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: Tasmanian zone

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Tasmanian Zone

The Australian Wine and Brandy Corporation (the body that regulates wine region boundaries) formally regards all of the Tasmanian mainland as a single Tasmanian Zone.

However, we have followed the wishes of most of the local industry who in practice make the distinction between the northern vine districts on the island (Piper's Brook and the Tamar Valley) and the southern vine districts near Hobart (Huon Valley, Coal River Valley and Derwent River Valley).

Wine Glass Bay
The aptly named Wine Glass Bay is one of the features of the east coast of Tasmania (photo:genxywines)

This leaves the problem of what to do with the small number of wineries on the central east coast in a protected basins around the mid-coast towns of Bicheno and Swansea. They don't seem to neatly fit into the north-south divide so we will include them under the Tasmanian Zone for the time being. I have also included the isolated Sugarloaf Ridge vineyard that lies to the west of Coal River.

The East Coast district has around eight vineyards within an hour's drive from the Coles Bay-Bicheno areas. The annual rainfall is about 500-650mm and the mild autumns mean that harvesting often occurs in April. It does seem to be milder with earlier harvest dates than the South Tasmanian wineries.

Wine Glass Bay
Several of the wineries are located near the spectacular Freycinet Peninsula National Park (photo:genxywines)

Regardless of the geographical classification issues the Freycinet Riesling is one of the great examples of a modern Austrian style unfamiliar to many dry Australian Riesling fans. Spring Vale sometimes pulls off one of Australia's best Gerwurztraminers but can sometimes struggle for full varietal expression.

Spring Vale, Freycinet and Kelvendon are all having considerable success with Pinot Noir in the warmer vintages, which with climate change will be more often. Freycinet are also well known for the Radenti which is one of Australia's best sparklings with 8-10 years on lees to build complexity and richness before disgorgement.

Coombend are having success with their fragrant and floral off-dry Rieslngs, finely balanced Botrytis Rieslings and vibrant Sauvignon Blancs. Milton Vineyard has a terrific rich Alsatian-like Pinot Gris.

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Freycinet

Freycinet is the flagship in the cluster of high achieving wineries on Tasmania's East Coast.

Freycinet

Spring Vale's cellar door is located in a heritage listed building built by convict labour in 1842.