Clouds race across the cerulean sky as we make our way through goblets of crimson and sunshine purity. In wine, there is truth. Tasmania’s southeast region, centered on the Huon Valley, where apples once reigned and helped give the state its appellation of the Apple Isle, lends credence to this saying.
A deserted, modern building with sharp angles and glass perched at the end of the driveway. After taking in the views, we ventured to honk the car horn, and thus summon the proprietor of Nandroya Winery. En route to a grueling 3 hour hike at Pelverata falls, we had decided to stop in this new, boutique winery. The owner told us this was his retirement plan, and they grow only two varietals: pinot noir and sauvignon blanc. As we have come to expect, the pinot noir was high in tannins, but the sav blanc was enjoyable, with pear and lemon acidity creating a surprisingly mellow flavour.
Panorama and Hatrzview Wineries have been on our itinerary twice before, and we entered those wineries as we would the houses of old but distant friends. We left Panorama with four bottles and Hartzview with a mead and numerous gifts for friends back home. Both are well-established but welcoming vineyards, in contrast to the southeast’s most popular winery, Home Hill. A Jaguar XJ, the first luxury car we had seen in Tassie, brooded in the packed lot at Home Hill. All of the patrons were in the restaurant rather than the tasting room, a restaurant where mains cost far more than we would imagine paying for dinner, much less lunch.
The southeast wineries are not as frequented or trendy as the Coal River Valley wineries around Richmond, which is why we prefer them. The southeast wineries do not charge tasting fees (as long as you make a purchase, which we find reasonable). They’re quiet, and pleasant, and friendly, and that’s just the way we like them: reflecting the characteristics that bring us back to Tasmania after years away.