Tamar Valley Wine Experiences
The Tamar Valley is Tasmania's oldest and largest wine growing region renowned for cool climate wines most notably pinot and riesling varieties. The region is also home to the premier gourmet food and wine trail the Tamar Valley Touring Route which follows the majestic Tamar Valley 58 kilometres through the high-yielding vineyard country, orchards, scenic pastures and forests from Launceston to Bass Strait.
The usual starting point of the Route is Launceston, also the location of Peppers Seaport Hotel. As you begin your journey along the West Tamar Highway you will come across an abundance of wildlife before coming to Chancellor Resort Grindelwald, where you will find a Swiss-style shopping square with nine specialty stores offering Swiss chocolate, bakery items, crafts, souvenirs and much more.
Following the signs indicating the Tamar Valley Wine Route, wine lovers will be delighted by everything this beautiful region has to offer. Between Legana and Beauty Point there are numerous vineyards, several with stunning river views with most boasting cellar doors. Due to many of the vineyards being small and family-owned growers will often greet you and personally explain how their wine is made. Two cellar doors that offer lunch menus highlighting fresh Tasmanian produce are Rosevears Estate and Daniel Alps at Strathlynn.
Further along the Route you will discover Glengarry Bush Maze Tea Rooms set amongst beautiful surrounds and at Robigana you will find a selection of fine art and the opportunity to taste more Tasmanian wine at Artisan Gallery and Wine Centre. In the afternoon if you feel like a coffee, visit Lynton Farm Cafe where you can also purchase fresh Tamar Valley produce.
One of the larger rural towns you will come across on the Tamar Valley Touring Route is Beaconsfield. Famous for its mining history, Beaconsfield is the site of one of Tasmania's few operating gold mines and the Grubb Shaft Gold and Heritage Museum.
As you head south toward the Batman Bridge, linking the western and eastern banks of the Tamar River, you will pass the Lavender House at Rowella where more than 100 varieties of lavender grow and flower between August and May. Here you can browse the showroom, peaceful gardens and fragrant fields or just sit and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee in the tearooms.
Once across the Batman Bridge follow the partly sealed road on the right which will lead you to the picturesque hamlet of Hillwood. At Hillwood Strawberry Farm you can indulge in freshly picked strawberries topped with dollops of cream or in summer you can pick your own and taste some of their locally made fruit wines.
From Hillwood it is an easy drive to the historic town George Town, Australia's third oldest town settled in 1804 and home to Peppers York Cove. Further along the Tamar River at Low Head you can visit Australia's oldest continuously operated pilot station and a maritime museum. Upon returning to George Town you can linger over a meal at a cafe and wander the peaceful shoreline.
The wide range of cellar doors located along the Tamar Valley Touring Route for your enjoyment include:
When you are ready to move on from Peppers York Cove and you would like to explore more of Tasmania's wineries, the North East Trail will take you through the Pipers River wine producing region where you can taste and purchase some of Tasmania's best premium sparkling and non-sparkling wines.
Along this trail you will also find The Bridestowe Lavender Estate, home to 40 hectares dedicated to lavender cultivation, making the Estate one of the largest, if not the largest pure lavender farm in the world. The Bridestowe plantations have made Tasmania famous worldwide for its lavender.