Tasmania is well known for its award-winning cool-climate wines, craft beer and cider and the Cradle Coast is no exception. With its beautiful rich red soil and fresh mountain streams, the region is perfect for creating delicious beverages to tickle your tastebuds.
While you’re out exploring the North-West drop in to these producers along the way to sample the fruit of their labours, or better yet, program your GPS for a road trip to take in as many as you can in one hit, like our suggested itinerary below. Just make sure to flip a coin to decide the designated driver and be sure to sample in moderation.
1055 Port Sorell Road, Northdown
Open daily 11am-5pm (except Christmas Day and Good Friday)
From Devonport it’s only about a 15-minute drive towards Port Sorell to one of the Coast’s most exciting wine destinations. Established in 2001, it’s a family affair – Cate and Colin Arnold bought the former Patrick Creek Vineyard, then planted exclusively to pinot noir. Now expanded to 23ha it includes chardonnay, pinot gris, riesling and sauvignon blanc. Their son Justin assumed winemaking duties in the new 100-tonne winery, having previously worked in famous wine regions the Yarra Valley, Margaret River and Napa Valley. His wife Alicia also runs the cellar door and cooking school next door (www.hundredacres.com.au). Tuck into a delicious platter while looking out over the vines.
347 Mersey Main Road, Spreyton
Open Wed-Sun 11am-4pm (except May-September, Christmas Day, Boxing Day and Good Friday)
Now head back towards Devonport and in about 17 minutes stop at La Villa in Spreyton. You can’t miss it – head through the grand gates and you will feel like you have been transported to Europe. The love that owners Marcus and Gail Burns have for Italy is obvious from their stunning home and cellar door, with its bell tower and porticoed entrance surrounded by 5ha of vines. Established in 2010 the vineyard (formerly known as Emilia) focuses on low yield premium fruit, including pinot noir, pinot gris, chardonnay, nebbiolo and most recently planting of savagnin. The cellar door is a stunning space which has been elegantly furnished and also sells beautiful accessories.
Corner of Sheffield Road and Melrose Road, Spreyton
Open daily 12pm-5pm
Now it’s time to take a break from wine and drive just five minutes down the road to Spreyton Cider Co. Surrounded by orchards that have been grown by the same family since 1908, the ciders build on their expertise in producing award-winning apple juice made from 100% Tasmanian apples and pears. Established in 2012, you can taste their four apple cider varieties and one perry (pear) as well as see the bottling process through viewing windows to the factory when it is in operation. They also have an alcoholic and traditional ginger beer, stock a range of local wines, juices and produce including fresh apples and cherries (when in season) and host regular live music events.
22 Crockers Road, Railton
Open Wednesday to Sunday, September-May 11am-5pm, June to July 11am-3pm. (Closed Christmas Day, New Years Day, Good Friday and Recreation Day)
Back in the car and it’s a 16-minute trip to Seven Sheds, the brain child of Willie Simpson and Catherine Stark. Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, their backyard operation now includes a purpose-built tasting room, where you can sample their flagship Kentish Ale and seasonal beers as well as honey wines and melomels. Book ahead and you can even venture into the brewery with the main man himself to learn about hops and barley and how beer is made. If you’re in the North-West in March you can join in the hop harvesting event on the 17th.
60 Gillams Road, Lower Barrington
Open Monday, Thursday-Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 8am-5pm
It’s time to head back to the vines, with a 23-minute drive to our next stop, including a stretch of unsealed road. Barringwood is operated by Vanessa and Neville Bagot. Initially established in 1993 as a hobby vineyard, it has now reached 5ha including pinot noir, pinot gris, chardonnay, pinot muenier and Schonburger. With stunning views to the coast, the cafe offers more than just a platter, with local oysters shucked to order, house made bread, terrines, pastries and cakes.
62 Lakeside Road, Eugenana
Open Thursday, Saturday, Sunday 12pm-5pm, Friday 12pm-10pm (except Christmas Day and Good Friday)
To reach our last stop in this tasting tour it’s a 12-minute trip and a short gravel driveway to reach this most quirky and rustic venue. An old shearing shed with a deck and an eclectic mix of “daggy old furniture” as owner Tim Lynch put it, Prickly Mo is a laidback spot perfect for lingering. A family-owned property for generations, the grapes were sold to other winemakers for almost 20 years before Tim decided to make their own wine in 2012, opening the cellar door just over two years ago. If you can plan to be there on a Friday you can fill up on a platter and try the wines plus the ciders made at the property next door while listening to live music.
Have more time?
This itinerary by no means covers all of the beverage producers in the region. If you have extra time be sure to also check out Blustery Banks Vineyard, Lake Barrington Vineyard, Motton Terraces and Leven Valley Vineyard.
The Top Drops
After you’ve enjoyed sampling the range of wines, beers and ciders from North-West producers now it’s time to decide which to take home with you. These are the most popular purchases from each of the makers in this itinerary:
Ghost Rock: The Pinots 2017 – This rose’ is a blend of Pinot Meunier and Pinot Gris with a floral nose of rose petal and wild strawberries. The palate is vibrant and juicy, complimented by a hint of creaminess. $30
La Villa: Sparkling Nebbiolo 2016 – A rose’ made in the traditional method using 100 per cent nebbiolo grapes with a wild strawberry aroma, zesty palate and well-balanced acidity. $38
Prickly Mo: Front Paddock Pinot Noir 2016 – With aromas of elegant cherries, ripe strawberries and Christmas spices, it is delicate yet intense on the palate with earthy notes. $32
Barringwood: Pinot Gris 2016 – A fresh lively palate of crunchy pear and lemon complimented by floral and peach notes. $34
Seven Sheds Brewery: Kentish Ale – The brewery’s flagship, flavoursome ale is brewed with marris otter pale malted barley, ella and golding hops. $10 for 750ml bottle
Spreyton Cider: Apple cider – Crisp and refreshing, created from tree-ripened Golden Delicious and Jonagold apples, blended with apple juice for a slightly sweeter taste. $16 for a four-pack