles that are a little less common in Tassie.
However, 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.
Finally, once you’ve tasted through the extensive range of wines – many from a single vineyard selection of estate-grown fruit – head to the providore to pack your picnic. Note: the locally-made duck & venison salami along with the ashed brie are not to be missed.
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.
Small Wonder Wines
In the upper reaches of the Tamar Valley, you will 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. With Bass Strait to the North, the Tamar River to the East and hilltop peaks in the distance, this is a place to enjoy all things naturally Tasmanian. 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 (with a glass of wine in hand naturally) provide the perfect space to relax and decompress. If the sometimes fleeting sun is shining on the day of your visit then you’ve hit the ultimate jackpot. Plentiful shady trees can also be found on the grounds, perfect for a post-lunch kip.
A visit to the cellar door here is an experience made for long afternoons, relaxation and sharing with friends. Choose your spot on the grass (bring a comfortable rug) or a picnic table and pre-order your nibbles for an experience as seamless as the wines themselves. There’s a vineyard platter (of all the good grazing things!) or a cheese platter to choose from - add on bread and dips if you’re up for a feast.
Focused on small-batch making, the vineyard practices and management follow a regenerative approach and the vineyard has recently achieved organic certification. The team at Small Wonder say the wines are intended to celebrate Tasmania, its remarkable beauty and distinctive flavours and given the limited volume produced, heading to the cellar door is the best way to discover this for yourself.
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.
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. The Delamere story – of challenge, triumph and all of the parts in between – is a wonderful one which is generously shared with guests. Shane was a marine biologist who grew up on his family’s Adelaide Hills vineyard, while Fran was a girl from Kalgoorlie who developed a passion for fine winemaking. They met in Tasmania during harvest 20 years ago and fell in love with each other and the island’s wine.
Located within the winery, the cellar door is always abuzz with activity (including visits from Shane & Fran’s kids) 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. After a visit here, you will see the accolades come as no surprise.
Cellar door tastings are flexible, with rare block wines and museum releases able to be added to the initial tasting line up if you’re so inclined. Shane and Fran believe that the more we understand a wine, the deeper our enjoyment becomes and that comparative tastings are a key way to learn. A distinct sense of place is evident in the wine, which becomes clear as you taste through contrasting blocks, vintages and styles.
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. Tours are also available by request - a fascinating experience, these behind-the-scenes insights cover bottling, tirage and disgorging. Delamere also have your picnic needs covered – the perfect accompaniment to the wines on offer ranging from crisp bubbles to single block Pinot Noir. Whether you’re tasting, touring or grazing, bookings are highly recommended.
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
Clover Hill Wines
If you’re the type of person that usually finds ‘breathtaking’ experiences underwhelming, the view from the Clover Hill cellar door at Piper's River is one of those rare occasions where the phrase really holds true to its meaning. From your lofty vantage point poised atop one of the region's many hills, rows of vines roll deep into the valley below and up to the other side – a vineyard vista to rival the world’s best. The scenery will never tire and provides the perfect viewing for an afternoon’s exploration through one of Tasmania’s most esteemed sparkling wine houses.
Everything at Clover Hill is in steadfast commitment to the traditional method sparkling wine for which the site was chosen and the vines were specifically planted to produce. For the aesthetically inclined, the architecture and its connection with the site provides fodder for intellectual exploration too. Earthen colours, recessed floor lighting and tactile, exposed timber beams create a serene and inspiring ambience with visual linkages to the natural environment – particularly the rich, red earth on which the building sits. 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 by a true culinary artist, has a fascinating story of creation which is focused primarily on pairing with the portfolio of wine on offer. Don’t miss all things pickled, cured and umami for the perfect sparkling accompaniments.
To add to the extensive and list of bookable wine experiences, Clover Hill also periodically hosts music and food events as well as glamping and masterclass weekends. Keep in the loop via their mailing list. If your trip to Tassie is only in the planning stages, then get a quicker fix now by experiencing a virtual masterclass – try the wine and learn about its intricacies, but you’ll have to trust us on the cellar door views (hint: virtual masterclasses make a great gift for the wine lover, too).
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.
