Tasmania’s Best Local Wine Lists for 2022
A little island at the bottom of the world, Tassie punches above its weight when it comes to great wine and produce . . .
Ask most locals and they will agree that each is best enjoyed alongside the other – oysters slurped with a world-class sparkling wine in hand (there are plenty from which to choose), juicy scallops baked in the shell paired with a glass of rich yet deliciously crisp chardonnay, or the island’s famed pinot noirs carefully crafted to accompany the many artisan smallgoods (just some in a long list of pairing suggestions).
From Launceston to Hobart and the villages in between – or slightly off the beaten track, if you’re heading the coastal way – fine dining restaurants, bistros, foodie tours and wine bars are all stirring a collective hum of great food and wine experiences. Each has their own proudly-worn style and ever-tempting offering, all tied together by a wine and food philosophy that honours the island’s knack for producing a truly outstanding drop (and complementary dish).
Here in all of their brilliance – for you the culinary traveller – are four of the best wine lists and wine experiences that Tasmania has to offer.
2 Bridge Road, Launceston TAS 7250
2022 Judges’ Choice Tasmanian Wine List of the Year
Adding another award to add to their laden trophy cabinet, Launceston’s Stillwater Restaurant is a Tasmanian fine dining institution for good reason. The venue overlooking the Tamar River / kanamaluka (itself spectacular, wine and food aside), is built upon a philosophy that combines local produce, beautiful wine and exceptional service. While the recipe might appear simple, it is undoubtedly practiced to a fine art.
Expect Tamar Valley truffles in the winter time, fresh oysters sourced from an hour down the coast, miso made across the river and locally-grown heirloom vegetables. Your ever-welcoming host, co-owner and sommelier James Welsh, can be relied upon to deliver a wine match for each dish – usually Tasmanian and always the perfect accompaniment.
James says; ‘the palpable sense of care and community is the best thing about Stillwater and that’s why many of our customers continue to dine with us after 20 years of operation. We are privileged to play a part in some of life’s most precious moments – hosting engagements, anniversary dinners and milestone birthdays’.
If we’ve still got your attention (and you haven’t already packed your bags and headed to Stillwater’s website) make a booking at stillwater.com.au.
47A Brisbane Street, Launceston TAS 7250
2022 Judges’ Choice Small Wine Bar List of the Year
From freshly shucked east coast oysters to artisanal cheeses (made just around the corner in town), a menu of delicious small plates await in this cosy wine bar that dishes up familiar, friendly vibes. Wine can be chosen from an extensive selection of (exceptional) Tasmanian options, collated over years of meeting with winemakers and listening to their stories – some of which you might be lucky enough to hear over a glass or two during your visit.
Put simply, Bar Two is a warm, friendly space to relax and enjoy good wine, good food and good company – bartwo.com.au.
The Old Bank of Geeveston
13 Church Street, Geeveston TAS 7116
2022 Judges’ Choice Regional Wine List of the Year
A winding road through the island’s deep south might not be the most obvious route to one of Tasmania’s best wine and food experiences, but emerging from the forest into the town of Geeveston you’ve definitely come to the right place.
The venue’s philosophy is built around keeping its sourcing as sustainable and local as possible, with a weighty focus on game meat. Dishes are designed to be paired with wines from a number of small, local and sustainable Tasmanian vineyards, many nearby in the Huon Valley. At the Old Bank of Geeveston, service is the ‘good old fashioned’ type and the cakes (dare we say it) are as good as any village grandmother’s recipe.
Whether you share in the chefs’ reverence for offal and game meat or not, it’s impossible to ignore The Old Bank of Geeveston’s dedication to Tasmania and its produce. However, if you are inclined to approach a menu with enthusiasm and an adventurous spirit, you’ll find yourself completely and comfortably at home – facebook.com/theoldbankofgeeveston.
Eat the Wild
2022 People’s Choice Wine List of the Year
Eat the Wild is a homage to some of the best things that Tasmania has to offer – great wine, great food and the great outdoors. A wine tour by traditional definition, an afternoon spent with Eat the Wild feels more like a dinner party with your closest friends (if not already, likely to be by the end of the trip).
Alongside the wine and food, conversation flows across the open-air dining table as guests share stories with the custodians of the vineyards that they visit. While careful attention is paid to serving exceptional Tasmanian wine and food, the thing that makes Eat the Wild truly special has much more human element. Chef and purveyor of good times Josh Phillips says that ‘wine lists and menus should never make you feel intimidated. The dining experience and the discussion that surrounds it should feel welcoming and inclusive.’
The warm welcome on arrival promises to deliver a journey unlike any other and the Eat the Wild experience certainly makes for a pretty special kind of dinner party – if you’re lucky enough to score a seat on the bus – eatthewild.com.
Congratulations to each of the category winners in the 2022 Tasmanian Wine List of the Year. If you’re looking for more great venues for enjoying Tasmanian wine, we recommend taking a look at the 2023 Tasmanian Wine List of the Year Winners.