Northern Tasmanian Wine Region

The island state of Tasmania makes up a single Wine Zone, under Australia's classification system of Geographic Indicators. Unofficially however, it is sensible to recognise Northern and Southern Tasmania as separate wine regions.

white rock vineyard in Northern TasmaniaPicturesque White Rock Winery in Northern Tasmania

Although the latitude would suggest that the climate in Tasmania would be much cooler than Victoria, in fact the viticultural environment as measured by heat summation is quite similar to the cooler Victorian regions. Site selection is very important for successful ripening of all but the earliest maturing varieties.

The Northern Tasmanian Wine region has its major concentration of vineyards in the Tamar Valley to the north of Launceston. Serious winemaking started in the late 1970s with the establishment of vineyards in the Pipers Brook region.

Several mainland wineries have established a presence in Tasmania, often with the aim of producing quality sparkling wine.  Taltarni, based in the Pyrenees in Western Victoria, set a trend by establishing Clover Hill as far back as 1986.

In 2010 Brown Brothers acquired the vineyards and wineries including Tamar Ridge, formerly owned by Gunns. This gives Brown Brothers a cool climate source of grapes. This will also impact on the broader Tasmanian wine scene as a large dedicated wine company will now be applying their expertise to viticulture, winemaking and marketing.

Typically the varieties for Tasmanian sparkling wines follow the Champagne varietal template of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Meunier.  

Among the smaller vineyards in this region it is not surprising to see that cool climate varieties like Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Pinot gris are chosen.

Wineries with Alternative varieTies in Northern Tasmania

  • Barringwood Park Meunier, Schonburger
  • Bay of Fires Gewurztraminer
  • Frogmore Creek Vineyard Gewurztraminer, Ruby Cabernet
  • Goaty Hill Wines Gewurztraminer
  • Grey Sands Aglianico, Malvasia, Meunier, Petit verdot, Touriga, Viognier
  • Holm Oak Arneis, Moscato
  • Iron Pot Bay Wines Gewurztraminer
  • Josef Chromy Wines Gewurztraminer
  • Marions Vineyard Muller Thurgau
  • Pipers Brook Vineyard Gewurztraminer
  • Ryanna Vineyard Gewurztraminer
  • Sinapius Gamay, Gewurztraminer, Gruner Veltliner, Pinot blanc
  • Stoney Rise Gruner veltliner
  • Three Willows Vineyard Baco noir
  • White Rock Vineyard Dornfelder*

* Dornfelder is an interesting newish German variety being pioneered by White Rock winery.  See more about Dornfelder.

Want to learn About Australian wine regions?

You can learn about the wine regions and the wineries in them in in James Halliday's Wine Atlas of Australia

This comprehensive book includes clear maps, notes on the climate, soils and history of each region as well as notes on the varieties used and wine styles along with a description of the iconic wineries in each region.

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