Feb 07, 2018
Explore Tasmania’s famous wine route – visit cellar doors, sample the food and enjoy country-style hospitality.
There’s no shortage of breakfast options in Launceston proper. A case in point is Bryher Cafe & Caterers (bryherfood.com), which offers homemade, Instagram-worthy doughnuts, pastries and jams. But if you’re in the mood for a leisurely drive and brunch, head to Stonesthrow Launceston. Just 15 minutes from the CBD, the café is set on more than 36 hectares of wetlands reserve, with easy walking trails and friendly animals. The view alone is worth the visit so get in early (it opens at 8.30am during the warmer months) to nab a window seat. The menu, while concise, is full of favourites such as eggs Benedict, French toast and a hearty big brekkie. The bread, brioche and granola are all made in-house.
55 Sandown Road, Norwood
Stopping by the cellar door at Josef Chromy’s original 1880s homestead is about more than just wine-tasting. It’s also an opportunity to choose the drops you’d like to enjoy with lunch, which kicks off with freshly baked spelt bread and lashings of salted butter at the hatted restaurant. A variety of Tasmanian oysters follows and it just gets better from there, thanks to dishes such as grass-fed beef carpaccio and Jerusalem artichoke with cured venison and bush pepper.
370 Relbia Road, Relbia
Known as Tea Time, Friday (and sometimes Saturday) dinners are a relaxed affair at Timbre Kitchen at Vélo Wines, just 15 minutes out of Launceston. Chef Matt Adams whips up a new two-course set menu each week, based on whatever’s in season, so dishes might include a main of roast salmon in winter or a dessert of sweet pickled rhubarb with zabaglione in summer.
Vélo Wines, 755 West Tamar Highway, Legana
For taking home
When winemaker Natalie Fryar started making gin, she wanted to create something distinctly Tasmanian that smelt like “Cradle Mountain after it’s rained”. And so Abel Gin was born, using native botanicals in its flavour base. There are two varieties: Essence, which is described as refreshing and light; and Quintessence, which is deep and spicy. Pick up a bottle at Stillwater Providore in Launceston. Fryar’s tips for drinking gin? “Don’t swamp it with bad tonic,” she says. “And don’t overcomplicate it. Gin, tonic, a slice of citrus, ice – that’s all you need.”
2 Bridge Road, Launceston
Where to stay
Wines for Joanie Farm Cottage
Set amid the Tamar Valley hills, Wines for Joanie Farm Cottage is a 1940s one-bedroom residence complete with an antique queen bed, vintage leather wingback lounge, fireplace and kitchenette. Your nearest neighbours are the farmyard animals: pigs, horses and wine dogs Squeak and Lou. There are many cellar doors within driving – and even walking – distance. Swinging Gate Vineyard, just next door, is a must-visit.
163 Glendale Road, Sidmouth
Red Feather Inn
At first glance, the quiet little town of Hadspen doesn’t seem like the place to find luxury boutique accommodation. But it dates back to colonial times and many of the buildings in the area are heritage-listed, including the Red Feather Inn. Built in 1842, it’s made up of five suites and three cottages, all decorated in French Provincial style and each featuring a unique design. The Garden Suite, for example, is two storeys and opens directly onto the beautiful garden area, while Pearce’s Cottage sleeps six and has a spacious sitting area, private garden and its own laundry. The original sandstone fireplaces have been retained throughout the main inn and the bathrooms all have freestanding bathtubs and walk-in showers.
42 Main Street, Hadspen
If you don’t want to drive: Prestige Leisure Tours
Leave the car behind and have Prestige Leisure Tours ferry you around the valley. They will pick you up from your accommodation for a private or small-group trip, with a choice of four, five or six cellar door stops. You can help select the wineries on your itinerary or simply sit back and leave it to your experienced driver. Just make sure Goaty Hill Wines at Kayena is on your list.