Whilst driving through the countryside on the east coast of Tasmania, you could be forgiven for thinking you are driving through the English country side, with the familiar rolling green hills, rivers and the vineyards. In particular, the drive from Hobart to the Freycinet National Park is something I could term as quite the ‘joy ride’, as the scenery along the way is just picture perfect. Then as you start nearing the national park, the mountains appear as a stunning backdrop to the many wineries throughout this route.
The east coast is home to a boutique wine region, producing cool climate wines. What I found interesting is that many of these boutique wineries only sell their wine locally or within Tasmania – even more reason to embark on a winery tour. As for me, I really don’t need much convincing when a winery is involved. From the tasting experience at the cellar door to the local produce showcased during a fine dining experience, it’s just something I love indulging in.
With so many wineries on offer in the region, your only dilemma will be which ones to stop at. Over the weekend I got to taste quite a few wines from different wineries but I particularly loved the Gala Estate Winery. I really liked the Pinot Gris and the Riesling they are making, along with the great old world environment to do the tastings in.
Gala Estate Winery
Gala estate winery is both rustic and quirky. The estate itself is set over 4000 hectares and has been in the hands of the same family for seven generations. It’s cellar door operates from an old weatherboard house which was once the Cranbrook post office and general store. The building then came into the hands of a local character by the name of Ted, who made it his home. Ted preferred the simple life and therefore the Victorian building remained in its original state. When Ted passed on, the house was purchased by Gala Estate and has been preserved exactly how Ted left it (with the only addition of an indoor bathroom). With lot’s of artefacts from a bygone era including an old cast iron stove, a vintage car that looks like hasn’t been driven since mid last century and the interesting and thoughtful placements of the bottles of wine throughout the property. It’s just full of that old country character, that invites you in, sits you down and says welcome.
Wines that the Gala Estate produces are a vintage Pinot Noir, Pinot Rose, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Pinot Gris. After you have done some wine tasting, you may find yourself sitting on the veranda, under the grape vines with a glass of wine, soaking in an era of yesteryear. If you are little peckish then grab a cheese board, a picnic hamper and fill it with gourmet goodies. The picnic hampers are great if you are on route to the Freycinet National Park, as it is also a ‘take away’ item.
The building retains it’s character with original fittings like the cast iron stove, the fireplace in the lounge room and various furniture items, along with other decor sympathetic to the era. You will also find some photo’s of Ted on the walls of his home.
Where and contact
14891 Tasman Highway
For Gala Estate’s website click here.