Tasmanian vignerons have not yet registered any regions or subregions. This is likely to change in the future, as there are considerable climatic and terroir dissimilarities between Pipers River and the Tamar Valley in the north; the Derwent Valley, the Huon Valley and the Coal River Valley with Richmond in the south, and Bicheno on the east coast. It is a common fallacy to imagine that all Tasmanian wines are similar, or have similar backgrounds. Nothing could be further from the truth. If there is a common link, it comes most clearly through Pinot Noir and Riesling, with Chardonnay not far behind, particularly when the latter is teamed up with Pinot Noir in the production of sparkling wine.
The warmest areas, and those most likely to permit the satisfactory ripening of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, are the Tamar Valley, the Coal River and Bicheno. Even here, site selection of the sunniest, most sheltered, north and north-east facing slopes is crucial, as is meticulous viticulture and canopy control.
At the other end of the spectrum is the Pipers River area, made doubly challenging by the rich red soils that predominate and, in the far south, the beautiful Huon Valley. As Tasmanian pioneer Andrew Read more »