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translation missing: en.Tamar Valley: Tamar Valley

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:

From the city of Launceston in Tasmania's north, the Tamar River winds it way to the coast, eventually spilling into the Bass Strait. The river neatly bisects the Tamar Valley wine region which is planted all the way along, from Launceston to the coast. Tamar Valley is the oldest wine region in Tasmania, with the first vineyards being planted here in 1823. It was only a decade later, that cuttings from this vineyard were taken to the mainland, and used to propagate vineyards in both Victoria and South Australia.


The Tamar Valley is an incredibly scenic region, with a gently undulating landscape that flattens out towards the coast. Combined with the premium quality of the wines produced here, Tamar Valley is one of the shining stars in Tasmania's viticultural firmament.

Terroir:

The climate for the majority of Tasmania's wine regions is cool to temperate with a strong maritime influence, and Tamar Valley is no different. The cool prevailing winds coming off the Bass Strait offer relief from the warm, sunny days that the vines enjoy during the growing season. But this cooling effect is vital for the retention of acidity in the fruit and the production of quality wines. The north-facing slopes on the southern banks of the river are perfectly placed to receive both these winds and the prevailing sunlight, as well as protection from frost (which can be a problem in cooler vintages).


Being a coastal region, the altitude of the Tamar Valley is fairly low, ranging from just above sea level to over 300m above. It is important to note, however, that the vast majority of vineyards here sit at below 100m above sea level. This low altitude increases the efficacy of the maritime breezes and though some vineyards do need wind breaks to protect them.


The soils throughout the valley are predominantly gravelly basalt over clay and limestone, with a high iron content. They are well-draining, friable soils which don't hold a lot of water, forcing the vines to look deeper and develop strong root foundations.

Varieties:

Like many Tasmanian regions, Tamar Valley is known to produce exceptional Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Both of these varieties thrive in the cooler climes of Tasmania, with Tamar Pinot showing wonderful varietal characters of cherry / berry fruit, spice and savoury, forest floor notes. Similarly, Chardonnay from this region is characterised by citrus acidity, light stonefruit notes, and clean mineral lines. They can be oaked or unoaked, but most winemakers lean towards the lighter style of wine. Both of these varieties are also used to make exceptional sparkling wines in the traditional method - some of which have become internationally renowned.


Riesling is another important variety for the Tamar Valley, with many fine examples that show distinctive lime zest notes, with white blossom and flinty minerality. They are almost always fermented dry.


While these varieties are the backbone of the region, many producers are beginning to plant and produce alternative varieties such as Gamay, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Blanc, and Gruner Veltliner with great success.

Producers:

Apogee, Two Tonne, Sinapius, Holm Oak, Goaty Hill, Holyman, Stoney Rise, Havilah, Haddow and Dineen, Josef Chromy, Clover Hill

 

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