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translation missing: en.Coal River: Coal River

Welcome to the Tasmanian Wine Region series, where every week we feature select wine regions from the stretch of Tasmania's tranquil countrysides and coastal communities. Subscribe to our newsletter today or view other articles in this series to learn more about the wines of the region.

Location:

Stretching north and slightly east of Hobart is the Coal River Valley. Centred around the picturesque township of Richmond, the Coal River Valley is home to some of Tasmania's most prestigious wineries. It is a relative newcomer to the Australian wine scene, with the first commercial vineyards planted in the 1970s, but it has quickly risen to become a very highly regarded region, producing some of the most premium wines in Australia.

Terroir:

The Coal River Valley benefits from Tasmania's naturally cool maritime climate, with temperatures rarely reaching over 25 degrees celsius. It is also one of the driest regions in the state, with the hills to the north and east offering protection from the prevailing westerly weather systems. These factors, coupled with the long, sunny days during summer, give the fruit plenty of hang time on the vine to achieve optimal ripeness. Most vines are planted on the northeast facing slopes, to maximise the warm, summer sun, whilst cooling southerly breezes coming in from the Tasman Sea give the grapes a repsite from the day's heat, and help to retain their natural acidity.


The soils throughout the Coal River Valley are mostly alluvial sandy soils over clay and sandstone. They are generally friable, and along with the slope of the vineyards provide good drainage, limiting vegetative growth. The water retention in the clay subsoils, however, means that irrigation is rarely necessary, even in dry years.


The warm days, cool nights, low rainfall and alluvial sandy soils makes Coal River Valley perfectly suited to the growth and production of aromatic varieties - both red and white.

Varieties:

The star performers in the Coal River Valley are Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, which are produced as single variety wines, as well as blended for sparkling wine. Both varieties go to make exceptional cool-climate styles, which tend to be complex, layered and elegant.


The next varieties behind Pinot and Chardonnay that perform very well in the Coal River Valley are Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. Both of these aromatic varieties excel in the sandy soils of the valley, and with the long, slow growing season, develop wonderful flavour intensity and concentration.


There's one variety that grows surprisingly well in the cooler climes of the Coal River Valley, and produces premium wines. That variety is Cabernet Sauvignon. Made famous through estates like Domaine A, Cabernet is not the obvious choice for a cooler climate region. But given the amount of sunshine the valley receives, together with careful and sensitive viticulture, growers here can get Cabernet to ripen to the perfect level, producing wines that are densely concentrated, but wonderfully balanced and elegant.

Producers:

Pooley Wines, Nocton Vineyard, Frogmore Creek, 42 Degrees South, Pressing Matters, Domaine A, Tolpuddle Vineyard, Storm Bay

 

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