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Tasmania’s glowing reputation for world-class culinary experiences is well deserved. Australia’s island state produces extraordinary cuisine, washed down with wine, beer, cider and artisanal spirits with distinct Tassie flavours. From berries and beer, cider and salmon, Tasmania has established itself as a world-class foodie destination.
The Taste of Tasmania Festival, held on Hobart’s historic waterfront, is Australia’s largest and longest-running food and wine festival and celebrates the finest Tasmanian produce. Join Coral Discoverer on our Yachtsman’s Cruise to follow the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and arrive in Hobart in time to enjoy the Taste of Tasmania Festival. Or combine your enthusiasm for expedition cruising with culinary delights on Tasmanian voyages January to March each year.
Here are some of the tastiest highlights of Tasmania’s cuisine to whet your appetite!
Food and beverage Highlights of Tasmania:
No Tasmanian cheese story would be complete without mentioning King Island with its long-held reputation for some of Australia’s finest cheeses. King Island’s secret to producing premier specialty cheeses can be attributed to their island location in the Bass Strait where cows graze on fertile pastures year-round.
Grandvewe has an enviable location too on the lush green slopes overlooking the D’Entrecasteaux Channel and Bruny Island. Utilising the high-quality milk of Awassi ewes, known fondly as ‘the girls’, Grandvewe is the only sheep milk cheesery in Tasmania. Popular styles include Blue Cheese or Grandvewe Fresh, creamy spreadable cheese with a slightly tangy finish. Team their cheeses with award-winning vodka or gin from their micro Hartshorn Distillery, the first distiller world-wide to develop artisanal spirits utilizing sheep whey.
Bruny Island Cheese Company makes fine artisan cheeses with a distinctly Tasmanian character. Cheeses are made and matured using traditional techniques reflecting the seasonal nature of their Huon Valley location. Developing a winning combination, they also operate the Bruny Island Beer Co, creating brews to complement their cheese.
Tasmania is at the confluence of three oceans, making it a hotbed for marine biodiversity. The island’s shores are washed by sparkling seawater and fresh inland streams, which ultimately ensures a robust seafood industry and prime fish farming real estate. Oysters and abalone. Rock lobster and mussels. Freshwater trout, farmed salmon and deep-sea tuna. Tasmania has your taste buds covered when it comes to tantalising seafood. Don’t miss the opportunity to dine on a mouthwatering seafood feast during your Tasmanian sojourn!
Tasmania’s cool climate is well suited to wine production with vineyards spread across seven distinct regions.
The Tamar Valley in Tasmania’s north is centred around the town of Launceston on the banks of the Tamar River. As Tasmania’s oldest wine-growing region, the Tamar Valley has more than 32 vineyards including some of Australia’s most well-known like Jansz and Pipers Brook.
Northeast of Launceston, the Pipers River wine region enjoys a climate similar to Champagne in France, typically cooler than much of Tasmania. Many of Tasmania’s premium sparkling wines originate from the Pipers River region which accounts for approx. 30% of Tasmania’s entire wine production.
The East Coast wine region takes in the popular coastal towns of St Helens and Swansea where the mild coastal climate is coveted as an exceptional wine-producing region. Sample sparkling wines or smooth Pinot’s overlooking sun-drenched vines and sweeping coastal views.
The vineyards of the Coal River Valley east of Hobart are blessed with near-perfect grape growing conditions similar to Burgundy, France. Coal River Valley cool-climate wines benefit from a slightly longer growing season to produce grapes rich in character with typical varietals Noir, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
The North West wine region is Tasmania’s newest grape growing with a handful of pioneering wine producers such as Blue Penguin, Barringwood and Ghost Rock.
Derwent Valley wine region is easily reached from Hobart and includes the glitzy Moorilla Estate and adjacent Museum of Modern Art (MONA), one of Australia’s most extraordinary art spaces. The Derwent Valley is also home to one of Tasmania’s only biodynamic wine producers, Stefano Lubiana Wines.
The Southern wine region lies southwest of Hobart and includes the Huon Valley with its fertile vineyards gracing the rolling hills east and west of the Huon River. Textured Pinot Noir and liqueurs are popular varieties that emerge from this region
Known as the Apple Isle due to fertile valleys planted with fruit-laden apple crops, the Huon Valley accounts for approx. 80% of the state’s apple production. Tasmania showcases its high-quality apple orchards with cider brewers producing quality beverages. Apple and pear cider producers are mostly located in the southern Huon Valley and the northwest Tamar Valley which is well-known for its wine production.
Tasmania’s long history of brewing successfully blends the traditional brewing craft with the latest technology with a commitment to long term sustainability. Tasmania is home to more than 20 brewers – major players like Boags and Cascade are housed in heritage buildings and use the finest local hops and pure mountain-filtered water. But there are a plethora of craft breweries across Tasmania too where you can meet the brewer while sampling their unique brews.
TASMANIAN ARTISANAL SPIRITS
The same fresh mountain water used to give Tasmania’s beers a distinct flavour is also used by distillers creating whisky, vodka and gin. Distilling of spirits was outlawed in Tasmania for more than 150 years until the law was changed as recently as 1991. Lark Distillery set Tasmania’s distilling wheels in motion again, producing the first Australian single malt since 1901. The state is now well known for producing award-winning artisanal spirits.
Enjoy Tasmania’s food and wine with an Expert Expedition Team
Coral Expeditions has curated special food and beverage menus onboard Coral Discoverer for our summer Tasmanian sailings. With each day designed to maximise shore excursions for full immersion in the Tasmanian landscape, relax onboard with a fine Tasmanian single malt or famed Tasmanian wine. Surely there isn’t a better way to soak up all the tasty temptations that Tasmania has to offer!