Tasmania’s New Wave Wineries

Best of the New Wave Wineries


Natalie Fryar is one of this country’s most accomplished makers of sparkling wine, having worked at Seppelt Great Western before helming Jansz for 14 years, both in South Australia and in Piper’s River. Founded in 2014, Bellebonne is her ambitious project to make pinnacle sparkling wine on a micro level. But Fryar believes that Tasmania is sparkling wine territory of rare pedigree, with natural advantages that you just don’t fine elsewhere – excepting Champagne, of course. She currently makes rosé, pinot noir and chardonnay cuvées, and a blanc de blancs with five years on lees – and all are vintage wines. Fryar also produces gin under the Abel Gin Company banner, employing local native botanicals, and pairs with partner Hugh McCullough on the Wellington & Wolfe label, making structured and delicate rieslings.

W: bellebonne.wine

Dr. Edge

Adelaide born and bred, Peter Dredge came to wine via a sporting career derailed by injury, with a decade-long stint at Petaluma in the Adelaide Hills leading to running winemaking operations at Bay of Fires. One thing led to another, and Dredge founded a relationship with the Ellis family of Meadowbank to make their wine and take some fruit for his own Dr. Edge label. Dredge is now a partner at Meadowbank, making their Derwent Valley wines, as well as growing the lines in his micro-batch label. Pinot noir, chardonnay and riesling lead the way, with expressions from far flung corners labelled by their compass points (north, south, east), as well as cross-subregional blends. A pét-nat and explorations further afield in Oregon, USA, where Dredge worked vintage for many years, complete the picture.

W: dr-edge.com


In 2011, Brothers Jonathan and Matthew Hughes bought an old cherry orchard in the micro-hamlet of Flowerpot near the D’Entrecasteaux Channel and planted it to chardonnay, pinot noir, riesling and syrah. Matthew provided the financial wherewithal for the project, while Jonny is the engine room for the viticulture and winemaking. It was a bold move for a young maker, buying a greenfield site and planting from scratch, but it’s one that’s paid off handsomely. That site is one of Tasmania’s most southerly, and Jonny has been fashioning layered and complex cool climate expressions, with texture and structure on an equal footing with flavour. Along with estate wines, fruit is sourced for the Hughes & Hughes label from vineyards across Tasmania, and the catalogue takes in a little more experimentation, with some skin contact whites, cresting in their ‘Living Wines’, which are sulphur free. A winery and cellar door were in the final phase of construction at the time of writing.

A: 11 Flowerpot Jetty Road Flowerpot TAS 7163
Ph: 0439 367 653
W: mewstonewines.com.au


Samantha Connew studied winemaking in her native New Zealand before helming the winemaking at Wirra Wirra, in McLaren Vale, and Tower Estate, in the Hunter Valley. She had a pretty dazzling career – even being crowned Red Winemaker of the Year at the 2007 International Wine Challenge in London – before the lure of the Tasmania proved too great. Connew started the Stargazer label while still in the Hunter, but its success pushed her to buy a vineyard, which she named Palisander, at the northern end of the Coal River Valley. The wines are both familiar and surprising, flavoursome, delicate and strikingly individual, without being polarising, with chewy grape tannins structuring whites, and judicious applications of sugar in riesling, from both estate and sourced fruit. Pinots noir and meunier share a blend, as do pinot gris, gewürztraminer and riesling, with the estate riesling, chardonnay and pinot noir the flagships.

A: 426 McDonalds Road, Pokolbin NSW 2320
Ph: 0408 173 335
W: stargazerwine.com.au

Stoney Rise Wine Company

A Tasmanian by birth, with a wine interest kindled by growing up on the family’s hobby vineyard, Joe Holyman actually started his Stoney Rise label while working at a winery near Robe, South Australia, using local fruit. Buying a vineyard on the banks of the Tamar in 2004, Holyman settled for good in his home state, with chardonnay and pinot noir the mainstays. Stoney Rise is the imprint for the more accessibly priced wines, while the more ‘serious’ offerings bear the Holyman name, and a pair of no-sulphur wines have been added of late. Holyman has also been a pioneer of grüner veltliner and is now flying the flag for trousseau (bastardo), while also making a range of experimental, crown-sealed wines in league with Peter Dredge and wine writer and drinks evangelist Mike Bennie under their Brian label.

A: 96 Hendersons Ln, Gravelly Beach TAS 7276
Ph: 0418 853 924
W: stoneyrise.com

Two Tonne Tasmania

Ricky Evans’ mantra is “Small parcels. Big love.” It’s a neat summation for the maker who works with discreet parcels of high-quality fruit, both sourced and from the old Three Wishes vineyard, which he has a long-term lease on. Like several key makers before him, Evans worked at Bay of Fires, though unlike other notable alumni, such as Peter Dredge and Fran Austin, Tasmania was already home, with the family property now bearing new vine plantings. Evans focuses mainly on the Tasmanian strengths of chardonnay, pinot noir and riesling, with more classic expressions bookended by a deeper push into whole-bunch pinot with the ‘Dog & Wolf’ flagship wine and the Ziggurat range which is a canvas for experimentation. Evans has also recently added the Havilah label, after his Launceston wine bar (and default cellar door) of the same name.

W: tttwine.com.au

Some More of the Best
  • Apogee
  • Apsley Gorge Vineyard
  • Barringwoo
  • Bay of Fires
  • Beautiful Isle Wine
  • Bream Creek
  • Cape Bernier
  • Chatto Wine
  • Clarence Hous
  • Clover Hill
  • Coal Valley Vineyard
  • Craigie Knowe
  • Craigow Vineyard
  • Dalrymple Vineyards
  • Dawson James Wines
  • Delamere
  • Derwent Estate
  • Devil’s Corner
  • Domaine Dawnelle
  • Domaine Simh
  • Freycinet Vineyards
  • Frogmore Creek Wine
  • Gala Estate Vineyard
  • Ghost Rock Vineyard
  • Glaetzer-Dixon Family Winemakers
  • Glen Ayr
  • Goaty Hill Wines
  • Grey Sands Vineyard
  • Handpicked Wine
  • Heemskerk
  • Henskens Rankin Wine
  • Holm Oak
  • Home Hill Wine
  • Jansz Wine Company
  • Josef Chromy Wine
  • Kate Hill Wine
  • Kelvedon Estat
  • Laurel Bank Vineyard
  • Leaning Church Vineyard

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