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Background

How Awesome are Tassie's Wines?!

Here’s a tiny bit of history… just a little bit, that helps to explain why our wines are so good…

A lot of people said it couldn't be done, that Tasmania was too cold for wine grapes, that it would never amount to anything! Despite these detractors, some brave and determined people made sure those people ate their words (and drank our delicious wine).

Tasmania has a whole lot of wine history that most don't know about - its first recorded vineyard was planted way back in 1823 and Australia's first sparkling wine was made in Tasmania in 1826. One of the very first experiments with grapevines in Tasmania resulted in a wine that was proudly shown at a Paris exhibition in 1848. There are some great stories about adventurous Tasmanians having a go at growing grapes in different parts of the island throughout the 1800s, with varying success. However, after this brave early start, the island’s wine production all but disappeared until the 1950s.

In the 1950s, some enterprising migrants from Europe recognised the similarities in Tasmania of the soils and climate with the great grape growing regions of their homelands, and began to challenge and disprove the theory that Tasmania was too far south for grapes to ripen. It's fair to say that they were right! Today, Tasmania has a global reputation for outstanding wines that well exceeds its modest size, winning high praise from wine lovers, judges and critics around the world.

Terroir

The Tasmanian landscape is dominated by dolerite-capped mountains that shelter the state’s wine regions 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 rocks of volcanic origin.

Bream Creek Vineyard credit Wine Tasmania Ilona Schneider

COOL CLIMATE ADVANTAGE

As an island, Tasmania has a moderate maritime climate, cooled by prevailing westerly winds off the Southern Ocean, providing conditions free of extremes in temperature. Mild spring and summer temperatures, with warm autumn days and cool nights allow the grapes to ripen slowly on the vine, which helps them develop intense flavours with a refreshing structure and natural balance.

Devils Corner credit Wine Tasmania Ilona Schneider

VINTAGE

The Tasmanian vintage usually begins from mid-March, at the peak of the dry autumn when ripening occurs, to late May before the risk of frost and rain. Vintage variations are greater in Tasmania than any other Australian region. This vintage variation is reflected in each unique wine and makes for an insightful tasting of multiple vintages from the same producer.

View the vintage reports listed below for some further details.

Derwent Estate credit Martin Turmine 2

TASMANIAN WINE STATISTICS

The following provides a brief overview of the Tasmanian wine sector. In Tasmania there are approximately:
• 160 licensed wine producers
• 230 individual vineyards
• 95 cellar door outlets
• 2,000+ hectares under vine

Varieties

Tasmania is a single wine region, legally speaking, but full of diversity. Vineyards are broadly located in seven wine growing areas, outlined below, with vineyard sites across the island continuing to be explored.

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Other Stuff

Even More OTHER STUFF

For historical information including vintage reports, infographics and more from previous years, please contact Wine Tasmania – we love to help!