I love bubbles. I may have started an article with these exact words before. Unsurprising, ‘cause I still love bubbles! So when Deanna of Wineivore suggested Australian Sparkling, fortified, or Tasmania Wines, I doubled down with Tasmanian Bubbles!
The #WorldWineTravel writers will gather on Saturday, August 27th, on Twitter at 8 am PST (or a more reasonable 11 am EST) to discuss the wines we found! You can see Deanna’s Invitation post here. You can join us by following and using the hashtag #WorldWineTravel at that time.
All the links to my colleagues’ articles will be listed at the bottom, so once you have finished learning about my Tasmania Bubbles, check out the wines and regions they found!
Tasmania is part of the country of Australia, but it is separate from the Australian mainland sitting 150 miles south, off the coast of Victoria. The island is an extension of the Great Dividing Range that runs down the Eastern Coast of Australia. It is named after Abel Janszoon Tasman, a Dutch explorer credited with discovering the island in 1642. But this name only arrived in 1856. Before that, it was called Van Diemen’s Land for the governor of the Dutch East Indies, who sent Tasman out to explore. But as with all Australia, they acknowledge the aboriginal people who are the traditional owners of this land, known in their tongue as Lutruwita.
Remember, we are in the Southern Hemisphere here, so south means cooler. In the heat of summer in January, temps typically only get to 15.6°C (~60°F). As an extension of the Great Dividing Range, it is mountainous.
The island is 68,582 square km which translates to 6,858,200 hectares) with 2,084 hectares planted to vineyards (according to the 2020-2021 Regional snapshot by Wine Australia.) So vineyards make up a tiny portion of the island.
Winery Cellar doors are clustered on the Northern & Western Coasts.
What I discovered when I went looking for images of Tasmania, is that ALL of it is breathtakingly beautiful! Seriously! I search for photos of regions all the time and sort through to find good ones. This time trying to choose was really hard and of course, now I really want to visit! Take a look.
The vineyards for Jansz began from a partnership between Louis Roederer and Heemskerk Wines. They planted Pinot and Chard in Pipers River in 1986. In 1998 the Hill-Smith family purchased the property with the idea of making the best Traditional Method sparkling wine in Australia. They named the company Jansz Tasmania.
They call their method Methode Tasmanoise. For them, this embodies not just the traditional method of making sparkling wine; it ties into the Tasmanian way of life and respect for the beauty of the land surrounding them.
The grapes for the wine we tasted come from Pipers River in the Tamar Valley in the North of Tasmania and the Coal River Valley in the South.
Jansz Tasmania Winemaker Jennifer Doyle
Jennifer Doyle is the Winemaker at Jansz Tasmania. Her passion for wine started in the Hunter Valley, where she would work on a vineyard during her breaks from University.
She credits the greatness of their sparkling wine to the chilly air from the Bass Strait between Mainland Australia and the Pipers River region of Tasmania, where their grapes are afforded a long ripening season to allow flavors to develop slowly.
Jansz Tasmania Premium Cuvée
This wine is 66% Chardonnay and 34% Pinot Noir. The grapes are hand-picked, and whole-cluster pressed. Wines go through complete malolactic fermentation and extended lees aging (that is, aging on the dead yeast cells, which adds to the texture of the wine).
Pale lemon in color, this wine hit my nose with white flowers, brioche, pear, and lemon with an earthy note, plus minerals and spice. In my mouth, it was all lemon and mineral and was refreshing, and it opened to more green apple and pear notes. Michael loved this because it had more fruit depth and complexity.
12% alc, $26.99 Wine.com
Tassie Inspired Seafood Pie
I was searching for something that was Tassie and remembered the hand pies popular in Australia.
So…off to find a Tassie meat pie. The recipe I came upon a recipe for a Tassie Curry Scallop Pie and ran with it.
I realized, however, that I didn’t have curry powder. Curry powder, of course, can be different depending on the region and the chef. I put together one that fit what I wanted, and it was a blend of cinnamon, turmeric, coriander, white pepper, and ginger.
I also didn’t have Tasmanian scallops; in fact, I couldn’t find fresh scallops in the store at the time. So…I pulled out a bag of frozen seafood blend (calamari, shrimp, and scallops) and pulled out all the calamari. Luckily the shrimp and scallops were just enough for my pie.
This recipe uses frozen puff pastry and just the seafood, onion, and potato in the curry filling.
I enjoy curry, but this pie with the rich puff pastry and the incredibly delicious curry filling…I was over the moon with this recipe. Seriously, I could eat this every day.
As to the pairing? The fruit notes in the wine played beautifully with the curry, and the bubble cut thru the fat in the pastry. Of course, the brioche notes on the nose of the wine and the smell of the pastry…well, together, was a heavenly overload of bready goodness.
Sidebar shoutout to Swift
I also have to do a shout-out to Orange Australia, another region producing some spectacular sparkling wines. We visited in 2019 and sipped some glorious bubbles from Swift, the sparkling label for Printhie wines.
Ed Swift, who heads up production at Printhie (and yes, of the family Swift who owns the winery), and winemaker Drew Tuckwell, walked us through their wines in the Swift Packing Shed on their Millwood Vineyard while we tucked into fresh oysters.
This vineyard sits on the slopes of Mt. Canobolas, an extinct volcano.
They have recently completed the cellar door that was just in the planning stages when we visited. It is complete with a restaurant and stunning views. They just won “Star Cellar Door 2022″ for Orange in Gourmet Wine Traveller! Time to visit again, I suppose!
(Watch for more on these wines and the Orange region coming up on our “Discovering Wine Country” video series!)
I can’t wait to read about the wines my colleagues’ found! Here are their articles
- Lori of Exploring the Wine Glass explores Tasmanian Sparkling and Egg Rolls.
- Cam with Culinary Adventures with Camilla gives us Tasmania + Hawaii: Celebrating with an Island Wine and Island Eats.
- Jeff with Food Wine Click! helps us Discover Rutherglen Stickies.
- Kat, the Corkscrew Concierge shares, Surprise! South Australia Pét-Nat is on the Rise.
- Susannah, with Avvinare, shares her discovery of Tasmanian Chardonnay.
- Linda with My Full Wineglass shares Sparkling Aussie Shiraz as summer draws to a close.
- Nicole from Somm’s Table shares Bubbles from Way Down Under: Jansz Premium Cuvée Brut from Tasmania with Lobster Tartines
- And our host Deanna of Wineivore, shares Australian Sparkling Wine from Deviation Road.
Resources in case you want to dive down the rabbit hole!
More on Australia from Crushed Grape Chronicles
- Semillons from New South Wales Australia – comparing the young and the old #WorldWineTravel
- South Australia – Cabernet from Coonawarra & Fortified Shiraz from McClaren Vale #WorldWineTravel
- Swift & Delicious Traditional Method Sparkling Wines from Printhie and the High Altitude Vineyards in Orange Australia
- Walsh & Sons & Next-Generation Wines from Margaret River in Western Australia #WorldWineTravel
- 2 days in Orange? Too little time for this beautiful Australian wine region!
- Exploring New South Wales & Mudgee #ouraussiewineadventure
- Krinklewood Disco Balls, Biodynamics and the History of the Vineyard
Robin Renken is a wine writer and Certified Specialist of Wine and WSET 3 Certified. She and her husband Michael travel to wine regions interviewing vineyard owners and winemakers and learning the stories behind the glass.
When not traveling they indulge in cooking and pairing wines with food at home in Las Vegas.