If you’ve heard some of the media buzz about Pooley Wines recently, perhaps it was in connection to their winning the Halliday Wine Companion’s 2023 Winery of the Year – yet another accolade added to a long list of ‘best’s’. A ‘dedication to perfection’ guides Pooley Wines' vineyard and winemaking practices, manifesting in its top rated Riesling and 99-point Pinot Noir (among others).
Pooley Wines has a vibrant history of producing some of Tassie’s most celebrated wines since its establishment in the mid ‘80s, fitting of their historic vineyard home just outside of the postcard-like township of Richmond in the Coal River Valley, a short drive from Hobart Airport (if that's your point of arrival).
The Pooleys migrated to Australia from England post World War Two after a coin flip and a choice between Tasmania and Canada. What started as a retirement hobby for Margaret and Dennis with ten rows of Riesling and seven rows of Pinot Noir has since developed into a wine institution, with third generation Anna Pooley and husband Justin Bubb now at the winemaking helm.
Three generations of attention to detail and passion later, the property which makes up today’s Pooley Estate is home to several impressive, historical and other worldly buildings. Second generation family members John and Libby admired the property for many years before finally having the opportunity to purchase them and turn them into today’s cellar door and nearby Prospect House Hotel. The convict built coach house today houses the cellar door and adjoins the impressive heritage-listed Georgian homestead of Belmont.
Whether you’re looking for an educational experience and a fascinating history lesson or just a glass of some of the island’s most decorated wines, the wonderful fusion of tradition and innovation at Pooley Wines is noteworthy to say the least. 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 all equally satisfying.
The opportunity to taste through a stable (pardon the pun) of such highly-awarded wines doesn’t come up every day – so make time to include Pooley Wines as part of your Richmond village itinerary. 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.
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. The undeniably intriguing and charming buildings on site are among the Hobart area’s oldest.
The natural landscape at Derwent Estate is as romantic as its heritage – especially if you’re there at the right time of day to soak in the hazy afternoon light as the sun dips behind the mountains across the Derwent River, which widens considerably at this point before meeting the ocean closer to Hobart. Sitting on the verandah of Rathbone Cottage overlooking the 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). Simplicity combined with just the right amount of flair and an array of exceptional-quality ingredients create dishes worthy of a second helping. The parmesan and leek croquettes with lemon yuzu mayonnaise and balsamic glaze are a standout, however hearty plates such as the 12-hour slow-cooked dorper lamb shoulder are also on offer.
The vineyard sits at the rear of the cottage cellar door and the restaurant, with rows of vines running down the banks and hilltop slopes that lead toward the cool, fresh highland water of the Derwent River. For the lover of wine from the most revered French growing areas, the calcareous soils at Derwent Estate bear similarities to those of Champagne, the Loire Valley and Burgundy. Derwent Estate’s wines come in their own famous style, poured at the cellar door throughout extensive tastings hosted by an exceptionally friendly team of staff. 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.
Head South from Hobart for a 35 minute drive (or the longer way through the rolling hills of the Huon Valley, if you please) to your destination: Mewstone. 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 winery, connected to the cellar door.
Tastings here are seated, so kick back, relax and settle in. You’ll likely be welcomed by Jonny or his wife Margie, who offer many a great story to accompany each of the wines on offer (taste around 8 different drops during your visit), including how 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 good portion of hard-working passion.
The views at Mewstone are beautiful in any season – find your perfect vantage point on the lawn or deck, which overlooks the glittering water of the D‘Entrecasteaux Channel with a foreground of lush green vines in the summer months. In wintertime, the imposing and often snow-covered Mount Wellington can be seen in the opposite direction.
Seasonal platters (changing regularly to reflect the spoils of Tassie’s south, ocean and land alike) are also up for grabs. We hear a whisper that the trout from Bruny Island Smokehouse located just across the water is really something else. Daydream-worthy views and contentment-worthy food are the perfect pairing for a cool and crisp glass of Mewstone Chardonnay or your choice of the intriguing selection of wines on offer. If you’re a fan of the Hughes and Hughes label, then you’ll find these wines within this very stylish yet comfortable cellar door too.
Outstandingly delicious wine (we won’t bore you with the accolades) and outstandingly great people, an afternoon at Mewstone is definitely one well spent. The cellar door is open from 11am to 4pm Friday through to Monday. Delicious seasonal share plates paired with an extensive selection of the vineyard’s top drops reward the well organised. Book in advance to avoid disappointment.
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.