Hello everyone, Kate and Posie here again,
Spring blew through the valley with some wild days of wind and some, oh so welcome rain, and now, rejoice!, plant and animal life in abundance!
Summer is truly magical in Tasmania, so many wonderful markets, festival and events showcasing the rich talent we have here on our wonderful small island.
At Frenchman’s River we want our guests to experience the incredible produce that we have to offer here in the state, particularly focusing on what you can find here in the Huon. We love stocking the fridges of our houses with seasonal local produce and arranging a cheese and wine platter for your arrival with some delicious Coal Valley River Brie and a lush Two Bud Spur Pinot. How lucky we are to have these cheese and wine makers quite literally down the hill.
We previously mentioned some of the excellent distilleries that you can find here and this time we would like to highlight some of the amazing wines you can find here in the valley.
We had the not -so -terrible task of sampling the wines and of course meeting the local wine makers producing these fantastic wines.
Here are a couple we want to share, but don’t worry there are more to come….
Kate Hill Wines
We had the pleasure of meeting with Kate Hill recently to learn more about her journey to the Huon and the growth of her wine business. Kate has over 10 years experience making wines, she honed her skills with Orlando Wyndham wines in the Barossa where she was an executive winemaker, helping to create award winning wines. Kate felt a pull to producing her own cool climate wines and moved to Tasmania in 2006, knowing the cool climate would produce high quality fruit. After gaining some great experience in the Tasmanian market including working with Stefano Lubino and Winemaking Tasmania, Kate went on to create her own brand in 2008, using the services of a contract winery. Acquiring an old apple cool store in 2011 found Kate and her husband Charles converting the 100 year old building into a winery. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Shiraz varities are planted at their cellar door site in Huonville. A perfect location for its proximity to Hobart and as well as it’s vine growing climate.
Kate has a love for the valley and for Tasmanian makers and has seen a slow steady rise in the great quality of wines being produced with good people creating them.
Tasmanian wines are having their heyday it seems, we are seeing fantastic small boutique wines being created and in some cases establised vineyards -reintroducing wines that we have enjoyed and had perhaps forgotten. It is wonderful to rediscover some of these older, established vineyards with new, young owners and wine makers, highlighting what Tasmania has to offer.
The Kate Hill range includes a sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir, Riesling and Pinot Noir.
Their cellar door is at 21 Dowlings Rd, Huonville and is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday 11am-5pm
This lovely vineyard boasts one of the most amazing views on the Channel. Looking across the D’entrecasteux Channel out to Bruny Island and around to Mt Wellington, the Middleton location is not only beautiful but provides ideal conditions to produce the cool climate Pinot that Tassie is known for. Their 2017 Pinot won Bronze at the Royal Hobart Show in August of this Year.
Named after Captain Cooks HMS Resolution which anchored in adventure bay in 1777 the vineyard originally planted in 2003, has been lovingly maintained through family and friends of the original owners, now in the care of the Lamont family, we know this wine will continue to win awards.
Hartzview Vineyard Cafe
As you wind your way along the picturesque roads exploring the Huon Valley, the Hartzview Vineyard is a fantastic spot to stop, relax and take in a slice of true Tasmanian history. Located in Gardener’s Bay the Hartzview site was once a large fruit farm, producing gooseberries shipped off around Australia. Looking to develop the land owners Rob and Anthea Patterson discovered it was a great site for growing Pinot Noir, and in 1988 the first cuttings were planted. A family trip to France peaked a keen interest in fortified wines, a perfect match for the wonderful fruit of the Huon. Their cellar door offers wine tastings and the outside terrace is the perfect spot to have lunch overlooking the historical pickers huts.
Summer Festivals and Events
The Taste of Tasmania - a waterfront festival. Food. Wine. Music.
Fat Pig Farm - Matthew Evans from Fat Pig Farm/Gourmet Farmer and Nick Haddow from Burny Island Cheese will be hosting the Community Breakfast Sunday Dec 30 from 8 to 10am. Matt and Nick will be cooking up their favorite breakfast bbq dishes, served mess-hall style.
The Pickle Party - A free event looking at waste reduction and preserving. Join Hannah Maloney from Goodlife Permaculture and Michelle Crawford stylist and photographer, for a long table pickle party. Bring your jar and excess produce and they will provide brine and spices for a day of preserving.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Taste of Tasmania, with a record number of stall holders, free events, workshops for all type of foodies and endless entertainment, it is a truly wonderful event for everyone!
Australian Wooden Boat Festival - February 8 - 11 2019
Held across Hobart’s beautiful waterfront this 4 day festival showcases the largest collection of wooden boats in the Southern Hemisphere. The festival includes entertainment, music, and food along with displays and demonstrations and of course the beautiful wooden boats.
Mona Foma- Launceston 13 -20 January
Mona Foma takes over Launceston this January. This amazing festival includes not just art and music, but dance, theatre and the visual arts.
Le Weekend Cygnet February 16 -17 2019
A two day cultural event celebrating Cygnet’s rich French history. This lively festival is a delight with music, food, cabaret, art and more! Join Senator Nic McKim and Mayor Bec Enders in the Cygnet Town Hall as the open Le Weekend at 2pm on Saturday 16th February. The prgram for the weekend is full of wonderful activities for everyone, face painting for kids, Petanque in the park and French Films at Pagan Cider. The Cygnet Centre car park will have vintage and modern cars on display, you can hear delicate French love songs at Huon Art and don’t forget the French Breakfast at the Cygnet Sailing Club on Sunday 17th.
Allez tout le monde!
A Taste of the Huon - 10 & 11 March 2019
A festival showcasing the Huon and Channel region’s incredible produce, now in its 27th year the Taste of the Huon is a celebration of food, wine arts and crafts. There is entertainment for everyone, so bring your deckchairs and rugs and settle in for a day of fantastic food and fun.